UK

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan named

L/Cpl Cochran and Cpl Webster
Image caption Tributes have been paid to the two soldiers

Two soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Friday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

They were Cpl Terry Webster, from Chester, and L/Cpl Alan Cochran from St Asaph, Denbighshire, of the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

The two soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire with insurgent forces in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

The number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan is 292.

L/Cpl Cochran was shot dead during a foot patrol, while Cpl Webster later died of his injuries in the medical facility at Kandahar.

Cpl Webster, 24, from Chester, enlisted into the Army in 2002 and had previously served on operations in Northern Ireland and Iraq.

'Totally committed'

In a tribute issued by the MoD, his wife Charlotte said "Tez" was "passionate, loyal and determined" and a family man at heart.

"He was a fantastic Dad to Jess and Liam and he was the perfect soul mate to me.

"Although this is a very sad time, Tez would want us to be positive. Remember the good times, the happy times.

"A lot of people's lives will be deeply affected by Tez's all-too-early departure. Life will never be the same for us."

Commanding Officer Lt Col Andrew Hadfield said Cpl Webster was fatally wounded while leading his men.

He said: "Terry was totally committed to his profession and he was forging a strong career path: when others played football, he would put on his combats, boots and webbing and pound out the miles, encouraging others to come along with him.

"He died doing what he joined for and what he was so good at, leading his men in battle.

"Away from work, Terry will also be remembered for his great sense of humour and comradeship.

"He was a devoted father to Jessica and Liam, and talked endlessly about them.

"Our loss is as nothing compared to theirs, and our thoughts are with them, and all of his family and friends."

L/Cpl Cochran, 23, enlisted in 2006 and had previously served in Northern Ireland and in Iraq.

His mother, Shirley Jane Cochran, and family said in a tribute issued by the MoD: "Alan was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved.

"We are devastated by the loss of Alan who was a loving son, grandson and brother.

"We are proud of the fact that Alan was prepared to do his duty helping the people of Afghanistan."

His fiancee, Claire Brookshaw, said: "He has been a great part of my life and always will be. Sadly missed but never forgotten."

'Proud to serve'

Lt Col Hadfield said L/Cpl Cochran had recently been promoted and had willingly taken responsibility for the lives of his fellow men.

He said: "A committed career soldier, Alan loved the Army and his friends within it, and was probably the most selfless of men, always looking out for others and helping them to give their best.

"His friends described him as having a heart of gold, being totally unselfish, and having the worst dress sense in the Battalion."

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "I was deeply sorry to hear of the deaths of Corporal Terry Webster and Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, who were both committed soldiers and proud to serve their country.

"It is clear from all accounts that Cpl Webster was a brave, enthusiastic and professional soldier who inspired those around him. Similarly, L/Cpl Cochran was courageous, selfless, and a respected junior commander who led from the front.

"My thoughts are with the families of both these young men, whose sacrifice will not be forgotten."