It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Paul Muirhead in Afghanistan on Wednesday 6 September 2006.
Lance Corporal Muirhead, of 1 Royal Irish Regiment, died from wounds sustained during a Taleban attack on his base at Musa Quala in Helmand Province on Friday 1 September 2006.
Since the attack, he had been receiving specialist medical care and his parents were with him when he died.
Ranger Anare Draiva, also of 1 Royal Irish Regiment, died in the same incident.
Lance Corporal Paul Muirhead
Lance Corporal Muirhead, from Bearley, Warwickshire, was single and 29 years of age.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Michael McGovern, paid tribute to him:
Lance Corporal Muirhead was a calm, confident and determined member of the Patrols Platoon. A quiet exterior belied a character who was renowned for looking after the younger less experienced soldiers. He was widely respected across the Battalion.
Lance Corporal Muirhead was an extremely experienced soldier who had served on Op Telic 1, the liberation of Iraq, in Northern Ireland and most recently a six month tour of Baghdad and Southern Iraq.
The Battalion is deeply saddened at the loss of two soldiers in this incident, both killed as the result of enemy action. Our thoughts and prayers are of course with their families and friends at this terrible time.
I have spoken today to our other troops in Afghanistan - their morale remains high and they are determined to ‘get on with the job’ and ensure that the loss of their friends and comrades will not be in vain.
Defence Secretary Des Browne, said:
This is tragic news. Lance Corporal Muirhead was, in the words of his commanding officer, a widely respected soldier. My sincere sympathies are with his family and friends as they come to terms with his loss.
Both Lance Corporal Muirhead and Ranger Anare Draiva were part of a force of one hundred 1 Royal Irish soldiers currently serving in Helmand Province as part of the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment Battle Group.
Both 1 Royal Irish Regiment and the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment are part of 16 Air Assault Brigade which is the lead British Military Formation in Southern Afghanistan.