Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 14:54 UK

Tributes paid to killed soldier

L/Cpl David Dennis
L/Cpl had served with the army for six years

A Welsh soldier killed in Afghanistan in an explosion on Saturday has been named as 29-year-old Lance Corporal David Dennis from Llanelli.

L/Cpl Dennis, who served with the Light Dragoons, died when an explosive was detonated as he was helping bring back casualties from an earlier incident.

He is survived by his mother, twin brother and his fiancée.

Another soldier, Private Robert Laws from the Mercian Regiment, died the same day in a separate incident.

Colleagues described L/Cpl Dennis, nicknamed "Duke", as a quietly spoken and popular soldier, who was "one of the most loved" in the regiment.

He joined the army in 2003 as a gunner in the Royal Artillery for two years, a did a six-month attachment with the Light Dragoons before transferring permanently in 2006.

He was well known throughout the regiment and was a great asset to have on your side during squadron rugby matches, where he was unstoppable
Major Rupert Lyon

He served in Iraq and was on his second tour of Afghanistan when he died.

Commanding officer of the Light Dragoons battle group, Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, said: "Lance Corporal Dennis was one of a hugely talented generation of Light Dragoons.

"With tours of Afghanistan and Iraq behind him, he was experienced beyond his relatively junior years. Duke loved being in the regiment, and the regiment celebrated this popular, genuine and heartfelt soldier.

"If there is any consolation it is that he is re-united with his close friend Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, whose death earlier in the tour had affected Lance Corporal Dennis greatly.

"My sincerest condolences go out to his mother Adele, his brother Gareth and his fiancée Lisa."

Major Rupert Lyon, who commanded L/Cpl Dennis's squadron, added: "He was well known throughout the regiment and was a great asset to have on your side during squadron rugby matches, where he was unstoppable.

"He was a very capable small arms instructor, and was vital to making sure that the squadron was properly trained for deployment."

'Coolest guy'

Corporal Tony Duncan paid tribute to the soldier on behalf of his friends in Command Troop.

"Duke was one of the most loved guys in the regiment, and a character that will never be replaced.

"He will be remembered by his friends as being totally devoted and utterly professional. He loved being a skill at arms instructor, and never stopped reminding us that he was one of the best there was.

"There was more than him to just soldiering though. We will remember him for looking like Freddie Mercury when he grew a moustache and his dodgy dress sense on nights out. No matter how outrageous the outfit, the Duke was always certain that he was the coolest guy out that night.

"Duke was a man that every soldier should aspire to be. He had it all. He was quick thinking, hard working, strong, selfless, courageous and had a great sense of humour.

"Most of all he was well respected and loyal to all those around him. Our friend Duke will never be forgotten."



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