Soldier killed by Taliban

A soldier killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan was from the North-East, it was revealed last night.

A soldier killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan was from the North-East, it was revealed last night.

Guardsman Simon Davison was killed by small arms fire while manning a checkpoint near the town of Garmsir in the dangerous Helmand Province.

Tributes poured in last night from colleagues of the 22-year-old, originally from Newcastle, describing him as a "reliable and trustworthy" man who had always dreamed of being a soldier.

Gdsm Davison, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was operating from Patrol Base Delhi in Garmsir District Centre, in southern Helmand Province.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, he had formed part of a team manning the district centre's eastern checkpoint. At 6.45am local time, the checkpoint came under attack from a force of between eight and 10 Taliban fighters.

The Grenadiers returned fire with small arms and during the ensuing gun battle Gdsm Davison, who was manning a machine gun, was hit.

He was pulled out of the firing line by colleagues and was then flown to the medical facilities at Camp Bastion, the main British base in the area. Despite their best efforts, the medical teams on the helicopter and at the base were unable to save his life.

Born in Newcastle, Gdsm Davison then went to school in Cannock, Staffordshire, before going to Stafford College. His interests ranged from Thai boxing to carpentry, which was his profession before he became a soldier.

He joined the Army in August 2005 and was posted to 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in March 2006 after completing his training as an infantry soldier at Catterick, North Yorkshire.

His mother Maureen Hindmarch, father Ray Davison, and sister Caroline were last night grieving for their son.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, said: "Guardsman Simon Davison always wanted to be soldier. As a Grenadier he was immensely proud of the uniform he wore.

"Reliable and trustworthy are the two words most used when his colleagues describe him. He died fighting to protect other Grenadiers and gave his life in doing so. There is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform. Guardsman Davison was a popular soldier who will be sorely missed and never forgotten."

Guardsman Thomas Eyre, a good friend who served with Gdsm Davison in Afghanistan, added: "It is pretty hard to imagine what his friends and family are feeling when they read this.

"In the past five or six months, working closely with him, I got to know `Davo' really well.

"He always stuck up for his mates and looked after them. He went down defending his section, which was how he lived, sticking up for his mates.

"I and all his friends will miss and think of him always. It brings back an old saying that there is `no greater love as a man, than to lay down his life for his friends'."

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