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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Soldier 'died protecting friends'
Guardsman Simon Davison
Guardsman Simon Davison had been manning a checkpoint
A British soldier shot dead at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan has been named as Guardsman Simon Davison.

The 22-year-old, who grew up in Staffs, joined the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards last year, came under attack near Garmsir in Helmand Province.

Commanding officer Lt Col Carew Hatherley said he had "selflessly" died fighting to protect his comrades.

His death on Thursday takes the number of British troops killed in the country since 2001 to 54.

Guardsman Davison was part of a team manning one of three checkpoints in the area.

At 0645 local time (0315 BST) on Thursday the checkpoint was attacked by eight to 10 lightly armed Taleban fighters, said the Ministry of Defence.

He died fighting to protect other Grenadiers...there is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform
Lt Col Carew Hatherley

In the subsequent gun battle, he was shot.

Guardsman Davison was born in Newcastle and then educated in Cannock and Stafford. He worked as a carpenter before joining the Army in 2005.

Less than a year later, he was posted to the Grenadier Guards.

He leaves behind his mother Maureen Hindmarch, father Ray Davison and sister, Caroline.

'Gentleman'

His company officer, Major Will Mace, described him as "a soldier of the highest calibre".

"It is a tribute to his professionalism and strong character that he fell while performing his duties and protecting his friends."

A friend and fellow soldier, Guardsman Alan Davies, added: "He was a gentleman in every way and could always be relied upon to make people laugh."

His commanding officer, Lt Col Carew Hatherley, said Guardsman Davison had always wanted to be a soldier and was "immensely proud" of his uniform.

"Reliable and trustworthy are the two words most used when his colleagues describe him. He died fighting to protect other Grenadiers and gave his life in doing so," he said.

"There is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform."






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