Fusilier Scott Clarke joined the Army just 10 months before being posted to Afghanistan. The 19-year-old former student from Croydon said: “It is hard at times, obviously we are pushed to the extreme here with both the weather and the kit we have to carry and I am missing home but it's what I have always wanted to do.

“It is hot and it is hard but I am doing something I love, I have always wanted to come to Afghanistan ever since I started seeing all the shows about it on television.

“Because I came here very soon after completing my training I didn't get a good chance to get to know the lads but after being here for a couple of weeks you really get to know each other and become good mates.

“The first day I got here it still didn't really sink in I was in Afghanistan, I joined the army because I fancied a challenge and as the old saying goes, wanted to see the world, then all of a sudden I realised, Jesus, I'm in Afghanistan.

“The hardest and sometimes the best days are when you are on you own on stag and you start thinking about home. You start to think about all the food you miss, like McDonald's and a cold beer.

“I am lucky though because my family have been really supportive I just can't wait to get back and see my mum, dad and mates and just go out and have a laugh.

“The families in Afghanistan are really close and you can see that everyday around here, because we live so close to the locals, they always say hello and ask for sweets and chocolate. It's good because you know if the locals are around the Taliban more than likely won't attack and you’re safe.”

• For more from our reporter Harry Miller in Afghanistan, click here