UK

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan named by MoD

Trooper James Anthony Leverett
Image caption Trooper James Anthony Leverett was killed while on a vehicle patrol

A British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Monday has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Trooper James Anthony Leverett, 20, from Rawmarsh, South Yorkshire, of Royal Dragoon Guards, died in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

He was in a vehicle which struck the bomb, setting it off. His commanding officer said Trooper Leverett was a "model soldier".

A total number of 312 UK personnel have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Lt Col James Carr-Smith, Commanding Officer of the Royal Dragoon Guards, said: "Trooper James Leverett, known as Levy, was a Royal Dragoon Guard of significant potential.

"He had only been with the regiment for 18 months but in this short time he had more than made his mark. He was a model soldier."

Trooper Leverett was born in Great Yarmouth but brought up in South Yorkshire.

'Looked up to'

In a statement, his family said he was due to become a father and would "always be loved and remembered".

"James was strong-minded and determined. Whatever he set his mind to, he kept on trying until he achieved his goal. He was very likeable and had many friends in and out of the Army.

"He was a loving son to mum Sharon, father Neville and stepdad Tony, and loyal brother to Neville, Lewis, Jack and stepbrother Shane and, being the oldest brother, was someone that they looked up to.

"He was also the adoring boyfriend of Tiffany and proudly looking forward to the birth of his son.

"We will miss him so much and he will always be loved and remembered," it said.

Major Denis James, Officer Commanding D (The Green Horse) Squadron, The Viking Group, described Trooper Leverett as a "man of the highest quality" and "one of life's characters".

"He was great company, had a wicked sense of humour, and was totally suited to life in the regiment.

"He had been steadfast throughout our intensive training and during operations on the tour, and was an extremely tough and resilient soldier.

'Immensely popular'

"He was a man of the highest quality and was to be recommended for promotion to Lance Corporal," he said.

Trooper Leverett worked as a plasterer's labourer after leaving school and joined the Army aged 18 in May 2008.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in early June.

The incident occurred while Trooper Leverett and his troop were providing security for the building of Route Trident in support of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group.

The MoD said the route is crucial as it links the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, with the economic hub of Gereshk.

Captain Iain Monk, 1st Troop Leader, D (The Green Horse) Squadron, The Viking Group, said Trooper Leverett's death had left a "massive hole" in the troop.

Trooper Kieran Collinson, 1st Troop, D (The Green Horse) Squadron, The Viking Group, said: "Friends come and go but Levy was more than just a friend.

"He is leaving Tiffany, who is pregnant with a baby. We will make sure that his child knows he was a hero."

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said his thoughts were with the soldier's friends and family.

"Trooper James Anthony Leverett was immensely popular with his comrades in the Royal Dragoon Guards, being counted upon as a dependable source of morale as well as for his exceptional soldiering skills.

"He died bringing stability to an area crucial to our success in Afghanistan, and ultimately protecting the national security of our country."