Neighbours distressed at sad loss

DAGENHAM is in mourning after a hero soldier died putting himself in the line of fire to save an injured comrade, writes John Phillips. People living near Martin Kinggett s former home in Bennett s Castle Lane spoke of the loss the 19-year-old rifleman, s

DAGENHAM is in mourning after a hero soldier died putting himself in the line of fire to save an injured comrade, writes John Phillips.

People living near Martin Kinggett's former home in Bennett's Castle Lane spoke of the loss the 19-year-old rifleman, shot dead covering fire while colleagues extracted a casualty during a firefight with Taliban gunmen in Helmand on Thursday.

Others, in particular teenagers, vented their anger at the Government for forging ahead with the eight-year campaign against Taliban rebels, as the death toll of soldiers killed in action reached 233 this weekend.

Pensioner Barbara Smith, 74, said: "It's very sad. He was so young. It's a tragedy."


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Home carer Raymond Giltjes, 62, of Bennett's Castle Lane, said: "It's a shame. He was 19. He had no life at all. Nothing."

Brothers Thomas and Scott Ley, of Bennett's Castle Lane, paid tribute to the "selfless" teenager described as "a rock" by colleagues, but Thomas added the Government should get out to Afghanistan.

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"I think what he did was pretty heroic," he said.

Scott, 20, said: "It's their war they're fighting, you've got to give them credit."

Jamie Grant, 16, whose brother Sam, 17, is going to Afghanistan in two months said: "My brother wants to fight. He wants to do something with his life.

"But why should people die for this war?"

Barbara's husband John, 78, of Seabrook Road, near Martin's former house, added: "It's sickening, it's a tragedy.

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