Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

MoD names UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

Cpl Simon Hornby
Cpl Simon Hornby was a "passionate" Liverpool FC fan

A British soldier who died in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Cpl Simon Hornby, 29, from 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died on Saturday.

He was wounded while on foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand, and died later that day. The Liverpudlian's wife Holly described him as her "hero".

A total of 240 UK service personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001, including 103 this year.

His wife said: "I am devastated by the loss of Simon. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job he loved. He was my hero."

Known as 'Si', Cpl Hornby was "a popular, friendly, sociable and selfless man," said a Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement.

He loved his wife, he loved the Army and his regiment, and he loved his football team, Liverpool FC
Lt Col Robbie Boyd, Commanding Officer

Lt Col Robbie Boyd, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said Cpl Hornby was one of the most "courageous men" in his battalion.

"He was a professional and a highly respected leader of my soldiers. Always happy, always chirpy, he - as did we - lived for his sense of fun, humour and his infectious zest for life; now so sadly taken from him and us," he said.

"He loved his wife, he loved the Army and his regiment, and he loved his football team, Liverpool FC," he added.

'Lived for admin'

Cpl Hornby, who joined the army in 2000, also served in Iraq where he was awarded a commendation for discovering an improvised explosive device (IED), preventing an insurgent ambush.

He was stationed in Patrol Base Shamal Storrai, where he took charge of administration.

Kingsman John Cree, a member of his section said: "He lived for admin! Always cleaning and caring for our welfare. Constant kit checks, thorough and professional. His catchphrase [was] 'no stone unturned, no water bottle empty'."

In a separate incident on Tuesday two UK soldiers were killed in Afghanistan as they stopped suicide bombers attacking a packed marketplace, their commanding officer said.

L/Cpl David Kirkness, 24, of West Yorkshire, and Rifleman James Brown, 18, from Kent, both of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, were killed by the explosion, at a vehicle checkpoint near Sangin in Helmand.

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