Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 12:54 UK

MoD names dead UK Afghan soldier

Peter Cowton
Private Peter Cowton is the 114th UK soldier to be killed in Afghanistan

The British soldier killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday has been named as Private Peter Cowton, 25, from Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Private Cowton, who was from the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, died during a routine patrol that clashed with Taleban fighters.

He was seriously injured in an explosion and died as he was flown out for medical treatment.

His parents said: "Peter was proud to serve his country."

Private Cowton was the 114th British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan since operations began in November 2001.

His parents, Karen and Robin Rolfe, said their son had already served in Iraq as part of the Territorial Army.

"He was so proud to be a Paratrooper as we, his parents, and family were.

'Remarkable man'

"His short regular Army career will not be forgotten, and his 'maroon beret' will have loving memories in our home. We are so proud of you," his parents said.

Pte Cowton had been due to return home for a short break in a few days' time.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Joe O'Sullivan said Pte Cowton was the seventh member of the Battalion, and the 10th member of 2 Para Battle Group, to be killed this summer.

"Pte Cowton, like those we already mourn, was a remarkable man because he knew, as every member of the battle group knows, what he was risking and yet he chose to face a dangerous enemy in a harsh environment and to do so every day for his friends, his regiment and his country," Col O'Sullivan said.

Pte Cowton joined the Territorial Army in January 2004 and after two spells in Iraq became a regular soldier last year.

He had been in Afghanistan since March.



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