The devastated father of a Poulton soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan today said he “could not be more proud” of his beloved son.
Fusilier Sam Flint-Broughton was one of three soldiers who died in what has been described as the biggest incident of its type in Afghanistan on Tuesday morning.
The 21-year-old former Collegiate pupil was on his first foreign tour having signed up to the Army last March, joining older brother David in the Royal Highland Fusiliers.
The pair deployed to Afghanistan in March this year.
David, 25, was due to arrive back in the UK today.
Dad Dave Broughton, 47 from Poulton, said the close knit family was devastated by their loss.
He said: “He was a very loving person and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
“He was with his brother on Monday, they phoned home.
“He was phoning every day to see how his niece was because she’s been in hospital.
“He had a big heart and always put family first.”
Described as a generous, fun loving young man with lots of friends, the tragedy will be felt by many in his hometown.
Mr Broughton added: “Sam’s very well known in Poulton, everyone knew his cheeky face.
“He had lots of friends and never had any problems in making new friends when he went into the Army. He was the life and soul of any party.”
Fusilier Flint-Broughton was serving with the The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment.
He was part of a routine patrol in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province when the improvised explosive device detonated.
The three soldiers – Fusilier Flint-Broughton, Cpl William Savage, 30, and Pte Robert Murray Hetherington, 25, – were airlifted to the military hospital at Camp Bastion, where it was confirmed they had been killed in action.
Their deaths mark the first time British troops have died in an armoured Mastiff vehicle since it was introduced to the campaign in 2007.
Six other soldiers were injured in the bomb blast.
Tributes to Fusilier Flint-Broughton have been posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Mr Broughton said he was taking some comfort from the messages, and added: “I’ve read all the tributes, it’s not something you want to do but it does make you feel a little bit better knowing how much people loved him.”
FusilierFlint-Broughton, one of seven brothers and sisters, worked with his father’s building business before going into the Army, something he had always wanted to do.
Now Mr Broughton and Sam’s mum Karen Flint, plus step mum Shirley Broughton and siblings Daniel, Jason, David, Linsey, Corina and Porcha, are waiting for news from the Ministry of Defence of when he will be repatriated.
Mr Broughton added: “We just want him home now.”
Click here to read how The Gazette first reported the news: