Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:37 UK

Friends' tributes to dead soldier

Private James Prosser
Pte Prosser was a keen sportsman, who was popular with his peers

Friends and colleagues of a 21-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan have paid tribute to him, describing him as a "hero" and a "brave Welsh warrior".

Private James Prosser, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, died in an explosion in the Musa Qal'eh district, northern Helmand province, on Sunday.

The Llantarnam Comprehensive pupil, from Cwmbran, only joined the battalion in February.

But Corporal Neil Collins said he was the best Warrior driver in his platoon.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said Pte Prosser was selected for training as a Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle Driver - a role that he both enjoyed and excelled at - prior to his deployment to Afghanistan in July.

He was killed whilst driving his vehicle.

The MOD said the "keen sportsman", who had been a member of Cwmbran Celtics Football Club and Fairwater Falcons Hockey Club, had "a real enthusiasm for soldiering, and had a bright future ahead of him".

Pross wasn't just a mate from the Army, he was one of my very true friends and probably the most intelligent
Private Wayne Ellis

On its website, it said: "Prosser's confidence and affable manner marked him out as one of the more popular of his peers."

In a statement, his friends said: "We don't know where to start expressing how much you meant, and how much we will miss you. You always were one of the boys and you always will be.

"The amount of respect we have for you is indescribable, a true friend and a real hero forever."

Sergeant Scott Townley, Platoon Sergeant, said Pte Prosser was a "character" who joined the A Company 2 Platoon with "great enthusiasm" and a desire to be Warrior driver, "a role he fulfilled with hard work and in a professional manner".

"Prosser always brought a smile to my face and to the rest of the Platoon," he added.

Lance Corporal James Scowcroft said Pte Prosser, who joined the Army in July 2008, was an "awesome soldier".

"He was always dependable, doing whatever he was told to do," he said.

"He was always cracking jokes with us and was good at taking the mickey out of people to keep morale up. He is going to be missed greatly by us all."

'Lifting spirits'

His friend Pte Morgan Evans, close friend, said Pte Prosser was a "good soldier and an even better friend".

"We went through training together and arrived in battalion at the same time," he said.

"He was always laughing and joking with the boys."

Pte Wayne Ellis, another friend, said: "Pross wasn't just a mate from the Army, he was one of my very true friends and probably the most intelligent."

Pte Tallen Williams, who described Pte Prosser as "like a brother to me", added: "You were always there to lift the boys' spirits no mater what the situation."

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