Posted: 2020 26/01/06 Post subject: Re: Afghan fighting - the latest reports. 18-year-old killed in roadside bomb in Afghanistan By MATTHEW HICKLEY - 6th September 2007 Two British soldiers killed when a roadside bomb destroyed their unarmoured Land Rover in Afghanistan have been named as young infantrymen from the newly-formed Mercian Regiment. Private Ben Ford, aged 18, from Chesterfield, was among the youngest British servicemen to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan to date. He died on Wednesday morning alongside his friend and comrade Private Damian Wright, 23, from Mansfield, who leaves behind a wife and a four-year-old son. Private Damian Wright and Private Ben Ford were killed killed when a roadside bomb destroyed their unarmoured Land Rover Another British soldier was wounded in the attack along with an Iraqi interpreter. The Ministry of Defence said the interpreter had since died of his injuries. The men were taking part in a routine patrol to the north of the British base at Lashkar Gar, the largest town in the war-torn province of Helmand. Privates Ford and Wright were the first members of the new Mercian Regiment to be killed since the unit was formed at the weekend. They were previously serving with the 1st Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, which has now officially merged with two other units to form the Mercians. The latest fatalities brought the UK death toll in Afghanistan to 76, of whom 71 have died since British troops moved into Helmand Province last year to take on the Taliban. The fact that they were driving in an unarmoured, open-top Land Rover when it was apparently hit by a hidden a roadside bomb will add to concerns over the level of protection available to British troops moving around Helmand in vehicles. Pte Ford completed his training only last year, and this was his first overseas deployment with the Army. His parents released a statement saying: "We are immensely proud of our son and know that he lost his life doing something he was proud to be a part of and that he loved." His commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Simon Banton praised him as a "tremendous young soldier", mature beyond his years, who had joined up to serve alongside school friends from Chesterfield. Pte Damian Wright, had previously served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and an earlier tour in Afghanistan. His wife said in a statement: "Damian was my best friend as well as my husband. Joshua could not have asked for a better father, he will be missed forever and I can't believe we will never hear his laughter again." His company commander Major Paul Gilby described him as "quick witted, able and professional - he had already been selected to attend promotional courses where he would have excelled as usual".