Tributes to Soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas James Wroe Photo: Ministry of Defence

Two soldiers from the 3rd Battallion The Yorkshire Regiment who were killed in Afghanistan on 15 September have been named. They were Sergeant Gareth Thursby from Skipton and Private Thomas Wroe from Huddersfield. They were shot and killed by a rogue Afghan Local Policeman in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province.

I was saddened to hear of this cowardly act by a man wearing an Afghan Local Police uniform, which has taken the lives of two brave British soldiers.

All of our thoughts are with the families of Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe. They gave their lives protecting Britain's national security, helping to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for international terrorism.

– Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond
Sergeant Gareth Thursby Credit: Ministry of Defence

Sergeant Gareth David Thursby from Skipton, North Yorkshire was born in 1982. He attended South Craven School in Skipton before joining the British Army in 1999. After completing his training in early 2000, he joined 1st Battalion The Duke of Wellington's Regiment. His first deployment was to Kosovo in 2003 followed by Iraq in 2005. He passed the Section Commander's Battle Course to qualify for a posting to the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright as an instructor. Subsequently, he returned to the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) as a section commander. In October 2010 he was promoted to sergeant and assumed his role as a platoon sergeant in Alma Company.

He was 29-years-old and is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children, Joshua and Ruby.

Gareth was the love of my life. He was an amazing husband and father, happy, full of life and kind hearted with a passion for his work and family. He was brave, hardworking, a loving husband who was a devoted father to his children. Our Hero.

– Louise Thursby, Sergeant Thursby's wife
Private Thomas Wroe Credit: Ministry of Defence

Private Thomas James Wroe was born in Huddersfield in 1994. He joined the Army in 2010 and attended the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. He completed his training in 2011 and joined 3 YORKS. He was assigned to 3 Platoon, Alma Company as a Rifleman and completed demanding pre-deployment training, including qualifying as a Team Medic. Private Wroe spent several weeks working and training with the Battalion Rear Operations Group in the United Kingdom until he turned 18 years, deploying to join the rest of his Company on Operation HERRICK 16 on 1 July 2012.

He survived by his parents, Michael and Claire, and sister Demi, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

Our son Thomas was a brave young soldier, who is loved by his family, girlfriend and friends. We can't believe you have been taken so soon from us. You will always be in our hearts for ever and ever. You would light up the room with your smile and bubbly personality. Our world will be a duller place without you. We are so proud of you son, on all you achieved and we are grateful for every special thing you gave us. We will always love you Tom.

– The Wroe family