Tributes paid to Afghan deaths pair


Ranger David Dalzell was killed in Afghanistan during an 'operational accident'

Tributes have been paid to two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan within a day of each other.

Ranger David Dalzell, 20, of 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, died on Friday in an “operational accident” in Nad-e Ali district of Helmand.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Colin Beckett, Company Sergeant Major of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was killed on Saturday as he was attempting to secure an area in Shaheed, a village on the Nahr-e-Bughra canal, when he was caught in a roadside bomb.

Earlier, Ranger Dalzell, who came from Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland, was described as a “fearless” soldier by colleagues.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) refused to be drawn on the details surrounding Ranger Dalzell’s death. A spokeswoman said that details of the accident will be heard during an inquest.

His parents, Gordon and Susan, said: “David was a loving and caring son and he was very proud to be a soldier. We are very proud of David as a son and he leaves behind a void that will never be filled.

“He will be missed by his brothers Gareth, Mark and Stewart and sisters Kelly, Catherine and Rachael.”

Company Sergeant Major Colin Beckett was described as a “truly special husband” by his widow.

The 36-year-old, from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, who was known as Tom, was described by his colleagues as an inspirational and iconic leader.

His wife Rachel, who is expecting their first child later this month – a little girl already named Freya, said: “Anyone whoever met or knew Colin ‘Tom’ would have been touched by him in a big way and he will never be forgotten. He was a fantastic soldier, a great son, a good brother and friend and a truly special husband.”

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