Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Tributes to teenage soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Rifleman Jonathon Allott (L) and Rifleman Liam Maughan
Both teenagers joined up in 2008

Two teenage British soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Friday and Saturday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Rifleman Jonathon Allott, 19, from 3 Rifles, died from his wounds following a roadside explosion on Friday.

Rifleman Liam Maughan, 18, also from 3 Rifles, died from gunshot wounds on Saturday. Both men were killed near Sangin in Helmand province.

Another UK soldier was killed on Sunday morning - he has not been named. The UK death toll since 2001 is now 271.

Rifleman Allott is survived by his parents, a sister and two brothers.

His family said: "Jonny died a hero doing the job he loved - he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

This cruel and premature departure from us leaves dreams unfulfilled, potentials unrealised and a massive irreparable hole in the lives of everyone who knew him
Rifleman Maughan's family

"Jonathon couldn't wait to get home and wear his medal with pride."

Rifleman Maughan is survived by his parents, girlfriend and new-born son.

His family said: "Liam was a tall, handsome six-footer, with looks to melt the heart of any girl and make men envious, but he was also a son and a brother, a fiance and a father to his own son who he will now never meet.

"This cruel and premature departure from us leaves dreams unfulfilled, potentials unrealised and a massive irreparable hole in the lives of everyone who knew him."

The Ministry of Defence said Rifleman Allott, who was born in North Shields and lived in Bournemouth, joined the Army in November 2008.

He was deployed to Sangin in September where he was the front man in a patrol responsible for clearing the ground of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

'True warrior'

He died following a blast while on an operation to establish a new patrol base.

Lt Col Nick Kitson, commanding officer 3 Rifles Battle Group, described Rifleman Allott as "inspirational".

He said: "His warm and friendly nature endeared him to all whose path he crossed but belied the streak of steel that ran through him making him a true warrior.

"Having arrived with us some nine months ago, he had already made a name for himself as someone for whom nothing was too much trouble, whether it was taking time to talk to a fellow Rifleman or clearing the ground of deadly IEDs for his platoon to pass safely.

He has been an absolute credit to his family and our nation, typical of the young men of today who are putting their lives on the line
Lt Col Kitson

"There is no doubt that he had a promising future. This Battle Group has lost a respected brother in arms and our nation one of its very best sons."

The MoD said Rifleman Maughan was born in Doncaster and attended Hatfield Visual Arts College before joining the Army in January 2008.

Employed as a sharpshooter in his patrol, he was shot and killed while in a position of over-watch, providing protection to his platoon as they engaged with the local population.

Lt Col Kitson described his death as a "devastating blow".

He said: "Rifleman Maughan, at the age of eighteen, had already ably demonstrated his clear potential. Capable, enthusiastic, courageous and loyal, he had all the attributes of the best kind of Rifleman.

"He has been an absolute credit to his family and our nation, typical of the young men of today who are putting their lives on the line in the service of their mates, their country and a better future for this region."

In all, three members of 3 Rifles and one fighter attached to the battalion's battle group have been killed in Afghanistan over the past week.

Their deaths mean 26 British men have died in Afghanistan since the start of this year.



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