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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Tributes to slain Tyneside soldier
Corporal Paul Graham Long
Corporal Long's family still live in South Shields
It has emerged another of the six British soldiers killed in Iraq is from Tyne and Wear.

Corporal Paul Graham Long, 24, was from South Shields.

He was among six British soldiers killed in an ambush by guerrilla fighters in southern Iraq.

On Wednesday it was revealed that Corporal Simon Miller, 21 and from Washington, was among those who died.

Corporal Long, who has moved to Colchester in Essex with his wife Gemma and 11-month-old son, were originally from South Shields, South Tyneside.

He went to school in the capital, but returned to South Shields at the age of 17 after his parents split.

At home in South Shields, where she was being comforted by son Byron, 20 and daughter Maria, 31, his mother Patricia said: "The Army was his life."

A neighbour, Michelle Bell, 33, said: "Paul always had aspirations to be in the police force.

"He tried several times, including applying to the Metropolitan Police, and didn't get in.

"He went back down to London himself and joined the TA and then went on to become a military policeman.

"The real tragedy is that he has only been married a short time and has a very young son."

RMP TROOPS KILLED IN IRAQ
Corporal Simon Miller, 21
Tyne and Wear
Sergeant Simon Alexander Hamilton-Jewell, 41
Chessington, Surrey
Corporal Russell Aston, 30
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Corporal Paul Graham Long, 24
Colchester
Lance-Corporal Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, 23
Northallerton, Yorks
Lance-Corporal Thomas Richard Keys, 20
Bala, N Wales

He served with 156 Provost Company, Royal Military Police.

He joined the Regular Army in April 1999, having served two years with the Territorial Army, and was posted to 156 Provost Company in March 2000.

A member of the Parachute Provost Platoon, he was a qualified radio operator and his posting to Iraq was his first operational deployment.

Friends have also spoken of colleague Corporal Simon Miller, who also died in the ambush.

Corporal Miller was a former pupil at Usworth Comprehensive School in Washington, before leaving at 16 to take up an apprenticeship as a mechanic in Sunderland for two years.

School friend Paul Latimer, 21, an electrician, said: "It still hasn't sunk in, he was a good lad.

"We used to walk to school together and I was in most of his lessons.

Police station

"He was a typical lad, larking about and having a good time.

"He was into most sports and loved football. He also joined the basket ball team during his last couple of years at Usworth."

All six were members of the Royal Military Police who were based in Colchester.

A Ministry of Defence statement said: "The loss of six soldiers has come as a dreadful shock to us all."

The bodies of the soldiers were found at a police station - where they had been training local officers - in a village near Amara about 100 miles north of Basra.

The deaths mark the heaviest losses suffered in a single day by US-led coalition forces since the war in Iraq began.

Forty-two British troops have died - 19 in accidents - since 20 March.

The UK had suffered no confirmed combat deaths since 6 April.





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