Marine killed in Helmand is named

Marine Nigel Dean Mead
Image caption Marine Mead was killed by a bomb in the Nad Ali district of Helmand Province

A Royal Marine killed by an explosion in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Marine Nigel Dean Mead, of Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed while searching a compound in Helmand province.

His mother Amanda Jones said the 19-year-old from Carmarthen was "one in a hundred million".

His death takes the number of British military killed in operations in Afghanistan since 2001 to 365.

His mother added: "I could never write enough words that would truly say how much I loved and thought of you, you're not a one in a million son you are one in a hundred million."

Marine Mead, who was on his first tour of Afghanistan, joined the marines when he left school and was the youngest to pass out of his troop.

His father, Philip, said: "Our Dean, our boy, our little Big Man, our hero always wanted to be a Royal Marine and he turned out to be one of the best. I am speechless at our tragic loss, but until we meet again you will forever be in our hearts."

Lt Col Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer 42 Commando, said Marine Mead was "the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando".

"A young man with considerable inner strength, he was selfless, warm hearted, utterly professional and took enormous pride in his job," he said.

"Despite this being his first tour of Afghanistan, he was a marksman of note and an inspiration to those who worked closely with him."

Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of Marine Mead's death.

"The tributes from his fellow Royal Marines and family describe an exemplary young man with incredible enthusiasm who was committed to his duty and his friends. My thoughts and prayers are with Marine Mead's family and friends at this tragic time."