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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Soldiers killed in Helmand named
Colour Sgt Phillip Newman and Pte Brian Tunnicliffe
Colour Sgt Phillip Newman and Pte Brian Tunnicliffe died in Helmand
Two British soldiers killed in a road accident in southern Afghanistan on Thursday have been named.

Colour Sgt Phillip Newman and Pte Brian Tunnicliffe were serving in Helmand province with the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

Their 4x4 vehicle overturned and landed on its roof in an irrigation channel.

Colleagues have paid tribute to Colour Sgt Newman, 36, an "outstanding model" for today's Territorial Army, and the "big-hearted" Pte Tunnicliffe, 33.

Family man

Colour Sgt Newman joined the TA in Coventry 13 years ago and has since served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He became a mainstay of his battalion, the 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Yardley, said: "Phillip touched many people's lives, here and abroad; he personified all that was good in a soldier, he led from the front and protected those who could not protect themselves."

He was a dedicated family man who took great pride in his three children's achievements and was devoted to Stephanie, his wife.

Pte Tunnicliffe, from Ilkeston, joined the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) 10 years ago and has been deployed to Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Belize and Kenya.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Banton, said Pte Tunnicliffe would always go the extra mile.

I commend their comrades for continuing the fight
Des Browne, Defence Secretary

"Private Tunnicliffe reflected the archetypal county infantryman, fiercely loyal to his regiment and his friends," he said.

"A truly big-hearted Ilkeston man through and through. Our lives are darker now that his bright light has gone out."

Defence Secretary Des Browne described both as dedicated, professional soldiers.

"Their loss strengthens our resolve to continue with our mission in Afghanistan and I commend their comrades for continuing the fight at what must be a difficult time for them," he said.

The latest deaths mean six soldiers from the newly-formed 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment have died in Afghanistan this month.



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