TRIBUTES have been paid to a young soldier from Guisborough killed in Iraq.

Christopher Maddison, who was 24, died from wounds suffered during a river patrol in southern Iraq, on Sunday.

Marine Maddison was on one of two landing craft vehicles, crewed by men from Plymouth-based 539 Assault Squadron, when they came under fire as they checked a waterway near the Al Faw peninsula with other marines from 40 Commando.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence confirmed one was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, throwing the men into the water. Immediate rescue attempts were foiled by machine gun fire, although four casualties were later pulled from the water.

On Tuesday, children from Laurence Jackson School, in Guisborough, were told of the former pupil's death.

Headteacher Chris Lord said: "Christopher left in 1995, but there are still quite a few staff here who remember him.

"We talked about him in assembly and a flag has been flown at half-mast, but our thoughts are also very much with his family."

Marine Maddison was an accomplished sportsman who represented his school at football, rugby and athletics.

Mr Lord said: "I will remember him as pleasant, friendly, helpful, hard-working and very modest."

Marine Maddison's mother and stepfather, who run a hotel in Scarborough, issued a statement on Monday.

It said: "He was a man of character, honour and principles, who always fought for those less able. As he lived, he died - with strength and courage."