Live updates

Video: Inquest into death of soldier killed trying to protect comrades

An inquest has ruled a soldier from Corby who died while trying to protect his men from an enemy sniper was killed unlawfully. Lance Corporal James Ashworth died while in active service in Afghanistan last year.

The 23 year old was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery, which his family collected on his behalf earlier this year. Today, he was praised by his commanding officer for his "remarkable gallantry and selfless commitment". Russell Hookey reports.

Advertisement

Anglia

Family's moving tribute to fallen hero

The family of L/Cpl James Ashworth have paid a moving tribute to their son following an inquest at Kettering Magistrates Court.

Mum Kerry said her son had died doing the job he loved.

She said: "James passed away doing a job he loved. At times it was a hard job but he did get to experience new countries, learn new skills and make some wonderful friends.

"James will be forever be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers and we will never get over his passing. But we will stay strong together as a family and along with his friends we will remain positive and celebrate his life at every opportunity as I know that is what he would want us to do."

Anglia

VC soldier died doing the job he loved

Lance Corporal James Ashworth's family Credit: PA

A Corby soldier who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after he died trying to rescue his comrades was unlawfully killed, a coroner ruled today.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth, 23, of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was fatally injured by his own grenade after he was hit by a Taliban bullet just as he went to throw the explosive device into an compound in June last year.

Northamptonshire's Coroner said a post mortem showed the cause of death was blast injuries caused by an explosion and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing while he was serving on operations in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Ashworth died after crawling along being peppered with bullets to throw his last grenade at a sniper who had his team pinned down.

Speaking after the inquest in Kettering, his mother Kerry said her son, died doing the job he loved.

She said:

"His smile can light up any room he goes into and we all love and miss him so. James passed away doing a job he loved. At times it was a hard job but he did get to experience new countries, learn new skills and make some wonderful friends.

"James will be forever be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers and we will never get over his passing. But we will stay strong together as a family and along with his friends we will remain positive and celebrate his life at every opportunity as I know that is what he would want us to do."

Advertisement

Inquest into death of Victoria Cross soldier

The inquest into the death of a soldier from Northamptonshire, who was posthumously awarded the UK’s highest gallantry medal, is expected to take place today.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth Credit: MoD Pictures

Lance Corporal James Ashworth died whilst protecting fellow soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, during a gunfight in Afghanistan last year.

He was later awarded the Victoria Cross, which his family collected at a ceremony in March.

Posthumous Victoria Cross soldier to be confirmed on Honours and Awards list

Lance Corporal James Ashworth

The Ministry of Defence is today expected to confirm a Northamptonshire soldier will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal James Ashworth from Corby was 23 when he was killed on patrol with the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards in Helmand Province, Afganistan, last June. He was protecting his comrades from a grenade blast when he died.

Midlands soldier awarded Victoria Cross

A soldier from Kettering who died in Afghanistan has been awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for gallantry. Lance Corporal James Ashworth died last year protecting colleagues during a firefight.

His mother, father and brother who is also a serving soldier, were at a ceremony today to hear the citation read out, and spoke afterwards of their pride.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories