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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Father's tribute to Iraq soldier
Corporal Matthew Cornish (MoD picture)
Cpl Cornish "lived for his family"
The father of a British soldier killed in Iraq has paid tribute to his son and said he was very proud of him.

Corporal Matthew Cornish, 29, was serving with the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry. He was married with two young children.

He was injured in an explosion and taken to hospital, where he later died.

His father Robin, 60, from Pool-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, said: "I'm proud of him as a soldier and as a son. He did the Army proud."

He was the first soldier killed in an attack on a UK military base in Iraq and his death brings the total of UK soldiers killed in the country to 115.

Mr Cornish said his son had been in the Army since the age of 18 and was set to rise through the ranks.

He lived for his family and spoiled his children
Robin Cornish

"He would have got on. He was determined to go up the ladder and he would have got there," he said.

Cpl Cornish, who grew up near Otley, West Yorkshire, was married to Abby, 28, and had two children, Ethan, aged three, and one-year-old Libby.

He joined the Army in Leeds and was stationed in Cyprus before serving in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Iraq.

His third tour of the country, in the 20th Armoured Brigade, was three months old when he was killed.

'Fine friend'

The proud Yorkshireman was nicknamed "Pastie" because of his surname and he died on Yorkshire Day.

Lieutenant-Colonel Johnny Bowron paid tribute to "a great soldier, a fine friend and a marvellous husband and father".

On the same day as Cpl Cornish's death, three British soldiers died when a vehicle patrol was ambushed by militants in southern Afghanistan. Nine UK troops have died in the country in 2006.

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