British soldier killed in Afghanistan named


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The Independent Online

A British soldier killed in Afghanistan during a mission to rescue a kidnapped policeman was named today as Private Gregg Thomas Stone.

The 20-year-old, from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was shot dead on Sunday in the Nar-e-Seraj district of Helmand province.

The young soldier, from Hull, was hit as he and colleagues saved policeman Abdul Walid from extremists who had captured him at a checkpoint.

Pte Stone leaves his wife, Samantha, who paid tribute to him saying: "Gregg and I were childhood sweethearts and we met at school - he was my soulmate.

"He was a brilliant husband and a family man who loved his family.

"He was always the one to want to make us laugh - he always cheered everyone up.

"He was proud to be a soldier and for what he had achieved in his work.

"He would also want me to mention his dog Benji, who he loved to bits."

The soldier's mother, Angela, father, Robert, brothers, Kallum, Jamie and Graeme, and sisters, Rosie and Jennie, also celebrated his life.

In a statement they said: "He will always be a true hero in all our hearts.

"Anyone who was blessed enough to have known him will know how much of a credit to his friends and family he was.

"Words cannot begin to describe this great loss, and we are exceptionally proud of Gregg for everything he was and still is.

"Gregg was the kindest, funniest, friendliest, most popular lad that you could wish to meet.

"This is the saddest loss of our laughing boy."

Pte Stone became the 417th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.