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Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, of the 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on 13th September 2008. The 26 year old was on a routine patrol near Kajaki in the Helmand province at the time. He was sweeping a piece of high ground near the crucial Kajaki Dam when an explosive device detonated.

Nicky Mason, who was from Aveley in Essex, was born on the 20th December 1981. He joined the Army in 2001 and trained at Catterick in North Yorkshire. The following year he became part of 2 PARA where he trained as a reconnaissance specialist. In 2005 he was promoted to Lance Corporal in recognition of his qualities as a leader and soldier.  As well as Afghanistan, Nicky had served in Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq. He also represented his company and battalion at boxing and martial arts.

His family issued a statement in tribute to Nicky, saying: "Too dearly loved to be forgotten, our much loved son, loyal brother and thoughtful friend always ready for a laugh, a cheeky tease, died doing the job he loved." 

Lieutenant Colonel David Reynols, spokesman for the Task Force Helmand, said " The life of a British Paratrooper can never be replaced, but it can be immortalised. His participation in this tour of Helmand will be remembered in regimental history as a tribute to his courage and as an honour to his family"  

Major Simon Britton, L/Cpl Mason's commanding officer with X Company, paid tribute to him "In the aftermath of a fatality such as this it is often said that a soldier was 'well liked' or 'a friend to all'. In the case of Lance Corporal Nicky Mason these comments could not be more true. "He was an excellent soldier undoubtedly, but his effect upon the morale of those who lived and fought beside him will be truly missed. The Parachute Regiment has been deprived of one of its best and many paratroopers have lost a good friend today"

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