A BARNSLEY soldier killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is to be buried today.
Private Matthew Thornton, aged 28, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was killed 48 hours before Remembrance Day.
He was serving with the Territorial Army after re-enlisting for a second time.
Pte Thornton originally joined in 2004 and left in 2007 but joined again two years later and volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan.
His proud family has described him as a ‘dedicated soldier’ who was ‘passionate about the job’.
Away from the army, he worked for Yorkshire-based company Premdor, manufacturing door and window frames.
In a statement his family - father Michael, mother Susan, sister Sarah, and brother Nathan - said: “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.
“Matthew will be greatly missed by his family, his TA colleagues and his friends. His death leaves a huge hole in all our lives.”
Pte Thornton was patrolling with a small group of soldiers when they were caught in an attack involving small arms fire and grenades. As Pte Thornton responded he was caught in a bomb blast and died.
His funeral is to take place at All Saints Church, Darton.