A FORMER Dewsbury school pupil is one of the six soldiers killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Cpl Jake Hartley, of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, would have turned 21 tomorrow.
The former Earlsheaton Technology College pupil was on a mounted patrol when the Warrior armoured vehicle he was travelling in was caught in an explosion.
Cpl Hartley’s girlfriend, Lizzy Nash, of Wilton, Batley, said she was not ready to speak publicly about him.
“It’s too heartbreaking and I don’t feel ready at all. He’s a true hero and I just need to come to terms with it,” she said.
It is believed Cpl Hartley had only returned to Afghanistan on Valentine’s Day. He had previously spent several weeks there, but had returned home for a short time.
Cpl Hartley was well known in Dewsbury and Batley and family and friends gathered at the Butchers Arms in Staincliffe on Wednesday night to remember him.
Landlord Matthew Wimpenny said a group of more than 60 people toasted the soldier.
“He had a good send-off, even in his absence,” he said.
Pick up a copy of today’s Reporter for the full story and tributes