A BRAVE soldier who lost his life fighting as a volunteer for the Kurdish people in Syria has been hailed as a hero by those who knew him in Barnsley.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, known as Kosta, died in combat last Monday in the Hasaka region of the war-torn country.

The 25-year-old - the first Briton to lose his life fighting Islamic State terrorists - is believed to have gone to Syria in December to fight alongside the Kurdish forces.

His death has sent shockwaves through his home village of Royston.

Neighbour David Miller said: "He was a very hard-working young man, a decent man. I was shocked to hear what happened. He is a local hero."

John McQuillan, from McQuillan Family Butchers, said he had no idea he was in Syria.

"It's such a shame," he added. "He was such a nice lad, he was a smashing kid."