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Tributes are being paid to Swanton Morley based soldier Sergeant Paul Davidson who was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday.
Sergeant Davidson deployed to Afghanistan on 16 April 2012 as the Troop Sergeant of Support Troop with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. In June, his Troop was formed into a Police Advisory Team as part of the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group.
On 9 September 2012, Sergeant Davidson's Police Advisory Team was on patrol with the Afghan Uniform Police in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. Sergeant Davidson's Ridgback, the rear vehicle of the column, struck an improvised explosive device (IED) and, sadly, he was fatally wounded.
Born on 13 May 1980, Sergeant Davidson lived in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and started his working life as a pavement re-surfacer. He joined the Army in August 1998 and arrived at The Light Dragoons in January 1999. He deployed on operational tours to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan with C Squadron known as The Legion.
He was a devoted husband to Sam and doting father to his two boys, Jayden and Jamie.
Sergeant Davidson's wife Samantha paid the following tribute:
"My gorgeous husband Lee, we all can't believe you have gone. You are my best friend, lover and the best husband and father I could have ever have wished for. You really are the total package - good looking, kind, loving, generous and the best dad I have ever known.
"Your memories we had together will be treasured in my mind and heart forever, your children will grow up knowing all this about you. You will never be forgotten. NEVER. All our love your Samantha, Jayden, Jamie and your little daughter whose on the way very soon. X"
Lieutenant Colonel Sam Plant MBE, Commanding Officer, The Light Dragoons, said:
"Sergeant Davidson will be remembered as a simply superb soldier and a wonderful man. From the outset of training for this, his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, he demonstrated the sort of professionalism and determination that had long been his trademark.
"He was the most natural leader of men and soldiers flourished under his command - he set the perfect tone and example and cared deeply for his soldiers' welfare. Rarely to be seen without a broad smile on his face, his enormous popularity was borne out of deep respect and his unbreakable sense of fun.
"Utterly loyal and ferociously hard-working, he was, and always will be, an inspiration to so many.