The parents of Private Thomas Wroe of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, paid tribute to their teenage son today.
Private Wroe was shot dead in on Saturday in Afghanistan by a recent recruit to the new Afghan police force. The attack was the latest in a series of so-called 'green on blue' ambushes that are raising serious questions about the future of the country. Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports.
The parents of Private Thomas Wroe today paid tribute to their teenage son killed in Afghanistan on Saturday. Speaking from their family home Mr Wroe said:
"He was a proper little soldier. He wasn't interested in anything else - he just wanted to be in the Army. It's all he ever wanted to do."
"He was following in the family footsteps and fulfilling his life's dream. He was a hero - a well-loved hero. We're a military family .... so we all knew the risks. We just never thought this would happen to Tom, and nothing can prepare you for that news."
The headteacher of Private Thomas Wroe, who was killed in Helmand province in Afghanistan has described him as a "positive, smiling, charming individual". Mr Chris Sylge said:
Staff were of course devastated to hear the news. Colleaguesremember Tom as an extremely popular young man and a terrific sportsman who waswell loved by staff and students alike.
I have spoken to his tutors who remember him as a positive, smiling, charming individual with a huge circle of friends.
He will be missed and we send our deepest and sincerest condolences to Tom’s family.
The Ministry of Defence has released these photographs of the two soldiers from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment who were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.
They are Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas James Wroe.
Private Tom Wroe, who was shot in Afghanistan on Saturday, had only been in 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment for a few months.
According to his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Stenning MBE, he had "pushed hard to join the Regiment in Afghanistan" at the soonest opportunity.
He added that despite his young age, he had impressed his colleagues with his degree of professionalism and commitment.
Private Thomas James Wroe's family has released this statement following the news that he was shot in Afghanistan on Saturday:
– family statement
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.
Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Stenning MBE, the commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s), said of Sergeant Gareth Thursby:
– Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Stenning MBE
His nickname ‘Bull’ epitomised everything; he was strong, confident and unbelievably robust.
He was admired and deeply respected by his soldiers and peers for his soldiering skills, physical strength and forthright honesty...
However, against the hard exterior there was a caring and most compassionate leader.
I heard just a few weeks ago that he had told his Platoon to call him ‘Dad’ during the tour.
That is how he saw himself; a father figure for 30 men and women involved in gruelling operations in Helmand.
The wife of Sergeant Gareth David Thursby, who was shot in Afghanistan on Saturday, has described him as "brave" and a "loving husband". Louise said:
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, hard working, a loving husband who was a devoted father to his children. Our Hero.
The Ministry of Defence has named the two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan yesterday as Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, both of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s).