Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Marine killed in blast identified

Alex Lucas
Alex Lucas had been on patrol in Kajaki, Helmand province

A Royal Marine killed by a blast in southern Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Alex Lucas, 24, of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, served with 45 Commando, based in Arbroath.

He was struck by an explosion during a patrol of Helmand province on Monday and died later in hospital.

His death took the number of British armed forces personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in October 2001 to 126.

Marine Lucas's father Adrian said: "Alec was a deeply loved son and brother, who was devoted to his fiancée and daughter.

"He brought so much happiness to all who met him and was described by close friends as a fantastic role model. He will be deeply missed and cherished by all who knew him."

Lt Col Jim Morris, commanding officer 45 Commando Royal Marines, said: "Marine Al Lucas was every inch a Royal Marines Commando.

"Brave, determined, cheerful and loyal; he was a hugely valued member of 45 Commando Group.

"Whether deployed on operations or playing a leading role in the success of our unit football team he has made a great contribution to the Commando and to the Royal Marines as a whole.

"He was killed playing a vital part in an essential operation to clear an area of explosive devices in order to improve the safety of his company and the local people."

Brig Gen Richard Blanchette, of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), offered his condolences to the serviceman's family.

He said: "This man died serving his country and the people of Afghanistan; he died a hero."

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