Tributes to Norfolk-based soldier killed in Helmand
PUBLISHED: 22:27 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010
A Norfolk-based soldier killed in Afghanistan "died with his friends while doing a tough job", a fellow serviceman said last night .
Craftsman Anthony Lombardi, 21, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers died in an explosion in Babaji, Lashkar Gar, on Tuesday.
A Norfolk-based soldier killed in Afghanistan "died with his friends while doing a tough job", a fellow serviceman said last night.
Craftsman Anthony Lombardi, 21, of the Royal Electrical and Mechan-ical Engineers died in an explosion in Babaji, Lashkar Gar, on Tuesday.
Craftsman Lombardi was attached to the Swanton Morley-based Light Dragoons where he had been treated as part of the regimental family. He would have expected to have been based there for two to three years.
The mechanic, from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, was driving a Spartan vehicle as part of a supply convoy when it was hit by the blast.
He is the fifth soldier from Swanton Morley to have been killed in Afghanistan since the end of May. The previous four were Light Dragoons L/Cpl Nigel Moffett, L/Cpl David Dennis, Trooper Christopher Whiteside and Trooper Phillip Lawrence.
Craftsman Lombardi's death brings to 192 the number of British military personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began.
Known as 'Lombo', he played football for both the Army youth team and his regiment. He leaves parents Helen and Walter, his fiancee, Ellie, and one-year-old son Harvey.
Craftsman Lombardi's family said: "Anthony was a loving son, brother, father, uncle and fiance. Everyone who loved Anthony is proud of him for who he was and for what he was doing in the Army.
"Everyone is gutted that such a talented, wonderful and popular person is now missing from their lives and his son will never grow up and understand what an amazing star Anthony was. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and colleagues."
The Light Dragoons' commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, said: "He was the life and soul of his peer group. Always at the centre of any social event, he applied the same vigour and enthusiasm for life to his work.
"No matter how little sleep he had, or how complicated and lengthy his repair was, Craftsman Lombardi would have a smile on his face and an infectious enthusiasm that carried his section forward. He was hugely popular and undoubtedly had the potential to go far.
"We have been privileged to have a soldier of this singular quality attached to the regiment and we, along with his many close friends in the REME, will feel his loss deeply."
Captain Dave Bunker said: "Craftsman Lombardi died with his friends, while doing a tough job with determination and considerable style.
"The loss of Craftsman Lombardi has been felt deeply by his many friends and he will always be in our hearts."
Flowers have been left outside the base in his memory. Other tributes included a half-full beer glass, on which was written: "Cheers Lombo. Here's one from me, mate."