Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 13:59 UK

British soldier shot by insurgents in Afghanistan named

Fusilier Jonathan Burgess
Fusilier Jonathan Burgess was shot during a gun battle with insurgents

A British soldier killed after coming under attack from insurgents in Afghanistan has been named.

Fusilier Jonathan Burgess, of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh - who was soon to become a father - died in the Nad Ali area of Helmand on Wednesday.

Fusilier Burgess, 20, from Swansea, was shot during a fire fight while on patrol aimed at disrupting insurgents.

The number of British military personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001, is 281.

'Tough and dependable'

During his four-month tour of Afghanistan, Fusilier Burgess had carried out several operations while working as a member of 3 Platoon.

He was killed during fighting while on patrol with colleagues near Showal.

[He] would have been an amazing father to his baby girl
Family statement

The town had been taken by Nato and Afghan forces in February during Operation Moshtarak.

Commanding officer Lt Col Nick Lock said Fusilier Burgess was "fiercely proud" of being part of the Welsh regiment.

He said: "He had come into his own in Afghanistan, growing in confidence throughout our time here, rising to the many challenges that operations threw at him.

"He was a tough and dependable field soldier who would always be there for his mates."

He said Fusilier Burgess's family could be "justly proud" of him and added: "Jon was killed in a fire fight with insurgents, fighting alongside his comrades as he always did with a cool head and immense courage."

'Wonderful person'

Comrades said he was desperate to return home to support fiancée Kelly Forrest, who is pregnant with their daughter.

He also leaves his father Royston, mother Susan, sisters Tracy and Suzanne, and brothers David, Christopher and Ashley.

His family said: "Jonathan was a loving and caring man who enjoyed life to full. He had an infectious smile that would brighten up anyone's day."

"We were all very lucky to have had such a wonderful person in our lives.

"He was a much loved son, brother, friend and fiancée and would have been an amazing father to his baby girl.

"He will be greatly missed by us all. He will always be our hero."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said his thoughts were with Fusilier Burgess's family and colleagues.

He said: "I was saddened to hear of the death of Fusilier Burgess. He was a popular and highly capable soldier who had clearly grown into his role while in Afghanistan."

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