Cpl Rodney Wilson of A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, was killed trying to rescue a colleague under heavy fire.
Cpl Rodney Wilson was killed by small arms fire
His commanding officer said it was a "supremely selfless act".
Cpl Wilson, 30, had been taking part in a mission to detain insurgents in the Al Atiyah district, north west of Basra City on 7 June.
He was evacuated by helicopter to the field hospital at the British base in Basra Air Station but died from his injuries.
Tributes to 'selfless' UK soldier
Cpl Rodney Wilson was killed by small arms fire
The 150th member of the British military to die in Iraq was carrying out a "supremely selfless act" when he was shot, his commanding officer said.
Cpl Rodney Wilson, 30, from A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, was killed as he rescued a wounded colleague in heavy fire on Thursday.
His fiancee Michelle said: "I loved him deeply. I miss him. A huge part of my life has been taken away."
He died during a mission to detain insurgents, the MoD said.
Three other coalition troops were hurt in the operation in Basra's Al Atiyah area but none sustained life threatening injuries, the MoD added.
After being shot, Cpl Wilson, who was born in Germany, was flown by helicopter to the field hospital in the British base at Basra Air Station but died from his injuries at 0220 local time (2320 BST).
The Rifles are operating in Iraq as part of 1st Mechanised Brigade and the operation resulted in the brigade uncovering the largest weapons cache it has found to date.
Five suspected insurgents were also detained.
Cpl Rodney Wilson was a natural leader, his officers said
Cpl Wilson, based at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, served as a section commander in the Rifles and was awarded a distinction in the Platoon Sergeant's Battle Course - placing him in the top 2% of infantry soldiers.
He leaves a fiancee as well as his family, friends and dog Missy.
His commanding officer, Lt Col Patrick Sanders, described him as a "charismatic and inspiring" figure who led his men by example and gave up his life for a colleague.
Referring to the way Cpl Wilson died, he said: "It was a supremely selfless and brave act - he would not have thought twice - and he gave his life that one of his beloved riflemen might live.
"He had that rare gift of natural leadership that comes to only a few; clarity of thought, crisp and sure-footed decision-making, strength of purpose and a happy combination of a magnetic personality and absolute self-assurance that drew riflemen to him.
"Where Cpl Wilson led, others would always follow. He was, in the words of his own riflemen, 'a legend'."
'A free spirit'
He added that Cpl Wilson was also a "maverick" who loved to challenge convention and upset apple carts.
"One just had to admire him - he could charm the birds out of the trees, call black white, inflict a mischievous prank on you and have you agreeing with him and laughing all at the same time," he said.
"He was remarkable and truly unique - a free spirit - and we will all miss him terribly."
He was in every sense an impressive man
Maj Mark Wilson
Cpl Wilson's company commander, Maj Mark Wilson, described him as a joker who recently covered the inside of a colleague's helmet with shoe polish.
He was an avid rugby supporter, who loved Australia and planned to move there to join the Australian Army, he added.
"I knew Cpl Wilson, or Will as he was known to his friends, for four years and I can honestly say that he was the epitome of the thinking rifleman," he said.
"A deep-thinker, intelligent and, irritatingly, nearly always right; he was in every sense an impressive man."
He said as he had set off on the operation that would end his life, he had a look of "sheer excitement".
Cpl Wilson is the 150th member of the UK armed forces to die in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
Interesting concept, and there is no doubt that this guy displayed great valour, in running out unheavy fire to save a wounded mate. The fact that he was thus killed, certianly brings a great deal of emphases on just how heavy the fire was. There have certainly been situations of late where MC have been awarded for such acts. However, there have also been situations in my opinion where MC`s have been won for less things to. A VC may in this case be applied for (if thats the right word), but I think that in all likley hood, it will not be awarded, maybe a CGC or GC. I certainly hope they give him something.
I might be wrong, so dont hold this against me, but a GC can only be awarded for acts of bravery not under enemy fire. The GC is regarded as just as high as the VC, so he could not be awarded the GC, it can't happen...but as you rightly said, a posthumous CGC could.
Like I said, I might be wrong, but he does deserve some medal for what he did.
Politically correct in what way ? Because he was a Paratrooper ? Seems a bit of a strange reason in a political correctness kind of way. What about he had black hair ? is that what you mean ? Or where you talking about his wife ? Please explain further your comment
Also I never knew the CGC was a UN medal, well you live and learn, didn't realise 1 RHA were part of the UN when their lad won his CGC.
Inappropriate use of a smiley, Chocolate_frog - perhaps you'd like to edit the humour out before I do.
Wikipedia says MC can't be awarded posthumously. The MOD website doesn't specify for either MC or CGC, but does specifically say that the VC may be awarded posthumously. There was a review of medals in 1993, which led to some being discontinued and the CGC being instituted. Might the criteria for the MC have changed since 1993?
but Captain Hamiltons MC was awarded in 1982 so some one in the MOD is wrong some where, personaly i think he should have recived a VC as for the latest incedent i sencerly hope he gets the highest recognition and i hope the lad from The Vikings who rescued his mate form a burning viking armoured vehicle under fire in afganistan gets a VC
Balldrick - my point was that the criteria allowing a posthumous award may have changed in 1993 when the medals were reviewed. Thus it may have been possible in 1982 but might not be now. I don't actually know this to be the case mind you.