The devastated father of a British soldier killed in Iraq has paid tribute to his son.

Corporal Matthew Cornish, 29, who served with the 1st Battalion Light Infantry, became the first to die in an attack on a UK military base in Iraq.

He was on duty at a multi-national force base in Basra when a mortar round exploded in the perimeter.

His father Robin, 60, from Pool-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, said he was devastated.

"I'm proud of him as a soldier and as a son. He did the Army proud," he said.

Mr Cornish said his son was a dedicated soldier and had been in the Army since 18. He said he was due to take his sergeant exams.

"He would have got on. He was determined to go up the ladder and he would have got there," he said.

Cpl Cornish, who grew up near Otley, Yorkshire, was married to Abby, 28, and had two children, Ethan, aged three, and one-year-old Libby.

Mr Cornish said his son's wife had been left "devastated".

He added: "He lived for his family and spoiled his children."

Cpl Cornish joined the Army in Leeds and began his career in Cyprus, serving in Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone before being posted to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. He was three months into a third tour.