UK

Royal Marine killed in Afghan blast named

Paul Warren

A Royal Marine killed in a blast in Afghanistan on Monday has been named by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Paul Warren, 23, from Leyland in Lancashire, was one of three servicemen from 40 Commando to have died in as many days in Sangin, Helmand province.

His family said his "cheeky smile" would be missed by everyone.

On Tuesday a fellow marine was shot dead, and on Sunday Richard Hollington, 23, became the 300th member of the UK forces to die in the Afghan conflict.

Marine Warren's family paid tribute to their "loving son, brother and grandson who made us proud".

The Preston-born marine, who served with 9 Troop, Charlie Company, was caught in an explosion during a reassurance patrol to improve local security.

'Utterly selfless'

He was given immediate first aid but died from his injuries, the MoD said.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Paul James, said he was an "outstanding" marine who inspired his colleagues.

Quoted on the MoD website, he said: "He was one of life's greats and he will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.

"He was without doubt the epitome of his profession. Having previously served in Sangin only last year, his experience was invaluable in preparing and, at times, reassuring the men.

"He was a man of presence, a man who inspired others with his professional example and equanimity... he was utterly selfless."

Another senior officer, Maj Ed Moorhouse, described the marine as "something special" and said he bravely volunteered to be the "point man", leading the way during patrols.

Maj Moorhouse said: "In my eyes, these men 'on point' are the bravest of the brave. To Paul Warren, this was a matter of duty."

The officer commanding 9 Troop, Charlie Company, said he was a natural leader, extremely intelligent, and an expert at clearing routes of IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Lt John Lynch said: "He recently found an IED which could have caused many casualties. Without doubt he saved lives."

His flatmates in Taunton, Somerset, said in a joint statement that Marine Warren had spoken of going to university when he left the forces and "would have undoubtedly excelled".

Image caption Marine Hollington died in a UK hospital on Sunday with his family by his side

On Sunday, Marine Hollington, also 23, of Petersfield, Hampshire died in a Birmingham hospital eight days after being wounded in a blast.

He was the 300th member of the UK armed forces to die in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001.

His father, Robin Hollington, has demanded a personal explanation from Prime Minister David Cameron about Britain's role in the conflict.

He told told ITV News: "I do not see a huge amount of progress being made and it would be extremely interesting to hear from Mr Cameron... exactly why we are there.

"Because I don't think the public are being told enough to justify what is going on at the moment."

He described his son as a lion, and said the UK soldiers in Afghanistan were fighting for each other rather than for "Queen and country".

"They are doing it because, by looking after each other, they have the best chance of coming back alive," he said.

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