Soldier killed in Afghanistan named

A soldier shot dead as he defended a checkpoint in Afghanistan has been named as Guardsman Jamie Shadrake of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The soldier, who had just turned 20, was killed on Friday when insurgents launched an attack in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province.

The guardsman, of the Reconnaissance Platoon, was brought up in Pontyclun, near Cardiff before his family moved to Wrexham last year.

Guardsman Shadrake's death takes to 425 the number of British forces personnel or MoD civilians who have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.

His devastated family issued a statement paying tribute to him.

They said: "Jamie was a tremendous son and brother. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job that he loved. We are all devastated by the loss of Jamie who was such a loving son and brother.

"We are very proud of the fact that Jamie was prepared to do his duty in helping the people of Afghanistan. Jamie lit up any room with his infectious smile. He will be sorely missed by so many who loved him."

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents and siblings at this extremely difficult time. Guardsman Shadrake's death is a bitter blow to the battalion and the regimental family more broadly.

"He will never be forgotten and we are determined to finish the mission that he so courageously helped to start."

Guardsman Shadrake's platoon commander, Captain Mike Dobbin, described the soldier as "a key ingredient" in his tight-knit unit. "Losing both a soldier with so much potential and a man with such a personality has left a gaping hole in the platoon," he said.