Who was Simon Lingard? What happened to soldier who died in Ukraine fighting Russia, what has his family said?
Simon Lingard is the fourth British national to die in Ukraine, according to reports
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A British man has been killed while fighting in Ukraine.
His family described him as “the bravest man” and a “true hero” who went to Ukraine to “stand up for what he believed was right”. The Foreign Office confirmed it is supporting the family of a British national who died in the war-torn country.
What happened to Simon Lingard?
It is believed Mr Lingard was killed in action after his trench was hit by a Russian Shell. At least two other British soldiers were injured in an artillery blitz in Bakhmut in the east of Ukraine, say reports.
The former British paratrooper served in Afghanistan and was a former machine gunner who also served with the elite Special Forces Support Group, travelling to defend Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February.
What has Simon Lingard’s son said?
Mr Lingard’s son, Jackson, called his dad a "hero" and paid tribute to him on Facebook. He wrote: "After years of dedicating his time and effort to protecting our country, my dad still had more fight in him and left the country to protect the people of Ukraine against the Russian army too.
"My heart is broken to announce that Dad has passed away in battle, a true hero and beloved to so many of us. I can’t put into words how much he is and will be missed, but I’m comforted to know that this happened doing what he loved and surrounded by friends.
"I love you dad, I’m so proud of you.”
Tributes to Simon Lingard from friends and the Foreign Office
His family wrote on his GoFundMe page: "My dad was an inspiration to all who knew him, a real-life hero who died fighting for what he believed in. He was loved and adored by so many, a true representation of what a soldier should be.
"The Ukrainian military has offered to bring him home to England but we need help to show him the respect and adoration he deserves by giving him THE greatest well-deserved send-off."
Mr Lingard, known to his friends as Grimmy, is believed to be the fourth Briton to die in the conflict so far, after Craig Mackintosh, Jordan Gatley and Scott Sibley, The Independent reports.
Members of his family, friends and neighbours gathered in his hometown for a vigil on Wednesday (9 November) evening.
His friend Mickii Edwards, who flew out to Ukraine with him, described Mr Lingard as a "modern-day warrior" who had a "heart of gold". He said: "He was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for what was right, no matter what.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British national who has lost his life in Ukraine and we are in touch with the local authorities in connection with his death. Our thoughts are with their family at this difficult time.”