Page last updated at 19:48 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 20:48 UK

Tributes to Afghan death soldier

James Thompson
The 27-year-old was buried at Monkseaton on Friday

The family of a North East soldier killed in Afghanistan have said he died doing the job that he loved.

James Thompson, from Whitley Bay, was on patrol in the Musa Qaleh area on 19 May when he was caught in an explosion.

His parents Alan and Hilary said his death had come as a "devastating loss" but that he had made them proud.

The 27-year-old's commanding officer described him as a professional and reliable soldier in every respect, who excelled in all he did.

His funeral took place at St Mary the Virgin church in Monkseaton on Friday.

'Sadly missed'

The family's tribute, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), read: "James Thompson was a loving son, brother and friend to many.

"His tragic and untimely death has devastated the family and touched all those who knew him. James was proud to be a soldier - he died doing the job that he loved and will be sadly missed by all."

An MoD spokesman said: "It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of James Thompson in Afghanistan on May 19 2008.

"He was patrolling on foot as part of operations in the Musa Qaleh area when he was caught in an explosion and tragically lost his life."

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