Tributes to the fallen British soldiers

RELATIVES and colleagues recognise the bravery and loss of the soldiers lost in Afghanistan

Corporal Jake Hartley, 20

Stepfather Mark Taylor, 44, said: “We’re devastated at the loss of our son. He’s our best friend as well.

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“Jake was always in the limelight. He was a larger-than-life character. He was really determined to do well in army life.”

Mr Taylor said his stepson was “destined to achieve great things”.

“He was kind, generous, heart of gold, an absolutely wicked sense of humour.

“He loved all his family and friends. He had such big group of friends both in the army and civilian life.

“It’s a massive, massive loss, just taken away so quickly.”

Jake was “a natural-born leader”, Mr Taylor added.

“All his mates, and the same with the lads in the army, they’d follow him to the nth degree.”

Private Anthony Frampton, 20

Mother Margaret Charlesworth said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful boy Anton and are so very proud of him.

“He was a legend to us and all who knew him. We are heartbroken.

“He just loved it. He just loved it. He loved the craic, he loved the lads, the training, everything.

“As a young boy he was like a whirlwind.

“He was just the joker, the clown. He entertained all the troops.

“He lifted them up with his daft dances and karaoke and singing. And they loved him for it.

“Obviously, we all worried about him and all the other lads out there but he had a job to do. That was his life.

“He is our hero but he is our boy. Our beautiful boy.”

Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning paid tribute to Sgt Coupe, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

“Sergeant Nigel Coupe returned to us from the Armoured Training Centre Bovington, where he excelled as an instructor,” he said.

“He was proud to be a Lancashire soldier in a Yorkshire battalion. His technical prowess was unmatched; he was, quite simply, the best.

“Today we have lost one of our brothers who led and mentored those above and below him with true humility.”

Family friend Janet Fuller said: “The last time I saw him was outside his dad’s house all dressed up in his uniform, just getting ready to go off to get married. I would imagine the family are devastated.”

Private Daniel Wilford, 21

Susan Clarke, 51, Private Wilford’s aunt, said they would remember him as a “fun-loving, caring, proud lad”.

“He’s done us all proud,” she said. “He’s a hero in our eyes.

“At the moment, I’m sad, and I think I can say the same for his mum.

“For us, we were proud of what he was doing. We were scared of what he was doing because obviously we were scared what might happen.

“But we needed to give him all the support from us, so we tried not to show that side of us to him.

“He decided when he was coming up to his 18th birthday he’d like to join the army and he wanted to be out there on the front line. And that’s what he did when he was 18 – he put the ball in motion and decided he’d join up.”

Private Christopher Kershaw, 19

PRIVATE Kershaw’s mother, Monica, said: “He loved his life and he lived life to the full and he lived his dream of going to the army

“I am not happy. It’s got everybody. It’s not fair. He’s too young. He really is. For a young lad like that with so much life ahead of him. He could have done all sorts but for this. It’s just all stopped.”

His father Brian said: “He knew there were dangers, he knew the risks. I don’t think he fully understood until he lost one of his best mates a few months ago, Sheldon, who was one of the last ones killed.

“He went a little bit off the rails with that. He wasn’t 100 per cent sure that he wanted to go but once he got back down to Warminster, around all his friends he thought it through and he knew he wanted to go there.”

Private Daniel Wade, 20 Regiment

Dave Hamilton, Private Wade’s uncle, said: “On Tuesday we were hit with the devastating news that our Daniel, our lovely, loving son, fiance, brother, nephew and friend was killed whilst on active service in Afghanistan.

“Daniel was 20 years old and like any other normal 20-year-old he was just finding his feet in life, building a future for himself and his fiancée Emma.

“Words cannot describe how utterly devastated we all feel at such a difficult time but we also cannot put into words how immensely proud of Daniel we all feel, not just as a soldier but as a man.

“And each and every one of us who knew Daniel have been privileged to have their lives touched by such a wonderful, loving, brave man and, whilst we have lost Daniel from our lives, he remains in our hearts forever.”