A FAMILY is in mourning after a Clayton-le-Moors soldier was shot dead while serving in Afghanistan.
Pte Jason Rawstron, 23, was shot when his squad from 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, was ambushed by the Taliban in Helmand Province on Friday (12 September).
Nicknamed 'Suspect' by pals due to his sense of humour, Jason leaves mother Mandy, father Gary, brother Graham and girlfriend Michaela.
Jason's mother Mandy described him as the "perfect" son, grandson, brother and boyfriend.
She said: "We are all so proud of Jason and although he was taken from us after 23 years, they were 23 years of joy. We are able to take comfort knowing that he died doing a job that he loved, helping others and that he was among comrades who he regarded as brothers."
Jason's father Gary said: "The pain of losing you is unbearable, but I know you were so proud of all that you did."
Major Adam Dawson, Officer Commanding C (Bruneval) Company, said: "Private Jason Rawstron was a charming, gentle and immeasurably generous soldier with a warm and caring personality. He was a pleasure to know, his smile was worth a thousand others and his passing leaves the Regiment considerably better for having known him, but missing his unique and delightful character that looked on life as an opportunity to be seized upon."
His platoon commander Lieutenant Murray McMahon said: "He was without a doubt the most loyal and enthusiastic soldier I have ever known. His strength of character was shown throughout the tour as he guided fellow comrades through difficult situations with considerable courage."
SEE the full story in next Friday's Observer