Mar 29 2010
A British soldier killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan has been named as Rifleman Daniel Holkham, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, serving with 3 Rifles Battle Group.
Rfn Holkham, 19, from Chatham, was killed in an explosion near the Sangin Bazaar, in Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
His family said: "The loss of our son Danny has left a huge hole in our lives and that of his brothers and friends that can never again be filled. He served his country faithfully and with great pride."
Rfn Holkham attended Minster College in Sheerness, achieving an NVQ in engineering before enlisting to join the Army at the age of 16. In April 2008, he joined 3 Rifles in Edinburgh and was posted to 4 Platoon, B Company. He did pre-deployment build up training for operations in Afghanistan throughout 2009, deploying there last September.
He was working with his platoon from a patrol base in central Sangin to provide security and development to the local people, an MoD spokesman said. "He was killed when he stopped a suicide bomber who then detonated a device just outside the Sangin Bazaar," the spokesman added.
Rfn Holkham leaves behind his parents Rodney and Tracy, his girlfriend Nikki, and his brothers Andrew and Matthew who are both serving with 3 Rifles. Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 Rifles Battle Group, said: "Daniel Holkham was a model Rifleman; robust, bright and dedicated, he was everything a commander could hope for and more.
"There is no doubt that a bright future lay ahead of this young man and it is a tragedy that he has been robbed of the opportunity to fulfil it. Rifleman Holkham was well established as the lead man in his patrol, responsible for searching the ground for buried explosive devices to allow his patrol to pass safely.
"He died at the head of his patrol, another unquestioningly courageous Rifleman intercepting a crazed suicide bomber before he could cause havoc in the Sangin bazaar."
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Rifleman Daniel Holkham. He was clearly an extremely brave and respected Rifleman, who had helped to save the lives of those around him, through his work detecting IEDs.
"His dedication and selflessness will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues in 3 Rifles. My thoughts and sympathies are with them and Daniel's family at this very difficult time." The Rifleman's death takes the British military death toll to 278 since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.