A British soldier killed in an attack on a base in southern Iraq on Sunday has been named as Lance Corporal Dennis Brady, a Royal Army Medical Corps Regular Reservist, from Barrow-in-Furness.
The Ministry of Defence said L/Cpl Brady, 37, who had been attached to the 1st Battalion the Light Infantry, died as a result of wounds from a mortar round fired at the Shaat Al Arab Hotel base in northern Basra.
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Bowron, said: "His loss will be keenly felt, and the Battalion has lost a trusted member and a real friend."
During his time in the Regular Army he had served abroad on operational tours of Kosovo and was part of the combat phase of Operation TELIC in Iraq in 2003.
He was an energetic soldier who volunteered for and passed 'P' Company, the airborne forces arduous selection course. He also trained as an Army Physical Training Instructor, a role he relished, said an MoD spokesman.
He left the Army to pursue a career in public service and, after some time in the fire service, he volunteered to return to the military, deploying to Afghanistan with the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and then, a few months later, to Iraq with the Light Infantry. It was his fourth operational tour.
"Den", as he was universally known, was a consummate professional dedicated to the service of others, regardless of the operational situation, said the spokesman.
In Afghanistan he served as a Team Medic to an eight man Gurkha team, spending long periods in the mountains and desert, where he won the absolute trust and admiration of the Gurkhas he served with, a rare accolade for a British soldier.
He then deployed to Iraq as the Company Medic for D Company. He was well known for being an ever-cheerful member of the Company Commander's vehicle crew, always demonstrating the highest possible personal standards, the spokesman added.
Two nights before his death he deployed as a Team Medic on a successful patrol that surprised insurgents preparing to launch a rocket attack on his base.
He was married to Zoe and was looking forward to returning to Barrow-in-Furness and the opportunities and challenges of civilian life, the spokesman said.
Lieutenant Colonel Bowron said: "In the relatively short time he had been with us he had become a full and trusted member of the Battalion, admired by all he met and with that rare gift of universal popularity.
"He will be remembered for his calm and unflappable nature whatever the circumstance. This approach, coupled with a high level of medical competence, allowed the soldiers of D Company to carry out their duties secure in the knowledge that if the worst was to happen they were in safe hands.
"Lance Corporal Brady was armed with a dry sense of humour, and was always ready with a barrage of friendly banter, as well as always being prepared to offer brutally honest advice regardless of the recipient's rank - advice that was nearly always correct.
"This slightly gruff exterior masked a deep concern for his fellow soldiers and an abiding loyalty to his adopted military home. He had a real and positive impact on those with whom he worked and his passing will leave a gap in all our hearts."