Page last updated at 20:18 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

100th Afghanistan fatality named

L/Cpl Adam Drane
L/Cpl Adam Drane was described as an "effective and humble leader"

The soldier who became the 100th UK fatality in Afghanistan this year has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

L/Cpl Adam Drane, 23, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was shot in Helmand province on Monday.

His parents Desmond and Jackie Drane said: "No words could adequately describe what our loss means to us."

His colleagues said the engaged soldier had been "an extremely kind individual who had a wonderful sense of humour".

Maj Chris Barry, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said "his quiet and intelligent personality made him an effective and humble leader".

"His love of music, warm sense of humour and fun were appreciated by everybody and his death is felt by all," he added.

Fighting insurgents

L/Cpl Drane also leaves behind a younger brother, Christopher, and his fiancee Sian Goodenough.

Major Chris Barry pays tribute to Lance Corporal Adam Drane

He was employed within 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, and was on his second tour of Afghanistan.

He was responsible for commanding a four-man "fire team", whose duties included working with the local population and fighting insurgents.

The keen boxer and music fan had been in Afghanistan for about two months, where he came under attack almost every day.

L/Cpl Drane was shot while carrying out security duties at a checkpoint in the Nad-e Ali area on Monday afternoon.

His death prompted politicians and military chiefs to reiterate the importance of the mission in Afghanistan.

He will always be remembered as an excellent soldier, and an even better friend

Pte Dan Burgess

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, who is in Afghanistan, said it was vital to the UK's national security, while Army chief Gen Sir David Richards said the death had hardened "our determination to succeed".

Sir David also urged the public not to judge the campaign by casualties alone.

The US, the UK and other Nato countries have announced a surge in troop numbers, but America stressed it would begin to withdraw its military by 2011.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned it would take 15 years before Afghanistan was able to pay for the costs of maintaining its own security forces.

British troops arrived in Afghanistan in 2001 as part of a US-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks.

The total number of UK troops killed since the start of operations in 2001 has now reached 237.

'Full of resolve'

Maj Christopher Davies, commanding officer of C (Essex) Company, said L/Cpl Drane was "a thoroughbred soldier with huge potential".

Most recent UK fatalities

Total deaths 2011: 32

Updated: Dec 18 2011

"After nearly two months of almost daily engagements with the enemy, of which the majority were fierce and unrelenting, he remained hardy, focused and full of resolve," he said.

Pte Jason Field, from L/Cpl Drane's platoon, said he was a "kind and loving" man.

"This was most apparent when he talked about his fiancée. She was the first and last person on his mind and I have never met anyone who loved someone as much as he did," he said.

Pte Dan Burgess, also in the same platoon, said he would remember "Add" for his love of music.

"When I first met him seven years ago with his long blond hair and bass guitar in hand, I never once thought a few years down the line, we would be in Afghanistan together," he said.

"He will always be remembered as an excellent soldier, and an even better friend."

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The Sun 100th hero shot guarding mates - 6 hrs ago
Sky News Parents 'Proud' Of 100th UK Soldier To Die - 7 hrs ago
Ananova Parents' tribute to 100th soldier - 11 hrs ago Tributes to 100th British Afghan casualty - 13 hrs ago
The Independent Widow criticises Army shortages - 15 hrs ago

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