Tributes to 'true hero' soldier

Family and friends of a Cheshire soldier killed saving his best friend in Afghanistan have paid tribute to him.

The family of 20 year old Private Thomas Sefton, who served with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, died after saving his best friend from a bomb in Afghanistan.

He was injured on Sunday but died in hospital in Birmingham the following day, surrounded by his family. 

He was from Warrington.

On the day he was wounded he had gone out on a patrol to clear a route of improvised explosive devices around a patrol base.  He was next to his best friend, Private Charlie Emina, when a bomb detonated.

Private Emina said:

"Sefo was my closest friend in the world - we were like brothers. He was always the life and soul wherever he went."

He continued: "He loved his friends and family more than anything. He was always first out of the gate on patrol and had pride doing his job for his country. He saved the lives of his section on two occasions and on that tragic day he saved my life and gave his own."

Private Sephton's family, who were at his bedside when his life support machine was switched off, said in a statement:

"Tom meant the world to everyone who knew him.  We are so very proud of our brave soldier. He will be with us forever in
our hearts.''

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, commanding officer of 1 Mercian, also paid tribute:

He said: "He was courageous and selfless to the last, placing himself in harm's way to save others.''