UK

Dead British soldier named by MoD

Image caption Trooper Howarth's family said he 'would light up any room he walked in'.

One of two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Saturday has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Trooper Andrew Howarth, of The Queen's Royal Lancers, was killed in a bomb blast while on patrol in Lashkar Gah.

The other soldier, from the Royal Engineers, has yet to be named. Their families have been told of their deaths.

The number of British military personnel killed in operations in Afghanistan since 2001 is now 337.

Trooper Howarth was the third generation in his family to have joined the Queen's Royal Lancers.

His family said: "He was a very loving son who loved his family and friends, he would light up any room when he walked in and would do anything for anyone. He had a heart of gold and will be deeply missed.

'Irrepressable enthusiasm'

"He was proud to serve his country. He quoted before he left for Afghanistan 'We give our today so you can have your tomorrow'."

Trooper Craig Smith of The Queen's Royal Lancers said: "Andy was one of my best friends. He had a way of making everything fun and bad things OK. He had a gift that allowed him to approach any situation with confidence and bravery.

"He passed this on to all those around him through presence and humour.

"Andy and I did it all together: nights out, football matches and Sunday lunches, with his family and mine."

Lt Col Martin Todd MBE, commanding officer of The Queen's Royal Lancers, described the 20-year-old from Dorset as "a young man of irrepressible enthusiasm, determination and good humour".

Lt Col Martin said: "He was the perfect reconnaissance soldier: quick-witted, physically robust and as skilled dismounted as he was on vehicles of all types.

"He was a true son of the regiment, son, nephew and grandson of former lancers, and he wore the 'motto' with unrestrained pride.

"He crammed an enormous amount into his time with the regiment: skiing, playing rugby and football, as well as making scores of close friends. Their tributes to him burst with the affection and respect in which he was held by all ranks.

'Tremendous character'

"Our hearts go out to his parents, John and Sarah, and his brother, Marcus. We can only share in their intense pride in him and their unutterable grief at his loss."

Lt Col Lincoln Jopp MC, Commanding Officer, Combined Force Lashkar Gah said: "All of us in Combined Force Lashkar Gah have been deeply struck by the awful death of Trooper Andy Howarth.

"A stalwart of Fondouk Squadron, he was a tremendous character who had made an impact well beyond the squadron.

"The whole of the Scots Guards Battlegroup, every man and woman, join me in sending our deepest and most sincere condolences to Andy's parents and brother. Their grief must be immeasurable and we grieve with them. We honour our fallen."