Brighton-born soldier dies three weeks after becoming a father

Posted On 21 Mar 2011 at 12:34 am

A Brighton-born soldier has died after being wounded in Afghanistan.

Dan Prior, 27, was surrounded by his family including his newborn son as he passed away.

Private Prior, of D Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, had been flown back to Britain after being hurt in a blast.

He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and died there with his family at his bedside.

A joint statement on behalf of his wife Emily, infant son Logan and his parents Ian and Gillian said: “Dan was a lively young man with an amazing sense of humour.

“He was a wonderful son, husband and father.

Proud

“We are all tremendously proud of him and he will be sorely missed by his family and friends.”

Private Prior was born in Brighton and grew up in Peacehaven before joining the Army and moving to Colchester in Essex.

He was wounded while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Thursday (17 March).

He was deployed there in October.

Private Prior came home four weeks ago for the birth of his son and stayed for a fortnight before returning to active duty.

Including Private Prior, 360 British servicemen and women have died during the Afghan conflict since it started in 2001.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, said: “This bright, inspiring and able paratrooper knew the risks of war more than almost anyone.

“His uncle died the year before Dan was born fighting for this great battalion at the battle of Goose Green in the Falklands conflict.”

Brave

His brave uncle, Corporal Steve Prior, also from Brighton, was killed by a sniper as he tried to save a wounded fellow soldier.

Dan’s middle name Steven was given to him in memory of his uncle.

Four years ago there was a controversy around whether to add Cpl Prior’s name to the war memorial in Brighton.

Brighton and Hove City Council has since created a new memorial for those who have died serving their country since the Second World War.

Lt Col Harrison said of Dan: “On the anniversary of the battle last May he sat with me to honour his uncle.

“They both fell aged only 27.

“For a second time the Prior name will be carved into the battalion’s memorial.

“Dan Prior’s sacrifice has cost a joyful future with his wife Emily and his three-week-old son Logan.

“It is the smallest consolation that he passed away having seen Logan on a recent trip home.

“He talked of little else during the intervening weeks.”

Lance-Corporal Chris Wilmott served alongside both Private Prior recently and his uncle Steve in the late 1970s.

He said: “We will all remember Dan for his professionalism and dedication.

“He was without doubt focused, conscientious and destined for great things.”

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