Marine killed in attack is named

Marine Wright Marine Wright was expecting his first child with his partner Shelley

A Royal Marine killed by a grenade in Afghanistan on Friday has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Marine James Wright, 22, from Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was from Weymouth in Dorset.

The MoD said he died in Camp Bastion after he was attacked at a checkpoint following a foot patrol in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

Marine Wright's family paid tribute to him, saying he "touched the lives of everyone who knew him".

His patrol had been under fire from insurgents for several hours on Friday when they managed to return to their base at a checkpoint, which then came under attack.

He was wounded by the grenade and died of his wounds despite receiving medical treatment.

'Kind and considerate'

Marine Wright's father David said: "James was so proud to be a Royal Marine and we are so proud of him. He was determined to be the best."

His mother Sallie added: "He was always smiling with a wonderful sense of humour. James never had a bad word to say about anyone and was so kind and considerate."

Start Quote

He was renowned for his cheerfulness, no matter how dire the situation”

End Quote Lt Col Ewen Murchison Commanding Officer, 42 Commando

The couple added: "James loved his family and was as proud of us as we are of him. He touched the lives of everyone who knew him."

Marine Wright had been expecting his first child with his partner Shelley.

Lt Col Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines, described Marine Wright as "an impressive young man with an insatiable appetite for life".

He said: "A spirited and passionate character, he loved his job, his fellow Marines and his family and leaves behind a massive void in the lives of all those who knew him.

"An extremely bright prospect, he was renowned for his cheerfulness, no matter how dire the situation, and indefatigable loyalty and commitment to his profession."

Marine Wright, who joined the service in November 2009, took part in Navy ski championships in France, scaled Ben Nevis and had a passion for motocross.

'Hero'

In their tributes, his fellow marines recounted how he had once rescued a cow that had got trapped in barbed wire near their base, and treated its injuries.

They said his nickname was "Big Reach", because he once befriended a gangster on the streets of New York who used that name.

He believed being a marine was the supreme job, saying, "it's more than just a beret; it's a state of mind".

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Marine Wright was "a hero who died for his country".

"Marine James Wright was by all accounts a man of great character and ability, fearless in battle and a model Marine.

"The tributes from his family and comrades say it all: he was a hero who died for his country. They have my deepest respect and sympathy."

His death took the total number of UK military deaths in Afghanistan since operations started in 2001 to 378.

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