The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has named the British soldier who was killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan.

Private Matthew Adam Thornton was killed on Wednesday north of checkpoint Loy Mandeh in Helmand province. During a routine patrol, his team was engaged by small arms fire and grenades. Private Thornton was caught in the blast of an improvised explosive device while returning fire, an MoD statement said.

He was serving with 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a part of a Combined Force in Lashkar Gah.

Away from military life, Private Thornton was employed as a factory worker for a Yorkshire-based company. Born in Barnsley, he was also an avid snow boarder.
Matthew was a dedicated soldier and passionate about the job. He loved what he was doing. He loved life and lived it to the full - in his work, in his role with the Territorial Army and in his leisure time,” his family said in a statement.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mortimer, Commanding Officer, Combined Force Lashkar Gah, said: “Utterly professional, Private Thornton was hugely committed to his job, and to his friends and comrades. We have lost an outstanding comrade, a fine young man, and a true soldier.”