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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
MoD names soldier killed in Basra
L/Cpl Dennis Brady
L/Cpl Brady lived in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, with his wife, Zoe
A UK soldier killed in an attack at a base in Basra, southern Iraq, on Sunday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as L/Cpl Dennis Brady.

The 37-year-old, from Cumbria, was a regular reservist from the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry.

He was hit in an "indirect fire attack" at the Shatt Al-Arab Hotel after mortars landed inside the UK base.

His commanding officer said the battalion had lost a "real friend".

The British military death toll in Iraq since March 2003 is now 119 - 90 of which were as a result of hostile action, according to the MoD.

A British military spokesman in Basra said about 15 mortars had been fired at the base in Sunday's attack, with three or four landing inside the perimeter.

L/Cpl Brady was taken to hospital, where he later died. Another soldier suffered a broken arm in the attack, the spokesman said.

Due home

L/Cpl Brady grew up in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where he lived with his wife, Zoe.

I was looking forward to having him home
Brenda Brady

He left the regular Army in 2004 and worked as a firefighter before volunteering to return to the military as a reservist.

L/Cpl Brady's mother, Brenda, 72, said he had been due to return home in two weeks at the end of a six-month tour of duty.

"I was looking forward to having him home," she said as she wept. "He was a lovely boy.

"It was my birthday on Saturday and he sent me flowers. There was a card saying, 'Happy Birthday love from Dennis'."

The following day, Mrs Brady learned her only son had been killed.

"He wanted to help people - that is why he was a medic," Mrs Brady added.

"He enjoyed the Army. He took part in lots of sport and was in the skiing team.

His passing will leave a gap in all our hearts
Lt Col Johnny Bowron

"He loved football. I used to tape all the matches for him when he was away so he could watch them when he came back."

His commanding officer, Lt Col Johnny Bowron, said the loss of L/Cpl Brady would be "keenly felt".

"The battalion has lost a trusted member and a real friend," he said.

"In the relatively short time he had been with us he had become a full and trusted member of the battalion, admired by all he met and with that rare gift of universal popularity.

"He will be remembered for his calm and unflappable nature whatever the circumstance.

"This approach, coupled with a high level of medical competence, allowed the soldiers of D Company to carry out their duties secure in the knowledge that if the worst was to happen they were in safe hands.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends
Defence Secretary Des Browne

"L/Cpl Brady was armed with a dry sense of humour, and was always ready with a barrage of friendly banter, as well as always being prepared to offer brutally honest advice regardless of the recipient's rank - advice that was nearly always correct.

"This slightly gruff exterior masked a deep concern for his fellow soldiers and an abiding loyalty to his adopted military home.

"He had a real and positive impact on those with whom he worked and his passing will leave a gap in all our hearts."

Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of L/Cpl Brady.

"The British forces feel they are making a real difference in Iraq and L/Cpl Brady was part of this hugely important effort.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."






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