NEWS
31/03/2018 17:41 BST | Updated 31/03/2018 17:50 BST

British Soldier Killed In Syria Named As Sergeant Matt Tonroe

He was on an anti-Islamic State operation when he was caught in a bomb blast.

A British solider killed in Syria has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Sergeant Matt Tonroe.

The 33-year-old was killed in a bomb blast while on an anti-Islamic State operation in Syria.

In a statement, the MoD said: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Matt Tonroe from the 3st Battalion the Parachute Regiment was tragically killed in action whilst on duty in the Middle East on the 29th March 2018.

Ministry of Defence
Sergeant Matt Tonroe was killed in a bomb blast in Syria

“Sergeant Tonroe was born in Manchester on the 14th of August 1984. He enlisted in the Army on the 27th September 2004. On completion of his initial training he joined the 3rd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment in Colchester where he served as part of the Sniper Platoon.

“He rapidly developed an array of competencies and combat experiences that were to lay the foundations of an outstanding career.

“During his service, Matt deployed numerous times on operations to Afghanistan and the Middle East. His distinguished service reflected a man that was happiest when professionally tested on operations. He relished responsibility, the opportunity to contribute and when the time came, to lead. He was a natural in this role.

“Matt was also a capable and respected parachutist. As a gifted instructor he was free with his time and his advice, and would dedicate himself to support and develop this skill in others.

“He was well known within his unit, well-liked by all and he will be sorely missed. When talking of Matt, his colleagues recount his humour, mischief and endless endeavours. Laid back, but a consummate professional, Matt was utterly selfless and always strived to achieve excellence.

“Matt was very much a family man, making every effort to see his beloved mum around numerous overseas deployments. He is survived by his mother Michelle, his brother Alex and girlfriend Olivia.”

Thursday’s explosion is reported to have taken place in the town of Manbij, 60 miles north east of Aleppo and close to the border with Turkey.

Tonroe’s Commanding Officer said: “Matt Tonroe was a deeply intelligent man and one of life’s characters. He was a caring and considerate soul, a loving and dutiful son, and a friend to many.

“Yet he had a steel core, served his country with pride and was a first class soldier, proven in combat, faced risk willingly and was ever ready for more. He thus died as he lived: daring and fearless in duty. We mourn his loss dearly, are proud to have known him and will honour him by continuing this fight.”

An American soldier was also killed and five others were injured, US officials said,.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Sergeant Matt Tonroe at this dreadful time.

“Sergeant Tonroe served his country with great distinction and it is clear from the tributes made by his colleagues that he was not only exceptionally dedicated and courageous but also a gifted and intelligent instructor who was respected by everyone he served with.

“Sergeant Tonroe fought to protect British values, our freedoms and to keep us back at home safe. His sacrifice, unflinching commitment and bravery will never be forgotten.”