England

Shot Burnley soldier's worries for Afghanistan tour

A British soldier who was shot dead in Afghanistan was "worried but confident" ahead of his first tour of the country.

L/Cpl Jordan Bancroft, from Lancashire, spoke to the BBC while training for his deployment in December 2009.

The 25-year-old, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, had two tours of Iraq under his belt and spoke of his confidence in his training.

He died protecting a meeting between local elders and international and Afghan troops on Saturday.

His commanding officer Lt Col Frazer Lawrence described him as a "true soldier" who was "loyal, brave, compassionate and honest".

Afghan worries

L/Cpl Bancroft, who grew up in Earby, near Burnley, was one of a number of soldiers from the regiment interviewed by the BBC during their training in Norfolk.

He revealed that he had recently bought a house with his girlfriend Lauren and was eager to put his training into practice.

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Image caption L/Cpl Jordan Bancroft had completed two tours of Iraq

"I've spoken to a few guys who have been there and they've said they enjoyed their tour," said L/Cpl Bancroft.

"[They said] it's been tough at times, there's times when you do get your down time.

"I'm worried to go to Afghanistan, but with the training I'm currently getting now I feel a lot more confident to go out there.

"I did two tours of Iraq and the equipment has got a hell of a lot better since then. The equipment I'm using right now is the equipment I'd want to use in Afghanistan."

After news of L/Cpl Bancroft's death emerged on Monday, tributes to the soldier were paid by a number of people from his home town.

Close friend Craig Ralph told the BBC that L/Cpl Bancroft had been "a brother" to him.

"I've known him so long, we did so much together - fishing, metal detecting - we used to do everything together."

Mr Ralph said his thoughts were for L/Cpl Bancroft's family, adding: "They're a strong family and they'll all stick together.

"They would know that Jordan was doing something he loved doing and that's what definitely will bring them through this hard time."

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