Tributes to L/Cpl Richard Scanlon after Helmand death

Stephen Price, a family friend, called L/Cpl Richard Scanlon a lovely lad and a proper gentleman.

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The family and friends of a "fun-loving" Welsh soldier killed on duty in Afghanistan have paid tribute to him.

L/Cpl Richard Scanlon, 31, from Rhymney, Caerphilly, was one of two soldiers who died on Thursday in Helmand Province.

He and Lt David Boyce, of Hertfordshire, from the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards died when their armoured vehicle struck a makeshift bomb.

"Richard was a great character," his family said in a statement.

Both soldiers were serving with the Formation Reconnaissance Squadron on a patrol providing security in the Yakchal region of Nahr-e-Saraj, in Central Helmand, when the incident occurred, said the Ministry of Defence.

Their deaths brought the total number of UK military personnel killed in operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 388.

L/Cpl Scanlon, who joined the army in 1998, was deployed to Afghanistan on 18 October.

He joined the regiment in 1999 and served in Bosnia in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and 2005.

'Enjoyed life'

Affectionately known as "Shag", L/Cpl Scanlon left the army in 2006 but rejoined in 2009 and was promoted to lance corporal in October last year.

Start Quote

His legacy endures in the character of the young soldiers he helped train”

End Quote Major Paddy Bond B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

In a statement his mother Cherry, stepfather Robert, father Raymond and sisters Lisa and Emma said: "Richard was a fun-loving young man who enjoyed life to the full.

"He had a great love for his family - always helping them out whenever he could when needed.

"Richard was a great character and he will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him. There will never be anyone else like our Richard."

Commanding officer Lt Col Jasper de Quincey Adams described L/Cpl Scanlon as "one of life's great characters" and an experienced soldier who was calm under pressure.

'Sorely missed'

He said: "We will miss him terribly - barracks life will have lost some of its sheen - but our tragic loss is insignificant compared to that of his family; his mother, stepfather, father and sisters Lisa and Emma, all of whom he loved so much.

"Lance Corporal Scanlon will never be forgotten and our memories of him will forever be cherished."

Major Paddy Bond, officer commanding B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, said L/Cpl Scanlon constantly looked out for the welfare of his younger peers.

"He will be sorely missed, yet his legacy endures in the character of the young soldiers he helped train," he said.

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