TRIBUTES have been paid to an “intelligent, selfless and brave” Whitby soldier who has been killed in Afghanistan.
Craftsman Andrew Found, a married father-of-two, died on Thursday trying to rescue a vehicle which had been hit by another blast.
The 27-year-old, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, serving with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, was killed by a bomb in the Gereshk Valley area of Helmand.
He was married to Samantha and the couple had one son, Jaxson. He also had another son, Michael, from a previous relationship.
His wife paid a loving tribute. She said: “You’re my husband, my best friend and are my world. I cannot explain my pain and the hole you have left in all our lives. You are the best husband anyone could have wished for; a great dad, friend and you have touched the hearts of many in your life.
“You loved your job, your family and friends and always loved a good joke. You always made me smile. I will love you always and forever. You where my rock and my hero and always will be. I love you so much.”
Craftsman Found’s parents, Jennifer and Alan, and his brother Simon, released a joint statement: “Andrew is our son, a brother, a husband, a dad, a nephew, a cousin, a grandson, a friend and a soldier.
“Andrew died doing the job he loved. Even though we are all in pain now, we will remember the fun, the laughter and all the love he brought to all the people he knew and loved.”
Affectionately known as “Foundy” by those in the Squadron, he joined the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as a recovery mechanic in December 2006.
Upon completion of basic and trade training he was posted to 4 Batallion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, then based at Bordon, Hampshire.
He served in Afghanistan in 2009, prior to his arrival at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in February last year.
He was again deployed to Afghanistan in April, under the command of 30 Commando Royal Marines taking part in a wide variety of operations across the Task Force Helmand area.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Biggart MBE, Commanding Officer The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, said: “Craftsman Andrew Found was an intelligent, selfless and brave soldier as well as a devoted family man.
“Easily recognisable as one of the tallest men in the Regiment, his soft Yorkshire tones completed the aura of a gentle giant. He quickly fitted into his new Regiment and became part of the close knit team which is a Squadron Fitter Section.
“Craftsman Found was killed by the blast of an Improvised Explosive Device while doing the job he loved and was so very good at. He was coming to the rescue of his Squadron comrades to recover a Warthog Armoured Vehicle damaged in an earlier blast. Right up until his final moments, the example he set, together with his wit, kept his fellow soldiers going under very difficult and demanding conditions. His sacrifice was in the finest traditions of both his Corps and his Regiment.”
Craftsman Found was one of three soldiers to be killed in fighting in Afghanistan in just two days.
The three deaths bring the total number of UK troops who have died since operations in the country began in 2001 to 374.