Families of soldiers killed serving in Afghanistan have called for their loved ones not to be forgotten as the 13-year British involvement ends.

Ten young men from Sussex are among the 453 British forces or Ministry of Defence civilians who have died serving in Afghanistan since the start of the operation to oust Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Yesterday (Sunday) relatives expressed mixed emotions as UK troops handed over the last UK base, Camp Bastion, to Afghan forces, and prepared to return home. They called for a permanent memorial to Sussex’s Afghanistan heroes and urged people not to forget them now the war is over.

Georgina Gamble’s son, Private Daniel Gamble, 22, was killed by a suicide bomber on June 8, 2008 while on foot patrol near his base in Helmand Province.

Mrs Gamble, of Uckfield, said of the troops’ withdrawal: “I am pleased that they are all coming home, yes, and no other families have to go through it.

“I am pleased, but I just wish it never happened in the first place.

“I am not sure what was meant to happen really happened. I am sure some of the things did but I don’t think many people really realised the cost of it.

“I feel that they are also leaving something behind and that is all the memories and the places where people were killed.”

She backed the idea of a permanent memorial in Sussex to the soldiers from the county who had been killed, adding they did not always get the recognition they deserved.

She said: “I would love that. You don’t get to know all the families and maybe they are living in the town next to me.

“They lost their lives serving the country and they are only ever remembered on one day of the year – is that fair? No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t look for people to do big, outlandish things. It is just the little things that count really.”

Ian Prior’s son, Private Daniel Prior, 27, from Peacehaven, died in Birmingham on March 18 2011, two days after being injured by a bomb while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province.

Just weeks earlier the Para had become a father to son Logan – who is now “doing well and growing up fast,” his father, Ian Prior, said.

Mr Prior, of Eastbourne, added: “I am pleased for the guys serving over there that they are all coming back “It does bring memories obviously and you wonder – like lots of families do – was it all worth it?

“In some areas Al Qaeda has moved back in and taken over.”

He also backed the idea of a Sussex memorial, saying: “I think it would be a sort of focal point to remember those who have fallen in Sussex.

“As the conflict draws to a close the focus seems to be on ISIS and elsewhere and so it kind of feels like it is being forgotten.”

Sussex heroes of Afghanistan **

- Para Corporal Oliver Dicketts, 27, from Wadhurst, East Sussex, pictured above after first paragraph of story, died on September 2, 2006 when his RAF aircraft crashed. The Ministry of Defence described him as a “loyal brave, intelligent and dependable man”.

- Marine Scott Summers, 23, from Crawley, West Sussex, died on February 21, 2007, 17 days after being injured in a road accident. He remained "selfless to the end", his commanding officer, Lt Col Matt Holmes, said.

- Private Daniel Gamble, 22, from Uckfield, and two other members of the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, died when a Taliban suicide bomber struck in Upper Sangin Valley on June 8, 2008. Lieutenant Colonel Joe O'Sullivan said: "They died doing their duty and doing their best."

- Private John Brackpool, 27, from Crawley, West Sussex, was shot dead by the Taliban on July 9, 2009. Comrades hailed him as a "superb soldier".

- Guardsman Jamie Janes, 20, pictured above in red uniform, was killed by a bomb while on foot patrol on October 5, 2009. Guardsman Janes, from Brighton, was "a unique person who really knew how to treat his friends with respect and joy", said his friend Guardsman Stephen Loader.

-Private Daniel Prior, 27, from Peacehaven, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after being wounded by a bomb on March 16, 2011 while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province.

- Guardsman Michael Roland, 22, from Worthing, Sussex, was shot dead on April 27, 2012, while on patrol. The father of twins was “terrific soldier with a bright future”, said his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder.

- Lance Corporal James Brynin, 22, born in Shoreham, was shot dead on October 15, 2013. He was “immensely popular and an outstanding soldier in every respect”, said his commanding officer, Colonel Mark Purves.

- Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard, 22, of Eastbourne, was killed by friendly fire on December 20, 2009. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis, described him as "physically and morally courageous". She added his "sincerity and generous spirit touched the lives of many."

- Corporal Sean Reeve, 28, of Brighton was killed in an explosion on June 17 2008. His family described him as a "pillar of strength that all could turn to."

** This article has been revised to include the names of two soldiers who mistakenly were not included in the original article. The Argus apologises for the mistake.