Sunday, 20 December 2009

The soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday has been named as Corporal Simon Hornby of the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

The 29-year-old died in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence announced.

The Liverpudlian's wife Holly Hornby described the soldier as her "hero".

"I am devastated by the loss of Simon," she said.

"He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job he loved."

Cpl Hornby's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Robbie Boyd said: "The Lions of England have lost one of their most courageous.

"(Cpl Hornby) 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."

Lt Col Boyd praised Cpl Hornby's work in Afghanistan, where he had "won over the full confidence of Officer Commanding Arnhem Company, as well as his soldiers".

He added the soldier had "stepped up to effectively act as a Platoon Sergeant, taking on the administrative challenge brilliantly, yet with the same sense of humour that we all knew and loved".

"Our thoughts and prayers, particularly at this difficult time of year, lie with his wife Holly," Lt Col Boyd said.

Cpl Hornby had previously served in Iraq, where he was awarded a commendation for discovering an improvised explosive device and for spoiling an insurgent ambush.

A eulogy from the Ministry of Defence praised the soldier - known almost universally as 'Si' - as a "popular, friendly, sociable and selfless man".

"He loved life and was a passionate Liverpool FC fan," it read.

His death brings the total of British service personnel who have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001 to 240, including 103 deaths this year.


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