TRIBUTES are being paid in South Yorkshire to the two soldiers shot dead by a man dressed as an Afghan policeman at the weekend.
The Ministry of Defence named the victims as married father-of-two Sergeant Gareth Thursby, aged 29, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18.
Both were members of the Third Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, formerly the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, which recruits heavily from South Yorkshire - although Sgt Thursby was from Skipton and Pte Wroe from Holmfirth.
Local tributes to the soldiers include the Union Flag currently flying at half mast from Barnsley Town Hall. Sheffield Council said its Town Hall flag will be flying at half mast on Thursday at the request of the Yorkshire Regiment to coincide with the repatriation of the bodies.
Both men were killed at a checkpoint when a man dressed as an Afghan policeman feigned injury so they would help him.
Sgt Thursby is survived by his wife Louise and two children, Joshua and Ruby.
His wife said: “Gareth was the love of my life. He was an amazing husband and father, happy, full of life and kind hearted. He was brave, hard-working, a loving husband who was a devoted father.”
Pte Wroe was deployed to Afghanistan on July 1, shortly after his 18th birthday. He is survived by parents, Michael and Claire, and sister Demi.