Tributes to fallen soldier

Private Gregg Thomas Stone Photo: MOD

The Ministry of Defence has announced the death of Private Gregg Thomas Stone from the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment. He was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday, less than a month after arriving in the country. He was part of an operation to capture a group of insurgents who had abducted a member of the Afghan police when the unit came under fire and he was fatally wounded.

Private Stone was born on 9 October 1991 in Hull and attended Hornsea Secondary School. He joined the Army in 2009 and became a member of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in April 2010, after completing training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.

He leaves behind his wife, Samantha, mother Angela, father Robert, brothers Kallum, Jamie and Graeme, and sisters Rosie and Jennie.

Gregg and I were childhood sweethearts and we met at school – he was my soul-mate. 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."

– Samantha Stone, Pte Stone's wife

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, has, 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's parents and siblings

We have lost Private Gregg Stone; a committed professional soldier and our brother in arms, who died protecting the lives of others. Fit and determined, Gregg was a happy outgoing soldier who enthused those around him. He was respected and admired by his fellows, as someone who was totally selfless and cared deeply for others.

He was not only notable for his military skills but also for his singing prowess and his motocross achievements. His colleagues and friends describe him simply and unequivocally as a 'legend', such was his outgoing and upbeat nature. His hard working attitude and eagerness to soldier, coupled with his friendliness and compassion, made him the perfect Yorkshire Infantry soldier and we are proud and honoured to have served with him.

But our loss today is as nothing to that felt by his wife Samantha, his five brothers and sisters and his parents whom he loved so much. Our thoughts and prayers are firmly with them on this sad day."

– Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning MBE, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

Gregg and I were good mates and he was Best Man at my wedding. I would describe him as a person who was always laughing and joking. He would have great banter with the lads and was always a great source of morale in the Company. He could never speak enough about his wife, Samantha, and his wider family who he was very close to. I will miss a true friend."

– Private Josh Knapton, 4 Platoon, Burma Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment