Tributes To Bravery Of Middlesborough Soldier

6 May 2012, 11:26 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts from Middlesborough and Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi have been praised for their bravery after being killed in Afghanistan

Andrew Roberts and Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi from the 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps died on Friday the 4th of May. 

They were killed in an indirect fire attack on an operating base, in the northern part of Nahr-e Saraj district. 

Corporal Roberts' children paid the following tribute: "For our brave Dad who went away to build sand castles and stop the bad men hurting people. We love you to the moon and back. You are an angel in Heaven now looking down on us all, we wish yesterday had never happened and you were still here to phone us and take us out. You were the best Dad, we remember all the fun things we did, we will never forget you and will love you forever. You are our Hero and we will pray for you always." 

Corporal Roberts' girlfriend, Paula Ewers, paid the following tribute: "Andrew truly was a hero and I'm so proud of what he achieved, he was such a special, kind and caring person. I was blessed to have spent the past two and a half years with Andrew. He made me and my son Josh so happy. I have lost my soul mate and my best friend. The memories I have of our time together I will hold in my heart forever. Sweet dreams my hero all my love always. Paula & Josh." 

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, Commanding Officer Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Force, said Corporal Roberts was a "A talented Junior Non Commissioned Officer with leadership qualities in spades. He was fit and determined and set exactly the right example, truly inspiring his subordinates to do their very best. His efforts were making a difference in Helmand Province 

"During demanding times, both physically and mentally, here in Afghanistan, Corporal Roberts continually stepped up to the plate and proved entirely worthy of the authority and responsibility bestowed upon him as a Corporal. His upbeat, determined nature balanced with humour, humility and understanding allowed him to command his Advanced Search Team extremely effectively. His team were utterly reliable due to his professionalism and leadership abilities. 

"His family and friends, and particularly his young children are in our thoughts and prayers at this time."