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."

Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Credit Controller (Sales Ledger, SAGE)- London, Old Street

£12 per hour: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - London, Old Street A well es...

Y4 Teacher - Leicester

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: We are currently recruiting ...

VMware Infrastructure Engineer - (VCP, VMware) - £45k, London

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Infrastructure Engineer, VMware (VCP, NetApp,...

Business Development Manager

Salary/Rate: £32,000/annum: M&E Global Resources Ltd: Description/Main Duties ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor