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Barnsley Soldier Dies In Afghanistan

Thursday November 10 2011


Private Matthew Thornton Private Matthew Thornton


A BARNSLEY soldier has been killed by an IED while serving in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Private Matthew Thornton, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS), was killed on Wednesday (November 9) after being deployed in October. He was part of a patrol that was sent out to engage with the Arghan people but it came under fire - it was while he was returning fire that he was caught in the blast of an improvised explosive device and killed.

Private Thornton - who celebrated his 28th birthday last week - went to Darton High School and went on to work at Premdor. He joined the army in 2004, left in 2007 but re-enlisted into D Company in September 2009. He was one of the first to volunteer his services for deployment in Afghanistan.

He leaves behind his father, Michael, his mother, Susan, his sister, Sarah, and his brother, Nathan.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Crowley MC, Commanding Officer, said: "When the opportunity came to mobilise he was one of the first to put his hand up. There was never a doubt that he would be exactly the right man to deploy. He embraced the training he received, showing a professional attitude throughout some hard training in Wales and Germany. I know that his talent as a soldier, his willingness to assist anybody and his wacky dress sense, combined with strange dance moves ensured that he quickly integrated into his mobilised service with the platoon he joined in 1 YORKS.

"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.

"Private Matthew Thornton was a son and brother of whom his heartbroken family can feel justly proud. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. We will remember him."

Private Jeremy Robbins added: "Matthew Thornton was a most friendly and caring person who took great pride in being a Yorkshireman from Barnsley. A soldier of the Yorkshire Regiment, having always wanted to serve on tour in Afghanistan, he worked hard throughout his mobilisation and pre-deployment training with 1 YORKS in Germany. We worked together from the start both on patrol and at our checkpoint where he would always have a laugh with the lads and be counting down the days to his R&R when he could be home again with his family. Matt had just turned 28 a few days ago and he celebrated in the best way he could with a birthday cake his mother had sent which had arrived in one piece."

Tributes have been flooding in to our Facebook page for Private Thornton. His brother Nate Thornton wrote last night: "Would like to thank everyone for their messages and posts. My family appreciate it loads. Never forget he's not gone, he's still here within our hearts and mind of everyone he knew. He will live forever."

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46 Showing 46 comments

Reply Posted by Julie w on Thursday November 10 2011 at 22:40
rip young man our thoughts with ya family xx

Reply Posted by Julie w on Thursday November 10 2011 at 22:40
rip young man our thoughts with ya family xx

Reply Posted by Stephen Schofield on Thursday November 10 2011 at 22:56
Lost a good friend in Afghanistan yesterday ' RIP Matthew Thornton. Will be thinking of you on Sunday!! Never to be forgotten!!

Reply Posted by Anorack on Thursday November 10 2011 at 22:57
Rest in peace Solider. 

Reply Posted by Anorack on Thursday November 10 2011 at 22:57
Rest in peace Solider. 

Reply Posted by Mtemptress on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:02
rip thinking of the family

Reply Posted by DAZBOOKER on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:03
R.I.P MATTHEW YOU WILL BE MISSED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN OUR THROUGHTS ARE WITH YOUR FAMILY XXXXXXX

Reply Posted by Kathryn on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:04
May you rest in peace with pride in knowing you did your country proud. My thoughts go to your family at such a sad and emotional time.

Reply Posted by Ash Clark1 on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:06
R.I.P to a BARNSLEY solider. Will be thinking of you, and many more on Sunday! Thoughts are with your family and friends! 

Reply Posted by maxine taylor on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:20
R.I.P MATTHEW THORNTON, I DIDNT KNOW YOU BUT MY THOUGHTS GO OUT TO YOUR FAMILY XX

Reply Posted by Laura-leigh19 on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:23
R.I.P with pride of you doin our country well ... my thoughts are with your family xxx

Reply Posted by becca crossland on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:24
RIP, went to the same school knew your mum she is a lovely person, you are a massive credit to all your family as well as barnsley, you will always be in everyones prays xx

Reply Posted by Flashrash on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:46
RIP ANOTHER HERO GONE DOING THE JOB HE LOVED RIP SOLDIER THORNTON THOUGHTS WITH FAMILY AT THIS SAD TIME TOMOZ THE COUNTRY WILL HONOUR HIM AS A HERO

Reply Posted by Misssherlock2 on Thursday November 10 2011 at 23:47
Rip Matthew..My thoughts go out to his family and friends xxx Another young life lost......XX

Reply Posted by Andrea Stevenson on Friday November 11 2011 at 00:12
R.I.P. our hero xx

Reply Posted by Jeanette hibberd on Friday November 11 2011 at 00:23
r.i.p my thoughts go out to your family xxxxxxxxx

Reply Posted by Johnseeviour522 on Friday November 11 2011 at 00:25
real heroes are hard to come by you sir are a REAL HERO god bless RIP

Reply Posted by andrew.a findlay on Friday November 11 2011 at 02:10
rest in peace matthew gone but never forgotten forever a tyke R.I.P

Reply Posted by Brian Flanagan on Friday November 11 2011 at 02:24
Only 1 year in the last 100 have we not lost a sodier in battle, all brave men doing the job they wanted to do, knowing the risks, against the odds, with courage,bravery, humour, another sad loss for Britain, Prayers for the family.R.I.P. you HERO

Reply Posted by Sarah on Friday November 11 2011 at 08:13
Rip matt my thoughts are with your family xxx

Reply Posted by Jjamebennett2006 on Friday November 11 2011 at 08:15
Your gunna be missed thinking of you and your family your a real hero x

Reply Posted by Amanda Sharpe on Friday November 11 2011 at 08:16
R.I.P Soldier Thornton. Thoughts are with your family and friends

Reply Posted by on Friday November 11 2011 at 08:36
just a quick msg t all my friends i created a group last nite called in support of all british soldiers men and women all am askin is if u cud join it n n put poppy as ur middle name or in ur alternative name if it dnt let u do it on ur name its just t show our support t all those that have and still r fighting for our country its those guys n gals that made it great britain so plz show ur support thanx

Reply Posted by on Friday November 11 2011 at 08:37
rip matt my thoughts r with ur family n friends 

Reply Posted by Andy K on Friday November 11 2011 at 09:00
RIP Soldier. When folk talk of heroic deeds on football and cricket fields - they need to remember the real meaning of the word, which you represent,

Wearing my poppy with pride today - God Bless.

Reply Posted by Carl watson on Friday November 11 2011 at 09:06
R.I.P SOLDIER....GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN X

Reply Posted by Jack on Friday November 11 2011 at 09:16
R.I.P.  to this young MAN. (We also have a Matthew) Please God, watch over all the others like him who put their own lives in danger to protect the rest of us. May God bless & comfort his family at this time of loss.

Reply Posted by Toffy63 on Friday November 11 2011 at 10:05
i would like to thank everybody for the wonderful comments.matthews parents

Reply Posted by nicky on Friday November 11 2011 at 10:39
You are welcome - we are so sorry to hear this news and honoured that he served for us. If we can help in any way, please let us know.

Reply Posted by Lisa Calton on Friday November 11 2011 at 10:45
you sacrificed your life, so we could be free, You sacrificed your life, for your countrymen and me. Such a selfless act, could never be repaid, That is why every year, a wreath will be laid. We remember the brave, that were called up to war, We remember the loved ones, you left at the door. We remember the people, who put up a fight, Who fought for our freedom, through morning and night. We push out our chests and we hold our heads high, so proud of the countrymen, who stared death in the eye. We salute our fallen, raise the flags to half mast, two minutes of silence, for those that have past. You will never be forgotten, for all that you done, Your memory lives on, in the going down of the sun

RIP x

Reply Posted by Ricky-osbourn on Friday November 11 2011 at 11:08
R.I.P u did our country proud I have the greatest repect to all of those out there fighting for our country and for those who have fallen for our country

Reply Posted by TUG0908 on Friday November 11 2011 at 12:46
What a very brave young man who gave his life for his country - RIP Matthew - my heart goes out to your family and friends at this sad time - hope they can draw from the consolation that you are a true hero x

Reply Posted by Gmckay80 on Friday November 11 2011 at 13:30
R.I.P matthew x

Reply Posted by Bikelover on Friday November 11 2011 at 14:44
R.I.P Gone but never forgotten, god bless your family at this sad time

Reply Posted by Rainbow2004 on Friday November 11 2011 at 15:43
was a pleasure knowing you matthew rest in peace my thoughts are with you're sister sarah and brother and also your'e mum and dad. very polite young man you will be missed 

Reply Posted by Daniel Hague on Friday November 11 2011 at 16:15
A hero plain and simple

Reply Posted by Vicki Flynn on Friday November 11 2011 at 16:37
rip matt you will be missed our hearts go out to your family you will never be forgotten you served our country we so proud of you

x

Reply Posted by keith thornton on Friday November 11 2011 at 16:49
thinking of you all from matthews great uncle keith and family .....god bless xxxx

Reply Posted by alison hunsley on Friday November 11 2011 at 18:01
i didnt know matthew even though he was part of my extended family, rest in peace young man and my thoughts are with his mum and dad and his brother and sister and also his grandad who is my uncle.

Reply Posted by Annette Martin-Meigh on Friday November 11 2011 at 20:32
Such a sad loss RIP from all Barnsley!

Reply Posted by Ann Rimmington on Friday November 11 2011 at 21:06
rip mathew, our thoughts are with your family x

Reply Posted by Gill from Staincross on Friday November 11 2011 at 22:29
Matthew a Barnsley lad,  we did not know you but you are in our thoughts today, tomorrow and all the years to come as are all our lads and lasses who have fought and are fighting. You will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family who must be so very proud of you. God bless Matthew xx
 

Reply Posted by Mary Stables on Saturday November 12 2011 at 00:52
R I P Mathew Thornton,  another young man taken from his family and friends. My thoughts are with his parents. He will not be forgotten and special moments will be set aside for him on Sunday. I didnt know this young man but this has had a massive effect on my day today when i found out. My heart goes out to all who knew him. xx 

Reply Posted by Chris Foster on Saturday November 12 2011 at 11:34
RIP Matthew - your sacrifice will never be forgotten. You gave your life protecting our freedom which is a lasting legacy for your name. Thank you. Thinking of your family at this time xx

Reply Posted by Lindsey Wilson on Saturday November 12 2011 at 19:35
RIP Matthew. I hadn't seen you since we were kids, playing in your back yard, but I can see what a fine young man you turned into. My thoughts are with your family. I will remember you.

Reply Posted by Holmesthomas82 on Tuesday November 15 2011 at 10:27
rip mate didnt know u long but you was a great friend to all the lads and a true grafter you will be missed very much by all the lads xx