THEY died in the horrors that have become Afghanistan.
And last night, three families in the Huddersfield area were mourning the terrible loss of three young soldiers.
They were among six who died in the single worst enemy attack on British troops in the Afghan campaign.
Ministry of Defence officials have confirmed all died on patrol in the notorious Helmand Province when their Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle was caught in an explosion.
Ministry of Defence officials this morning named Jake Hartley, Anthony Frampton and Danny Wilford as three of the six who were killed.
All have families in Huddersfield and tragically all had been in Afghanistan for only a matter of weeks.
The six soldiers, five from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, were on a mounted patrol when their Warrior armoured fighting vehicle was caught in an explosion.
Last night, troops had recovered the vehicle and taken the casualties to Camp Bastion, the British HQ in Helmand.
Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: “The six soldiers, five from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, were on patrol in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle when it was caught in an explosion in the Task Force Helmand Area of Operations.” The servicemen were struck around 40km north of Lashkar Gah. Next of kin have been informed.
The atrocity takes the total number of British forces killed on operation to more than 400 since the US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Private Frampton, who joined the Army aged 18 in January 2009, is a former Royds Hall High School student.
Pte Frampton, from Longwood, trained at the infantry base in Catterick – winning a top award – before enlisting in the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.
His colleague, Danny Wilford, of Cowlersley, was even younger when he enlisted. He was just 16 when he proudly signed on with the Yorkshire Regiment at the Army Recruiting Office in Huddersfield in 2007.
Former Earlsheaton High School student Jake Hartley enlisted aged 17 in 2008.
He completed a 20-week training course at the Army Training Regiment in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, before joining the Yorkshire Regiment.
All three are understood to have flown out from the UK on Valentine’s Day.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is a desperately sad day for our country and desperately sad, of course, for the families concerned.
“It is a reminder of the huge price that we are paying for the work we are doing in Afghanistan and the sacrifice that our troops have made and continue to make.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband echoed his remarks, adding: “This is a dark day.
“We salute all of our fallen and those who continue to serve in the face of the gravest danger.”
Moving scenes were played out at Battlesbury Barracks in Warminster, Wiltshire, the home of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.
The dark green battalion flag emblazoned with a gold lion and white rose flew at half-mast.
Two uniformed soldiers relit a candle next to the barracks’ gates, which was put in place when around 90 soldiers from the Corunna Company were deployed to Afghanistan less than a month ago.
Beneath it, text read: “This flame serves to remind us of the commitment that the soldiers of this battalion are currently making on operations. It will be extinguished when the last soldier of the battalion returns safely to this base.”
A woman and a young boy quietly laid a bunch of pale yellow roses under the sign marking the barracks’ entrance.
Before turning to leave, the woman, wearing a dark jacket and jeans, gently placed her hand on the sign and lowered her head.
A card tucked inside the floral tribute read: “Dear 3 Yorks, Tragic news. Warminster is proud and will always consider you ‘our boys’. J x”