Soldiers killed in firefight hailed
Tributes have been paid to two British soldiers killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.
Corporal Terry Webster, 24, from Chester and Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, 23, from St Asaph, North Wales died during a gun battle with Taliban soldiers in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand on Friday.
Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "I was deeply sorry to hear of the deaths of Corporal Terry Webster and Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, who were both committed soldiers and proud to serve their country.
"It is clear from all accounts that Cpl Webster was a brave, enthusiastic and professional soldier who inspired those around him. Similarly, L/Cpl Cochran was courageous, selfless, and a respected junior commander who led from the front."
Both men were serving with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment which was attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup.
Father-of-two Cpl Webster had previously served in Northern Ireland and Iraq. His mother, stepfather and sister said in a statement that he was a "true hero".
His wife Charlotte said: "Tez was passionate, loyal and determined. He enjoyed the role he had in the Mercians but he was a family man at heart. He was a fantastic Dad to Jess and Liam and he was the perfect soul mate to me.
"Although this is a very sad time, Tez would want us to be positive. Remember the good times, the happy times. A lot of people's lives will be deeply affected by Tez's all too early departure. Life will never be the same for us."
L/Cpl Cochran's mother Shirley and his family said: "Alan was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Alan who was a loving son, grandson and brother. We are proud of the fact that Alan was prepared to do his duty helping the people of Afghanistan."
His fiancee, Claire Brookshaw, said: "He has been a great part of my life and always will be. Sadly missed but never forgotten."