Kenneth Rowe & Sasha


A British Army dog handler killed in Afghanistan died after lobbying to stay on the frontline, it was revealed yesterday.

Lance-Corporal Kenneth Rowe, 24, had been due to leave the day before he died but remained because he was worried about a lack of cover for his comrades.

His commanding officer, Major Stuart McDonald, said: ‘This unselfish action epitomised his professionalism and dedication to his job.’


L/Cpl Rowe and his dog Sasha, who were attached to 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, were killed in a firefight with the Taliban on Thursday.

From their base in northern Helmand province, they had joined patrols searching for enemy weapons, ammunition and explosives.

Major McDonald said: ‘He was actually scheduled to leave on July 23 but was concerned about the lack of ammunition and explosives search cover if he departed and lobbied his unit to allow him to stay.’

Captain Martyn Thompson, from the Military Working Dogs Support Unit, said L/Cpl Rowe, who was from the Newcastle area, had an ‘infectious enthusiasm’.

‘He was a high calibre soldier who was destined for great things,’ he added.

Yesterday, British troops in Helmand killed four civilians and injured three others after a vehicle tried to speed through a checkpoint without stopping.

Officials said the driver ignored warning shots, prompting soldiers to shoot at the vehicle amid fears it was a suicide attack.

The MoD described the deaths as ‘tragic’.