Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 16:42 UK

Soldier killed by mine is named

Trooper Robert Pearson; Pic courtesy MoD
Trooper Robert Pearson, 22, was from Grimsby

A soldier killed in Afghanistan on Monday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as 22-year-old Trooper Robert Pearson.

He died after a suspected mine strike on his vehicle in Helmand province.

Another soldier who was hurt in the blast is still receiving medical treatment for his injuries.

Trooper Pearson, from Grimsby, had been with the Queen's Royal Lancers Regiment for just over a year.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nixon-Eckersall said Trooper Pearson had "already made a name for himself in his squadron where he was a popular and well-respected individual."

'Outgoing and confident'

"Trooper Pearson took a keen and professional interest in his job as a formation reconnaissance soldier; his outgoing and confident manner giving a strong indication to his chain of command that he was a talent to watch."

Initially trained as Scimitar light tank driver, Trooper Pearson switched to armoured vehicle driver ahead of his deployment to Afghanistan at the start of this year.

He was part of the Armoured Support Company Royal Marines providing security to a supply convoy when the explosion happened.

He was a keen bloke who was always the first to volunteer
Corporal Allen, Queen's Royal Lancers

They were returning from the town of Gareshk in Helmand to the UK troop base at Camp Bastion when the vehicle hit a suspected mine.

He was taken to a field hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Lieutenant Nixon-Eckersall offered his condolences to the soldier's family, saying: "The Lancers have lost a good soldier today but our loss, whilst great, is nothing compared to that felt by his family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

Trooper Pearson leaves behind his father Paul, stepmother Gillian, and sisters Terrie, Alex and Alivia.

Integrity and strength

Corporal Allen of Queen's Royal Lancers explained how Trooper Pearson became known to his friends as "Chesney": "After he joined he was thrown straight into the thick of the action on an exercise on Salisbury Plain, that's where he got his nickname 'Chesney', due to his likeliness of the Coronation Street character.

"He was a keen bloke who was always the first to volunteer. Pushing for promotion, he was the kind of person you want, and need, in your troop."

Another to pay tribute was Lance Corporal "Fed" Baldwin of Queen's Royal Lancers: "'Chesney' had a tough year with his mother passing away but he soon picked himself up and returned to work back to his normal self.

"In my eyes for that he has my utmost respect for his integrity and strength.

"He will be sorely missed by myself and all of the Queen's Royal Lancers... rest in peace mate, wherever your soul may lay."

Trooper Pearson's death brings the number of UK troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 94.


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