Tributes to Suffolk soldier

TRIBUTES have been paid to a brave Suffolk soldier who died in Afghanistan after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning his gun.Lance Corporal George Russell Davey, 23, from 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, died on Sunday from injuries sustained during the incident at the British base in Sangin, Helmand Province.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a brave Suffolk soldier who died in Afghanistan after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning his gun.

Lance Corporal George Russell Davey, 23, from 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, died on Sunday from injuries sustained during the incident at the British base in Sangin, Helmand Province.

He was born in Great Yarmouth and later moved to Beccles, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

The MoD said that Lance Corporal Davey, described as a first class soldier and a pillar of strength, “died as a result of a tragic firearms accident.”

The motorbike-loving soldier joined the Army in January 2004 and having completed training as an infantry soldier at Catterick, he joined 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in the same year.

As a Section second in command in 5 Platoon B (Suffolk) Company, the keen swimmer had been serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 6 since early April 2007.

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An MoD statement said: “George was a kind-hearted, loyal and selfless commander who worked tirelessly for the benefit of others.

“His quiet and unassuming demeanour helped him achieve impressive results. With the more junior soldiers in his Section, he had a maturity beyond his years.

“The welfare of his men was always uppermost in his mind. In the face of the enemy, he displayed all the attributes of a first class soldier.”

The MoD would not comment further on the circumstances of the accident, which it said was the subject of an investigation. But it confirmed that it was not a result of enemy action.

The father-of-two, was said to have doted on his wife, Joanna, and two young daughters, Millie and Morgan, about whom he would talk “animatedly”.

Commanding Officer 1 Royal Anglian Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Carver said: “Lance Corporal Davey was a popular NCO who, in true Viking style, always put his men's interests before his own.

“His death is a tragic loss felt throughout the Battalion and our sympathy and thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.'

n. Do you want to pay tribute to Lance Corporal Davey? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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