12:43pm Thursday 8th March 2012
© Press Association 2013
A young British soldier killed alongside five comrades in Afghanistan reassured his mother he would be "fine" weeks before his death.
Private Anthony Frampton, 20, wrote comforting messages to his worried family after he was deployed to Helmand Province on Valentine's Day.
But he was one of six troops who died when their Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by an apparent improvised explosive device in the deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in Afghanistan since 2001.
Pte Frampton was killed along with Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
The soldiers, who had only been in Afghanistan for a few weeks, were hit by a blast about 25 miles north of Helmand's capital, Lashkar Gah, at 6.30pm local time (2pm UK time) on Tuesday. Ammunition on board the Warrior ignited, causing a fierce fire to burn for many hours.
The intensity of the blaze meant rescuers could not get near the vehicle and its charred shell was not recovered to the main British base in Helmand, Camp Bastion, until 7.30pm Wednesday night local time. The Taliban told the BBC they carried out the attack and were "very proud of it".
At the family home of Pte Wade, in Warrington, Cheshire, relatives tied balloons and floral tributes to the garden fence. A note with four roses from the young soldier's mother read: "Daniel my baby boy, my hero. I will always love you and you have made me the proudest mum in the world. RIP son, you are with Nanna and your Dad now, my angels. Love mum x x."
Pte Wilford and Cpl Hartley, who like Pte Frampton joined the Army as teenagers, were also from Huddersfield, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Cpl Hartley was a student at Earlsheaton Technology College in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted that morale among British forces in Afghanistan remains "extremely high" because they know they have an important job to do. Prime Minister David Cameron said the news marked a "desperately sad day for our country", while Labour leader Ed Miliband saluted "all of our fallen and those who continue to serve in the face of the gravest danger".
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning, Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, said in a statement: "Six of our brothers have fallen. It has been a sad day."
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