A SOLDIER from 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment killed in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.
Private Gregg Thomas Stone, from Hull, died on Sunday after being deployed to Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand Province as part of 6 Platoon, Burma Company.
He was part of an operation to apprehend a group of insurgents who had abducted a member of the Afghan police when his unit came under fire and he was killed.
Private Stone, who was 20, joined the Army on in 2009. After training as a light machine gunner and sharpshooter, he deployed with the regiment to train in Canada before starting training for Operation Herrick.
He was looking forward to attending the junior non-commissioned officers course upon return from Afghanistan, which the Ministry of Defence said he was sure to pass.
He leaves his wife Samantha, mother Angela, father Robert, brothers Kallum, Jamie and Graeme, and sisters Rosie and Jennie.
Private Stone’s wife Samantha, said: “Gregg and I were childhood sweethearts and we met at school – he was my soulmate.
“He was a brilliant husband and a family man who loved his family. He was always the one to want to make us laugh – he always cheered everyone up.
“He was proud to be a soldier and for what he had achieved in his work.
“He would also want me to mention his dog Benji who he loved to bits.”
Paying tribute to their son and brother, Private Stone’s parents and siblings said: “He will always be a true hero in all our hearts! Anyone who was blessed enough to have known him will know how much of a credit to his friends and family he was.
“Words cannot begin to describe this great loss, and we are exceptionally proud of Gregg for everything he was, has, and still is.
“Gregg was the kindest, funniest, friendliest, most popular lad that you could wish to meet. This is the saddest loss of our laughing boy.”
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said: “Today we have lost Private Gregg Stone; a committed professional soldier and our brother in arms, who died protecting the lives of others. Fit and determined, Gregg was a happy outgoing soldier who enthused those around him. He was respected and admired by his fellows, as someone who was totally selfless and cared deeply for others.
“He was not only notable for his military skills but also for his singing prowess and his motocross achievements. His colleagues and friends describe him simply and unequivocally as a ‘legend’, such was his outgoing and upbeat nature. His hard working attitude and eagerness to soldier, coupled with his friendliness and compassion, made him the perfect Yorkshire Infantry soldier and we are proud and honoured to have served with him.
“But our loss today is as nothing to that felt by his wife Samantha, his five brothers and sisters and his parents whom he loved so much. Our thoughts and prayers are firmly with them on this sad day.”