The family of a British soldier killed in a grenade blast in Afghanistan have paid tribute to their "irreplaceable" hero.
Lance Corporal James Ashworth, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, died while on patrol to disrupt insurgent activity in the north of Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand Province on Wednesday when an enemy grenade exploded in his path.
He died despite receiving immediate medical treatment.
The family of the 23-year-old from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said: "We are devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and boyfriend.
"He meant the world to everyone and has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts. We ask that we are given time to grieve and we sincerely thank everyone for their condolences."
Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder MBE, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Lance Corporal Ashworth was an outstanding soldier whose loss has moved us all. A real self-starter, he excelled in everything that he undertook. Fit, strong and brilliant at his job, he set the bar very high.
"Indeed, such was his calmness under pressure, his charisma, and his selflessness that he made an exemplary junior leader."