Soldier killed in Helmand blast named

The latest British soldier to die in Afghanistan has been named as Corporal Simon Hornby, 29, from the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

Cpl Hornby was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand on Saturday. The Liverpudlian's wife Holly described him as her "hero".

Cpl Hornby's 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.

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.

He deployed to Afghanistan as a section commander with Arnhem Company, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment as part of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Battle Group, according to the Ministry of Defence.



His wife Holly said: "I am devastated by the loss of Simon. "He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job he loved. He was my hero."



Lieutenant Colonel Robbie Boyd, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said he was "courageous" and a "highly respected leader".



"Always happy, always chirpy, he - as did we - lived for his sense of fun, humour and his infectious zest for life; now so sadly taken from him and us," he said.

Cpl Hornby's death came as Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth declared the international military coalition in Afghanistan would "take the battle to the enemy" in the coming year.



Mr Ainsworth said he could not guarantee the families of Britain's 10,000 troops in Afghanistan that their loved ones would be safe, though he insisted the Government was investing massively to protect them.



And he held out the prospect that 2010 will see some parts of Afghanistan handed over to home-grown security forces, in a process which Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said will eventually pave the way to bringing UK troops back home.



Following US President Barack Obama's announcement of a surge of 30,000 extra troops and the promise of up to 7,000 more from other Nato members - including 500 from the UK - the coalition will be in a position next year to clear Taliban militants from more areas of Afghanistan, said Mr Ainsworth.



The Defence Secretary told Sky News' Sunday Live: "I think General (Stanley) McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops will effectively be met by the coalition, so their ability to take the battle to the enemy, to clear the population centres and keep the population safe is now there.



"Yes, there will be operations in the New Year. No, we can't guarantee people that their loved ones are going to be safe.



"But we have invested massively - and will continue to do so - in providing them with all the kit and equipment they need in order to keep them as safe as we can and enable them to do the job that we ask them to do."



Mr Brown earlier praised the "unsurpassed" courage of British troops in a Christmas message, telling them he recognised that this year had "tested your resolve more than any other".



The Prime Minister also spoke of his "gratitude" to the service personnel who have lost their lives, telling the Sunday Mirror: "We owe them a debt we can never fully repay - and we remember too the families they have left behind for whom Christmas will be a heartbreaking time."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?