Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Two dead UK soldiers named by MoD

L/Cpl Scott Hardy and Pte James Grigg
Tributes have been paid to the two soldiers

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

They were L/Cpl Scott Hardy and Pte James Grigg from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

The soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded in an area north of the Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Tuesday.

The number of British military personnel killed on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 stands at 275.

L/Cpl Hardy, 26, from Chelmsford in Essex, had served in Afghanistan since October 2009.

His family and girlfriend released a statement which said: "Possessing great inner strength and a powerful personality, Scott could be relied upon, even in the worst of situations, to lift his men's morale. They loved him - he loved them.

"His father, brother, sisters and childhood sweetheart feel words fail to express the sorrow only a heartbroken family knows. To lose Scott is to lose a huge part of life itself. But he will always be with us, making us smile, giving us pride and gratitude."

'Team player'

Lt Col James Woodham, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said L/Cpl Hardy was a natural leader with a "robust sense of humour".

Lt Simon Broomfield, officer commanding with 3 Platoon, said: "Perhaps most impressive was the way he motivated his men. He had a perfect balance of stick and carrot, which was ironic as he had the most striking 'carrot-top' hair."

Pt Grigg, 21, was born in Hartismere, Suffolk, and lived in Stradbroke, near Eye.

His family said: "James was a truly wonderful son, and a loving brother to Victoria. He was a team player in every sense - in the family, as a sportsman and as an infantry soldier. He was a village lad - his will be a terrible loss to the Stradbroke community.

They were both courageous, dedicated men who died fighting to bring greater security to Afghanistan and the UK
Bob Ainsworth
Defence secretary

"James's loss will leave a space in our family life. We grieve deeply but at the same time feel greatly honoured that he should have served his country this way."

Lt Col Woodham said Pte Grigg was a quiet man who was "simply fanatical" about cricket, and passionate about soldiering.

"He thought himself lucky to have found a job where he could combine the two things that he loved so much.

"In turn, we think ourselves lucky to have worked alongside him. Friendly, polite and endlessly helpful, he was a real team player that you would want to have on your team. He was reliable - a man you could trust."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: "They were both courageous, dedicated men who died fighting to bring greater security to Afghanistan and the UK.

"It is clear to me that L/Cpl Hardy was a natural leader of men and brought valuable maturity and experience to his role. Pte Grigg was an intelligent young man whose passion for and skill at cricket had made him a popular member of his battalion.

"Both young men had a bright future in the Army ahead of them and their loss will be keenly felt. My thoughts are with their family, friends and comrades at this very difficult time."



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