Wife pays tribute to Afghan death soldier
The wife of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan said today that his death would leave a "gaping hole" in his family's life.
Sergeant Andrew Jones, 35, of the Royal Engineers, died alongside Trooper Andrew Howarth, 20, of The Queen's Royal Lancers, when their Jackal armoured vehicle was targeted by an insurgent bomb in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand Province on Saturday.
Sgt Jones, from Newport, South Wales, leaves his wife, Joanne, and children, Natasha, Caitlin and Liam.
His wife said in a statement: "Andrew was a happy, funny and caring man. He was a loving husband, father and son, and he will leave a gaping hole in our lives."
Sgt Jones, who previously completed a tour in Kosovo, was serving in Afghanistan as a reconnaissance engineer with the Queen's Royal Lancers.
His comrades described him as a dedicated father and patriotic Welshman with a passion for rugby.
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Todd, commanding officer of the Queen's Royal Lancers, said: "His courage and good-humoured leadership inspired all those in his troop, particularly when the going was hard.
"He died serving his corps and country while protecting ordinary Afghans.
"A proud Welshman, who exhibited all the fortitude of his countrymen, he was at heart a devoted family man."
Major Ben Cossens, officer commanding Fondouk Squadron of the Queen's Royal Lancers, said Sgt Jones was "a tremendous soldier and a tireless and committed engineer" with an ability to lift his fellow soldiers' spirits.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sergeant Andrew Jones. His colleagues praise him as a tough, resolute soldier, a skilled engineer and an inspirational leader of men.
"His sacrifice, protecting our national security, will not be forgotten. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones."
A total of 337 British troops have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
Royal Marines handed over command of the deadly Sangin district in northern Helmand Province - where nearly a third of UK deaths in the campaign have occurred - to the US Marines yesterday.
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will b...
£13500 - £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + OTE £70,000 + car + pension: h2 Recruit Ltd: A wel...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...