Soldier killed in Afghanistan gun battle named

Image caption,
Lance Bombardier Chandler joined the Army in 2004 aged 26

A UK soldier killed in a gun battle in southern Afghanistan has been named as Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler.

The soldier, aged 32, from Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, was from 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. He died in the Nad Ali district, Helmand, on Tuesday.

His family said he was "a son and brother any parent would be proud of".

A soldier from 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment died in an explosion on Wednesday - the 294th UK military death in Afghanistan.

'Real grit'

Lance Bombardier Chandler joined the Army in 2004 aged 26, and served in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan in March this year. He was attached to 4th Regiment Royal Artillery.

He was on a joint patrol with the members of the Afghan police and army when he was killed.

In their statement, his family described him as: "A consummate soldier, a skier, a luger, an athlete and a lover of life. He will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends."

Lt Col Stuart Williams, commanding officer of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, said:

"Lance Bombardier Chandler, known to everybody as Chandler 'Bing', was a remarkably talented junior non-commissioned officer, who showed a real grit for soldiering.

"Fit, committed, loyal and a true professional, he was a rising star within the regiment and had a bright future ahead of him.

"He was a talented sportsman with a passion for winter sports and represented the Army at luge; not a sport for the faint hearted, which he certainly wasn't.

"All members of 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery miss him, but I recognise that this sense of loss will be nothing compared to that felt by his parents, Ann and Michael, his brother Steve and his many friends, whose true loss we can only imagine."

Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox also paid tribute to Lance Bombardier Chandler.

He said: "His colleagues proudly talk of a brave and committed man and a trusted, professional soldier who will be sorely missed. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and those close to him."

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