Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Monday, 3 May 2010 16:48 UK

MoD names UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

Harvey Alex Holmes
Cpl Holmes had served in several countries around the world

A British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Corporal Harvey Alex Holmes.

The 22-year-old was from Hyde, Greater Manchester, and served with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

He died near Waterloo military base in Sangin, Helmand Province, while providing protection to other soldiers.

He is the 282nd member of the British military to be killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

Cpl Holmes was attached to 40 Commando Royal Marines Battle Group, and was providing protection for his patrol as they investigated a compound east of Wishtan when he died.

He attended Astley High School in Dukinfield and enlisted into the Army in 2004.

'True promise'

He was engaged to his girlfriend and his family issued a statement, which said: "Harvey lived for his family and his friends but his passion was the Army.

"He has made his family extremely proud for the sacrifice he has made and will be missed every day. Harvey has died a true hero and will be with us forever in our hearts."

He was without doubt one of the very best, and will be remembered by all of us who are left
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Cpl Harvey Alex Holmes, known as 'Holmesy' to his many friends within the regiment, was a fine soldier, every inch the Mercian infantryman.

"He showed true promise and had a great future, but this has been cruelly stolen from him, his family, his girlfriend and his many friends.

"In his five years with the 1st Battalion he had passed some of the most arduous courses on offer, and served in Northern Ireland, Belize, the Falkland Islands and Iraq.

"He had been promoted twice in quick succession, most recently to corporal just last Christmas. He was an exceptional leader and commander, and helped others to give of their best. He was without doubt one of the very best, and will be remembered by all of us who are left."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said Cpl Holmes was "clearly a hugely popular and capable soldier, whose talents had been recognised through quick promotion within 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

"That he died providing protection for his comrades speaks volumes of his bravery. My thoughts are with his fiancée, his family and friends at this difficult time."

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