Touching floral tributes laid outside the home of a brave Fylde coast soldier killed in Afghanistan are “a comfort” to his family through “a very hard time”, his father said.
Fusilier Sam Flint-Broughton’s devastated friends and neighbours have placed flowers, candles and teddy bears at the family home in Poulton to show “how much he meant to them”.
The 21-year-old, of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland, was one of three soldiers who died on Tuesday when the armoured Mastiff vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province.
The former Collegiate High School pupil was killed alongside Cpl William Savage, 30, from the same battalion, and Pte Robert Murray Hetherington, 25, from 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment.
The young fusilier’s father, Dave Broughton, 47, said the family had lit candles on Wednesday evening in his memory.
He said: “There’s a lot of friends and neighbours who wanted to leave something to show how much he meant to them
“Everyone knew Sam, he was the original cheeky chappy, and there’s a lot of people who want to pay their respects. It means everything to us, to know how much he was loved. It’s a very hard time but these are a comfort.”
Fusilier Sam Flint-Broughton had deployed to Afghanistan in March this year, along with his 25-year-old brother, David, who is also in The Royal Highland Fusiliers.
He arrived back in the UK yesterday.
Servicemen working alongside Fusilier Flint-Broughton in Afghanistan said he had a promising future ahead of him.
Lieut Col Robin Lindsay, commanding officer for the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: “Fusilier Samuel Flint-Broughton made an immediate impression as a fit, enthusiastic, motivated and capable soldier who was quick with a smile and a laugh.
“Despite his young age and relative inexperience it was clear to us all he was a soldier brimming with skill and ability.
“He had been identified as a potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer following the tour of Afghanistan.
“A bright future lay ahead for Fusilier Flint and it is cruel to see that future taken away from him.
“All of us in the battalion offer our deepest condolences to his parents, brothers, sisters and wider family during this hard and tragic period, but in particular to his brother David who serves with us in the battalion.”
His friends have described him as a motorsports enthusiast and an avid Manchester City fan.
They said he was dedicated to his family and spent his spare time at home or socialising with friends in Edinburgh.
A friend, Lance Cpl Stewart Lyons, added: “You made us all proud. It has been an honour working alongside you and calling you my friend.
“You will be forever missed.”
Staff at his former high school in Blackpool told The Gazette Fusilier Flint-Broughton – one of seven brothers and sisters – will be remembered as a tenacious student.
Dayle Harrison, headteacher of Collegiate High School, said: “Staff and students were shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic death of Sam.
“A former student, Sam is remembered as a happy, hard working young man who had many friends and was well liked by staff and students of the school.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
And Don Aitken, vice president and honorary secretary of the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee, said: “It’s very sad news and we will have an interest in doing a memorial for him some time in the future.”
The family’s statement
“The whole family is completely devastated.
“Everyone should know Sam loved his job and made his whole family and everyone who knew him very proud.
“Sam was always the life and soul of the party, a real ladies man, witty, funny, the real cheeky chappy.
“He was a loving son, the protective brother, courageous nephew, the caring uncle, the loyal grandson that anyone would wish to have.
“We want to thank everyone for the kind tributes and strong support. Always in our hearts and minds, we love you Sam.”