A SOLDIER from Cumbria has died in Afghanistan, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Kingsman David Robert Shaw, 23, from Barrow, died from a gunshot wound when his checkpoint came under attack at Lashkar Gah in the Helmand Province.

He sustained the wound on Monday but died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Wednesday.

Now family and colleagues have paid tribute to their hero, who served with the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

In a statement given to the Ministry of Defence, his family said: “David was a much-loved son and brother who was proud to have served his country in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

“He loved his family and friends and would always make time for a hug for everybody.

“He enjoyed playing football, running and was an Arsenal fan.

“He also followed his local team, Barrow AFC. He has touched many lives.

“He will be missed and never forgotten.”

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood, Commanding Officer with Kingsman Shaw’s regiment, also praised his brave colleague.

He said: “The death of Kingsman David Shaw is a devastating tragedy.

“The loss of our fallen comrade, who has fought so bravely and fiercely for three months, is deeply felt by all in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

“David was a true Cumbrian and Kingsman: physically and mentally tough, a warrior through and through, utterly loyal to those he worked with and possessing a sense of humour that touched us all.

“Known throughout the Battalion as ‘Doctor S’ he was the most popular of individuals.

“His joking and light-heartedness would lift the gloomiest of situations and have us all laughing. He was someone we all wanted to be with and have around.

“Highly experienced in operating in Afghanistan, he was conducting his second tour having previously served here in 2010.

“Both times he deployed regularly into some of the most dangerous parts of the country but was unflinching in his bravery and courage.

“Displaying nothing but professionalism and focus on the task, his ability to inspire those about him marked him out as a future leader.

“Everyone wanted to be next to David on patrol as they knew he would be there for them.”

He added: “The loss of David has left a gaping hole in the Battalion and in our lives.

“Our memories of him will make us laugh and cry and renew our resolve to succeed with the mission - his sacrifice will not have been in vain.

“Yet it is to David's family that I wish to express our deepest sympathies. I hope that knowing David was the best of Kingsmen, a true warrior and friend, who died doing what he loved, may offer them some comfort.”

Kingsman Shaw joined the Army in February 2008.

He successfully completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and was posted to 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Following this, he deployed to British Army Training Unit Suffield, in Canada, in the summer of 2009 with Corunna Company, where he was employed as a rifleman in a mechanised platoon.

He then conducted pre-deployment training for Operation Herrick 12 and deployed with Corunna Company in March 2010 to Nad-e Ali District in Southern Helmand.

Lieutenant Michael Borup, Officer Commanding 2 Platoon, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said: “I have seen no other soldier show so much courage in adversity, generosity to people he did not know, and loyalty to his friends, his Company and those that he loved.

“Kingsman Shaw strived for the opportunity to make a difference. His contribution has been invaluable.

“I could not have wished for a better senior soldier and he will be sorely missed.”