Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Heroes Remembered; Toll Mounting in Afghanistan

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Heroes Remembered; Toll Mounting in Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

THE families of North East soldiers who have died in Afghanistan have told how they are remembering their loved ones as the year draws to a close.

Corporal Steven Thomas Dunn became the region's sixth casualty of the conflict this year when he was killed in a roadside bomb last week in Afghanistan's Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The 27-year-old died on Tuesday after his Jackal vehicle was destroyed in the explosion.

And now the grieving mother of army dog handler Kenneth Rowe has paid tribute to the bravery of soldiers on the front line - and spared a thought for their families at home.

Lance Corporal Rowe, 24, from Gosforth, Newcastle, was due home from Helmand Province in Afghanistan, but concerned about the lack of cover had volunteered to stay on longer to help protect his comrades.

He was killed alongside his explosives sniffer dog Sasha after coming under Taliban fire in July 2008.

His mother, Lyn, 51, said: "My thoughts go out to the families who are without their loved ones at this time of year.

"It's difficult having to spend time apart and having heard of the death earlier this week my heart goes out to them all."

Lance Cpl Rowe had escaped death just three months earlier when the Land Rover he was in with four of his comrades was blown up.

In October his mother collected the Elizabeth Cross from the Princess Royal for her son's sacrifice.

Last night she said: "We will be laying flowers at a memorial for him and it will be difficult. My best wishes go out to all those who are serving abroad.

"It's also a particularly difficult at this time of year, over Christmas and New Year, for those who have lost family members over the last year."

Lieutenant General Robin Brims, who was Commander of the Field Army at Land Command from 2005 to 2007, also paid tribute to those who have spent Christmas fighting on the front line - and the families left behind during the festive period. …

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