The body of a Newcastle soldier shot dead in Afghanistan during a gunfight with Taliban fighters was brought home yesterday.
Guardsman Simon Davison was killed by small arms fire after coming under attack while manning a machine-gun at a checkpoint near the town of Garmsir in Helmand Province. A gun battle broke out at the checkpoint when a force of between eight and 10 Taliban fighters opened fire.
The 22-year-old soldier, who was in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was a member of Number 3 Company of the Guards, which is responsible for protecting Patrol Base Delhi and local security in the immediate area. His body was returned to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, yesterday. He leaves behind his mother Maureen Hindmarch, father Ray Davison and sister Caroline.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Guardsman Davison's family wished for privacy and no details of what happened yesterday were being released.
The soldier was pulled out of the firing line as the fight intensified and was flown to Camp Bastion but medical teams were unable to save his life.
He was born in Newcastle, later moving to Staffordshire, where he attended Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic High School in Cannock and then Stafford College before becoming a carpenter.