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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 17:02 GMT
Crash soldier was 'new to Iraq'
Trooper Carl Joseph Smith
Trooper Carl Smith's family were "immensely proud of him"
A British soldier killed in a road crash had only been on duty in Iraq for 11 days, the Ministry of Defence says.

Trooper Carl Joseph Smith, 23, from the 9th/12th Lancers, died in an accident on the outskirts of Basra in southern Iraq on Thursday night.

In a statement, his family paid tribute to Trooper Smith's bravery and said they were devastated by their loss.

The soldier from Kettering, Northants, who has a three-year-old son, had only been in Iraq since 23 January.

His death brings the number of British armed forces personnel who have died since the start of hostilities in Iraq to 101.

In a statement his family said: "Paul and Dee, his parents, sister Katherine, partner Carly and son Lewis fully supported his decision to pursue a career in the Army, and are immensely proud of him, though devastated by his death.

"Carl was involved in a road traffic accident whilst doing the job he loved and enjoyed.

"He was proud to serve his county as a British soldier."

We count ourselves fortunate to have served with such a man
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Crewdson

It is not yet clear whether the accident was caused by a collision with another vehicle, but officials say "hostile involvement" is not suspected.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Crewdson, said: "Despite only serving for a short time, he had already earned an excellent reputation as a hard worker.

"Our thoughts are with his family and young son. The regiment has lost a friend and a soldier brimming with potential.

"We count ourselves fortunate to have served with such a man."

Of the 101 military personnel who have died while on Operation Telic - the name given to British operations in Iraq - 77 are classed as having been killed in action.


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