SAS soldiers have paid tribute to a fallen comrade with a poignant parachute jump.
After the funeral of Sergeant Matt Tonroe – the first British soldier killed in combat against Islamic State – four black-clad members of the elite regiment leapt from a helicopter 3,000ft above their secret base.
They quickly deployed their parachutes and landed near the SAS’s regimental chapel.
Sgt Tonroe, 33, was on a covert operation to capture an IS commander when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the Syrian town of Manbij three weeks ago.
An American special forces soldier was also killed and five US troops were wounded.
About 200 SAS soldiers and troops from Sgt Tonroe’s former unit, the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, gathered at the SAS barracks near Hereford on Friday to pay tribute.
Members of the soldier’s family were also present.
An SAS source said: ‘It was a fitting tribute after a stirring funeral service. Sgt Tonroe was a popular bloke and a very capable soldier.
‘So many people turned up that they had to erect a marquee inside the camp to fit everyone in.’
Sgt Tonroe, from Manchester, joined the Army in 2004 and served in Afghanistan with the Paras before transferring to the SAS in 2010.
Following his death, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson hailed him as a courageous and gifted soldier, and added: ‘His unflinching commitment will never be forgotten.’