UK & World News
Tributes To Soldier Shot Dead In Afghanistan
A soldier shot dead in Afghanistan has been described as the type of person "who would help others before helping himself".
Corporal Michael John Thacker, 27, was hit by small arms fire in the Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand province on Friday.
The serviceman, from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, was manning an observation post when his patrol came under attack, the Ministry of Defence said.
The father-of-one was evacuated from the scene by helicopter but later died of his injuries.
Cpl Thacker's wife Catherine paid tribute to him, describing the soldier as "the love of my life".
"He was an amazing husband and father who will always be remembered as a funny, loving and kind man," she said.
"Everyone who met Mike instantly liked him and through time came to love him."
Cpl Thacker's younger brother, Lance Corporal Matthew Thacker, also served in the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh.
Describing his older sibling as "the best I could wish for", he said: "We were more than brothers, we were best friends and words cannot express how much he will be missed.
"Michael is one of those people who would help others before helping himself.
"He could light up a dark room, always making people laugh because of his great personality.
"Devastated cannot come close to how we as a family are feeling. He died doing the job that we Thacker brothers love. He is a true hero."
Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Webb MC, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, said Corporal Thacker was "was exactly the man that you would want at your side when life got difficult".
"He was a soldier's soldier - a larger than life character, highly competent, fiercely loyal and hugely proud of his family.
"He had a great sense of humour, banter was his specialty and any time spent with him was time well spent."