This week's deaths of three soldiers in Afghanistan were only part of the toll. A total of ten New Zealand service people have died there since 2010. Here's some of their stories.

August 5, 2012

Lance Corporal Rory Malone

, 26, from Auckland.

Lance Corporal Malone was shot dead while dragging his shot commander, Major Craig Wilson, to safety during a firefight in the Bamiyan province which also killed Lance Pralli Durrer.


A posthumous Victoria Cross may be awarded to Lance Corporal Malone for his actions in helping save his wounded commander has not yet been ruled out.

He had previously deployed to East Timor in 2006 and again in 2007. The current stint in Afghanistan was his first. He left behind a partner, who is also understood to be in the army.

August 5, 2012
Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer, 26, from Christchurch.

Lance Corporal Durrer was killed alongside Lance Corporal Rory Malone when their light armoured vehicle was fired at by insurgents while they to the aid of Afghan police in the Bamiyan province.

The fallen soldier was orphaned at the age of 12 and was raised by his aunt and grandfather in Christchurch. In 2004, at 18, Lance Corporal Durrer decided he wanted to become a soldier and enlisted as a rifleman at Burnham Military Camp.

He was killed during his first deployment to Afghanistan.

April 2012
Corporal Douglas Hughes, 26, from Northland.

Corporal Hughes died while off duty at the Romero Forward Patrol Base in Bamiyan Province. The cause of his death has not been disclosed and is being investigated by the army. He had enjoyed life in the army, which he joined aged 17, but he hadn't been keen to serve a second tour of duty in Afghanistan, which he started in September last year.

September 2011
SAS Corporal Leon Smith, 33, from Wellington.

Corporal Smith was shot in the head during an operation in Wardak Province, southwest of Kabul, at a compound suspected of housing Taleban bomb-makers preparing for an attack in the capital. He was posthumously honoured with the Charles Upham Award for Bravery after risking his life trying to save a comrade six weeks before he died. He braved enemy fire when he ran across open ground to reach comrade Corporal Doug Grant and give him first aid.

August 2011
SAS Corporal Doug Grant, 41, Tokamaru.

Corporal Grant was fatally wounded during an operation to rescue hostages at the British Council cultural centre in Kabul, which was being attacked by the Taleban. Eight policemen and three Afghan guards were also killed in the raid. Corporal Grant left behind his wife Tina and a daughter, 7, and son, 5. His death was the first SAS fatality in Afghanistan in four deployments since 2001.

February 2011
PRT Private Kirifi Mila, 27, Hamilton.

Private Mila was standing on the turret of a Humvee when it rolled down a 30m cliff near the village of Ferosak in the northeast of Bamiyan Province. Three other soldiers were in the vehicle on a patrol which involved three other Humvees. A military ceremony for Private Mila in Christchurch was cancelled after the earthquake struck the day before.

August 2010
PRT Lieutenant Timothy O'Donnell, 28, from Feilding.

The Provincial Reconstruction Team members were under Lieutenant O'Donnell's command when their patrol was ambushed near the town of Chartok in Bamiyan Province. The lead patrol vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, killing Lieutenant O'Donnell and injuring two of his comrades. The pair were honoured for their bravery after they tried to get their dead mate out of the burning vehicle while under intense fire from shoulder-launched rockets and machine guns.