28-year-old British Army Private Matthew Thornton, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS), was killed in action on 9th November 2011 while on patrol in Babaji, Lashkar Gah. His unit was ambushed by enemy forces using grenades and small arms fire. During the battle, Pvt Thornton was caught in the blast from a hidden bomb and was killed.
Pvt Thornton was a volunteer with the Territorial Army. He worked in a factory manufacturing door and window frames in Barnsley, Yorkshire. Born in Barnsley, he was educated at Darton High School prior to joining Fontenay Company, East and West Riding Regiment, in October 2004, which subsequently became D Company, 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in June 2006.
He left the Territorial Army in 2007, but re-enlisted into D Company in September 2009, eager to deploy to Afghanistan when the opportunity arose. He volunteered his services for this deployment.
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Crowley, Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said: "Private Matthew Thornton displayed that he had the volunteer ethos in spades. He was a fine soldier and an even finer man. 4 YORKS is a family and we have lost one of our own. He was a true Yorkshire Warrior."
Pvt Thornton leaves behind his father Michael, mother Susan, sister Sarah, and his brother Nathan.