Jonathan “Kit” Kitulagoda, 23, a private in the Rifle Volunteers E (Devon and Dorset) Company, a Territorial Army unit, died on Wednesday, January 28 in an attack by a suicide bomber less than a mile from Camp Souter, the British base in Kabul.
Mrs Kitulagoda, his mother, said, "We knew that one day he might join the services so, after he had spent some time travelling, so we didn't try and stop him from going. He was capable of making his own decisions."
Pte Kitulagoda, known as "Kit" to his colleagues, had been in Afghanistan since November after graduating from Plymouth University with a degree in marine navigation the previous June. Before joining the Territorial Army, he had been an active member of the combined Cadet Force and had won the accolade of best cadet in 1997.
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Blewett, the commanding officer of The Rifle Volunteers, said he was a "popular and committed member of E (Devon and Dorset) Company. Jonathan Kitulagoda was a young man of 23 who played a full and professional role as a Territorial Army infantryman ".
Jonathan had graduated from the University of Plymouth in June 2003 with a BSc in Marine Navigation. He was a member of the TA while studying at Plymouth. In tribute, his course tutor, Captain John Hooper, said: "The news of Jonathon's death whilst on active service has deeply saddened all who knew him at the university. Having recently graduated with a well-deserved degree, he was about to reap the rewards of three years of hard work. Always a cheerful character and well liked by his fellow students, he will be sadly missed."