MoD names two killed in firefight

A Royal Marine and a medic who died after being injured while on patrol in Afghanistan have been named by the Ministry of Defence as Corporal David O'Connor and Corporal Channing Day.

Corporal O'Connor, of 40 Commando, and Corporal Day, who served with the 3 Medical Regiment, were on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province with C Company training Afghan Local Police.

The patrol came under fire near the village of Char Kutsa and, during the firefight, Corporal O'Connor and Corporal Day were fatally injured.

A statement released by the family of Corporal O'Connor said: "David's family and friends are greatly saddened by his loss and hope to be left to grieve privately."

The family of Corporal Day said in a statement: "Channing was bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army. She has died doing what she lived for and in the life that she loved. She will be remembered by all who knew her as a wonderful girl who never stopped smiling and who had an infectious laugh.

"Channing played football for Northern Ireland as well as ice hockey and also gained her qualification as a ski instructor through the Army. She was also the Northern Ireland gymnastics pairs champion. A girl who lived her life to the full without ever giving up on her dreams. She was a fabulous daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece and friend. She will be so sadly missed by all."

Corporal O'Connor, 27, lived with his mother in Havant. He was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September as a Section Commander in the acting rank of Corporal. He served with Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines as part of Transition Support Unit Nahr-e Saraj. He was based in Patrol Base 1 in the southern part of Nahr-e-Saraj District, Helmand Province.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines said Corporal O'Connor "was one of the best". He said: "He was loved and respected by those around him and was relentless in the pursuit of excellence in his duties. Utterly professional, his four operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan marked him as one of the most devoted individuals in the Commando."

Corporal Day, 25, grew up in Newtownards, Co Down before joining the Army in 2005. She was deployed to Afghanistan in October 2012 as a Combat Medical Technician Class One with the UK Medical Group. She was based at Patrol Base One in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province, where she provided medical support to 40 Commando Royal Marines. Lieutenant Colonel Phillip de Rouffignac, Commanding Officer, 3 Medical Regiment said Corporal Day was a "star for the future".

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy. "Both have been highly praised by their colleagues for their courage and strong sense of duty. My thoughts are with their families, loved ones and colleagues in the Royal Marines and 3 Medical Regiment," he said.