Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 22:53 UK

UK soldier killed in blast named

Rifleman Daniel Holkham
Daniel Holkham, and his two brothers, were all in the same battalion

A British soldier killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan on Saturday has been named as Rifleman Daniel Holkham, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

The 19-year-old, from Chatham, Kent, was on patrol when an explosion happened at a market 1km east of Sangin, in Helmand Province.

His family said his death had "left a huge hole in their lives".

He is the eighth soldier from The Rifles to die this month. Both his brothers also serve in The Rifles.

Since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001, some 278 British military personnel have been killed.

'Lead man'

Rifleman Holkham was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 to provide security and development to the local people.

He was killed as he stopped a suicide bomber, who then detonated a device just outside the Sangin bazaar.

Rifleman Holkham's family said: "The loss of our son Danny has left a huge hole in our lives and that of his brothers and friends that can never again be filled.

"He served his country faithfully and with great pride."

Lt Col Nick Kitson, commanding officer of 3 Rifles battle group, said: "Daniel Holkham was a model rifleman; robust, bright and dedicated, he was everything a commander could hope for and more."

"[He] was well established as the lead man in his patrol, responsible for searching the ground for buried explosive devices to allow his patrol to pass safely.

"He died at the head of his patrol, another unquestioningly courageous rifleman intercepting a crazed suicide bomber before he could cause havoc in the Sangin bazaar."

Lt Dan Brown, 4 Platoon Commander, B Company 3 Rifles, said Rifleman Holkham found numerous roadside bombs during their six months in Afghanistan and had "undoubtedly saved the lives of many".

"Such was his eye for IEDs [improvised explosive devices] that he became the most trusted Barma man within the platoon. Whenever he would say 'IED find', everyone knew it was definitely an IED."



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