Iraq War 2003 - 2009



The Queen's Lancashire Regiment

Capt David Jones

 

Captain David Martyn Jones

Captain David Martyn Jones of 1st Battalion, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, was killed on 14 August in a bomb attack on a military ambulance in Basrah.

Aged 29, Captain Jones came from Louth in Lincolnshire and was married. He had been working on civil-military cooperation projects in Basrah to reconstruct the city after the years of neglect and repression under Saddam.
Dai Jones joined the Army in December 1991 as a soldier in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He quickly rose to the rank of Corporal and was selected as a potential officer. He began officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in September 1998 and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery the following August, serving with 22 Regiment Royal Artillery. In March 2001 he volunteered, with several of his soldiers, to accompany the 1st Battalion, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, on a six month operational tour in Northern Ireland, and transferred to the Regiment in July 2001. He was appointed Second in Command of a Rifle Company, first in South Armagh, then, from September 2001, at Catterick. In 2002, the Battalion conducted intensive operational training, including exercises on Salisbury Plain and in Canada at the British Army Training Unit Suffield. Captain Jones attended a number of infantry officer training courses, including that for Sniper Instructors and the NATO instructors for Fighting in Built Up Areas, gaining a distinction on the latter.
In January 2003, he volunteered to deploy to the Gulf on Operation Telic, serving as a civil-military liaison officer, his duties including overseeing the distribution of humanitarian aid, improving local infrastructure and helping the Iraqi communities establish local councils. After a period of leave in the UK in May, he returned to Iraq with the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, again undertaking civil-military liaison duties with an infantry company based in Basrah.
Captain Jones was a professional, enthusiastic and out-going officer who cared deeply about the soldiers he commanded and always looked to learn new skills to improve his ability as an infantry officer. He thoroughly enjoyed soldiering and was a willing volunteer for courses and operational deployments. He possessed a superb sense of humour, which endeared him to his fellow officers and soldiers. Physically fit, he was a talented sportsman, excelling at Rugby Union and a valued member of the Battalion Rugby League team. During his Army career, he had served in Botswana, Kenya, the United States, Canada, and on operations in Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Iraq.
Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca, his Commanding Officer, said:
"Dai Jones was a courageous, warm hearted and very popular officer who will be sorely missed. The Battalion's thoughts are very much with his family, and especially his wife Izzy."

Capt Jones - and his wife Isobel

Captain Dai Jones, seen with his wife Isobel at their wedding.

His wife Isobel said:
"I am extremely proud of Dai. He was a wonderful husband who served his country with great courage."
Her parents, Mr and Mrs Myers, added:
"Our daughter Isobel and Dai were married on July 13, 2002. It was the most perfect day. He was a beautiful person both inside and out. His kindness, warmth and generosity of spirit touched everyone he met.
"They were immensely happy. Our family are finding his loss very hard to bear, but take some consolation in the knowledge that he died doing the job he loved, in the service of his country."
And Darren Howell, a close friend, said:
"Dai was a loyal friend and a loving husband to Issy. He was due to be my best man; his loss is deeply felt by my fiancée and I."



Royal Regiment Fusiliers

Fusilier Turrington


Fusilier Kelan. J. Turrington

Fusilier Kelan. J. Turrington

Killed in Action 6th April 2003


Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade and Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning

Killed 5th September 2005

Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade

 

Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade

On behalf of the Company, Major Thorp also expressed his most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Fusilier Meade, and paid the following tribute:
"Born in Plymouth, on the Island of Montserrat, Fusilier Meade joined the Fusiliers in 2002. During his three years with the Battalion in Britain, Northern Ireland and Iraq he made a great many friends within C Company and across the wider Battalion. Those who knew him best and closest were most aware of his fantastic sense of humour, his ability to laugh or crack a joke in any situation. He will be sorely missed by us all.
"He knew the importance of the work he was doing in Iraq, and approached it with dedication and professionalism. He was looking forward to moving with the Battalion to Cyprus at the end of the six month tour. 
"All who knew him in the Company and across the Regiment remember his cheerfulness, his positive approach to life and above all his friendship.
"His family and friends are in the thoughts and prayers of the whole Company at this difficult time."

Fusilier Meade's family said:

"The family are tremendously proud of Donal and couldn't ask for a better son. Donal will be deeply missed, but we take comfort in that he died doing a job he loved. We would now request privacy so that we can come to accept what has happened."


 On the morning of 5 September, 20 year old Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade, from Plumstead in South East London, and 22 year old Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning, from Erith in Kent, died as a result of wounds sustained during a patrol near Az Zubayr, Basrah province, Iraq. Their Company, C Company, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is currently serving alongside the Coldstream Guards in Basrah Province, Southern Iraq.

Fusilier Meade and Fusilier Manning were both acting as top cover sentries in the first vehicle of a two vehicle patrol, when what appears to have been an improvised explosive device detonated. Their vehicle was disabled, and both soldiers were mortally wounded. Fusilier Meade and Fusilier Manning were the only two casualties.


Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning

Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning

The Officer Commanding C Company, Major Matthew Thorp, has paid the following tribute to Fusilier Manning:
"May I start by expressing my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Fusilier Manning.
"In the two years with the Fusiliers in both Belfast and Iraq, Fusilier Manning had made many friends in both C and D Companies and across the Battalion, he will be sorely missed by them all. It was typical of Stephen’s love of his profession and dedication that he volunteered to deploy with C Company to Iraq in April.
"At the end of the six month tour he was due to return to D Company, and was looking forward to a bright future and life with the Battalion in Cyprus. "Above all, his many friends in the Company and across the Regiment remember his generosity of spirit, and his cheerfulness.
"The thoughts and prayers of the whole Company are with his family and friends at this terrible time."

Fusilier Manning's family issued the following statement:
Stephen was a loving son and grandson who will be deeply missed. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job that he loved.

The Commanding Officer of 2nd Regiment Royal Fusiliers, Lt Col John Whitwam MBE, who is based in Belfast, said:

"The whole of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers mourns the tragic loss of these two fine young men. Both were volunteers to serve in Iraq with C Company of 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Both enjoyed the excitement, the sense of purpose and the camaraderie. They understood the dangers but were proud to be soldiers and recognised that they were doing a difficult, occasionally thankless but always worthwhile job. We offer our sincere condolences to their families."


Sgt John 'Jonah' Jones

Sgt John 'Jonah' Jones of 1st Battalion
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Sergeant John Jones killed in Basra on 20 November 2005 as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb at approximately 1230 hrs local time in Basra Iraq. He was on a routine patrol as the commander when the incident occurred.

Sergeant John 'Jonah' Jones was born on 21st April 1974 in Birmingham. He lived in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham and attended the Park Fields School before joining the British Army at the age of 16.

Sergeant Jones joined the British Army in June 1990 and completed his basic training at the Junior Leaders' Regiment, Shorncliffe. Completing his training in June 1991, he joined A Company 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Hemer, Germany. His talent for boxing was soon noted and within a year Sergeant Jones had represented the 3rd Battalion in a Novice competition. Sergeant Jones moved to the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Warminster 1993 when the 3rd Battalion merged with the 1st Battalion as part of 'Options for Change'. As a Fusilier in Y Company of the 1st Battalion he saw active service in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Kosovo. In 1998 he was posted to Army Training Regiment Bassingbourne as an instructor where he honed both his fishing and instructional skills. He returned to the 1st Battalion in 2000.

Sergeant Jones served with the 1st Battalion in both the War Fighting and Peace Support phases of Operation TELIC 1 as part of the First Fusiliers Reconnaissance Group in early 2003. He was initially employed as a Recce CVR(T) Car Commander. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2003, becoming a Platoon Sergeant in Z Company and he led his Platoon in winning the Battalion's Military Skills Competition in March 2004. He was a dedicated and consummate professional, who hated tardiness, was physically fit and had a keen eye for detail. Always willing to lead by example, he was never afraid to get his hands dirty and set high standards for himself and those whom he commanded, but he was always fair, just and compassionate.

Sgt Jones was a keen sportsman. He boxed for both his Company and the Battalions he served, was a keen footballer and represented the Army at fishing. He was popular with all ranks from across the Battalion. He possessed a dry, but razor sharp sense of humour which could lighten any situation. A committed Aston Villa fan, he made every effort to never miss a televised match and regularly invited his platoon to his house to join him. 

He was a loyal husband to Nickie and a devoted father to his son Jack, 5. He was a highly professional soldier with energy, charisma and compassion. He was an immensely well liked and respected member of the First Fusiliers and he will be sorely missed by all those that had the privilege of serving with him.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Marr MBE, said:

"It is with deep regret that I must announce that, yesterday afternoon at 1230 hours local, a British Army patrol from the First Fusiliers was
attacked by a roadside bomb in Basrah City, Southern Iraq. The explosion hit the leading vehicle of a two vehicle land-rover patrol as it was returning to its base after completing a routine patrolling task. Sergeant John Jones, the patrol commander, received a fatal wound and despite the best possible efforts of the medical staff at the scene he could not be saved. 

"Sergeant John Jones" tragic and untimely death has come as an immense blow and shock to his immediate family, his friends and all members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. 'Jonah' Jones was a much loved and highly popular member of our Battalion, the First Fusiliers. Brimming with energy, a love of soldiering and an endearing sense of humour and compassion for his men, he will be sorely missed. Whether it was on operations or during training with the soldiers he led so ably, or on the sports field or in the boxing ring, he showed remarkable qualities of professionalism, grit and absolute determination. Having already completed a tour of Iraq in March 2003, he looked forward with optimism and determination to playing his part in bringing a semblance of stability and normality to Iraq. In the short period of this tour, he and his patrol had already established an excellent rapport with the local population and he was enjoying the challenges of his role.

"Sergeant Jones was an outstanding soldier, a wonderful husband and a loving father, who always found time to speak to and encourage those around him. He had a smile for everyone. We are left remembering his drive, his courage, his humour and his typically understated contribution to the Battalion. We will never forget him. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his wife, Nickie, and his young son, Jack. I would ask the media to respect the family's privacy at this very difficult time." 

Sergeant Jones' wife, Nickie, paid the following tribute to her husband:

"Jonah was a real all round sportsman. He boxed, played football and was passionate about Aston Villa. He loved being a soldier and was very proud of his Regiment. But most of all he was a fantastic Dad and loving Husband.


52nd Lowland Regiment (Volunteers)

Private Jason Smith 

Pte Jason Smith

Died in southern Iraq on 13 August. 
The cause of his death is the subject of an investigation but was not the result of enemy action.
Aged 32, Jason Smith had served with the Territorial Army since 1992 and came from Hawick. A soldier in the 52nd Lowland Regiment, 
he was serving in Iraq attached to the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers. He was unmarried but had a long-term partner.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Wilson, said:

"Jason Smith was a very well liked and much respected member of 52nd Lowland Regiment and of D Company. He joined the Regiment in October 1992 and, since then, has taken part enthusiastically in all regimental activities, including exercises in Cyprus and Slovakia, demonstrating great commitment to the unit. He genuinely loved being a member of the TA and was thoroughly excited at being mobilised.
He saw it as his chance to do his job for real and to contribute to the restoration of Iraq. He will be sadly missed by all his friends and colleagues in the Regiment."


52nd Lowland Regiment (Volunteers)

Fusilier R. Beeston

Fusilier Russell Beeston

Fusilier Russell Beeston was fatally wounded during an incident at Ali As Sharqi on 27 August 2003. Fusilier Beeston was aged 26 and 
was a Territorial Army soldier in 52nd Lowland Regiment (Volunteers), serving attached to the 1st Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers
in Iraq. He was married and came from Govan.
The Acting Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, the King's Own Scottish Borderers, Major George Wilson said:
"Despite receiving immediate medical attention from his comrades, whilst under fire, regretfully Fusilier Russell Beeston died from his wounds. The thoughts and prayers of the Battalion are with Fusilier Beeston's family. He was a well liked and respected soldier, highly regarded by his peers.
The family issued the following statement:
"The family is totally devastated. Russell was a soldier doing his duty in Iraq and will be sadly missed by his family and friends."


Royal Artillery

Capt J. Linton

Captain James Linton

Captain James Linton collapsed and died on 18 July following a training run at a British base in Az Zubayr.
Aged 43, he was married with three children and served with 40 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Our thoughts are with his family and with Captain Linton's friends and colleagues.


Gunner Stephen Robert Wright's coffin is greeted by Chaplains at RAF Brize Norton

Gunner Wright and Gunner Vanua died on Monday 4 September 2006 from injuries sustained from a
roadside bomb attack on their vehicle patrol near the town of Ad Dayr, north of Basra City,
as it was returning to base following a routine task training the Iraqi Police.

12th Regiment Royal Artillery are stationed at Sennelager in the heart of Germany.
They are the Close Air Defence Regiment for 1 (UK) Armoured Division.
The Regiment consists of 3 Fighting Batterys, equipped with the state of the art
High Velocity Missile System, a Headquarter Battery and a Regimental Workshop.

Gunner Stephen Robert Wright killed in Iraq on Monday 4 September 2006.

Gunner Wright, 20, from 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, died as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb at approximately 1300hrs local time near the town of Ad Dayr, north of Basra City. He was on a routine patrol in support of a Danish reconstruction team when the incident occurred. 

The explosion hit his vehicle patrol as it was returning to base following a routine task training the Iraqi Police. Very sadly the incident killed two soldiers from the Battery, including Gunner Wright.

Gunner Stephen ‘Trigger’ Wright was born on 18 May 1986 in Preston, and grew up on Belcarres Road, Leyland, Lancashire. He decided at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in the British Army, and enlisted on 11 December 2002 as a 16 year old. 

After completing his training 'Trigger' was posted to 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, joining 58 (Eyre’s) Battery Royal Artillery on 2 April 2004. The deployment to Iraq was 'Trigger’s' first operational tour and he had been very keen prior to deployment to ‘do his bit’, an attitude which he maintained in theatre. 

He was serving with 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, normally based in Sennelager, Germany, as part of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery. The Battery currently forms part of the Danish-led Basra Rural North Battle Group and is four months into a six-and-a-half month tour of Iraq under the overall command of the UK’s 20th Armoured Brigade. 

'Trigger' was highly regarded by his commanders and peers alike and undoubtedly had a bright future ahead of him. Indeed he had been selected to attend a promotional course on return to Germany. He was a soldier who had embraced the Army life and what it could offer him and looked forward to a long career in the Royal Artillery; where he was very much a member of ‘the family’.

'Trigger' was a well-respected member of the Battery, where he was well known for his sense of humour. He was a quiet man but could always be relied upon to shine when times were hard and you least expected it. He had an infectious smile which kept the Multiple in high spirits, both in training and on tour.

He was not an active sportsman and had been told on many occasions that he had two left feet. Nevertheless he loved taking part, even if that meant injuring his friends. A very social person, 'Trigger' was never one for sitting around and letting the world pass him by and would lead from the front at any social event. Gunner Wright was single. 

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Campbell, 
from Headquarters of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery in Sennelager, Germany, said: 


"It is with immense sadness that I learned of the death on operational service of Gunner ‘Trigger’ Wright, in Iraq. Gunner Wright was a valued member of the Regiment who was partway through his tour of duty doing what he wanted in life; serving with his Regiment and his team mates on operations.

"This personable young man had already made a big impact with his Battery. When I last visited 58 (Eyre’s) Battery in July, I was struck by Gunner Wright’s confidence, growing maturity, and belief in himself. A quiet man, never one to offer unnecessary comment, he preferred to speak only when he had something of value to add. 

"Gunner ‘Trigger’ Wright had very much come of age in Iraq where he displayed unwavering loyalty to the Battery, his multiple and his team. To lose such a valued young man under these tragic circumstances has affected all us enormously. We mourn Gunner Wright’s passing and will do all we can to support his many friends and family.

"He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues in Germany and within the Battery serving in Iraq."

The following statement was issued by the family of Gunner Stephen Wright:

"Stephen’s death has come as a massive shock to his family who are still grieving the death of his mother, Elaine, who died suddenly 10 months ago. Stephen has since made his home, when on leave, with his grandparents Robert and Shirley Wright, of Leyland.

"Stephen attended Wellfield High School. On leaving school, he had a short time in the cadets before joining the Army. He spent an enjoyable 12 months at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate before being posted to Germany and then to Iraq.

"Stephen was a quiet, happy, young man who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his friends and family. A few weeks ago, he spent time at home with his grandparents on R&R before returning to Iraq. He was looking forward to going back to finish his duties. Stephen loved the Army life. It was all he wanted to do. The whole family is very proud of him."


Gunner Wright and Gunner Vanua died on Monday 4 September 2006 from injuries sustained from a
roadside bomb attack on their vehicle patrol near the town of Ad Dayr, north of Basra City,
as it was returning to base following a routine task training the Iraqi Police.

On 4 September 2006 Gunner Samuela Vanua, 27, from 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery died as a result of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb at approximately 1300hrs local time near the town of Ad Dayr, north of Basra City. 

He was on a routine patrol in support of a Danish reconstruction team when the incident occurred. The explosion hit his land-rover patrol as it was returning to their base following a routine task training the Iraqi Police. Very sadly the incident killed two soldiers from the Battery including Gunner Vanua.


Gunner Samuela Vanua, known as ‘Sammy’, was born on 26 May 1979 in Fiji. He joined the Army on 16 April 2002 and was posted to 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Osnabrück, Germany, on 18 November 2002 following his basic training. 

He was attached to 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, part of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, from 3/29 Battery, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery. 58 Battery currently forms part of the Danish-led Basra Rural North Battle Group and is four months into a six-and-a-half month tour of Iraq under the overall command of the UK’s 20th Armoured Brigade.

He was the archetypal Gunner: tough, hard-working and resourceful. He was hugely popular in 3/29 Battery, throughout 4th Regiment and with his many friends across the Army. 

Gunner Vanua was a soldiers’ soldier who enjoyed the diverse challenges of military life. He had proved himself to be a skilful, reliable field gunner on the AS90 artillery gun during a number of demanding exercises in Germany and Canada. He was always willing to pass on his hard-earned experience to the newer soldiers, demonstrating the clearest potential for early promotion. 

This same commitment and professionalism was even more apparent on operations, where he spent the majority of his relatively short career. He deployed in the dismounted infantry role with 4th Regiment in Northern Ireland in 2003 and Iraq in 2004-05, where as a rifleman in Basra he was courageous, utterly dependable and ready to tackle any challenge.

"A high quality, motivated soldier of whom the Army, his Regiment and his Battery is rightly very proud. Gunner Vanua was a credit to Fiji and will be sorely missed by all."

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Campbell

It is testament to Gunner Vanua’s robust character and selfless dedication that he volunteered to deploy to Iraq with elements of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery in April 2006, so soon after returning to his own unit.

A strong team player on the sports pitch as well as at work he played a number of sports to a high standard. His main passion was rugby union where he represented the British Army (Germany) and played a key part in the Regiment’s successes over a number of seasons. His deft touch and aggression at scrum-half will be sorely missed when the Regiment joins the Premier League next season. 

Gunner Samuela Vanua was a superb soldier who was immensely proud to be part of the British Army and the Royal Artillery. He will be sadly missed by all-ranks of his parent unit, 4th Regiment, and by everyone else who was fortunate enough to know this kind and genuine young man. 

Gunner Vanua’s parents live in Suva, Fiji. He was single.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Campbell, 
from Headquarters of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery in Sennelager, Germany, said:


"I am deeply distressed by the tragic death of Gunner ‘Sammy’ Vanua, killed on operations in Iraq on 4 September 2006 whilst serving with 58 (Eyre’s) Battery. Gunner Vanua was attached to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery from 4th Regiment, based in Osnabrück, Germany for the duration of this Iraq tour of duty with 20th Armoured Brigade.

"Although, due to the nature of his attachment, Gunner Vanua was not widely known across my Regiment, he had made an emphatic mark on operations in Iraq, establishing himself quickly as a valued member of the team and very much a character within the Battery.

"When I last visited the Battery in July I got to know Gunner Vanua when he accompanied me on a long patrol. I was impressed by his excellent attitude, infectious cheerfulness, conduct and confidence. I have many Fijian soldiers in my Regiment; I could see he was there with the best of them.

"His cheeky grin characterised a mischievous good humour that endeared him to all. Popular throughout the Regiment, he was fantastic company at work and socially. 

"A young man growing in confidence and maturity, Gunner Vanua had obvious potential for a hugely successful career. A high quality, motivated soldier of whom the Army, his Regiment and his Battery is rightly very proud. Gunner Vanua was a credit to Fiji and will be sorely missed by all.

"Our thoughts and prayers at this dreadfully sad time go especially to his family and friends in Fiji, who will feel his loss most keenly."


Gunner Thornton died on 7 September 2006 as a result of injuries sustained two days
earlier from a single gunshot wound whilst on patrol in the town of Al Qurna, north of Basra.

Gunner Thornton, 22, from 58 (Eyre's) Battery, 12th Regiment Royal Artillery died on 7 September 2006 as a result of injuries sustained two days earlier from a single gunshot wound whilst on patrol in the town of Al Qurna, north of Basra, Iraq. 

His injuries were so serious that, despite the best treatment available, the medical team involved were unable to save him.

Gunner Lee 'Thorny' Thornton was born in Blackpool on 25 November 1983. From an early age he had wanted to be a soldier and he enlisted in his home town on 30 August 2000 at the age of sixteen.

After completion of his training, Thorny was posted to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery on 20 November 2001, joining 58 (Eyre's) Battery. He had a busy and varied career and in addition to exercises in Germany, Great Britain, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Poland and Canada, he deployed to Iraq in 2003 on Operation TELIC 1.

He was the epitome of the professional soldier; diligent, motivated, enthusiastic and tremendously fit. Thorny proved his credentials on numerous occasions during his career, most notably when competing in the arduous Cambrian Patrol competition in 2004 and 2005. 

He was serving with 58 (Eyre's) Battery, normally based in Sennelager, Germany, as part of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery. The Battery currently forms part of the Danish-led Basra Rural North Battle Group and is four months into a six-and-a-half month tour of Iraq under the overall command of the UK's 20th Armoured Brigade.

He had a gentle side, and this and his unstinting loyalty endeared him to all who were fortunate enough to meet and work alongside him. He was also a compassionate man and had run a marathon for charity in Blackpool in 2005, entirely of his own initiative and organisation. He was intending to organise another similar event on his return from Iraq.

"He showed no hesitation in driving out of the security of the Shaibah Logistics Base and facing the ever-present threat to British soldiers in Iraq." 
Lieutenant Colonel Jon Campbell
Outside of Army life, Thorny was a devoted family man who enjoyed nothing more than a game of football with his brother. He was also a very keen follower of Blackpool Football Club.

Thorny was widely respected for his skill and commitment as a soldier across the Regiment and there is absolutely no doubt that he would have forged a very successful career.

Gunner Thornton was engaged to be married.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Campbell, from Headquarters of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery in Sennelager, Germany, said:

"Today 12th Regiment has been given the sad news that Gunner Lee Thornton, serving with 58 (Eyre's) Battery in Iraq, died in hospital in Rammstein, Germany. Gunner Thornton suffered a gunshot wound in Iraq on Tuesday this week. 

"This has been a very sad week for the Battery for they had already lost two soldiers killed in a roadside bomb on Monday, where a further soldier was seriously wounded. It was typical of Gunner Thornton that he volunteered to participate in the very next patrol which went out after the attack a day earlier. This gesture of defiance by Lee and his colleagues was aimed at the people who perpetrated the first attack. He showed no hesitation in driving out of the security of the Shaibah Logistics Base and facing the ever-present threat to British soldiers in Iraq. 

"Lee Thornton was an excellent soldier. He was popular with his mates; he was widely known around the Regiment. His death has touched everyone; we are all numbed by his passing, especially as we had clung to hope that he would survive and pull through. 

"At this very sad time our immediate thoughts are with his parents Karen and Mick and with his fiancée Helen, all who were present at his bedside when he died. 

"12th Regiment has lost a fine young man; popular and bright. All those who knew Thorny were privileged to do so. The Battery, Regiment and the British Army have lost a soldier and a friend of the very highest calibre and he will be sadly missed."

Mr and Mrs Thornton, Gunner Thornton’s parents, said the family were struggling to come to terms with the devastating loss of their much-loved eldest son, Lee, and have released the following statement:

"We were immensely proud of Lee’s achievements. He lived life to the full and packed a lot in during his short time. Through the Army he managed to fulfil many of his goals in life. 

"He was a great sportsman and an avid supporter of Blackpool Football Club.

"Lee leaves behind his loving fiancée, Helen and three younger brothers Ryan (19), Sean (15) and Jake (13).


Gunner David Lawrence. Aged 25

 Gunner David Lawrence was killed in an ambush of British military vehicles on the outskirts of Basrah on 28 September 2004. Serving with 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, he was aged 25 and came from Wallsall.

David ‘Loz’ Lawrence enlisted in June 2001, joining the Royal Artillery. After training at the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright and the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, he joined B Battery, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, based in Tidworth, operating the AS-90 armoured self-propelled gun. Almost immediately he went on operations; serving with the Battery in Bosnia in 2002. He also took part in the provision of emergency cover under Operation Fresco during the industrial action by firefighters in 2002-3, and deployed on exercise to the British Army’s training facility in Canada. 

He deployed to Iraq with B Battery in June 2004 as a member of a Rifle Troop responsible for the mentoring and training of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Basrah Police. His Troop recently re-roled to provide escort teams to a group coordinating reconstruction projects in Basra province.

Gunner Lawrence was killed whilst escorting a visit to a new housing project. He was a cheerful soldier who always had a cheeky grin on his face; a keen footballer – he was very much a team player. He was very popular with all who knew him, as he was a good loyal friend. He will be sorely missed by all in the Regiment. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his parents and his girlfriend


Lt Tom Tanswell 


Lieutenant Tom Tanswell, aged 27, of 58 (Eyre's) Battery, 12th Regiment Royal Artillery.

Lt Tanswell died as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident near Shaibah Logistics Base, southwest of Basra City, on 27 October 2006, in which a military Snatch Land Rover collided with a civilian vehicle. Three other soldiers were slightly injured in the accident.

He was serving with 58 (Eyre's) Battery, normally based in Sennelager, Germany, as part of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery. The Battery currently forms part of the Danish-led Basra Rural North Battle Group, under the overall command of the UK's 20th Armoured Brigade, and is about two weeks from the end of a six-and-a-half month tour of Iraq.

Lieutenant Tom Tanswell was born in London on 23 February 1979. Prior to joining the Army he had gained a degree in Management and Marketing from the University of Manchester, and amongst other things, had also been the area manager for a major supermarket chain.

He commissioned into the Royal Artillery in August 2004 and, upon successful completion of the Royal Artillery Young Officers' Course, was posted to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery taking his place as a Troop Commander within 58 (Eyre's) Battery in February 2005. 

During his time with the Battery, Tom deployed on exercise to Crete and to Poland prior to deploying to Iraq for the first time on Operation TELIC 8 in April this year.

In Iraq he was a Multiple Commander, directly responsible for twelve men, manning three vehicles. He frequently escorted Danish Military Police and reconstruction teams and was well-known and respected by his Danish peers.

Tom was a tremendously enthusiastic and cheerful young man. He had a broad spectrum of interests and hobbies and this was evident, not just within the Army, but also from his time at university where he acted in university productions and was sports captain for his halls of residence. 

Throughout a difficult and demanding tour in Iraq, Tom continued to motivate those around him and particularly those under his command with his good natured, yet firm and professional leadership. Tom very much had his own style of command, preferring to steer his own path. This endeared him to his many friends and colleagues in the Battery. 

"Tom was an unforgettable character who we were privileged to have served with." Tom had become very much part of the fabric of life within the Officers' Mess and was always ready to be doing something or going somewhere, never content to let life pass him by. 
Lieutenant Tanswell was single.

His Commanding Officer in Iraq, Major Marcus Tivey, said:

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of Lieutenant Tom Tanswell.

"Tom was an immensely enthusiastic young officer, who embraced life with a vigour which inspired those around him. He was full of ideas and he always seemed to have a bright smile on his face. He wholeheartedly launched himself into everything he did, be it during the operational tour on which he was deployed, on the sports field, or socially with his many friends. He was a jack of all trades, actively participating in activities as diverse as parachuting, hockey and sailing. 

"He had planned a future for himself in the Army and was due to be promoted early next year. He was applying for a flight grading, with a view to becoming a helicopter pilot. 

"Professionally Tom was a fine officer, who always looked out for his men. He was leading from the front when he was killed, which typified the way he conducted himself. Prior to deploying to Iraq Tom had been praised by his superiors on numerous exercises, and while on operations he had made his mark as a rising star. 

"His friends and colleagues appreciated his easy, laid back demeanour. The mark of the man was his boundless energy and infectious sense of humour, and he would often make the best of a situation with a well-selected, witty film quote.

"Tom was an unforgettable character who we were privileged to have served with. The Army and the Regiment have lost a fine young man, and the Battery has lost a good friend. All who knew Tom were touched by his zest for life; it is tragic that he should have died so close to the end of his tour.

"His individuality and style will be sadly missed by the Battery. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."



Royal Marines

 

Major Jason Ward RM

Major Jason George Ward RM killed in a helicopter accident in the Gulf on 21 March. He was 34 years old.


Royal Marines

Colour Sergeant John Cecil RM.


His family and friends issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that the family and friends of Colour Sergeant John Cecil, Royal Marines, announce his untimely death in
the tragic helicopter crash.
"John leaves behind a great many friends and relatives and our thoughts and prayers go out to Wendy Cecil, his children Nicholas and Jodie,
his beloved daughter Paige and his brother David Cecil, all who reside in the Plymouth area.
"John was proud to be a Royal Marine, proud to be British and proud to represent his country, a country dedicated into making the world a safer place to live in."


Royal Marines

Major S. Ballard

Major Stephen Ballard

Major Stephen Alexis Ballard. He died of natural causes on 30 March.
His family have issued the following statement:
"Stephen joined the Royal Marines in 1994 and was promoted to the rank of Major in 2001. He was passionate about his life in the
Royal Marines and proud to be a marine.
"One of four sons, he loved his family. Stephen and Lucy had been married for 18 months and were thrilled at the prospect of the
arrival of their first child later this year.
"Stephen's family, colleagues and wide circle of friends are devastated by his death which leaves a great void."


Royal Marines

Marine C. Maddison

Marine Christopher Maddison

Marine Christopher R Maddison, 9 Assault Squadron, Royal Marines, who was killed in action during fighting in the area of Basrah on 30 March. His next of kin have been informed. He was aged 24. In a statement, his parents said:
"Christopher Maddison was loved and respected by everybody who knew him. 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. He died in a war that will be won in his name
alongside all the other brave souls who selflessly gave themselves for the freedom of all our nations. God bless him and all his
brothers and sisters."


Royal Marines

Corporal Ian Plank

Corporal Ian Plank

Corporal Ian Plank was killed by hostile fire during a Coalition operation in Iraq late on 31 October 2003. 
Corporal Plank, who was 31 years old, was a member of the Royal Marines and came from Poole.

Colonel Jerry Heal, the Director Royal Marines, said:

"Ian Plank was an extremely popular and greatly admired member of the Royal Marines, widely respected for his professional excellence, commitment and determination. He was particularly well known for his resilience and robustness under pressure, when his leadership, example and sense of humour were especially valued. He embodied all the personal and professional qualities associated with the Royal Marines and he enriched the lives of those who knew him, both socially and in the work place. His positive outlook, bright disposition and zest for life will be remembered with deep pride and affection by all who knew him, and most of all by his family and those members of the Royal Marines and others with whom he served around the world."


On Saturday 06 May at 1350 hours local time a Lynx Mark 7 helicopter, on a routine flight, came down in Basrah City, crash-landing on the roof of an empty building. 
"Five UK personnel on board the aircraft lost their lives"
Wing Commander John Coxen RAF
Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman RN
Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill RAF
Captain David Dobson, Army Air Corps 
Marine Paul Collins RM
British Army units in Basrah deployed immediately to the scene of the crash and secured the area with the help of the Iraqi Army and the Police Service.
A crowd swiftly formed on the streets surrounding the crash site and the House, you will have seen the television coverage of the volatile situation that developed over the next few hours "British troops and Iraqi Security Forces came under attack with a variety of weapons, including stones, gunfire, petrol and blast bombs, rocket propelled grenades and mortars". 

Seven UK personnel were injured as a result of the disturbance, sources indicate that 5 Iraqis may have died and approximately 28 were injured during the civil disorder that followed the crash.

Marine Paul M Collins

Marine Paul M Collins, Aged 21, Royal Marines served as an Air Door Gunner with 847 Naval Air Squadron. He was single and based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. 

Paul Collins joined the Royal Marines in June 2003. Having won his green beret in February 2004, he joined M Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines, based at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth, as a Team Radio Operator. In a very short time he proved himself to be a very capable and professional individual. His Company commander at the time reported him to be a very fit, polite and courteous marine who was enthusiastic and confident in all that he did. Marine Collins was a popular member of his company, with a large circle of friends and noted for his support of others. 
He joined 847 Naval Air Squadron in September 2005 and soon after qualified as an Air Door Gunner, deploying to Norway earlier in the year before assuming his role in Iraq in March 2006. 
Colonel John McCardle Royal Marines, Commanding Officer Commando Helicopter Force, said of him: 
Paul was the epitome of what the Royal Marines represent. A fit, intelligent young man he was totally professional, in every thing he did and enjoyed life to the full. He was an extremely popular member of both his squadron and throughout the Commando Helicopter Force. 

[ MarineCollins ]

His parents have given the following tribute:

"Paul was a wonderful young man and so full of potential and zest for life. He was physically and mentally strong, though this was tempered by an intelligent, thoughtful and caring nature. 
"He loved outdoor pursuits and from an early age of ten had wanted to be a Royal Marine. This dream was nearly spoilt due to injuries sustained in a motor cycle accident; however he fought back, recovered and fulfilled his dream passing out from Commando Training Centre on 13 February 2004. Though his time with the Corps was only short he made many good friends and was never happier than being with his brothers in arms. 
"Paul was a much loved son and brother to Mark who will be missed greatly by all his family and friends. We would also like to express our thanks to all in the MOD for their support services.



Marine Jason Hylton, 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines


Marine Jay Hylton, 33, lived with his parents near Burton on Trent and was divorced but leaves behind two sons. Marine Hylton joined the Royal Marines on 15 September 2003 at the age of 30 and on completion of recruit training joined 42 Commando Royal Marines (42 Cdo RM) as a rifleman. During his time at 42 Commando Royal Marines he volunteered to become a Landing Craftsman and subsequently attended and passed his Landing Craftsman 3 Course at Royal Marines Poole in December 2004. 
From there he joined 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines embarked onboard HMS BULWARK where he served for 18 months, initially as a Landing Craft Utility Crewman and subsequently as a Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP) Crewman. He deployed with 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines at the beginning of this year to the Middle East, which was his first operational deployment.
Marine Jay Hylton joined Raiding Troop, 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines in September of this year and was a keen volunteer to deploy with the Squadron to Iraq on Operation TELIC as a Rigid Raider Craft Coxswain.
He was a bright, enthusiastic and thoughtful man who always did everything that he could to help his fellow marines. He was well liked by everyone that knew him and shall be remembered above all for his smile; he was a constant source of warmth and happiness. Professionally he was outstanding. He was intelligent, capable and utterly loyal; he clearly had a very promising career ahead of him in the Royal Marines. In spite of the relatively short time that he had been with the Squadron he made a deep and lasting impression on everyone. He will be sorely missed and his loss will be felt deeply by all those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Marine Hylton’s Squadron Second-in-Command, Major Nathan Hale, said: 
"Marine Jay Hylton was a bright and enthusiastic man who, although joining the Royal Marines older than most recruits, had quickly made his mark within the Service and had a promising career ahead of him. His unswerving loyalty led him to volunteer for this Iraq tour so soon after joining 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines from his recent deployment to the Middle East with HMS BULWARK.

"Only in his second year as a specialist in the Landing Craft Branch, Marine Jay Hylton’s ability and professionalism belied his experience. An intelligent man, he adapted exceptionally well to his duties as a coxswain, with a level of aptitude far in excess of his peers.

"We will best remember him for his infectious smile and for the constant cheerfulness that he brought to the Squadron, particularly during the preparations for the Boat Group’s deployment to Iraq. He has epitomised the true Commando Spirit throughout his time with the Squadron and the early deployment to Iraq.

"Our sympathy and thoughts go out to his family, particularly his young children at this awful time; we are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss. He will be sorely missed by his many friends in the Squadron and the wider Royal Marines family with whom he served."
Lieutenant Colonel Haydn White, Commanding Officer of 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, speaking from Royal Marines Turnchapel in Plymouth, added:
"It is with enormous sadness that we hear of the death of Marine Jay Hylton. A volunteer to be part of the Squadron’s operational deployment to Iraq he brought with him the highest levels of individual professionalism and selflessness. He had only recently returned from an operational tour to the Middle East onboard HMS Bulwark, which typifies his loyalty and courage. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time."


Corporal Ben Nowak

45 Commando Royal Marines 

Right ...

A ceremony was held, Thursday 16 November 2006, at RAF Brize Norton to mark the repatriation of five Service personnel killed on operations in Iraq.

Below...
Liverpool Cathedral 24
th November 2006

LIVERPOOL Cathedral’s “bells of sadness” rang out across the city yesterday (24th Nov) as nearly 1,000 people came to mourn Corporal Ben Nowak. The Great George bells, the oldest in the cathedral tower, fell silent as Cpl Nowak’s coffin was eased out of the hearse. And then the rain came. Draped in a union flag with his white Royal Marine cap, belt and campaign medals on top of it, the coffin was carried into the cathedral by six of his comrades. Dozens of servicemen and women stood alongside Cpl Nowak’s family to hear tributes to the man with a “dazzling smile” who was killed in Iraq on Remembrance Sunday 2006.

Corporal Ben Nowak, 27, lived in Liverpool and had a long term girlfriend. He joined the Royal Marines on 8 July 1996 at the age of 17 and joined 45 Commando Group Royal Marines (45 Cdo Gp RM) as a Rifleman on completion of recruit training. He spent only five months at 45 Commando Group Royal Marines before being drafted to 40 Commando Royal Marines (40 Cdo RM) where he served for three years, initially as a Rifleman and towards the end of his time there as a Section Second-in-Command.
He then served as a Section Second-in-Command at the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines for two years. During this time he deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf as part of the Fleet Standby Rifle Troop where he conducted boarding's in support of anti-smuggling operations. In April 2003 he joined 40 Commando Royal Marines for a second time and it was during his time there that he attended and passed the aptitude tests to become a Physical Training Instructor. 
He went on to attend and pass both a Junior Command Course and a Physical Training Instructors Course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines before being promoted to Corporal. He subsequently remained at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines where he instructed recruits for two years before being drafted back to 45 Commando Group Royal Marines in July of this year. 
He was then given the opportunity to deploy with 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines to Iraq on Operation TELIC for which he volunteered. He was attached to 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines in September and following a period of pre-deployment training flew into theatre at the beginning of this month. 
Corporal Ben Nowak was an outgoing and gregarious individual who shall be remembered for his keen sense of humour. He was well liked by everyone that knew him and he constantly had a twinkle in his eye, symbolic of his enthusiasm and his love for his job. Corporal Ben Nowak lived for his sport; he was an outstanding footballer and he maintained a very high level of physical fitness. He was a keen supporter of Everton FC. 

Most recently while attached to the Squadron, he shall be remembered for his circuit training sessions which he ran for the troop, one of which he conducted the day before he died. Corporal Ben Nowak was professionally capable and committed; there is no doubt that he had an outstanding career ahead of him in the Royal Marines. In spite of the relatively short time that he had been attached to the Squadron, having only joined in September, he made a deep and lasting impression on everyone. He will be sorely missed and his loss will be felt deeply by all those who were fortunate enough to know him. 

Major Nathan Hale, Corporal Nowak’s Second-in-Command on 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, said:
Corporal Ben Nowak was a warm and outgoing man who epitomised the qualities of a junior commander in the Royal Marines. Although an accomplished sportsman and Physical Training Instructor he was, first and foremost a Royal Marines Commando. He was attached to 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines from 45 Commando Group as a volunteer for the Squadron’s operational tour to Iraq.

"Since joining the Royal Marines as a Junior Marine he set about creating a promising career. His love of sport led him to become a Physical Training Instructor since when he has continued to instil his passion in both Recruits and trained Royal Marines alike. With exemplary personal qualities and an abundance of potential for further command he was a tremendous asset to both his branch and the wider Service.

"We will best remember him for his constant good humour and his tremendous enthusiasm for physical training, although there may have been moments when we did not entirely appreciate him for it. This was no greater demonstrated than during the memorably tough physical training session that he ran for the Boat Group the day before he died. 

"Our sympathy and thoughts go out to his partner and family at this awful time; we are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss. He will be sorely missed by his many friends from 45 Commando Group, 539 Assault Squadron and the wider Royal Marines family with whom he served."
Lieutenant Colonel Haydn White, Commanding Officer of 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, speaking from Royal Marines Turnchapel in Plymouth, added:
It is with enormous sadness that we hear of the death of Corporal Ben Nowak. As a volunteer attached to 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines for their tour of duty to Iraq his impact was significant. He brought from 45 Commando Royal Marines the highest levels of professionalism, physical fitness and enthusiasm and he had an immediate and lasting impact on all those he served with. Our thoughts are with his partner, family and friends at this very sad time."
Corporal Nowaks's family issued the following statement:

Cpl Nowak's mother Gillian Keary said: 
Ben always had a smile on his face and he was the sort of person who could make friends across the generations, he was popular with everyone. 
"As soon as Ben came into your life he changed it for ever. He was the life and soul of the party and had dozens of friends, both at home and in Australia. He was a great family man and idolised his brother Sam. He liked nothing better than to be surrounded by his family.
"Ben lived for the Royal Marines and had always wanted to join. He took every opportunity to wear the uniform and was very proud to serve his country."
Cpl Nowak moved to Australia when he was seven and returned to the UK when he was 16 to have trials with Southampton Football Club. 
He was a keen fan of Everton Football Club and helped train promising players at the club's academy. 
Cpl Nowak's uncle Michael McEvatt added:
When Ben's friends heard about his death, dozens of them turned up at my house to offer their condolences. There must have been around 70 people who wanted to say how much he meant to them. 
"He was an extraordinary soldier and an extraordinary man."
Cpl Nowak held dual UK and Australian citizenship. He emigrated to Australia with his mother and returned to the UK to try to pursue a career in football. After having trials with Southampton, he joined the Royal Marines aged 17. He lived in the Speke area of Liverpool.


Army School of Ammunition, Royal Logistic Corps

[ Staff Sgt C. Muir ]

Royal-Logistic-Corps

Staff Sergeant Chris Muir

S/Sgt Muir was transferred from the  Army School of Ammunition, Royal Logistic Corps (AS of A) into 821 EOD Sqn, 11 EOD Regt to fill undermanned slots in the unit.
821 Sqn was the Regiments overseas deployment team. The (AS of A) has no overseas role and is an instructional unit only. Soldiers that died with 321 EOD are listed as such and not as the Unit they were detached from to do the tour ... 
821 EOD Squadron (Op Telic - Iraq) - 11 EOD Regiment RLC - Locally hand made 'Desert Felix' Patch (Centre)

Thanks to JJ Bell QGM ... Royal Logistic Corps ... who provided the above information 

 

Staff Sergeant Chris Muir from the Army School of Ammunition, Royal Logistic Corps, based at Kineton. Aged 32 ... Staff Sergeant Muir was killed during an explosive ordnance disposal operation in southern Iraq on 31 March. He came from Romsey in Hampshire, and was married with a son.

His wife Gillian, has released the following statement:

"Chris was the sort of person that could light up a room just by being in it. He had a fantastic sense of humour and always tried to see the funny side, no matter what the situation. Judging by the amount of phone calls, cards and visits I have had, he will be missed by his colleagues, all of whom I know he regarded as great friends. "I know that Chris was very proud to wear the badge of an Ammunition Technician, and I take small comfort from the knowledge that he died doing the job that he loved. "He has left me and our families with the most fantastic of memories, the greatest one being our son, Ben, who can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hardworking soldier, who died trying to do the right thing. "Chris will be greatly missed by all who had the honour to have met him."

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Dolamore MBE, his Commanding Officer said:

"Staff Sergeant Muir joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at Deepcut in 1988. He carried out his trade training at the Army School of Ammunition, and qualified as an Ammunition Technician in 1989. On amalgamation in 1993, Chris became a member of the Royal Logistic Corps. "During his service in the Royal Logistic Corps, Chris travelled extensively, often in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal area, where he had trained and qualified at the highest level. In view of his expertise, he had most recently been employed as an Instructor back at the Army School of Ammunition at Kineton, Warwickshire. His skills, drive and determination as an individual and a soldier ensured his quick promotion to Staff Sergeant and recent selection for promotion to Warrant Officer. It is a particularly sad fact that we will not see him wearing the new rank he so richly deserved.

"Chris was an enthusiastic sportsman, who enjoyed a wide range of team sports. He was a particularly keen motorcyclist always willing to introduce sport riding to others, imparting his own specialist knee-down skills to any new rider. "He will be remembered for his rich sense of humour and his sharp and clever wit. He was a very strong character, an outstanding technician, and a highly effective leader. Most of all, however, Chris was a gentleman through and through. This thoroughly professional soldier will be sorely missed by all in his Corps, and especially by all past and present members of this unit. "All of us at the Army School of Ammunition send out deepest sympathies to his wife Gill, son Ben, and all his family."


[ Private Kevin Thompson ]

Royal-Logistic-Corps

 

Private Kevin Thompson who died, 6 May 2007, in the UK, from injuries that he sustained in Iraq week before. Private Kevin Thompson, aged 21, was serving with 19 Combat Service Support Battalion, based in the Contingency Operating Base at Basra Air Station. In the early hours of Thursday 3 May 2007, he was taking part in a large re-supply convoy that serves the City Battle Group locations. At approximately 0200 hours, his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The explosion partially disabled the vehicle and Private Thompson was seriously injured.

 

First aid was administered to Private Thomson immediately and he was taken to the Field Hospital at Basra Air Station where he underwent surgery. He was medically evacuated to Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham that evening where he was expected to begin a full recovery. Tragically, Private Thompson's condition deteriorated soon after his arrival in the UK. His family were with him at his bedside when he passed away.
Private Thompson was born in Lancaster. A very keen and enthusiastic soldier, he had always wanted to join up and serve his country; his brother recently followed him into The Royal Logistic Corps. He was a keen footballer and took a passionate interest in the development of the football league table whilst on tour. He was delighted that Birmingham had been promoted and boasted they would make it all the way next season. 

He joined the Army in 2004 and was posted to 19 Tank Transporter Squadron in Bulford following training at Catterick. He was very proud to be a member of The Carmen's Troop, a prestigious troop within the Tank Transporter trade, and formed up with a Logistic Squadron from the Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment under command of 19 Combat Service Support Battalion for Operation TELIC 9 in Iraq. 

He loved the Army but loved his family more and constantly talked of being with them. Private Thompson leaves behind his Mother, Teresa, Father, Mark, Brother, Andrew, Sisters Nicola and Jade and Fiancée, Lucy.

Private Kevin Thompson's Commanding Officer in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel David Golding said:

"I am deeply saddened by the news that Private Kevin Thompson has died as a result of the wounds that he sustained in an attack on his vehicle in Basra on Thursday 3 May 2007. He was a professional tank Transporter driver - a logistician - a man that fearlessly got on with the job of supporting combat troops in this tough campaign to rid the streets of violence and bring peace and security to the ordinary people of Iraq. 

"He had driven the route that ultimately claimed his life many times in the last six months. Each and every time aware of the dangers, and each and every time standing up to the test with courage and conviction. He had a cheerful and positive spirit and won friends and professional respect easily. We are all shocked and moved by his loss, but will honour his life by steeling our resolve to finish the job we came here to do. We will do as he would have wanted and get back in the truck and back down the road, all the while remembering our brave friend who never once flinched in the face of danger. We are deeply proud of Kevin Thompson. He was an outstanding soldier, colleague and friend. Our sincere sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this shattering time in their lives."

His Commanding Officer in the UK, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Lewis, said:

"Tomo was an extremely popular soldier who loved his job. He had a great career ahead of him and he will be very sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues, not just in the Tank Transporter fraternity, but throughout both Regiments that he served with in Bulford and Iraq. Our deepest and most sincere sympathy is with his family, fiancée and friends."

His Squadron Commander in Iraq, Major John Wallace-Dutton, said:

"It is with great sadness that I received the news of Kevin Thompson's death following such sterling efforts made by his comrades and the medical teams to save his life out here in Theatre. Having to inform his comrades was one of the hardest tasks I have had to perform on this operation so far – he was such a popular soldier. The duty he was performing, and one he had performed on many occasions, was dangerous; he knew it, but demonstrated the steel determination to get on with the job and fulfil his duty to the best of his ability. He was a brave man and an inspiration to the men he served with. 

"He was a soldier who people liked to be around. Everyone enjoyed his humour and respected him for his genuine loyalty and love for his family. He was a credit to his cap-badge and his trade and is a significant loss to my Squadron on operations – I need and rely on men like him. My thoughts and those of my men, British and Gurkha, are with his family and loved ones; may God bless you all and comfort through your bereavement."

His Squadron Commander in the UK, Major Anna Kimber, said:

"Tomo loved being in the Army and was immensely proud of being a Tank Transporter. He had a lot of friends in the Squadron and if you met him you could not help but like him. He was a very genuine, humble, cheerful and popular soldier. Not many people can say that they are universally liked. Tomo could."

His Troop Commander, Lieutenant Chris Heyworth said: 

"Kevin Thompson (Tomo; as he spelt it) loved the Army and being part of the Tank Transporter trade. He was very proud of his regiment and was delighted that his brother chose to follow in his footsteps. This was his first operational tour and he had made a name for himself as a hard-working and uncomplaining soldier who just got on with the job no matter how hard the conditions. He could put a smile on the face of anyone in the Troop and we all liked his company and the way he conducted himself in such a professional manner. He showed great promise but was torn a little between his love for the Army and that for his family; we knew that his family would come first if ever it came to it. We will miss him terribly but never forget him and what he brought to the Troop."

His close friend, Private Luke Ward said:

"Tomo was a truly professional and well respected soldier. He was a kind and very close mate of mine and on operations I thought of him as a brother. He was always fun to be with and always up for a laugh. He would always find a way to cheer us all up no matter what the odds and when times were lowest he would be there to make things seem better. He will be truly missed by all of his friends and family and never forgotten."

His close friend Private Robert Etherington said:

"I know no words can help the family with the deep loss at this time, but hopefully my words can do something to ease the pain. Tomo (as he spelt it one day) was a genuine "one-off". He was always there through all of my army career and had been at my side on operations whilst serving in Iraq. At all times on this tour he had a smile and a joke for every occasion. There were three big passions in his life: his family, his fiancée, and, of course, Birmingham City FC. He was my best friend and I will miss him terribly like us all serving with Carmen's Troop. He will never be forgotten."


[ Sergeant Mark Stansfield ]

Sergeant Mark Stansfield

 

 

32 Close Support Squadron,
UK Logistic Battalion

Royal-Logistic-Corps

Sergeant Mark Stansfield died from injuries sustained in Iraq on Friday 21 September 2007

Sgt Stansfield, aged 32, was serving with 32 Close Support Squadron, UK Logistic Battalion, based in the Contingency Operating Base at Basra Air Station. On the morning of Wednesday 19 September 2007 he was conducting security checks of the Contingency Operating Base's Ammunition Supply Point when he was involved in an accident with a fork lift truck and was seriously injured.

First aid was administered to Sgt Stansfield immediately and he was taken to the Field Hospital at Basra Air Station where he underwent surgery. He was medically evacuated to Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham the following day for further treatment. Tragically, Sgt Stansfield's condition deteriorated soon after his arrival in the UK. His family were with him at his bedside when he passed away.

Sergeant Mark Stansfield was born in 1974 and joined the Army in 1992 aged 17, when he trained to become a driver. He was very proud to be a member of the RLC. A very keen and enthusiastic soldier, he had always wanted to join up and serve his country. A keen football player, he took a passionate interest in the development of the football league table whilst on tour.

Sgt Stansfield, who lived in Oxfordshire, leaves behind a wife, Joanne, with whom he had been greatly looking forward to the birth of their unborn child, on his return from Iraq.

Sergeant Stansfield's Commanding Officer in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel David Roberts, said:

"It is with enormous sadness that we mourn the loss of Sergeant Mark Stansfield. He was a first class soldier and a very fine Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, with an extremely bright career ahead of him. He was admired by the soldiers he led and respected by everyone. Mark had a wealth of experience from previous operational tours in the Balkans, Northern Ireland and Iraq and his performance on Operation TELIC 10 had brimmed with his effervescent enthusiastic and focused approach. He was a true professional in every sense of the word.

"Mark was utterly committed and loyal to the soldiers he served as Troop Sergeant. He consistently ensured their readiness for operations in Iraq and was a mentor and guide through the very challenging and dangerous situations they faced. He never shied from responsibility and was always keen to be in the thick of the action, never expecting anyone to do something he would not do himself. He was a strong and effective leader who soldiers willingly followed.

"A devoted family man, Mark sustained the injuries that led to his tragic and untimely death the day before he was due to depart on R&R having been in Iraq for almost four months. His loss has been felt by everyone in the United Kingdom Logistic Battalion, but particularly those in 3 Logistic Support Regiment who knew him best. We are all very proud and privileged to have served alongside him. We will be much less in the future without Mark in our ranks. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s wife, Joanne, their unborn baby boy, and their family."

His Squadron Commander in Iraq, Major Dave Poole, said:

"Sergeant Stansfield was a strong, principled and very effective Senior NCO, but more importantly he was a fine man who cared deeply about the young soldiers he was responsible for. As a Troop Sergeant he took his mentoring and development role very seriously, chasing, harrying and driving up standards to keep our soldiers safe and well wherever he could. He prepared them superbly for all of their tasks and always welcomed them back in with a smile and strong leadership. It is typical of Sergeant Stansfield that he was conducting his duty when he was injured, cutting about and making sure his people were well looked after and knew their business.

"A diligent man, who never accepted second best, he was also kind, warm and generous, with a smile that would light the room and lift the mood, whatever the circumstances. Private and devoted to his new wife, he was a fantastic role model to my young soldiers and officers alike. Having married Joanne over Christmas leave he was due to return on R 'n' R the day after his duty and was bubbling over with excitement about the scan he and Joanne were due to have for the birth of their first child. While Sergeant Stansfield's death has hit us very hard, we draw some comfort from knowing that his unborn baby boy is growing well and that little Jake will grow up knowing what a fine man his father was.

"We will all miss 'Stan' and I know my Squadron would really benefit from his wry smile at the moment. Our thoughts are with Joanne and all of Stan's family tonight and we hope that in the coming days they will draw strength from knowing he was among friends out here and that all of us are better people for knowing him."


The Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment.

Lieutenant A. Tweedie

 

 

Lt Alexander Tweedie's service at Minto on the 1st May 2003

 

Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie

Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie died in an Edinburgh hospital on 22nd April. He was Buried at Minto on the 1st May 2003. This was following an accident on 1st April in which Lance Corporal Karl Shearer was killed. Lieutenant Tweedie, who was 25, had served for two and a half years in D Squadron, The Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment.

His family issued the following statement:
"Alexander's death has shocked and saddened us greatly, and words cannot adequately express the depth of our grief. He was a wonderful, loving son who brightened the lives of everyone who knew him. He was proud to serve with the Household Cavalry, and had a very promising career ahead of him. We are proud of Alexander and will remember him in our hearts forever."
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark van der Lande OBE, said:
"It was with great sadness that the Household Cavalry Regiment learnt of the death of Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie of The Blues & Royals. 
He died 22 April of the injuries he received when his Scimitar Armoured vehicle overturned in Iraq on 1 April 2003. Despite the excellent
medical care which Alexander received, both in the Gulf and afterwards from the National Health Service, he never recovered from his coma. Alexander was an excellent officer. Popular with all, he matched very positive leadership from the front with a deep care for his men. 
He led his Troop in battle with skill, determination and great coolness under fire. He will be sorely missed by us all.
"His death, like those of Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, and Lance Corporal Karl Shearer, is a tragic loss to the Regiment. These losses touch with sadness the great pride that I and the Household Cavalry Regiment feel for the achievements of D Squadron in Iraq. The recent weeks have been particularly difficult for Alexander's parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."


Household Cavalry Regiment

L/Cpl K. Shearer

 

Lance Corporal Karl Shearer

Lance Corporal Karl Shearer was killed in an armoured vehicle accident in Iraq on 1 April.
The Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Mark van der Lande OBE, issued the following statement:
"For the second time in less than a week, the Household Cavalry Regiment grieves a lost soldier. Lance Corporal Karl Shearer died on
operations in Iraq on Monday 1 April and another soldier remains very seriously injured. My sympathy and that of the whole Regiment goes
out to his widow, Suzie, to their daughter and their families at this difficult time and to the family of the injured man. Karl was a popular
and very able soldier whom I had recently promoted. He demonstrated the very best of what it is to be a soldier of the Household Cavalry
and will be greatly missed.
"Both Karl and Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, who was killed on 28 March, were brave, courageous men who died doing their duty
serving their country under very difficult conditions. They and their comrades in D Squadron have been heavily involved on operations in
Iraq showing outstanding courage, determination and professionalism to defeat the enemy. My thoughts and those of the whole Regiment
are with the Squadron and their families".
Karl's widow, Suzie, said:
"Karl was a very loving, supportive husband and father. He was a wonderful son and brother. He was loved very much and will be missed terribly". 


The Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull

L/Cpl of Horse Matty Hull leaves the church at Windsor

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull of The Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment, was killed on 28 March in southern Iraq. 
He was 25, and based in Windsor.

His wife, Mrs Susan Hull, issued the following statement:
"I have decided to issue this statement because I feel strongly that I should make clear that Matty wasn't just another number added to a casualty list.
"He is, without doubt, the most exceptional man I have ever met; a loving and supportive husband and son, a dedicated soldier and a great friend to so many. He had rightly earned the utmost respect from everyone he worked with, and this makes it that much harder to accept 
this accidental death.
"Matty was fully committed to his role, in the army as a whole, and both his Regiment and Squadron. I know that he was where he wanted to be, doing the job he believed in when he died.
"It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that someone who was so full of life has had his so cruelly cut short, just three days before his 26th birthday, but come to terms with it we must. Matty's personal strength instilled in me the ability to 'dig deep' and 'be strong', and that is what I, and everyone who loved him so greatly, must now do. It is what he would want.
"May I express my sincere thanks to all at Household Cavalry Regiment for their support throughout this terrible time, and I pray that this war will be over swiftly with no more such tragic deaths.

"Matty always strived for a challenge and Iraq has proved his ultimate test. His aim in life was to be the best he could be, and there was certainly no better husband, son or brother on this earth".

The Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Mark van der Lande OBE, gave the following statement:
"It is with deep regret that the Household Cavalry Regiment learnt of an incident involving soldiers from D Squadron, The Blues and Royals,
of this Regiment, who are serving on operational duty in Iraq with 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Squadron was in action at the time but it is suspected this may have been a 'friendly fire' incident.
"This is a particularly difficult time for the Regiment and its families. I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and courage of these soldiers and to that of the rest of the Squadron. We are professional soldiers and our job carries risks, but any loss is a bitter blow. It is hard too for those families not directly involved in this incident".

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull

Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers

L/Cpl J. McCue


Lance Corporal James McCue

Lance Corporal James McCue of 7 Air Assault Battalion, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. He died on 30 April 2003 following an
explosion in southern Iraq. Aged 27, he came from Paisley, and was single. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Lance Corporal McCue joined the Army in April 1999 and completed his trade training at the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
at Bordon in Hampshire. He also passed the Class 3 Physical Training Instructor course in 2001. He served in both Germany and Kosovo
with 32 Royal Engineer Regiment Workshop (REME) until August 2002, when he transferred to 7 Air Assault Battalion REME, stationed at Colchester Garrison. 
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Armstrong, the Commanding Officer of 7 Air Assault Battalion REME, said:
"Lance Corporal Jim McCue joined 8 Close Support Company, 7 Air Assault Battalion in August 2002, where he served as a vehicle mechanic within Forward Platoon. Despite the relatively short time that he had been with the Battalion, he had made a lasting impression on all of his colleagues.
"He had shown himself throughout to be highly competent both as a soldier and as a REME tradesman and he expected everyone to achieve the same high standards that he set for himself. He maintained the highest levels of physical fitness and, as a qualified Unit Physical Fitness Instructor, many within the unit have benefited from time spent under his instruction.
"He had many interests though his main hobbies were running and rugby; he had considerable ability and had represented Scotland as a
junior sprinter. He was a popular soldier who forged a large number of friendships within the unit and enjoyed a lively social life as a result.
"Lance Corporal McCue was a strong character who displayed a great sense of pride in everything he did, qualities that gained him the
respect and admiration from all members of the unit. He was a credit to his Corps and will be sadly missed by all."
His mother, Mrs Mary McCue, has asked for the following statement to be issued:
"The family and all of Jamesy's friends were shocked and saddened to hear of his death during active service in Iraq.
He was a wonderful son, and those that knew him will remember his maturity and lively sense of humour.
"He talked often about how much he loved serving with the REME Air Assault Battalion, and was extremely proud when he was promoted
to Lance Corporal, which was only at the beginning of this year.
"At this time words cannot express the depth of our grief, but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride in the knowledge that he
died a soldier while serving his country. He will be remembered by all that knew him forever."


Corporal Richard Thomas David Ivell

Corporal Richard Thomas David Ivell

was fatally injured in a vehicle accident at Shaibah Logistics Base in southern Iraq on 12 February 2004. A vehicle mechanic from the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers,
he was serving with 2 Close Support Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps. Aged 29, Corporal Ivell was married with three children and came from near Doncaster, South Yorkshire.


Corporal Marc Taylor. Aged 27

Corporal Marc Taylor

Corporal Marc Taylor was killed in an ambush of British military vehicles on the outskirts of Basrah on 28 September 2004. Aged 27, he came from Ellesmere Port and served with the 
Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
, attached to 
1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
.

Marc ‘Spud’ Taylor joined the Army in August 1993; choosing REME. After training, his first posting was to 1st Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, based in Germany, as a Recovery Mechanic. During this time he served an operational tour in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In July 1998 he was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Workshop, based in Marchwood. 
In August 2000 he moved to 7th Air Assault Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and completed a tour in Northern Ireland. 

His last posting was to 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Workshop in Tidworth. He deployed to Iraq in command of a four-man team with "B" Battery Royal Horse Artillery in April 2004. Initially responsible for the mentoring and training of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Basrah Police, they had recently re-rolled to provide escort teams to a group coordinating reconstruction projects in Basrah province.

Corporal Taylor was killed whilst escorting a visit to a new housing project. He was a calm, confident leader who easily gained the respect of all who had the privilege of knowing him. He was a first class Team Commander. Corporal Taylor was a devoted husband and father. In the year he had been with the Regiment he made many good friends and will be sorely missed by all, in particular the members of the Workshop and "B" Battery.

His wife, Mrs Olivia Taylor, who is expecting their second child, said:

"Marc had been in the Army for eleven years, and it was his life. He was an Army man through and through. He was always very positive about his time in Iraq, and serving his country. He enjoyed the particular job he was doing, helping the Iraqi people rebuild their lives. All of his family are proud that he died doing the job he wanted to do. He was a hero to all of us, and everyone who knew him."


Sergeant Paul Connolly

Sergeant Paul Connolly was found dead from a gunshot wound within the confines of Shaibah Logistic Base on 26 December 2004.
His death is being investigated by the Royal Military Police, but initial inquiries do not indicate hostile action or other suspicious circumstances. Sergeant Connolly, inevitably nicknamed "Billy", served with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, attached to 21 Engineer Regiment of the Royal Engineers. Aged 33, he came from Crawley in West Sussex, and was separated, with three children.

He joined the REME in 1989 and, after initial military training, became a Metal-Smith. He progressed to become a Master Welder, responsible for fabricating and welding a wide range of military equipments. His skills were put to the test on operations and exercises all over the world including Germany, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Canada and Kenya. More recently, he deployed to Iraq in October 2004 in support of 21 Engineer Regiment helping to rebuild the critical infrastructure in Southern Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Cavanagh RE, the Commanding Officer of 21 Engineer Regiment, said:

“Paul’s death is a real tragedy and a terrible shock for his many comrades both in the Regiment and the wider family of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was a highly capable soldier and a hugely popular character who was widely respected and admired. He will be sorely missed.


[ Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers ]

Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers killed in Iraq from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Basra City, southern Iraq on Saturday 21 July 2007.

L/Cpl Flowers, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but who was attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, died as a result of an indirect fire attack on Basra Palace ...

Lance Corporal Timothy Darren ‘Daz’ Flowers, aged 25, of The Corps of Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and serving with the Irish Guards Battle Group in Iraq, tragically died from injuries sustained from an indirect fire attack on Basra Palace on Saturday 21 July 2007. He was working on the vehicle park when the attack occurred and, despite reacting quickly and carrying out the correct drills, he was hit by shrapnel and subsequently died from his injuries. He lived in Northern Ireland and joined the Army in January 2003.

Lieutenant Colonel David Catmur, Commanding Officer 2nd Royal Tank Regiment paid this tribute:

"There is, and always has been, a tight and unique bond between ‘Tankies’ and our REME tradesman with whom we have worked side by side with, whatever the fight, since their formation in 1942. We continue to do so today in Iraq and it is with great sadness that I write this tribute for one of my soldiers and tradesmen, Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers.

"On his 2nd tour of Iraq LCpl Flowers was attached to Badger Fitter Section, part of the Irish Guards Battle Group, as a vehicle mechanic supporting the ‘workhorse of the theatre’, the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Detached forward into Basra City he worked hand-in-hand with his squadron in difficult conditions to keep their vehicles working. The importance of his role can never be underestimated because if it were not for LCpl Flowers' skill and expertise the Squadron would have to deploy without the protection the Warrior offers.

"LCpl Flowers was just the man for the job and I was always impressed by his remarkable determination and focus to work towards his one goal of keeping fit equipment in the hands of his Squadron; a truly selfless individual. His knowledge of Warrior coupled with his single minded approach and diligence made him an invaluable asset to my Regiment. He epitomised all that is good in REME with his ‘can do’ attitude, professionalism and expertise, but he also added his own flair and character which together created a synergy that made him a hugely effective soldier.

"I am extremely grateful to have had such a fine tradesman in the Regiment. His loss affects us all and he will be sorely, sorely missed. Now though our hearts go out to his grandparents, his family and his friends for their loss is the greater."

The Commanding Officer of the Irish Guards Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE said of him:

"Lance Corporal Flowers had worked with the Irish Guards Battle Group since the beginning of March. Joining us during the final stages of our pre-deployment training he was a critical cog in the intricate workings of the Battle Group. He understood the key nature of his job and did everything in his power to ensure that his tasks were completed to the highest possible standard. 

"Deeply proud and professional he worked with unswerving dedication regardless of unpleasant conditions of southern Iraq. Not only was his job physically tough but the mental strength required to work consistently out in the open when the threat of indirect fire was so high was enormous. His peers, superiors and subordinates followed his example of supreme hard work and dedication. I was lucky to have known LCpl Flowers. I will always remember one evening sitting under the starry Arabian sky with him listening to his views on life. He was bright, thoughtful and erudite with intelligent opinions. 

"Very much his own man and not one to be easily swayed, he was a character and one who always had a smile on his face and a thoroughly positive outlook on life. He was selflessly committed to his work, his job and his colleagues. He would never stop work or leave the tank park if there were others still working, rather he would offer to lend a hand or take the job on himself. He died on the dusty vehicle park in the heat of the day doing what he did best – preparing vehicles for other people. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time. He was the most positive advertisement for his Corps, his Army and his country." 

Major Fabian Roberts MVO, the commander of the Irish Guards Company to whom he was attached, said of him:

"Lance Corporal Daz Flowers had been attached to Number 1 Company for a little over three weeks. It is not often that it can genuinely be said about an individual that his impact was as immediate as it was vital but it is true in his case of his time with the Company. On a personal and a professional level his death has dealt a body blow to those around him and deprived the Company of a person who almost unconsciously set an example of determination and professionalism we would do well to emulate. 

"Perhaps he would be surprised at the difference his presence made in such a short time. He was ostensibly a quiet, modest man, who got on with his job with unstinting pragmatism and determination, yet there was a depth to him intellectually and in his wider personality that made him full of surprises. His closest colleagues knew that he was well read, keenly interested in politics and culture, and whose opinions – often firmly held – were invariably well thought through. They also knew a man who was unflappable and had a wonderful ability to see the good in people and situations. 

"Others who knew him less well might simply have been exposed to a mechanical expert who they knew would do his utmost to guarantee that their vehicle would make that night’s patrol, as long as he had a cup of unnaturally strong coffee to support him. Both sets of people were exposed to the immense value that he brought to all that he did. LCpl Flowers sought a challenge in everything. He joined the Army having spent time in the Royal Air Force in order to try something new and had recently elected to leave the Army simply for the same reason. 

"But it is testament to the man and the loyalty with which he regarded his friends that he had lately decided to stay in the Army long enough to complete this tour, and he was not a person whose pride would allow him to leave something until it was finished. He was his own man and impossible not to admire. Not only has the Company lost an individual of almost irreplaceable professional expertise but also a character whose infectious personal qualities and enormous potential made him respected by everyone with whom he came into contact. We are all extremely sorry that he has gone, we miss him and we wish him peace. Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with his family."

Major Mike Longman, commander of Badger, the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment Squadron from which LCpl Flowers was detached wrote:

"Lance Corporal ‘Daz’ Flowers was a confident composed soldier who carried out his job with the professionalism and attention to detail that we have come to expect from The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). Despite being a modest man he was often the centre of attention within a crowd, frequently exercising a razor sharp wit. Above all he knew his own mind. 

"If he wanted something he would invariably find a way to get it, a trait he bought with him to his work. As a vehicle mechanic he was superb, someone who positively enjoyed getting his hands dirty. His skills were in short supply and this was one of the reasons he was sent to Basra Palace. He was moved around at short notice from one location to another in southern Iraq, worked in dangerous and uncomfortable conditions and commanded his vehicle out on the streets of Basra, on many occasions under fire. He epitomised all that was good about the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes making our vehicles work and keeping them on the road, indeed he died doing just that, out on the vehicle park working on vehicles. 

"Quite simply as a REME vehicle mechanic and as a fellow soldier I could not have asked for any more from him. He met and often exceeded my expectations. LCpl Flowers had terminated his colour service before deployment to Iraq but felt strongly enough about completing the tour with his colleagues that he had just extended his service to see out the full six months. He was hugely respected by his friends in the REME and those within BADGER. 

"Prior to the build up training for Iraq he had been part of a different Sqn, CYCLOPS, within 2 RTR and I know they feel his loss as deeply as we all do. Daz was a very popular man who made time for friends and ensured that the morale of those he worked with was always high. He had an uncanny way of looking at life as a series of possibilities rather than as insurmountable challenges. Nothing was impossible, and nothing was pre-ordained. Fiercely independent, he firmly believed that you made your own luck and this only added to the impression that when you were around him anything was possible. 

"Our thoughts are with his grandparents, his brother and also his parents. We will remember him now, and in the future, as we knew him in life."

Captain Toby Lambert REME, Officer Commanding the Light Aid Detachment (LAD) of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said:

"A true grafter; gritty and determined; proud and honest. In the year I have known Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers these are the words used most frequently by my Senior and Junior Non Commissioned Officers to describe our colleague and pal who we knew better as Daz. Daz was very much a part of the LAD family and formed part of a core of close friends in Badger Fitter Section. 

"His seemingly controversial outlook on life and political views, which he often shared with others, were a source of endless entertainment for his friends. The value of having a character like Daz working in your team cannot be measured in words or numbers but suffice to say, he added a real value and quality to his Fitter Section in a difficult operational theatre. I found him to be a fantastically straightforward character, but a thinker, a man who would always get straight to the point, and a tradesman who possessed an uncanny ability to simplify even the most difficult of problems. 

"He was an engineering purist who always focused the technical aspect of his job; the part that has earned him the utmost respect, as he would always be the first to leap onto a broken vehicle where he would remain until it was fixed. His handy work has served the Regiment well in Canada and his Squadron in Iraq and I am proud to wear the same cap badge as him. Both skilful and a fighter I believed him to be REME through and through, even though he did not always agree. 

"To my fellow REME officers and soldiers reading this, please note that LCpl Timothy Flowers was a craftsman for whom the Corps can be eternally proud of, and a part of our family who we will always miss." 

Artificer Quarter Master Sergeant ‘Loz’ Lee, Lance Corporal Flowers’ commander said of him:

"In the time I had got to know Lance Corporal ‘Daz’ Flowers, I was always amazed by his unstinting desire to help those around him. He would work tirelessly, without complaint, to ensure that everything that could be done was so. His modest and selfless attitude to all that he did was an inspiration. 

"A natural mechanic, he was at his happiest on the Tank Park, spanner in hand. No job was too difficult or too much trouble. The diligent endeavour that he constantly displayed was as infectious as his cracking sense of humour. Work positively buzzed when he was around. Daz had already resigned from the Army when he came to Iraq, however, it is testimony to the loyalty and courage of the man that he extended his service to see the job through, with his friends, regardless of his own personal situation. 

"Words cannot express how much the loss of Daz has affected those who knew him. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten." 

Sgt Steve White, his Detachment Commander said of him:

"I have worked with Daz since I arrived in Badger Squadron Fitter Section this February. Everybody knew and liked him, whenever I was frustrated with someone he always pointed out the good in people. Thank you for all your help." 

Corporal Adam Wiseman a friend also attached to the Irish Guards Battle Group said:

"I remember Daz for his very laid back attitude. His amazing taste in music and the fact that he made exercise in Canada the best time of my life. I thank him for that. I was very pleased when I met him out here and now I wish things were different."

Lance Corporal Dee-Dee Houghton, a colleague from Lance Corporal Flowers’ Fitter Section said:

"Daz Flowers was a good friend with an awesome outlook on life. He took everything with a pinch of salt and didn’t complain once. During his first week with Badger he made friends by doing what he did best, helping people, because that was the kind of guy he was. In fact, he always helped people. Daz was a great vehicle mechanic and he loved the life that came with it. He will be missed for his personality and attitude, character traits that any soldier would be proud of." 

Lance Corporal Pam Slater, a friend from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment’s Light Aid Detachment said:

"He was a kind, caring, charming, funny man and it was an honour and a privilege to have known him. He will be sorely missed." 

Craftsman Kav Raitamata, a friend from Lance Corporal Flowers’ Fitter Section said:

"Daz was a close friend, a hard worker and an awesome vehicle mechanic. He taught me everything I know. He would always help me and share his knowledge and experience. He would always answer my questions, even if they were bone! He was very funny and I will miss him a lot." 

Lance Corporal Kev Clark a colleague from his Fitter Section said:

"I only met Daz a few weeks before deploying to Iraq, but in that time I have made a loyal and trusted friend. I have never seen anybody give so much as he did. He would work until God knows when on the Tank Park helping everybody he could. The thing I will always remember about Daz is that he never backed down to anyone, something I hope I can take from the short time that I knew him."

Lance Corporal Richie English was Lance Corporal Flowers’ room mate. He said of him:

"I remember when I first met Daz in Canada last year. I had to ask him to talk properly – I couldn’t understand his accent. He was one of the hardest working men I have ever met. He also loved his ‘Magners’ cider, which he used to drink at ‘The Boar’ in Fallingbostel. He will always be remembered." 

Lance Corporal Trevor Holding, from the Badger Fitter Section said:

"Daz, will miss you mate – Trevor will be thinking of you on every smoke break. Lance Corporal James Bruce, from the Badger Fitter Section said: Since we both arrived at the RTR we have worked together through every step of the journey in the build up to Iraq. It’s been an experience I’ll never forget, take it easy Daz."


29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

 

Sergeant Les Hehir

Sergeant Les Hehir

Sergeant Les Hehir (pronounced 'HEAR'), of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery is missing believed killed. 
Aged 34, Les was married, with two sons, and lived in Poole, Dorset.
Major John Francis is Families Officer with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery at its Plymouth base. He said: 
"The loss of three fine members is acutely felt by us all. That they served with the same Battery only heightens the sense of grief. 
Together with the deaths of our two Army personnel, Sergeant Hehir and Lance Bombardier Evans, we mourn also for Ian Seymour, 
a naval rating who had been with 29 Commando since 1999 and was very much a part of Regiment life. Our thoughts remain very 
much with their families at this time."

The family have specifically requested that, if the photograph published here is reproduced, Sergeant Hehir's sons are included.



29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

L/Bombardier Evans

Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans

Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Karl Evans, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery is missing believed killed. He was 24 years old and from Llandudno
Nicknamed 'Welly', he had been in the army since 1996, passing through ATR Pirbright and after completing training at Larkhill sucessfully completed the Commando Course in December 1996. He had served in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. He was engaged to Miss Rebecca Williams and his younger brother is serving in the same unit.
His father, Gordon Evans, gave the following statement:
"On behalf of my whole family, I wish to say that we are all devastated by the loss of our son Llywelyn Karl Evans. Whilst we are deeply saddened, we are, and always will be proud of him. We would like to thank all of the family, friends and local people for their flowers and messages of support. This has given us great strength."
Major John Francis is Families Officer with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery at its Plymouth base. He said: 
"The loss of three fine members is acutely felt by us all. That they served with the same Battery only heightens the sense of grief. Together with the deaths of our two Army personnel, Sergeant Hehir and Lance Bombardier Evans, we mourn also for Ian Seymour, a naval rating who had been with 29 Commando since 1999 and was very much a part of Regiment life. Our thoughts remain very much with their families at this time."


Royal Regiment of Wales

Pte Ryan Lloyd Thomas

Private Ryan Lloyd Thomas died in a road traffic accident whilst on duty in Basrah on 6 November 2003. Aged 18, 
Private Thomas served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Wales. 
His home town was Resolven, near Neath in Glamorgan.

The Battalion issued the following statement:
"Ryan Thomas joined The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th / 41st Foot) in August 2003, having joined the Army straight from school. 
A fit, keen sportsman, he had already made an impact on the Battalion sports field and was an enormously popular and charismatic individual. 
A proud Welshman, he was becoming increasingly passionate following Wales' progress in the Rugby World Cup, to the point of being incorrigible. 
"Private Ryan joined the Battalion as a Rifleman in an Infantry Company and was enjoying the experience of serving in an Operational Theatre. 
He carried out his duties in this unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous environment with a pride and maturity beyond that expected of such a junior soldier. The tragic loss of such an unique character is sorely felt by colleagues who valued his professionalism and sense of fun."


Royal Navy

Operator Mechanic (Communications) Second Class Ian Seymour RN

On 9 April, the funeral took place of Operator Mechanic (Communications) Second Class Ian Seymour RN, killed in a helicopter accident in the Gulf on 21 March. The funeral followed service at St. Michael's Church, Hamworthy, Poole, and was conducted with full military honours.



Memorial at Culdrose


Lt Thomas Mullen Adams. Age 27.
Lt Adams 
was serving with the United States Navy on attachment to the Royal Navy was killed in the helicopter crash
on 22nd March 2003 with six other officers.

Lt Thomas Mullen Adams.

 

Attached to 849 Squadron


Lt P West

Lt Lawrence

Lt Lawrence

Lt A Wilson

were on Helicopter XV704 call sign Red Rat 34


Lt King

Lt Williams Lt Green

  were on Helicopter XV650 call sign Red Rat 35


Lt Andrew Wilson

 

Lieutenant Andrew Wilson

Lieutenant Andrew Wilson of the Royal Navy is missing, presumed killed, following the collision of two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance
and Control (ASAC) helicopters over international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at
the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall. The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors. 
Lieutenant Andrew Wilson, was aged 36 and a pilot. His wife, Sarah, said that she was devastated and saddened by her tragic loss, but intensely proud of her husband's commitment to the Royal Navy. She added that Andrew was an extremely kind and outgoing person who will be greatly missed by his family, his squadron colleagues and by the wider Naval Aviation community. 
Fellow aircrew on 849 Squadron in which Andrew had served for the past three years said that Andy had been a powerful personality within the squadron and that his death leaves a void which will not be easily filled.


Royal Navy

 

Lieutenant James Williams

Lieutenant James Williams of the Royal Navy was killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall. The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors. 
James was the much-loved son of Vernon and Liz. He grew up in Winchester with his older sister Caroline. In 1994 he went to Liverpool University where he met his fiancée Sarah. James joined the Royal Navy in January 1999 and trained as a Sea King Observer. He was awarded his wings in July 2002. He joined 849 A Flight in January this year.
James was a very popular character in the Squadron, he and Sarah have many good friends, who are now providing tremendous support at this difficult time. They chose to settle in Falmouth where Sarah intends to practice as a dentist. The deployment to the Gulf was his first operational tour of duty. He was 28.
From an early age James had been fascinated by aircraft, he joined the Royal Navy in fulfilment of an ambition to fly and to serve his country. His parents recall how proud he was to wear his uniform and said that he died doing the job he loved most. 


Royal Navy

Lt Philip West

 

Lieutenant Philip West
Lieutenant Philip West, Royal Navy, was killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall. The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors. 
Phil, aged 32, lived in Budock Water with his fiancée Nicky who works as a nurse at Treliske hospital. The couple were due to be married in August this year and had been converting a barn together.
As a boy, Phil lived in Carlisle, moving when he was 10 to Hoy Lake on the Wirral. He went to Salford University when he was 18 and joined the University Royal Naval Unit where he developed his interest in the RN. Having obtained his degree he joined Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1992 and commenced officer training. His parents recall how he had always wanted to fly and his decision to join the service made them extremely proud. Following Sea King Observer training he gained his wings in 1994. Phil served in HMS Invincible during the Adriatic deployment of 1996 and was awarded the campaign medal for his service.
Nicky and Phil met in Falmouth in 1998 when he was serving at RNAS Culdrose. Since settling in the region Phil, much to the amusement of his family, had become quite a countryman. He loved his dog Georgie and Nicky's four horses. Nicky's parents Steve and Sandra, who live in Budock Water, adopted him into their family and Steve introduced him to the game of golf of which he became a devotee.
Both families were looking forward to celebrating the couple's marriage in August and his tragic loss is so hard to bear. However, they have all been overwhelmed by the tremendous support that they have received from friends and family which is proving a great comfort.
Phil was known throughout 849 as "Stretch" on account of his height (6'4"). He was admired by his colleagues for his professionalism and always put those he was with at their ease. Nicky described him as, "patient, thoughtful and considerate." All those who were close to him miss him greatly.


Royal Navy

Lieutenant Marc Lawrence


Lieutenant Marc Lawrence - Memorial

Lieutenant Marc Lawrence - Memorial Lieutenant Marc Lawrence

Lieutenant Marc Lawrence

The Last Post is sounded at Lt Lawrence's memorial service  -  Tributes at the memorial service

Lieutenant Marc Lawrence, from 849 Squadron RNAS Culdrose.
Marc, 26, son of George and Ann, grew up in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, and was educated at Chatham House Grammar School and
the University of Plymouth. 
From an early age Marc was interested in sailing, diving, windsurfing, in fact anything connected with the sea,
and when he was at university in Plymouth he decided to join the Royal Navy.

Joining Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in 1999 for officer training, he went on to train as a Sea King Observer at RNAS Culdrose, gaining his wings in 2002 and then joining 849 Squadron. Another important event happened in 2002, Marc became engaged to Elaine
Cleaver, also from Kent. They planned to marry in 2004 and make their home in Cornwall.
At the age of 8, Marc showed a talent for music and became an enthusiastic and accomplished musician. He was a member of the Thanet Music Centre and the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra, his interest in music continued throughout university, and he played in the ship's band on board HMS Ark Royal.
Marc's sister Jayne described her brother as a "happy man with a ready smile". His fiancée Elaine summed him up - "He stole our hearts".
On 3 April, the memorial service to Lieutenant Marc Lawrence was conducted by the vicar of St. Saviour's Church. The eulogy was delivered by the Reverend Richard Ellingham, Royal Navy Chaplain from HMS Collingwood and prayers were said by Reverend Simon Springett, Royal Navy Chaplain at RNAS Culdrose. The 23 Psalm was read by Lieutenant Simon Collins, one of 30 Royal Navy officers from RNAS Culdrose who attended the service and formed an honour party. Also present was the Captain of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Mike Knowles, the Commander of Sea King Helicopters and the Assistant Chief of Staff (Air) from Fleet Headquarters.
A piper from the Royal Marines School of Music played a lament as the congregation arrived. The Last Post was played by a bugler from the Band of the Royal Marines, Portsmouth. Captain Knowles presented the Union Flag to Marc's father, George.
The family have issued the following statement:
"At this very sad time, the family, fiancée and friends of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence are under some distress. Today's church service was composed not only as a memorial, but also as a thanksgiving to Marc's life. A young man of whom we are immensely proud".


Royal Navy

Lieutenant Antony King

 

Lieutenant Antony King

Lieutenant Antony King was killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall. 
The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors.
Tony, who joined the Royal Navy in 1987 at the age of 19, had recently been selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
A committed family man, he lived with his wife Sarah and children David (5) and Molly (4) in their home in Helston. Tony valued his family and close friends above all else and his loss to them all has been devastating.
Tony and Sarah's families live in North Somerset where they both grew up. Following training as a Sea King Observer Tony was awarded his wings in 1990. In 1991 Tony served in HMS Ark Royal during the last Gulf War and was awarded the Gulf War Medal. Upon his return he
joined the 849 Squadron HQ staff at Culdrose and in 1994 he married Sarah at their parish church in Somerset. In 1996 Tony deployed to 
the Adriatic and was again awarded a campaign medal for his service.
His son David was born in 1997 followed by the birth of Molly in 1999. Although the family have made several moves to further Tony's career they have always regarded Helston as home. They purchased their dream house in 2001 and, with the help of his best friend, Tony took up 
the art of DIY. The family are closely connected with St Michael's Church Primary School where Sarah was a teacher (now a governor) and their son David is a pupil.
Tony's family described him as a "larger than life" character with a "tremendous presence". He had a passion for rugby and as a young man 
had captained the Yatton Colts. In more recent years he has played for Stithians. Popular with his squadron Tony's colleagues were delighted by the news of his forthcoming promotion and considered it well deserved. 
Tony has left all who his life touched with affectionate and happy memories. Sarah summed him up by saying, "Tony made people laugh". 


Royal Navy

Lt Philip Green

 

Lieutenant Philip D Green RN

Lieutenant Philip Green RN was killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over
international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose,
in Cornwall. The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors.
After joining the Navy in April 1996 as a graduate entry, Lieutenant Green undertook officer training at BRNC Dartmouth, passing out in
April 1997. He started his flying career on Firefly aircraft at the Joint Elementary Flying Training Squadron (JEFTS), RAF Barkston Heath
in June 1997. After successful completion of JEFTS in December 1997 he moved onto Basic Flying Training and the Squirrel helicopter at
RAF Shawbury.
His Tri-Service flying training ended in June 1998 and he moved to RNAS Culdrose to take part in his Advanced Flying Training and
Operational Flying Training, flying the Sea King helicopter with 810 Naval Air Squadron in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Role.
He completed these courses and was posted to his first frontline tour at Prestwick in Scotland with 819 Naval Air Squadron in January 2000. During his time on this squadron he completed his ASW pilot Certificate of Competency. He served in many areas gaining a wide and varied flying experience. Towards the second half of his time on this squadron he served as the second pilot on a Type 22 Frigate Flight.
He joined 849 Squadron in May 2002. 


Acting Chief Petty Officer Simon Roger Owen

The Type 22 frigate has the rare honour of an English motto, subsequently translated into Latin – Surge et vince, or “Arise and conquer” –

Acting Chief Petty Officer Simon Roger Owen Aged 38

Died while serving in HMS Chatham on 17 December 2004, while the ship was on patrol in the Gulf. He was married and lived in Plymouth. His death is believed to have been from natural causes.


On Saturday 06 May at 1350 hours local time a Lynx Mark 7 helicopter, on a routine flight, came down in Basrah City, crash-landing on the roof of an empty building. 
"Five UK personnel on board the aircraft lost their lives"
Wing Commander John Coxen RAF
Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman RN
Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill RAF
Captain David Dobson, Army Air Corps 
Marine Paul Collins RM

British Army units in Basrah deployed immediately to the scene of the crash and secured the area with the help of the Iraqi Army and the Police Service.
A crowd swiftly formed on the streets surrounding the crash site and the House, you will have seen the television coverage of the volatile situation that developed over the next few hours "British troops and Iraqi Security Forces came under attack with a variety of weapons, including stones, gunfire, petrol and blast bombs, rocket propelled grenades and mortars". 

Seven UK personnel were injured as a result of the disturbance, sources indicate that 5 Iraqis may have died and approximately 28 were injured during the civil disorder that followed the crash.

Royal Navy

Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman

Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman, Royal Navy, Aged 40, was Commanding Officer of 847 Naval Air Squadron based at Yeovilton. he was married with three children.

Having worked his way up through the ranks from Able Seaman, Darren assumed command of 847 Naval Air Squadron in December 2005, having previously served as a staff officer within the Joint Helicopter Command. Recently qualified on the Lynx Mk7, he had extensive experience as a helicopter pilot and was a Qualified Helicopter Instructor and Helicopter Warfare Instructor. Most of his flying experience was on the Sea King Mk4 Commando helicopter and he had served with the Commando Helicopter Force squadrons and on exchange with the United States Marine Corps. He had extensive operational experience, serving as a Sea King pilot in the first Gulf campaign in 1991, on operations in the Balkans during the mid-1990s, returning to Iraq for Operation Telic in 2003; he had recently arrived back in Iraq for this latest deployment. He had also served as the Senior Pilot of 845 Naval Air Squadron in 2001. 
Colonel John McCardle Royal Marines, Commanding Officer of the Commando Helicopter Force, said of him: 
"Darren was a consummate professional and was highly regarded by all of his Squadron personnel and also within the broader helicopter community. A larger than life character, he had a tremendous ability to make people laugh and could communicate easily with those in his charge, regardless of rank. Our thoughts are with his adored wife Liz and his beloved children Chloe, Ben and Georgina." 
The family of Lieutenant Commander Chapman have issued the following statement: 
"We are deeply shocked and devastated at the untimely and tragic loss of Darren. He was a fantastic father, husband, son and friend who was deeply committed to family life; always there for those who needed him, nothing was ever too much trouble. 
"Outgoing, gregarious and always joking, he was the consummate entertainer who touched and enriched many peoples lives. Equally committed to his life as an Officer in the Fleet Air Arm, he adored flying in the Service and we can rest assured that he died doing the job that he so loved. 
"Our thanks go to all for the kind thoughts and messages we have received and we would ask that our family privacy is respected to allow us time to grieve."


Royal Signals

L/Cpl S. Brierley

[ Royal Signals Memorial Nation Arboretum  ]

Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley

All Saints Church... Batley, West Yorkshire

Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, 1 (UK) Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment, in a road traffic accident on 30 March.
Major Jim Wood, OC 1(UK) Armoured Division Signal Regiment's Rear Party, gave the following statement:
"Lance Corporal Shaun Andrew Brierley, 28, was a member of 212 Signal Squadron which provides communications for HQ 1 (UK) Armoured Division. He was a Radio Systems Operator of nine years experience and was a highly regarded and well known member of the Squadron.
"Shaun Brierley had served in Germany for over four years, having seen service in the UK, Canada, the former Yugoslavia, Oman and Poland. 
He was unfortunately killed as a result of a road traffic accident that occurred whilst he was serving in Iraq.
"Shaun's family live in West Yorkshire and he was the father of a 3 year old son. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

Signalman Paul William Didsbury

Sig Didsbury

29 June 2005, Signalman Paul William Didsbury, a soldier with 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support), died in a tragic shooting accident at Basra. He was serving on a roulement tour with the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq).
Signalman Didsbury, Aged 18, was single and served with the Royal Signals. He was born in Blackpool.
Lt Col Olly Halstead, Commanding Officer, paid tribute to Signaller Didsbury:

"Signalman Didsbury was known as 'Dids' to all within my Regiment. He was an outgoing and irrepressibly cheerful soldier who was very well known and hugely popular throughout the Regiment. Always keen to try new things, he seized every opportunity to broaden his horizons and relished the challenges that operations in Iraq offered. Fit, bright and a capable operator, what set Signalman Didsbury apart was his enthusiasm and zest for life. "Signaller Didsbury's death is a tragic blow to everyone and I offer my most sincere condolences, along with those of all in my Regiment, to his family – with whom our thoughts and prayers lie right now. His death will be felt by all those who have been privileged to serve alongside him."


Warrant Officer Class 2 Lee Hopkins

A ceremony was held, Thursday 16 November 2006, at RAF Brize Norton to mark the repatriation of five Service personnel killed on operations in Iraq.

 

Warrant Officer Lee Hopkins son Thomas
with his Dad's medals

Four UK Service personnel killed in an attack on a Multi-National Forces boat patrol on the Shatt Al-Arab waterway on Sunday 12 November 2006. They were; Warrant Officer Class 2 Lee Hopkins, Royal Corps of Signals, Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott of the Intelligence Corps, Corporal Ben Nowak of 45 Commando Royal Marines and Marine Jason Hylton of 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines.

All died as a result of injuries sustained following the detonation of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) mounted on a bridge on the Shatt Al Arab River on the eastern edge of Basra City. The incident took place at approximately 1350 hrs local time. All were onboard a Rigid Raiding Craft (RRC) which was part of a routine boat patrol travelling north towards the Shatt Al Arab Hotel, a British Army base on the river. Three other UK service personnel sustained serious injuries in the attack.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Lee Hopkins, 35, of The Royal Corps of Signals, joined the British Army in 1988 and spent his entire career in the Royal Corps of Signals. He had seen operational service in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and previously in Iraq. At the time of his death he was five weeks into a planned six month tour in Iraq. 
WO2 Lee Hopkins was an outstandingly professional soldier, who embraced the challenges of his profession. He was extremely fit, a qualified parachutist and keen all round sportsman. He excelled in rugby, squash, golf and orienteering. Members of his unit had been impressed by his strong character, wicked sense of humour, infectious enthusiasm and his ability to thrive on challenge. WO2 Lee Hopkins came from Wellingborough. He had been married for 10 years and leaves behind a wife and son, aged three.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Park, his Commanding Officer in Iraq said: 
"WO2 Lee Hopkins was the ultimate professional. Although he arrived in Theatre only five weeks ago, he made an immediate impact. Vastly experienced, he worked tirelessly for his soldiers, encouraging them to succeed. He would always make time to pass on the benefit of his knowledge to the newer members of the unit. He won the respect of all who met him for his leadership, enthusiasm and dedication. Fit and ambitious, he was a shining example to all. 
"Proud of his airborne training, WO2 Lee Hopkins took every opportunity to further his soldiering skills. He led from the front with a quiet authority and paid attention to every detail. Charismatic, he was comfortable in the presence of all ranks and selfless in seeking assistance for his soldiers. 
"WO2 Lee Hopkins was a dedicated family man who spoke often of his wife and young son. He was a loving husband and devoted father. His keen sense of humour and sociable character made him a very popular member of the unit. He was great fun to be around. 
"My thoughts and that of the unit are with his family and friends at this very difficult time. We have lost a trusted and valued colleague, who will be sorely missed by all."


It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Major Nick Bateson, Royal Corps of Signals, who was killed in a road traffic accident in Basra, southern Iraq, on Tuesday 1 May 2007.

Major Nick Bateson was riding his bicycle on the Contingency Operating Base at Basra Air Station when he was involved in an accident with a coach. He was taken to the field hospital by ambulance but sadly died of his injuries.

[ Major Nick Bateson ]

Major Bateson, aged 49, was born in Chislehurst, Kent. For the past three months, he served within the headquarters of Multi-National Division (South East), where his role was to support communications between the UK and British forces in Iraq. He was on detachment from the Defence Information Infrastructure Integrated Project Team, based in Corsham, Wiltshire. 

A keen sportsman, Major Bateson had represented the Army in the triathlon and orienteering and competed in swimming, cross country, and cycling at the highest levels of service competition. He leaves behind his wife Angela.

Lieutenant Colonel David Craft, his Commanding Officer, said:

"One of the most competitive men I knew, he was also one of the nicest."

"Major Nick Bateson was one of life's real characters. He was known throughout the Headquarters not only as a professional soldier and staff officer but also as an individual. His personality was bigger than simply the job he was doing. He was always the person with a smile on his face and a quick retort; the sort of person you need around to lift the team when things don't go well. Nick had a zest and energy second to none.

"He was known not only for his professionalism and commitment to ensuring that he delivered communications support to the very best of his ability, but also for his total dedication to, and love of, sport. He was an athlete of some renown and never settled for second place, he was always there to cajole and enthuse people to achieve their best. One of the most competitive men I knew, he was also one of the nicest.

"Nick will be greatly missed. He was a highly regarded member of the Branch."

Captain Alex Yates, fellow HQ Multi-National Division branch member and friend of Major Bateson, said:

"Nick was the 'cheerful chappy' and always had time for everybody and anybody. You could not help but respect Nick, not least for his morals and the true determination which he showed in abundance on many occasions whilst serving the Army, and in sport. 

"A professional and true athlete, he always had bundles of energy in whatever he did and never failed to inspire those around him. He was a genuine ambassador for the Corps and will be solely missed by us all. 'Forest' - Nick's nickname not just for his running but also for his ability to blend into the woodland with his ill fitting and well creased uniform - you will not be forgotten."

Major Tarquin Shipley, who shared a room with Major Bateson, said:

"Knowing Nick was an absolute privilege. He had helped recruit me, was my course officer as a young officer and lately we had studied for a Master's Degree at Blandford together and shared a room in Iraq. He was incredibly helpful and would not think twice about putting himself out for you.

"With his slightly absent-minded approach to life, he would take on everything with determination and energy but never too much unnecessary detail. He would always have a good word to say about everyone; unless they were getting in the way of his training. He was fiercely competitive and extremely proud of his sporting achievements but would always provide encouragement and support to anyone who asked. 

"He was a private person and was often happy with his own company. Despite being a Great Britain and Army sportsman, I will always remember him as the 'Blandford Beams' champion, and that was when the 'beams' were the 'beams'!"

Lieutenant Colonel Colin McGrory, Chief of Staff of Defence Information Infrastructure Integrated Project Team, said:

"If you mention Nick Bateson to anyone from the Royal Signals of Nick's vintage, they will immediately picture certain things about him. He always had a great big grin on his face, very bandy legs, an eccentric approach to uniform, and wherever he was his workspace would expand gradually as bikes, bits of bike, and running kit started to appear.

"Nick was a lovely guy who will be sorely missed. He was a real character in every way. A hugely fit, active man he was somewhat uncomfortable in a desk environment, but was always professional and whether he enjoyed it or not he got on and did a professional job. A real people person, his wicked sense of humour and willingness to make cups of coffee and toast for his workmates made him a great guy to work near. We were all looking forward to having him back from Iraq in only a few short weeks. 

"Perhaps the thing that Nick will mostly be remembered for is his immense fitness. He represented the Army in the Triathlon and Orienteering and competed at the highest Service levels in cross country, cycling and swimming. Sport was his life. 

"It's often said at times like this what a lovely guy so and so was. Nick really was a great guy, a soldier's officer and a real gentleman. We will all miss him greatly, and we extend our condolences to his wife Angela."


264 SAS Signal Squadron

Acting Lance Corporal Steven Jones

 Lance Corporal Steven Jones

Steven retutning home with his comrades from the aircraft at RAF Lyneham

Acting Lance Corporal Steven Jones, Killed following the loss of an RAF C-130K Hercules aircraft over Iraq on 30 January 2005. Aged 25 and single, he served with the Royal Signals and came from Fareham.

Steven's family have issued the following statement:

"Steve worked hard, played hard and lived life to the max whether it be skydiving or bungee jumping. Words will never be able to express the loss that we feel today. He was always adventurous, fun loving and had a wicked sense of humour. Steve will forever be in the hearts of those that knew him best. The family would like to request that they and his friends are allowed to grieve together in peace."


33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth

Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth

Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). Aged 36, Staff Sergeant Cullingworth 
came from Essex and was married with two sons.
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Troulan, the Commanding Officer of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 
issued the following statement:
"SSgt Cullingworth was an extremely experienced soldier who was in line for promotion and whose dedication to duty and professionalism
won him the respect of everyone he served with. This was his third tour of duty with the Regiment; he had already served as a Bomb 
Disposal Officer in the Balkans and Afghanistan. He leaves behind his wife Allison and two young sons aged 8 and 3.
"The family has been informed and we are giving them as much support as we can through this difficult time."
Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth was laid to rest following a funeral service at All Saints Church, Wimbish, with full military honours on Tuesday 6 May 2003.
More than 250 mourners were at the service, including relatives, friends and Army colleagues, who watched as he was buried in the churchyard and a 12 gun salute was fired in his honour. News that Staff Sergeant Cullingworth had been promoted to Sergeant Major three days after he went missing was disclosed by one of the soldier's commanding officers following his funeral.


33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

Sapper Luke Allsopp

All Saints Church, Wimbish

Sapper Luke Allsopp

Sapper Luke Allsopp, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). Aged 24, Sapper Allsopp came from North London.
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Troulan, the Commanding Officer of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 
issued the following statement:
"Luke Allsopp was a very capable individual who was well liked within the Squadron, and a valued team member. He had served within bomb disposal in Cyprus and Kenya. He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend, Katy. The family have been informed and we are giving them as much support as we can through this difficult time."
On Wednesday 7 May 2003 Sapper Allsopp was laid to rest following a funeral service at All Saints Church, Wimbish with full military honours.


Royal Tank Regiment

Sergeant Steven Roberts

Sergeant Steven Roberts

Sergeant Steven Mark Roberts, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was killed in action near Al Zubayr, south west of Basrah, on 24 March.
Sergeant Roberts was aged 33, was raised in Cornwall, and had latterly lived in Bradford in West Yorkshire. He was married, and had a child from a previous marriage. His family have been informed.
Lieutenant Colonel Piers Harkinson, the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, gave this statement:
"'TC', as he was known, had a full and varied career in the Regiment. He joined the army in the summer of 1986 as a Junior Leader, during 
his training he excelled in all aspects of military life including sports. He left Junior Leaders in the summer of 1987 having reached the rank
of Junior Sergeant and also held the Regimental Team Colours in rugby and Individual Colours in squash.
"He joined the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment in August 1987. TC gained promotion very quickly and continued to demonstrate the potential he 
had for soldiering. On amalgamation between the 2nd and 3rd Royal Tank Regiments he was already a Corporal and was clearly ahead of his peers. He had tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Canada. In January 2002 he finished a two year posting working as an instructor at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate training new recruits.
"TC continued his love of sport, and represented both the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment and later the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in rugby and squash. TC was an all-round professional soldier. A first class tank commander, a strong and affective leader with great depth or character who excelled under pressure. He will be sadly missed by all ranks, past and present, 3rd and 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.
"All of us in the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment send their deepest sympathies to his wife and family.


Mrs Samantha Roberts at a press conference with Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary...

His wife, Mrs Samantha Roberts, issued the following statement:
"Steve's whole future lay within the Army; it was his life and he was very proud of his job. He was adamant that he was doing the right thing and said that he was doing it for the people back home and the Iraqi people. He was a unique man, who was very outgoing and sociable, and was loved by all who met him.
"I have been inundated by phone calls from people who knew him, who have been shocked and sorry to hear the news. We loved each other deeply - he is totally irreplaceable."

His mother, Mrs Marion Chapman, said:
"Steve loved Cornwall - this was where he was born and brought up. He always took a Cornish flag with him everywhere. He was the best son anyone could have. He made us laugh, he was the most perfect son ever. All his families and friends will really miss him."


[Lance Corporal James Cartwright ]

Lance Corporal James Cartwright of Badger Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, Died following a vehicle accident in Southern Iraq at around 0100hrs on the morning of 16 June 2007.

Lance Corporal Cartwright was the driver of a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle involved in securing a route for a re-supply convoy. Initial reports suggest that the vehicle slid off a bridge into a small canal and overturned. In spite of his colleagues' best efforts to get him out of the vehicle and revive him, James was later declared dead. James Cartwright was born on 1 October 1985 and lived in London. He enlisted in the British Army in August 2003 and joined the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment as a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank gunner. In May 2007, he deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC 10 as part of the Irish Guards Battle Group. Lance Corporal Cartwright was a keen sportsman, who played football for his Regiment. He leaves behind a fiancée Natalie, and they were planning their future together after his operational tour.

Lieutenant Colonel David Catmur, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (his parent unit in Germany), said of him:

"Lance Corporal Cartwright was a professional soldier and a committed "Tankie". Despite the fact that he had planned to leave the Army to become a Fireman in Lincolnshire, he still deployed to Iraq out of loyalty to his Squadron and Regiment. "He was a renowned character and will be sorely missed by those who worked with him. Lance Corporal Cartwright died in the service of his country, in the line of duty and alongside his comrades. The thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences of the whole Regiment are with his family and his many close friends."

"As my gunner for the majority of the time I knew him very well, relied upon him completely, and was never disappointed. It was a pleasure and a privilege to serve with him." 

Lieutenant Colonel Michael O'Dwyer MBE, Commanding Officer of the Irish Guards Battle Group in Iraq said:

"Lance Corporal Cartwright had been attached to the Irish Guards Battle Group since the critical final stages of our pre-deployment training in March. Employed as the driver of a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle, he was central to the operational effectiveness of the Battle Group. For one so young, his job was very challenging, yet his capacity for hard work and continued drive and determination even when tired, hot and in dangerous situations, suited his role. 
"A calm, unflappable manner and determined nature were the hallmarks of this consummate professional. He was clearly, however, much more than just a driver. He was part of the hub of his Troop and a continual source of morale and inspiration for those above and below him. He was an integral member of the Battle Group and will be missed by all. "Our thoughts go out to his parents and sisters, friends and Regiment. A sad loss of a proud man with such clear potential."

Major Mike Longman, the Squadron Leader, Badger, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said:

"Lance Corporal James 'Jay' Cartwright was a professional and highly motivated soldier. He never did anything by halves, both in his personal life and at work. "As my gunner for the majority of the time I knew him very well, relied upon him completely, and was never disappointed. It was a pleasure and a privilege to serve with him. "He was one of the most determined men I have known. Whenever there was a whiff of competition he could always be seen working his way to a favourable position from which he could emerge victorious. This was epitomised by his recent promotion to Lance Corporal where he only missed first place on his Cadre Course by the narrowest of margins. "He approached this tour in the way in which he looked at everything, as a challenge. There is no doubt in my mind that he rose to that challenge and beyond, on a daily basis."

Major Mike Longman, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment

"He judged everyone else by his own standards, setting the bar high for those in his Troop and the Squadron who looked up to him. "His quick wit and confident manner meant there were few who managed to better him in the cut and thrust of life on the tank park and on operations. "He approached this tour in the way in which he looked at everything, as a challenge. There is no doubt in my mind that he rose to that challenge and beyond, on a daily basis. 
"Lance Corporal Cartwright was a fanatically keen footballer, an Arsenal supporter to the core, he competed for the Regiment and if one listened to his post match analysis you could have been misled into believing that his boots had wings. "He loved a good gripe when things weren't going well but ultimately he always managed to pull those around him onwards and upwards with his drive. "He was a bright prospect for the future. The Regiment has lost a good man; Badger has lost a good friend. His death will be deeply felt by all of us."

Lieutenant Jay Ferman, his Troop Leader, said of him:

"Lance Corporal Cartwright was an essential part of the Troop. His quick wit and ability to improve morale at any juncture was amazing. He was a highly professional soldier with great natural aptitude and ability. "However, what really characterised Lance Corporal Cartwright was the impact he had on everyone he came into contact with. No matter who it was, he would always affect their life in some way or another. "He was extremely competitive, especially when it came to sports, and of course his new found passion, 'Risk', a game he claimed he couldn't lose. This attitude was mirrored in his work; he very rarely admitted defeat and always led those around him, including his seniors, by example. "He was a great colleague and friend. He will be sorely missed by the men of BADGER and in particular those who have had the privilege of serving with him. Godspeed, Jay." 

Trooper Carl Williams
"He had all the qualities of a good friend and there won't be a day that I won't think about him. Going to miss you mate."

Sergeant Craig Jackson, his Troop Sergeant, said of him:

"Jay was a real character, always there with a joke or a sharp retort to raise morale. He was truly professional in his own inimitable style. He was a great asset to both the Troop and the Squadron and he will be enormously missed by us all."

Lance Corporal Ryan Fawkes, a colleague from his Squadron said:

"Jay was an outstanding soldier and an even better friend. You could always count on him at work, and out of work, which is a rare thing. He was looked up to by many in Badger and he will be greatly missed. My thoughts go out to his family, girlfriend and anyone else who knew Jay."

Trooper John Gregg, a member of his Squadron's Headquarters said:

"Jay was one of the best friends I've ever had; he was always there for me, no matter what. I will always remember him as he was like a big brother to me. He was definitely one-of-a-kind and I'm honoured to have been his friend."

Trooper Carl Williams, a friend from the same Troop said:

"Jay was not only my best friend but he was like a brother to me. He had all the qualities of a good friend and there won't be a day that I won't think about him. Going to miss you mate."

Trooper Carl Baker, a friend from his Squadron said:

"Jay was a good friend to me and everyone else in the Squadron. He was someone you could have a good laugh with and he could talk to everyone. We will miss him sorely, be safe mate."

Trooper Louis Miles, a fellow 2nd Royal Tank Regiment Soldier said:

"Jay was one of the lads, a role model to me, I will always look up to him."


[ Corporal Steve Edwards ]

Corporal Steve Edwards 2nd Royal Tank Regiment killed in Basra City, southern Iraq on Tuesday 31 July 2007.

Corporal Edwards, known as 'Eddy' to his friends, was on a routine patrol in the Mustashfa district of Basra City when his Warrior Armoured Vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device shortly before midnight local time. Corporal Edwards was checking the safety of the soldiers travelling in his vehicle at the time of the attack.

A member of Badger Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, attached to the Irish Guards Battle Group, Corporal Edwards was working under the command of 4th Battalion the Rifles. He had been in Iraq since early May, consistently involved in operations in Basra City. Corporal Steve Edwards, aged 35, grew up in Sutton Coldfield and joined the Army in 1993. He had deployed on exercises all over the world and served on operations in Northern Ireland, the Balkans and during the first phase of Operation TELIC. He was due to be posted to a new job later this year at the end of his tour in Iraq, with a promotion to the rank of Sergeant. Corporal Edwards leaves behind his wife, Gabie, his Parents, and his 18-month-old son, Ryan.

Lieutenant Colonel David Catmur, Commanding Officer of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said of him:

"It is with great sadness that I am writing about the loss of another of my soldiers; Corporal Stephen 'Eddy' Edwards. I have known Eddy for several years and have many fond memories of him, particularly our two years together in 2002/03 when he commanded my squadron's ambulance. That period included the Iraq War and we shared many good and bad times. We also shared many moments together after I had cadged yet another fag off him. He was a cheerful, enthusiastic man who was very proud to be a part of our Regimental family. He was a 'Tankie' to the core: proud, loyal and professional with an excellent esprit de corps. His years of experience and kind-hearted nature will be a great loss to us all. Eddy epitomised all that is good about our soldiers, an example to all. Our thoughts now go to his wife, Gabie, his son, Ryan, and his parents and family."

Lieutenant Colonel Michael O'Dwyer MBE, Commanding Officer of the Irish Guards Battle Group, said of him:

"Corporal Steve Edwards had been a part of the Battle Group since his Squadron was first attached to us in early March. He was the embodiment of what I have come to know and love of the men of Badger Squadron. A larger than life character with an abundance of soul, drive, dedication, loyalty and professionalism; he was a blessing to commander and subordinate alike. He knew his job inside out and worked tirelessly to achieve only the highest standards. He understood the importance of leadership and was a gleaming example to those less experienced than he was. Selflessly committed to his men and his Regiment he was a model of resilience in the face of adversity; a smile never left his face. His men responded to a touch that is difficult to define and a sense of humour that inspired. "His departure will leave a hole in Badger that will be difficult to fill. His knowledge, experience and ability as a commander, together with his selfless and caring approach marked him out as a non commissioned officer of distinction; there aren't many who are able to live up to his standards. The effect that he had on the men of his Company, who had only known him for a short time, bears testament to his all consuming, infectious character. The thoughts and prayers of all members of the Battle Group are with his wife, his son and the rest of his family and friends."

Major Mike Longman, Corporal Edwards' Squadron Leader, wrote:

"Corporal Stephen 'Eddy' Edwards truly was all things to all men. He was the voice of experience and the guiding hand to those in the Squadron he worked with. He had a strong, calm nature, not a person who was easily flustered by anything. I know that over the course of the last few months, through the highs but especially the lows, other members of Badger had drawn great strength from his compassionate and down to earth approach to life.

"He was the consummate professional. Having spent time in both a sabre squadron and Recce Troop he instinctively knew what information was important and what could be ignored. I held his abilities in such high regard that he was carrying out three jobs in Basra Palace: Vehicle Commander, Troop Corporal and Vehicle Fleet Manager. Under such weight of responsibility he never faltered, providing a reliable and organised service well in advance of his current rank. Indeed his talents had been recognised because he was due to promote on posting in March of next year, something I know he had been looking forward to for a long time. "I could always rely on information I received from Eddy. He invariably put himself in a position whereby he could influence events. It is no surprise that he was in the vanguard of his last patrol leading from the front, not prepared to ask anyone to do anything he would not do himself. 

"One of Eddy's greatest strengths lay in his ability to listen to people and then help them using his experience both as a father and as a soldier. I knew Eddy well and liked him immensely. His family was as much a part of his career as soldiering. Our thoughts go out to Gabie, his wife, and Ryan his 18-month-old son who was the apple of his eye. He lived for his family and I know that they, like us, will miss him terribly. Eddy was our friend and our colleague. He had been through all of the successes and hardships before and during the tour to Iraq. He is, and will be forever, part of Badger; none of us will ever forget him."

Major Fabian Roberts MVO, the commander of the Irish Guards Company to which Corporal Edwards was attached, said:

"Corporal Steve 'Eddy' Edwards clearly relished juggling his role of Vehicle Commander and responsibility for the day to day management of the Company's vehicle fleet – and it was no mean feat that he excelled in both of them in conditions that might have frustrated others to the point of giving up. He appeared to regard his 'Panzers' as a labour of love, and one knew that no matter how depressing the diagnosis of particular vehicle's ailments that he would do his utmost to ensure the problem was fixed. And he would do this with an absolutely unflappable smile on his face. Again, this was only half of his job, and one with which he was previously unfamiliar, yet got on with it with a determined ease. "He was a selfless tactical commander who both knew how to get the best out of his men and always sought to exploit opportunities better to achieve the task in hand. It is typical of him that at the moment of his death he was checking on the welfare of those in his vehicle and all the more difficult for the Company that someone with his experience and dependability has been lost. Perhaps there is some comfort to be had in that he died doing something he both loved and was exemplary at. "As those who knew him well would testify, Corporal Edwards was much more than his impressive professional persona showed. He was a wonderfully big-hearted, immensely warm and cheerful character who never seemed to be fazed by the awkward and unpredictable nature of life in this environment. As such his infectiously positive effect on the morale of those around him was a key asset: his passing leaves an awful vacuum that will not be filled easily. "The Company is enormously proud to have known him – he was of the very best - and offers its prayers and deepest condolences to his widow and son."

Lieutenant Jon Evans, his Troop Leader, wrote:

"It is difficult to write words that will do justice to Eddy; his pride in his job, his joy with life, his deep love of his wife and son. He was always a true professional, putting every effort into being such an excellent "Panzer" commander, and always caring about those around him. I remember when I first met him as a wet around the ears Troop Leader and he took me aside and told me "this is how it really is, right". Never one to mince his words or hold his peace if he thought he had something to offer - "I'm not being funny boss, but…".

"I relied on him so much and the entire Troop will miss him for his dedication and infectious spirit. He always had time for people, was always to the fore when there was hard graft to be done, and was happiest whenever he was in the turret. Nothing more could be asked of him. 2 Troop and Badger will be hollow without his presence. "My thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to Gabie and young Ryan, to his brother and to his parents. He was so happy to be a father, and his joy when he talked of Ryan could never be hidden. I cannot imagine the pain of his loss. "Eddy was killed fighting for his country, and died staying true to the way he lived his life - by putting the safety of others before his own. I am honoured to have served alongside him, and proud to have been his friend. I will miss him. FEAR NAUGHT."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Pete Lydford, his Squadron Sergeant Major wrote:

"I have known Eddy for many years and have watched him mature from a young Trooper to a competent and well-respected tank commander. Eddy was always cheerful and enjoyed life to the full. I will miss his ready smile, his wit and his warm friendship. My thoughts are now with his wife and son, his parents and family."

Sergeant Michael Legg, who had served with Corporal Edwards for the whole of his career, said:

"Corporal Steve Edwards was a man with a big character and just as big a heart, who was always putting others first. He was keen to make sure that no one was left out in any situation and anyone who knew him would smile in his presence because that’s just how he came across. "Steve was and always will be a close friend. He always had time to listen, talk and help me through some dark times and I find it hard to put down in words just how much I admired his strength in everything he did. Steve you will be missed and never forgotten. I am proud to be your friend and comrade in arms."

Sergeant Mark Flynn, also of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said of him:

"Eddie was a larger than life character whose influence was not only felt throughout his Troop, Badger Squadron, and 2nd Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment, but also by the Irish Guardsmen who had the honour to serve alongside him. He will be sorely missed by all, both on a professional and personal level. If there was ever an official role for a morale officer he would have fulfilled it with distinction. He carried out his duties of a commander with the utmost professionalism and diligence, instilling confidence within all who served with him. He always had their welfare at heart, never putting himself before others.
"You will always be remembered by all who had the pleasure to serve with you. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gabie and his son Ryan. Eddie may you rest in peace.

"Quis Separabit"
Webmaster's Note: (Latin: Who will separate [us]) ... The source is the Vulgate translation of Romans, 8:35: "Quis nos separabit a caritate Christi...", translated as "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?".

Corporal Dave Roberts, a vehicle commander in the same troop as Corporal Edwards, who had been the Best Man at his wedding, wrote:

"Corporal Stephen Edwards or 'Big Eddie' as most knew him was as big in stature as he was in heart and personality. He had a fast humour that I was more often than not the victim of. The banter that passed between us kept each other's morale high and got us through each day, if I was ever down he was always the first to cheer me up. Eddie was a firm friend.

"We joined the Regiment just a few months apart and our careers have bounced together for the last fourteen years, having gone up the ranks together and served side by side for most of that time. Corporal Edwards was a professional soldier and an excellent Tank Commander, as a Troop Corporal he was a rock by my side and I greatly valued his experience and advice. "Corporal Edwards and I often talked of our families and I know how much he adored his wife Gabie and young son Ryan, my thoughts and prayers are constantly with them at this very difficult time. 'Big Eddie' has left a massive hole that is impossible to fill; I will miss him greatly as I know will others. "Corporal Edwards was killed in action serving his country where typically his foremost thoughts were the safety and welfare of his vehicle crew and others around him. Steve it was an honour to serve with you, from one true Tankie to another, Rest in Peace my friend and Fear Naught."

Corporal Mike Roberts, a fellow Warrior vehicle commander from Badger, wrote:

"Corporal Stephen 'Eddy' Edwards, a big man, with a big heart. Eddy inspired and touched anyone who had the pleasure to come across him. Two of his many qualities that I admired were his loyalty and dedication to his friends and family; Eddy would help wherever he could, a friend in need.

"At work his dedication to his boys was unquestionable, putting them first and himself last. His professionalism as a fellow commander was one that any soldier, of any rank, could learn from. At home a devoted husband and father. My heart goes out to Gabie, Ryan and his family.

"Eddy, you will be sorely missed and never forgotten. I am proud and was blessed to have known you as a friend and to have served with you as a comrade. Safe Journey Bud."

Corporal Billy Billington, a friend from the same Squadron said of him:

"Corporal Edwards, or Eddie as he was known to most, you've been a great character for the whole time I've known you. You had a very strong personality and always had a smile on your face to share with others when they were feeling down. I can't recall a single moment when you were down yourself; you always seemed to have a smile on your face. You were well liked throughout the Squadron and Regiment and it's been an honour to have served along side you. You were a great Tank Commander and set the standard for many of us to follow. Take care Eddie; the pleasure's been all mine. Rest in Peace."

Lance Sergeant Alan 'Speedy' Williams, an Irish Guardsman who served with Corporal Edwards, said:

"It was amazing how Eddie's personality had such an impact on 1 Company Irish Guards in the short space of time I knew him. He always had a kind, humble and calm approach to every situation even when times were hard, which was a good example to follow. For this reason Eddie will be remembered for as long as I can imagine. My deepest thoughts and prayers go to the wife, son and family of Eddie and to the lads in 2RTR. I can only imagine the pain and loss they will suffer. Rest in peace Eddie mate."

Lance Corporal Phillip Winton, 2 Troop, wrote:

"Eddie you were a great soldier and a very dear friend. You were always one to lead by example. If I had a problem at home, you were there. If I needed guidance at times you were there. I don't think I ever saw a day go by where you weren't smiling. No matter how hard times got, you were there to keep up the morale, laughing and joking. I remember the last chat we had, it was about your son Ryan and his first steps and I mentioned my daughters; we were talking for hours. I will never forget you, you will be missed dearly. When your son Ryan grows older he will understand that his father was a great man. Rest easy Stephen, rest easy." 

Trooper Rob Brown, who served in the same Troop as Corporal Edwards, said:

"I first met Corporal 'Eddie' Edwards when I got posted to the Royal Tank Regiment. He was always smiling, talking to all us new Troopers, making us feel more comfortable. When our Squadron went to train in Canada, I had the privilege of being his gunner on Exercise Prairie Brave; we made a good team together. After the exercise Eddie and a few others and I went sailing at Vancouver Island on adventure training. What a great time we had there. 

"Eddie was the sort of chap who you could count on coming out for a laugh with the lads. After Canada we started training up for Op TELIC 10. When in theatre I was in 1 Troop as a warrior gunner, and after a few months I was sent to Basra Palace as Eddie's Gunner. As I arrived he gave me a warm welcome and instantly made me feel at home, he was my commander at the time when he was killed and it was the biggest honour and privilege to have had a commander and a friend like him. Eddie take care mate you are sorely missed by me and the rest of the Squadron. All our prayers are with Eddie’s family at this difficult time." 

Trooper Adam Creese from his Troop said:

"Well Eddie, I'm not really good at this sort of thing, but I will try my best. I have known you since I arrived in Badger after Op TELIC 7 and got to know you very well. You were the guy who everybody could talk to if they had a problem or a question, and you were liked by everybody. You were a very professional soldier and an excellent commander. You will be missed sorely by the Squadron and the Regiment. Our thoughts are with your wife and child, take care Eddie."

Trooper Sam Abbott, one of his soldiers, said:

"Eddie, I never thought I would be writing this. You where a great tanky and friend. You were always someone I could talk to as you made very clear to me many times. The Troop, Squadron and Regiment will not be the same. My thoughts are with your wife and I know your child will grow up knowing how much of a great father and man you were."

Trooper Simon Simpkins wrote:

"Eddie mate you will be sorely missed not just by Badger but by all who were lucky enough to know or have met you. You were such a big character within Badger and you made life easier and comfortable for so many of us, always being so easy to talk to and have a joke and a laugh with. There will now be a big hole within Badger that will never be filled, but don't worry, you will always be remembered, never forgotten, rest easy!"

Guardsman 'Stretch' Walters, of 1st Battalion the Irish Guards, worked with Corporal Edwards:

"I've only worked with Eddie for a short period of time, but within that time I've seen how respected he his, not only by his workmates, but by me as well. Eddie always had a smile on his face and a good sense of humour to go with it. He got on with all the members that he was attached to in the Irish Guards and that, to me, shows a blinding personality. Eddie will be truly missed by me and all of his Regiment plus the guys in the Irish Guards. My pain and sorrow goes out to all Eddie's family and friends that I haven't met, take care mate and be well....your big mate STRETCH."

The men of 1st Battalion Irish Guards who served with Corporal Edwards paid this tribute:

"Corporal Eddy, you were a good professional soldier and a good man, you will be missed by our whole Company. Our thoughts are with your family and in particular, your 18-month-old son. We know they will learn of your dedication in Basra and how much you loved your job and Badger Squadron. Rest In Peace, Lest We Forget."



Queen's Royal Lancers

Trooper David Clarke


Trooper David Clarke


Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke of the Queen's Royal Lancers. Aged 19, Trooper Clarke was single and came from Littleworth in Staffordshire. 
He joined D Squadron of The Queen's Royal Lancers in February 2002, and immediately deployed to Kosovo on peace support operations. Having had a thoroughly rewarding tour, he volunteered to augment C Squadron for their deployment to the Gulf.

His father, Jeffrey Clarke, said:
"David started his career at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in 2000 and his passing out parade was one of his proudest moments. 
In his short time as a soldier he served in many places including Germany and Kosovo and was awarded his medal for service in Kosovo. 
He loved the Army, he loved his family and was proud to be in the Queen's Royal Lancers. He was a keen sportsman who played for Stafford Rugby Club when he was on leave. He was looking forward to becoming engaged to long-standing girlfriend Rachel on his return to the UK. David was serving in Kosovo when his Nan passed away last year and he was not in a position to return home for the funeral. 
He was hoping to pay his respects by spreading her ashes in Wales. We now wish to spread their ashes together. 
He was greatly loved and will be sadly missed by all his family."

His commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Fattorini, said: 
"In the short time he served with the Queen's Royal Lancers, Trooper Clarke proved himself to be a diligent and popular soldier. 
He was a keen athlete with a zest for life. A man with evident potential, he was quickly noticed for his proactive approach to soldiering. 
This has been a tragic loss of a young man who had a promising career ahead of him. He will be greatly missed by all members of the Regiment."
Colonel Chris Vernon, spokesman for British Land Forces in the Gulf, said:
"It is with deep regret that I have to announce the death of two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers operating a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. The soldiers were killed last night in a friendly fire incident with another British Challenger during a period of multiple engagements with Iraqi enemy forces on the outskirts of Basrah. Regardless of thorough training, careful planning, excellent night vision equipment and combat identification measures, in the type of operation in which we were engaged, and in the heat of battle, there is always a risk that incidents 
such as this may occur. The land forces in the Middle East extend their sincerest condolences to the families of the soldiers, and the 
members of the Regiment. Two other soldiers were seriously injured, and have undergone surgery."


Queen's Royal Lancers

Corporal Stephen Allbutt


Corporal Stephen Allbutt

Corporal Stephen John Allbutt of the Queen's Royal Lancers. Aged 35, Corporal Allbutt came from Stoke-on-Trent and was married with 
two children.

Corporal Allbutt joined the 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers in 1989, and saw action on Operation Desert Storm in early 1991. 
After the Regiment was amalgamated into the present Queen's Royal Lancers, he deployed on operations in Bosnia on three separate occasions, while developing his career as a Non Commissioned Officer in an armoured regiment.

Stephen's wife, Debbi, said:
"The Army was Steve's life. He had wanted to join since he was a little boy. Although he was a quiet and reserved man he had a brilliant sense of humour and was a loyal and devoted friend and colleague. He was also very romantic - if we were going out anywhere he would often buy me flowers. I sometimes would find them in different rooms in the house. Just before he left for the Gulf he planted some daffodil bulbs in our garden as a surprise, so they'd come up while he was away. We loved each other deeply and words cannot express how much I'll miss him."

His mother, Mavis Allbutt, said:
"Steve was immensely proud to belong to the Army, it was something he thought was so good and believed in. He doted on Debbi and their
two boys, Connor who is eight and Joshua aged 14. He was also a devoted only son to me and his father Colin, brother to his sister Lisa and her fiance Jason and will be missed forever by us all."

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Fattorini, the QRL commanding officer, said:
"Stephen Allbutt will be remembered as an immensely dedicated and competent NCO who was accordingly respected by his peers. 
Nothing was too difficult, displaying a "can do" attitude and a reassuringly dry sense of humour. He was a passionate Stoke City FC supporter, and a keen all-round sportsman. He had a very promising career, having been identified as a strong candidate for promotion to Sergeant next year. He will be sorely missed by all ranks of the Queen's Royal Lancers."

Colonel Chris Vernon, spokesman for British Land Forces in the Gulf, said:
"It is with deep regret that I have to announce the death of two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers operating a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. The soldiers were killed last night in a friendly fire incident with another British Challenger during a period of multiple engagements with Iraqi enemy forces on the outskirts of Basrah. Regardless of thorough training, careful planning, excellent night vision equipment and combat identification measures, in the type of operation in which we were engaged, and in the heat of battle, there is always a risk that incidents such as this may occur. The land forces in the Middle East extend their sincerest condolences to the families of the soldiers, and the members of the Regiment. Two other soldiers were seriously injured, and have undergone surgery."


Sergeant Wayne Rees,  Died following a road traffic accident in southern Iraq on Sunday 7 January 2007.

Sergeant Rees, aged 36, serving with 19 Light Brigade, died on the morning of Sunday 7 January 2007 as a result of injuries sustained from a road traffic accident while on operations in Maysan Province, Iraq. Sergeant Rees was commanding a Scimitar Armoured Fighting Vehicle at the time of the incident. Two other soldiers from the regiment were injured. They were medically evacuated immediately and are now receiving treatment.
Sergeant Rees, or "Mave" as he was known to his friends, was born and grew up in Nottingham. He leaves behind his fiancée Jayne and his two children, Charlotte who is 11 years of age and Elliott who is seven years old. He joined the Army at the age of 17 in October 1988 and following training was posted to Germany with The 17/21 Lancers, his local armoured regiment. During his time with the regiment, Sergeant Rees served in Germany, Canada, Poland and Britain. He was also operationally experienced, serving on Operation GRANBY, the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, in Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo and more recently in Iraq. Throughout all of these he proved himself to be a total professional and quickly earned the trust and respect of all of those around him.

Sergeant Rees was an all round soldier, who was hugely respected by all those who worked with him. He always participated fully in not only the professional, but also the social and sporting sides of regimental life. He had a love of all sport, particularly football, in which he represented his regiment and the Royal Armoured Corps. He was also a keen Manchester United supporter.

Sergeant Rees will perhaps be best remembered for his love of family and friends and notably his mischievous wit. A typical example of his antics was the occasion he hid in the Regimental Sergeant Major's wardrobe, jumping out to surprise him.

Sergeant Adam Westwood, who knew Sergeant Rees for 16 years said:

"Mave always looked after the people close to him, whether in his private or professional life. Whenever anyone was down you could rely on him to cheer people up. To be friends with him was to feel like you were part of his family."

The Regimental Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer First Class Ian Savage added:

"As an individual Sergeant Wayne Rees was kind, caring, and most of all considerate to everyone, from the highest to the lowest rank. He supported the Warrant Officers and Sergeants' Mess, and was embraced by everyone in the regiment. He was simply a great friend, a great bloke and a loveable rogue."

Sergeant Rees' Squadron Leader, Major Martin Todd, said:

"In Sergeant Wayne Rees we have lost not only a charismatic and wholly professional soldier, but also one of the regiment's most ebullient and best loved characters. He was a natural leader, setting the very highest of personal standards and inspiring others to achieve the same. He could lighten the darkest moments with his mischievous sense of humour. And there was something irrepressible about his optimism and verve for life.

"He cared deeply not only for his family and many friends, but also for the soldiers for whom he was responsible. He carefully nurtured those who struggled to enter the military fold and took immense pride in their subsequent successes. He has left an indelible stamp on them and on the troop of soldiers that he helped shape and train for this operation.

"We will continue in our task saddened without him, but inspired by his example and remembering always a staunch comrade-in-arms and the very best of friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose loss is greater than ours: his fiancée Jayne and his children, Charlotte and Elliott."

Sergeant Rees' Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nixon-Eckersall, CO The Queen's Royal Lancers, said:

"Sergeant Mave Rees was a friend. A consummate professional; he led his men with flair and took great pride in ensuring that they wanted for nothing. He was a great character and embodied the essence of what it is to be a reconnaissance soldier; no matter what the challenge he could be counted on to find a solution.

"He was passionate about everything he did and, in all aspects of regimental life, he made a difference.

"He is a great loss to The Queen's Royal Lancers. We are privileged to have served with him and will always remember a bright, energetic and talented man, with a mischievous sense of humour. Our thoughts are with his family, his fiancée Jayne and his daughter and son."


Corporal Ben Leaning, aged 24 of The Queen's Royal Lancers Battle Group, was killed in the Maysan Province, Southern Iraq, on Thursday 19 April 2007.
Corporal Leaning was commanding a Scimitar Armoured Reconnaissance vehicle which was providing protection for a convoy. At approximately 1120 hrs local time, the vehicle was struck and badly damaged by an improvised explosive device attack, which killed Corporal Leaning and Trooper Turton and injured the Scimitar's gunner and two other members of the troop.

[ Corporal Ben Leaning, or "Bill" ]

Corporal Ben Leaning, or "Bill" as he was affectionately known, was from Scunthorpe and joined the Army in January 1999. He was posted to his local armoured regiment, The Queen's Royal Lancers, where he served on Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks. He saw service in Oman, Kosovo and on the first Operation TELIC in Iraq during 2003. Throughout his service Corporal Leaning showed himself to be a fine soldier and a natural leader who progressed rapidly through the ranks. He was promoted to Corporal in October 2005 and became a crew commander and a signals instructor shortly before deploying on to Iraq last autumn. He was a very fit individual and a qualified physical training instructor.

His family said:
"We are devastated by the loss of Ben, who was a loving son and great friend. We are most proud of the fact that Ben was prepared to do his duty with the utmost professionalism. He will be very sadly missed by all who knew him. We now ask to be left in peace to mourn our loss."

Major Charlie Ball of The Queen's Royal Lancers said:
"I met Corporal Leaning when he first joined the regiment as an eager young soldier. I was immediately struck by the huge sense of fun that he brought to the Regiment. I have had the privilege to watch him mature and gain in rank and respect, with both pride and pleasure.
"He loved his job and enjoyed the challenge of leading soldiers. His mischievous smile shone through even under the most trying circumstances and he was an inspiration to his crew and the squadron as a whole. We have lost a fine NCO, an honourable soldier and a loyal friend."
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nixon-Eckersall, said:
"Corporal Leaning was the model of a modern Formation Reconnaissance soldier. He was tough, fit, intelligent and compassionate. He truly cared for those he worked with and was never found to be wanting in any task.
"He had already made a name for himself at the Regiment as one to watch for the future. He was the first to volunteer for any course or task, and I have no doubt he would have volunteered to lead the patrol that so tragically saw him killed. His death is a huge loss to the Regiment."
Corporal "Perry" Mason, one of Corporal Leaning's oldest friends recalled fondly:
"Bill was quite a particular man, very neat and he always liked to dress in the latest gear, including some notorious Ibiza clubbing outfits. He was often referred to in the block as "Cleaning Leaning" due to his obsession with tidiness. He was always up for a laugh.
"In typical Bill style, when we were wet and miserable after yet another desert thunderstorm he suddenly stripped off and plunged into a vast muddy puddle, just to prove that being filthy was really no bother and to make us smile. We will all miss Bill, he was a truly unique friend and brother.


Trooper Kristen Turton, aged 27, of The Queen's Royal Lancers Battle Group, was killed in the Maysan Province, Southern Iraq, on Thursday 19 April 2007. Trooper Turton was driving a Scimitar Armoured Reconnaissance vehicle which was providing protection for a convoy. At approximately 1120 hrs local time, the vehicle was struck and badly damaged by an improvised explosive device attack, which killed Corporal Leaning and Trooper Turton and injured the Scimitar's gunner and two other members of the troop.

[ Trooper Kristen Turton ]

Trooper Kristen Turton was from Grimsby. Joining The Queen's Royal Lancers in the summer of 2003, he quickly became a Regimental character. He went through the conversion to Formation Reconnaissance in 2004 and was marked out for specialist training due to his dismounted skills. He was a trained sharp shooter and assault pioneer, specialising in demolitions. These were roles he excelled in and were very much a measure of his professionalism and martial skill. Despite all of his military success, Trooper Turton felt his finest achievement was his marriage to Sharon, in October 2004, of whom he was tremendously proud.

His wife Sharon said:
"Kris always told me he lived for two things – me and the Army. I am proud he has died doing something he loved so much. He was the most amazing person I have ever met and I loved him with all my heart and soul as he loved me. He was kind, generous and was always able to make everyone smile with his brilliant sense of humour. He always walked with dignity and he will never walk alone."
Major Charlie Ball of The Queen's Royal Lancers said:
"Trooper Kristen "Turts" Turton quickly established himself as one to watch for the future. Keen and committed he showed his true worth throughout this operational tour. He worked tirelessly for his friends and was very much a rock in his troop giving sound advice and guidance to the new and inexperienced soldiers. He was a quiet man with a wonderfully dry sense of humour. My thoughts are very much with his wife and family."
His Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nixon-Eckersall said:
"Trooper Turton was an exceptional soldier. Selfless and committed he strived for perfection in everything he did. He quickly made an impression as a future NCO and I was particularly pleased with how he had embraced the dismounted aspect of our job. Our thoughts are with his wife Sharon and all of his family. His loss will be keenly felt across the Battle Group."
Corporal Kev Hough, a close friend of Trooper Turton who worked in the same troop said:
"Turts was a great guy to have in the troop. He was always eager to get stuck in and his Driving and Maintenance skills were particularly good. He was the self appointed troop chef and made a point of ensuring that everyone else had their food and a brew before he looked after himself, which was typical of his attitude.
"He was keen to get on in the Army and was hoping to get promoted later this year. He liked playing a joke and having a laugh, and was well liked throughout the squadron. Turts was also a real family man as well and often spoke about his wife Sharon and his plans. His death is a real loss to the troop and our thoughts are with his wife and family."


217 Transport Squadron

Sgt Nightingale  
Sergeant John Nightingale

Royal-Logistic-Corps

Sergeant John Nightingale, aged 32, came from Leeds and was a Territorial Army soldier with 217 Transport Squadron, part of 150
Regiment (Volunteers) of the Royal Logistic Corps. He was serving in Iraq with 27 Regiment RLC, at Shaibah Logistic Base.

John Nightingale was born in Harrogate and worked in the electronics industry. His family remember him as a passionate Rugby player,
who had played Prop for the First XV at Otley RFU. His other interests included cars and motorbikes. Proud to serve Queen and Country
in the Territorial Army, he was a veteran of three tours of duty on peace-keeping operations in the Balkans. He was engaged to Lucy,
a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force.

Lt Col John Bevan, Commanding Officer of 27 Composite Logistic Support Regiment, has paid the following tribute:
“Sergeant John Nightingale was a good man, a strong character and excellent senior Non-Commissioned Officer who had an impact on
the working and social lives of many in the unit during our tour here in Iraq. He will be missed by all of us.
“His death has come as a terrible shock for all in the Regiment and especially for those in his Squadron that knew him well.
He was a popular character, well regarded by those who met and worked with him and his loss will be felt throughout the Regiment.
“He deployed with his Transport Troop from 150 Regiment RLC, to form part of 27 Composite Logistic Support Regiment here in Iraq
and was responsible for the management and administration of a Troop distributing supplies throughout Iraq. He will be missed not
only by those of us in Theatre but also by his comrades in 150 Regiment, his friends at work and by his close family and friends.
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time.”


Welsh Guards

Forward by WO1 Garrison Sergeant Major W.D.G. Mott OBE, Welsh Guards. Garrison Sergeant Major London District 

Since the formation of Welsh Guards Reunited the Website has gone from strength to strength ... Read more Welsh Guards Reunited
Or Contact the Webmaster ... Mike Cummins

Major James Stenner

Died in a road traffic accident in Baghdad early on 1st January 2004

James Stenner came from Monmouthshire. Married, he was aged 30.


Cheshire Regiment

Sergeant Norman Patterson



Sergeant Norman Patterson served with the Cheshire Regiment he was killed in a road traffic accident in Baghdad early on 1st January 2004

Sgt Norman Patterson, aged 28, was single and came from Staffordshire.

"Sergeant Norman Patterson was a greatly respected and extremely popular member of the Cheshire Regiment, admired not only for his professional excellence, but also for his great humility. Serving with the 1st Battalion in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and on the UK mainland, he quickly established a reputation as a robust and resilient soldier, a natural leader, and a patient instructor. His constant drive for perfection and his calmness under pressure, coupled with his quietly confident manner, endeared him to all with whom he worked. His full participation in Regimental life, professionally, socially, and on the sports field made him the embodiment of the Regimental Soldier. His positive outlook, quick wit and enthusiasm for everything he undertook enhanced the lives of all those he met, and this zeal for life will be remembered with deep respect and affection by all with whom he served. The thoughts of his many friends in the Regiment are with his family, for the loss of such a proud soldier and dedicated son."


Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Sad Journey:

The coffin of LCpl Andrew Craw of the 1st Battalion,
The Argill and Sutherland Highlanders, is carried by colleagues
to his final resting place at St Serf's Parish Church, Tullibody,
near Stirling . LCpl Craw died following an accident while with
1st Argill and Sutherland Highlanders advanced party in Iraq.

Lance Corporal Andrew Jason Craw

Lance Corporal Andrew Craw

 

Lance Corporal Andrew Jason Craw, 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, died following a tragic incident on a training range near Basrah on 7 January 2004. Aged 21, he was single and came from Clackmannanshire.

Andy Craw joined the Army in 1999, and, following basic training, joined the Argylls in 2000. Following service in Northern Ireland, the Battalion moved to Canterbury in 2003, from where it deployed to Iraq for operations in January 2004. He was an outstanding soldier who demonstrated exceptional talent from the outset. Having shown early potential on joining the Battalion, he was selected for leadership training and promoted to Lance Corporal in the summer of 2003.

A popular soldier, Andy was an extremely fit and capable sportsman. In particular, he was a keen boxer who had represented the Battalion 
on a number of occasions.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Gray, said:

"This is a tragic incident, in the first few days of the Battalion's six month operational tour in Iraq. Andy was a bright and promising soldier who will be sorely missed by all in the Regiment. At present, our thoughts are with his family


The Royal Green Jackets

Rifleman Vincent Calvin Windsor

Rifleman Vincent Calvin Windsor


Rifleman Vincent Calvin Windsor was killed in a road traffic accident on 21 January 2004 in Al Amarah. 
Aged 23, he came from Oxfordshire and was a member of 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets, serving attached to
1st Battalion The Light Infantry in southern Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Emck, the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets, said:

"Rifleman Vincent Windsor joined A Company of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets in 1999. During his time with the Regiment, 
he served in Germany and Bosnia, and deployed on exercise to Poland. He was detached for duty with the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry
in September 2002 when they replaced the Royal Green Jackets in Paderborn, so that he could remain close to his German fiancée.
Rifleman Windsor served with 1LI to Iraq during the initial period of combat operations in March and April of 2003, and was on a second 
tour with the Battalion in Iraq when he was killed.

"Vincent was enormously popular and likeable, very down to earth, and with a great sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all his colleagues and comrades in the 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets."


35 Engineer Regiment

Whitburn South Parish Church in West Lothian.

Sapper Robert Thomson


Sapper Robert Thomson
Killed in a tragic accident in Basrah on 31 January 2004.

Aged 22, Robert Thomson was unmarried and came from West Lothian. He was serving with 35 Engineer Regiment, 
normally based in Paderborn, Germany.

His parents, Robert and Margaret Thomson, said:

"The family and all of Robert's friends were shocked and saddened to hear of his death during active service in Iraq. 
He was a wonderful son who lived life to the full, and was an ardent follower of Motherwell Football Club.

"He is sorely missed by all the family - all of whom were extremely proud of him being a soldier, and he was much looked-up to by his younger brother Stewie. He talked often about how much he loved serving with 35 Engineer Regiment, which he joined in December 2002.

"At this time words cannot express the depth of our grief, but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride in the knowledge that he died while serving his country - not only during the current tour, but last year when he went to Iraq with his Regiment during the war fighting phase.

"He will be remembered by all that knew him forever.

Major Alex Hilton, Officer Commanding 37 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 35 Engineer Regiment, said:

"Sapper Robert Thomson joined 35 Engineer Regiment on 10 December 2002. Soon after arrival, he deployed to Iraq with 29 Armoured Engineer Squadron on Operation Telic, during the period of active combat. On his return from Iraq, he joined 37 Armoured Engineer Squadron to undertake a three-month deployment to Canada on Exercise Medicine Man 2, where he helped run the Troop command vehicle. On 13 November 2003 he returned with the Squadron to Iraq, where his skill as a plumber was in great demand, providing support to Coalition Force Camps.

"Known to all as Rab, he was a popular member of the Armoured Troop of the Squadron. A ready wit and a natural enthusiast, he made friends easily and was always good for morale. You could never stay mad at him long, as he always had a quick reply that would make you smile.

"Although not Armoured trained, he would always get stuck-in to help out on the tank park, a characteristic highly valued in any soldier. He would have been a strong contender for this year's cadre, designed to train the best Sappers for promotion to Lance Corporal. He was very fit, and had recently attempted selection for Airborne Forces, but an injury during training prevented him from completing the course. Rab was a keen Motherwell FC supporter, and loved to play football.

"His sudden death in a tragic accident at Basrah Palace has shocked the whole Regiment and left many mourning the loss of a close friend and brother-in-arms. Our thoughts are with his family."

About 200 mourners attended the funeral service, conducted by an army padre.
Sapper Thomson's body was carried into the small church in a coffin draped in the Union flag. 
Pipe Major Gordon Campbell played Flowers of the Forest as the coffin, carried by members of Sapper Thomson's 35 Engineer Regiment, was taken inside.


Defence Fire Service

Len Harvey

Leonard Harvey. Aged 55.

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that Leonard Harvey, a civilian fire-fighter serving with the Defence Fire Service, died in hospital in the UK on 22 May 2003, having been taken ill while deployed in the Gulf on Operation Telic.
Mr Harvey had served with the Defence Fire Service for 33 years, normally based at Wattisham in Suffolk.

David Marsland, the Assistant Chief Officer at Headquarters Defence Fire Service (Army), said:
"Some of Len's fondest memories were from his early days at Wattisham when he worked alongside the fast jetgs of the time - Lightnings and later Phantoms. During this time he also carried out numerous detachments to other RAF Stations such as Honington, Coltishall, Northcoates, Waddington, West Raynham and Binbrook.
"In July 1993 the RAF withdrew from Wattisham, flying operations transferred over to the Army Air Corps, and Len became part of the Defence Fire Service (Army). In the 10 years that Len worked for the DFS(A), he completed two overseas deployments to Bosnia where he met and made many friends amongst fellow firefighters deployed with him from other DFS(A) fire stations. It was whilst Len was on his third overseas deployment, to Iraq with Operation Telic, that he became ill and was airlifted home to hospital.

"It should be noted that Len, as a civilian firefighter in the DFS(A), volunteered to go to the Gulf, and this action speaks highly of his sense of duty and dedication to the Service. 

"Len was divorced, but from his marriage to Sue, he had three daughters, Leonie, Naomi and Jennifer, whom he was very proud of. 
One of Len's greatest passions was his football, playing regularly in his youth as goalkeeper. A lifetime supporter of Ipswich Town FC, he followed their fortunes through thick and thin. 

"As part of the Fire Service team he will be sadly missed by all his working and retired colleagues."


Royal Air Force Police

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to announce that Corporal David John Shepherd of the Royal Air Force Police,
died on 19 May 2003 in Kuwait. He was aged 34. His death is believed to have been from natural causes.


Royal Highland Fusiliers

Fusilier Gordon Gentle

Fusilier Gordon Gentle

28 June 2004. Aged 19.

Fusilier Gordon Campbell Gentle was killed in an improvised explosive device attack on British military vehicles in
Basrah on 28 June 2004, he served with the 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers, and was single.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Cartwright, the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers, said:

"His name says it all. As a new member of the battalion, he settled in with ease, happy in the team environment and always willing to help others. His enthusiasm for his job immediately caught the eye of his peers and superiors alike."

Fusilier Gentle's funeral took place in Glasgow.
He was buried with full military honours.
He was killed by a roadside bomb and over 1000 mourners
at his funeral.

A very personal tribute to Gordon from his Mum, Dad and Sister's ... read more


The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment


Private Christopher Gordon Rayment

Those red poppies
Are all that we give to those
Who receive.
They died on bloody fields,
they wept their tears
But, determined to succeed,
They hid their fears.

As their hats fell I hear the shear shudder.
As their hats fall I hide under cover,
For I am not a true soldier
Who died in these wars,
But I am the young sister who cries and mourns
For the loss of my brother
Who knocked on heaven's door.

Ruth Rayment aged 16
The youngest sister of Pte Christopher Gordon Rayment
has written and dedicated the following poem to
the memory of her Brother.

Private Christopher Gordon Rayment died in a tragic accident at Al Amarah on 4 August 2004.
Aged 22, single and from London, he was serving with the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Maer, said:
"Private Christopher Rayment was known as Ray to all within my Battalion. He enriched the lives of all around him with his irrepressible vigour, boisterous humour and his infectious optimism. Ray had the inability to see anything but good in any situation and would find an excuse to laugh, at often the most inappropriate times. He was immensely popular amongst all ranks of my Battalion and his presence was normally obvious before he was even seen. He was also a tremendously committed and zealous soldier, who had shown considerable courage, self-discipline and the highest standards of professionalism over an exceptionally testing and hazardous period, whilst deployed on operations
in southern Iraq.

"The loss of Ray has left a void amongst his friends and comrades in my Battalion and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, whom he has left behind."


Private Lee Martin
O' Callaghan. 

He was aged 20

Private Lee Martin O' Callaghan was killed during an attack by insurgents in Basrah on 9 August 2004.
He came from London was Unmarried, he was serving with the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment based at Tidworth

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Maer, the Commanding Officer of 1PWRR, said:
"Pte Lee O'Callaghan joined my Battalion in December 2003, and was quickly assimilated into the regimental family.
 He was highly regarded and known as a hard working, diligent member of the team who could be trusted to finish any task with characteristic good humour.
He was an avid football fan and keen supporter of Millwall. As a midfielder player himself he took every opportunity he could to play football,
bringing his love for the game from Tidworth to Iraq.
"Lee came from Bermondsey, London. He joined the army for the excitement and challenge it offered, he excelled in the training and preparations
for Iraq and looked forward to deploying on operations and to do the job for which he had trained.
Pte O'Callaghan showed the highest standards of professionalism and courage, in a highly volatile situation.
"The loss of Pte O'Callaghan is deeply felt by all those in the Battalion, but especially so by his friends in B Company.
Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and loved ones from all those in his Army family."


[ Private Ryan Wrathall ]

Private Ryan Wrathall died in Basra, Iraq, Thursday 12 February 2009.

Private Wrathall was serving with 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment as part of 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) (Strike) Battle Group. He was found at Basra's Contingency Operating Base having suffered a gunshot wound. Immediate medical assistance was provided, but sadly he died from his wounds.

The incident, which occurred at approximately 0630 hours local time, will be subject to a full investigation. No enemy forces were involved and there is no evidence to suggest that anyone else was involved.

Private Ryan Wrathall, aged 21, from Surbiton, Surrey, was serving in 1 Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) known as 'The Armoured Tigers'. He enlisted into the Army in November 2007 at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, prior to joining 1 PWRR in Paderborn, Germany, in June 2008.

On arrival in the battalion he joined his company in their preparations for deploying to BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Canada and subsequently deployed on Exercise Medicine Man 2. While in Canada he also took part in Exercise Fast Air (free-fall parachuting) which he thoroughly enjoyed. The remainder of 2008 was spent preparing for Operation Telic 13 in which he played a full and active part. He deployed to southern Iraq in November 2008 and was about halfway through a six-month tour of the country as a member of the 5 RIFLES (Strike) Battle Group.

Pte Wrathall was an amiable and determined soldier who played a full and active part in his platoon and the company. He was well liked by all ranks and was never one not to volunteer for additional responsibilities or shy away from the less desirable tasks. Physically fit and keen to progress his career at every opportunity Pte Wrathall had a bright future ahead of him.

The Commanding Officer 1 PWRR, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Sykes, said:

"This is a unique Iraq tour. The city of Basra is at relative peace and we fully expect ours to be the last major British Army deployment to Iraq. This relative peace makes Private Wrathall's death even harder to come to terms with, as, much like the sandstorms we've experienced here in the desert, it comes out of a clear blue sky. "A company is a close-knit and professional, but young, company. In many ways Private Wrathall exemplified this company. Quiet and reserved at first, but developing in confidence, he had arrived with the battalion just three days before we deployed to Canada for a tough month-long armoured exercise on the prairie. This was a real baptism of fire for a young soldier fresh from recruit training at Catterick, but his inherent friendliness and habit of volunteering for the toughest tasks very soon made him an integral member of 1 Platoon. "Kind-hearted and gentle, his personal administration seemed well-designed to test his platoon sergeant's sense of humour. He was known variously as 'Waffle', 'Wrath', 'Mr Clown' (due to his clown tattoos and fun-loving 
attitude) or 'Socks' (after a mishap when he uncomplainingly spent an entire day on the prairie in boots without socks).

"At the end of his time in Canada, he took part in Exercise Fast Air, a week-long free-fall parachuting course in sight of the Rocky Mountains. He was delighted at overcoming his initial fear and meeting the challenge, thrilled at the excitement of the sport. A man of contrasts, he was a regular smoker, but a naturally fit runner, regularly beating most of the remainder of the platoon. "Proud of his Spanish heritage, he joined the Army also proud of his two grandfathers' military service and determined to live up to their example. He told his Platoon Commander that his Spanish grandfather had served in the Spanish Civil War and that his English grandfather had served in World War II. In his own words, he was eager to 'make something of his life and proud to serve the country he believed in'. 

"Private Wrathall spent the last 10 days with 1 Platoon based in the marshes north of Basra. The patrol base is isolated on the side of a tidal estuary and usually travelled to by helicopter. A base from which to dominate the marshes and provide protection for the 4,000 coalition soldiers living and working on the Basra Contingency Operating Base, the job is a hard but rewarding round of foot and boat patrols with long periods spent on guard. Fit and active, Private Wrathall proved himself on arduous foot patrols, grafting hard and never complaining, helping others and fully involved in all the chores involved with living far from civilisation.

"An only son, he had recently heard that his father was seriously ill in Spain. He flew back from Iraq and went with his mother to visit him and to be with his family at a time of crisis. A diligent and loving son, Private Wrathall had a particularly strong relationship with his mother and was always looking to make her proud. "All our thoughts are with his mother and family now. No words can ease their suffering and nothing can bring him back. Our loss is but a fraction of theirs."

Commanding Officer 5 RIFLES (Strike) Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Chamberlain, said:

"The death of any soldier is a personal tragedy both for his family and us, his comrades-in-arms. Private Wrathall was a fit, enthusiastic and open-hearted member of the 5 RIFLES (Strike) Battle Group for this Iraq tour who will be sorely missed by us all. I am proud to have served with him, he was a hard-working soldier with a masterful sense of the ridiculous who was maturing visibly through the tour."

His Company Commander, Major Andy Flay, said:

"Many of his closest friends were in tears today as they sought to come to terms with his untimely death. Private Wrathall was clearly a fantastic friend to have. Utterly reliable with a great sense of humour, he could play the clown who, although proud of his life in the Army, was also keen to highlight the more ridiculous moments of military life. "One of the greatest strengths of his friendly and trusting nature, brought out when talking with his fellow soldiers today, was the way he would welcome the newest members of the company into the platoon. Often he was the first member of the platoon new soldiers would meet when arriving in the battalion and he delighted to show them around and help them feel at home. To many soldiers arriving in a new and confusing environment for the first time, his bright smile and understated good humour was one of their first impressions of the company. "He was full of plans, hoping to earn his driving licence soon and he wanted to earn the respect of his Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle commander and qualify as a gunner.

"The company joined together at a memorial service for Private Wrathall held this evening in a chapel in the corner of the dining facility. Still shocked by the sudden and unnecessary waste of such a young life with so much to offer, his fellow Tigers remembered highlights of his life and struggled to come to terms with his death. "Private Wrathall was a fine young soldier who will be very sadly missed by the company. He really stood out for his amiable and selfless nature. I am very proud to have known him as a fellow 'Tiger'."

His Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Olly Kay, said:

"Private Wrathall was a professional and diligent soldier. Never one to avoid hard work he would often volunteer for the less desirable tasks that others would shy away from. Known as 'Socks' to his friends, Private Ryan Wrathall will be sadly missed by his fellow soldiers. His officers and brother soldiers will remember him for his positive outlook on life and could rely on him to bring humour to almost every situation. "Private Wrathall was a respectful and polite young soldier. Only recently he told me how he was determined to make the most out of the British Army and work hard in everything that he did. He was well liked by his fellow platoon members whom he had a close bond with, and with whom he served the regiment and country with pride."

Pte Wrathall's Section Commander, Cpl James 'Smudge' Smith, added:

"'Socks' was a character. He had a very dry sense of humour; he was always cracking jokes on the sly. You would see a cheeky smile appear on his face. When he worked in my section as a [LMG] gunner his drills were the best of all the gunners. I will remember Ryan as a caring and witty man with admin like a grenade explosion, but that was just him. God bless Wrathall."

Corporal John McAllister said:

"'Waffle' was a kind-hearted soldier who could not do enough to help anyone in need. Sometimes his dress sense and personal admin was not up to scratch but with his dry sense of humour you could not help but laugh. He will be remembered by us all and will be sorely missed."

Lance Corporal George Flower said:

"Ryan, or 'Waffle' as we knew him, was a kind-hearted young man who always put others before himself. He was also good at being highly elusive in barracks as no-one knew where he was sometimes (skiving in the NAAFI!). I have fond memories of Waffle while bringing him home in my car; although he said he lived in Tolworth, he actually didn't know where he lived and made the drive a nightmare. He was a good lad who will always be remembered by all that had the pleasure of knowing him."

Lance Corporal Steve Johnston said:

"Pte Wrathall, or 'Wrath' as he was known, had a heart of gold. His personal admin left something to be desired from time to time and this was the centre of some laughs and jokes amongst the lads. It was part of his character. However it didn't affect his soldiering ability; Ryan often put others before himself - the mark of a kind young man. Ryan will be sorely missed."

Private Joel Hindson said:

"Pte Wrathall had that aura about him that always made you laugh - he was the kind of guy who you could never argue with as he just made you laugh too much."

Private Christopher Trussel said:

"Ryan Wrathall will be sorely missed in the platoon. He was always full of energy and always up for a laugh. He had only begun to come out of his shell and was a genuinely kind man. He will be remembered for all he brought to the platoon."

Private Damien Wood said:

"Ryan was a kind and generous lad, he was always willing to help; he helped me out with a few things and always liked a drink. We spent a lot of time together since he turned up. He was always in my room, watching DVDs and playing Xbox, and we always started the party in my room before we go out on a weekend. He will be missed a lot."

Private French, who undertook his infantry training with Private Wrathall, said:

"I will remember him as that rare individual with whom you could never argue."

Private Easterby-Green, a close friend, described him as:

"Generous and kind-hearted and always on hand to welcome new soldiers into their new regimental family."

Private Dobson, who trained with him in Catterick and had just joined A Company in Iraq, said:

"He was an awesome bloke, he was always willing to help others and make sure that you were OK. 'Ruffle' was a person you could never argue with. He was always up for a laugh, got involved in most things and also made sure that no-one was left out. We shared some funny moments in training and he loved a drink."

Perhaps Private Wrathall himself should have the last word (from his initial interview on arrival in 1 Platoon):

"I have always been a kind, friendly active person who loves to mingle with mates. I was a bit of a clown at school which isn't too funny when you don't have any GCSEs!"


Light Infantry


Lance Corporal Paul David Trevor Thomas

 

Lance Corporal Paul David Trevor Thomas
Was killed in action in Basrah on 17 August 2004. A member of the 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry, he was serving in southern Iraq attached to the 1st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment. Aged 29, he was single and came from Welshpool.

His platoon commander, Lieutenant Will Follett, said:

"Taff was a proud Welshman who had a passion for all sports. He was a keen rugby supporter as well as following his local football club, Shrewsbury Town, He was an immensely popular member of the platoon, widely regarded as its backbone, through his diligence, professionalism and unfaltering enthusiasm to the job and the soldiers under his command. His death has shocked the platoon, especially those soldiers who were with him when he died. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones at this time."


Lance Corporal Thomas

The service was held with full military honours and the whole Corunna Platoon, which Lance Corporal Thomas was a member of when he was killed, was flown to the UK from Iraq to attend the funeral.
Outside the church, Commanding Officer, Lieutenant of the 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry, Tim Shields dubbed the soldier ‘an outstanding Lance Corporal in every way’. 
‘He always gave 100 per cent and never complained. 
‘He was extremely proud of his Welsh routes and I would like to think that wherever he went around the world, a bit of Wales went with him,’ he said.
‘The fact the platoon were able to be here today will I am sure bring some comfort in the family’s time of grief.’
The platoon’s Commander, Lieutenant Will Follett read a eulogy during the funeral service, paying tribute to Lance Corporal Thomas, saying: ‘He had very recently been selected for promotion to full corporal. 
‘In his 29 years Taff saw more action and more of the world than many men three times his age.
‘Men like Taff Thomas are the backbone of the British Army.’


[ Cpl Matthew Cornish ]

Corporal Matthew Cornish

Corporal Matthew Cornish, 29, of 1st Battalion The Light Infantry (1 LI) in Iraq today, Tuesday 1 August 2006.

Corporal Cornish died at approximately 0300hrs on Tuesday morning as a result of wounds sustained in a mortar attack on a Multi National Force base in Basra City. Corporal Cornish sustained serious injuries from the explosion and was evacuated by helicopter to the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base where sadly he subsequently died from his injuries.

Corporal Matthew Cornish was born on 20 July 1977 and grew up in Yorkshire. He enlisted into the Army in Leeds and started his career in Cyprus. An impressive succession of postings followed, including operational deployments to Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, and to Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

He was serving in Iraq with The Light Infantry, normally based in Paderborn, Germany, and was currently three months into a six-and-a-half month tour as part of 20th Armoured Brigade.

Corporal Cornish, or ‘Pastie’, as he was destined to be nick-named, was the sort of character that thrives in the Army. As a young soldier he would take great pleasure in bringing his Army mates home, where he knew they would get a friendly grilling from his Mother, who was a keen Greenpeace supporter.

He was an ‘anti-tanker’, trained in the MILAN weapon system, and a key member of that platoon. Over the last six months in particular, people were starting to notice him, and he was regarded by many as a ‘safe pair of hands’. He had a good eye for detail and was always willing to stand up for his soldiers, as was his manner.

Matthew developed into a trusted and respected Junior Non-Commissioned Officer who was liked by all who met him. In 2006, in Iraq for a third time, his key role was the task of navigating and leading his pair of Warrior Armoured Vehicles around Basra. Within two weeks he knew the city intimately. On the night of his death he had led his Company Commander around some of Basra’s most notorious districts in the pitch dark, with little reference to a map, and with an assurance that was a credit to him.

The Battalion is much the poorer for his loss.
"Matthew was a great soldier, a fine friend and a marvellous husband and father. He will be remembered for his heart and his great character."
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Bowron, said: 

"It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce the death of Corporal Matthew Cornish. Matthew was a great soldier, a fine friend and a marvellous husband and father. He will be remembered for his heart and his great character. 

"As an attached member B Company, he made it a richer place for his presence. And as a Fire Support soldier, he clearly added to the strength of the Company in a difficult location.

"The care of his vehicles was first class and they were always in excellent working order – an indication of the sort of chap he was. He was very much his own man, not a typical Non-Commissioned Officer – he followed his own course, and a lot of the time he was absolutely right.

"His typical Yorkshire manner helped pick him out as one of the 'characters' of B Company. 'Pastie' could always be relied upon to give his opinion on any subject, whether it was wanted or not. He had begun to develop an unnerving ability to know what was going to be asked of him before his boss knew himself. And lately he had started rebuilding parts of the camp in Basra without asking permission from anyone at all. This in particular was beginning to drive his Company Sergeant Major to distraction – principally as his ideas were all thoroughly useful.

"A Yorkshire-man through-and-through and an enthusiastic follower of Leeds Rhinos Rugby League, he was constantly teased for his inexplicable loyalty to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. His true passion, though, was for his family. His wife Abby, daughter Libby, and son Ethan, were what lay closest to his heart – the rest was irrelevant. He spoke of them often, and loved them dearly. 

"Corporal Cornish died on Minden Day, when the Light Infantry recalls its Battle Honour by the wearing of white roses. For his friends and colleagues the wearing of the Yorkshire rose will in future have added poignancy."


Private Michael Tench, aged 18, of A Company, 2nd Battalion The Light
Infantry, died on Sunday 21 January 2007 as a result of injuries sustained
from an Improvised Explosive Device placed at a roadside in Basrah City,
Southern Iraq.

[ Pte Michael Tench ]

He was part of a Warrior patrol that had set out from the Shaat Al Arab
Hotel, a British Army base in the North of the city, when the device
activated. Four other members of the patrol were injured during the incident
One of them remains in a very serious condition, the other three soldiers
are in a stable condition. 

Private Tench was born in March 1988 and went to school at Hylton Redhouse Comprehensive School in Sunderland. In his spare time he was a keen and talented boxer and regularly trained at Marley Potts Gym in Sunderland. 

He joined the British Army in the spring of 2005, completing his training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. On completion of his training he was posted to 2nd Battalion, based in Edinburgh, arriving there in mid-December 2005, and finding himself in A Company's 2 Platoon. After joining the Battalion he spent the first six months of his career occupied with a wide variety of tasks as A Company deployed throughout the UK supporting training for other units preparing for operations. The Company also deployed to Garelochead on the West Coast of Scotland for a demanding week's training, where Private Tench got the opportunity to learn his profession in more depth.
Following the rigours of field training, a change of tack saw Private Tench donning much smarter uniform and providing the ceremonial guard at Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the highlight being the arrival parade of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Public duties over, A Company, along with B Company also of 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry, was then warned to prepare itself, in short order, for an operational tour in Iraq, the news of which was well received by Private Tench and his colleagues in 2 Platoon.
After a period of training and some leave, Private Tench deployed to Iraq with A Company on 4 September 2006. The Company was initially based at Shaibah Logistics Base near Basra in Southern Iraq and employed on a variety of tasks including guarding the base, patrolling the local rural area and escorting vital convoys into Basrah City. In mid-December 2006, A Company were informed that reinforcements were required in Basrah City and Private Tench and the rest of 2 Platoon were detached to 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment's Battlegroup at the Shaat Al Arab Hotel, arriving in mid-January 2007. 

His friend Private Craig Swan, also of A Company, said: 

"Tenchy was a good friend not only to me, but to all the lads in the company He was always happy and enjoyed having a laugh with his mates“ he was a bit of a joker. "He often spoke about his family and how he was happy that he had joined the army and made something of himself. We will all miss him very much as a friend and a workmate and my heart goes out to all his family and friends at home."

Another friend from A Company, Private James Noonan, said: 

"Tenchy was a great lad, one of the boys and always up for a laugh. He loved boxing and even taught me and a few others to box in his spare time: he was like that, he would put himself out for his friends. "He prided himself in his fitness and he wouldn't accept second best we were always in the top five runners in the Company. We're all gutted that Tenchy's gone, my sympathy is with his family."

A mate from A Company, who was also a school friend of Private Tench's, Private Dean Graham, remembered: 

"Tenchy was a great friend who always helped out his mates. He was always up for laugh and a joke. He was a good and enthusiastic boxer and he would always help people out in the gym. "One of the best things I remember about him and will never forget is that he loved to dance when we went out for a drink. It has hit us all hard in A Company, but we will never forget him and feel for his family. It's a real shame that we never got to go away on holiday after the tour like he planned"

His Company Commander, Major Andrew Ward, said: 

"Private Michael Tench arrived in A Company in December 2005, coming straight from training at Catterick. A proud Sunderland man, he quickly integrated with the Company, establishing himself as a competent and reliable Light Infantryman. "He had the exemplary character that we have come to expect from the British Infantryman: he was tough, resilient, liked a laugh, cheeky, but above all a professional. What struck me most about Michael was that he was 'up for it' and there was no job too tough. When his platoon was informed that they would be attached to 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment in Basra,
there was no-one more chuffed than Michael, determined as he was to take the fight to the enemy. "His team were the first in the Company to take their R & R leave and I know that, with his good mate, also injured in the attack, the pubs and clubs of Sunderland must have trembled at their arrival! "On return to Edinburgh after the Iraq tour, he was due to transfer to the Sniper Platoon and join the Battalion's boxing team. It is a tragedy that we have lost a young man with so much promise. "We will miss Michael as a friend and as a fellow Light Infantryman. Our sincere thoughts are now with his family and friends." 

Private Tench's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Arundell (CO 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry), said: 

"Private Michael Tench was a well-liked and respected member of the 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry and his death has hit us all hard. He was an enthusiastic and capable young soldier with a bright future ahead of him. "He had recently been selected for sniper training; a role for which only the best soldiers are chosen. He was a total enthusiast who loved his job and was the first to volunteer to head out on the ground here in Southern Iraq. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and whose lives he brightened by his presence. 

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this sad time and also with those of his colleagues who have been injured and we pray for their speedy recovery."


The Royal Welch Fusiliers


Fusilier Stephen Jones

Fusilier Stephen Jones

Died in a road traffic accident south of Al Amarah on 10 September 2004.
He was serving with A Company of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers.
A married man, Stephen Jones was aged 22 and came from Denbeigh.


Private Mark Stephen Dobson

Private Mark Stephen Dobson of B (Green Howards) Company, The Tyne-Tees Regiment.
Was found dead in his accommodation at Basrah Air Station on 28 March 2005. The incident is being investigated but is not thought to have been the result of hostile action. Private Dobson was 41 years old and came from County Durham.
Private Dobson joined the Territorial Army in July 1996. He deployed to Iraq on 10 November 2004, and was attached to the Force Protection Unit providing security for personnel working out of the Multi National Division (South East) Headquarters at Basrah Air Station.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian McFarlane TD, CO The Tyne-Tees Regiment, said:
"Private Dobson was mobilised in September 2004 as part of a 34 man group from The Tyne-Tees Regiment who joined the East and West Riding Regiment's "Normandy Company" for their deployment on Force Protection duties in Iraq. He had great support from his parents and two younger sisters all of whom live in the area. They were very proud of his achievements.
"Private Dobson was an enthusiastic and popular member of B (Green Howards) Company of The Tyne-Tees Regiment based in Middlesborough. He transferred into the Infantry three years ago from another local unit, in search of further challenge and to satisfy his thirst for adventure and passion for soldiering.

"Private Dobson always had a valuable contribution to make. He was a tremendously effective team member and could always be relied upon to give a full 100% in anything he was tasked to do. He had recently qualified as a Physical Training Instructor, gaining a course award considerably better than others who were many years younger than him. He regular attended weekend and annual training camps, and had served since 1996 throughout the UK and in Cyprus.
"Private Dobson's death has come as a great shock to the many people that knew him, and he will be sadly missed."


Staffordshire Regiment

 

Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer
Private Leon Spicer
Private Phillip Hewett

A patrol of three armoured Snatch Land-Rovers, in Al Amarah, was engaged by an Improvised Explosive Device in the early hours of Saturday 16th July 2005 in the Maysan province, Iraq. Three soldiers from C Company, The 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment were killed. The patrol commander Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer and his top cover sentry Private Leon Spicer were killed instantly. The driver, Private Phillip Hewett, died of his wounds at the scene whilst receiving first aid from members of the patrol.


Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer

Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer

Private Leon Spicer

Private Leon Spicer

Private Phillip Hewett

Private Phillip Hewett





In a statement, Commanding Officer of the Staffordshire Regiment, Lt Col Andrew Williams, said:

"The Regiment has always been a family to the soldiers that serve in it, and never more so than when deployed on complex and challenging operations such as these. The loss of 2Lt Rich Shearer, Pte Leon Spicer and Pte Phillip Hewett will be felt very deeply by all the soldiers of the Staffordshire Regiment and indeed the soldiers of Task Force Maysan. 

"Second Lieutenant Shearer, 26 and from Nuneaton, was a bold Platoon Commander and certainly no stranger to either danger or excitement. He was commissioned into his county regiment only a year ago, having already served in the French Foreign Legion. He had quickly established himself as a true soldier and a leader of men. His passion for soldiering was infectious and he was highly respected by everyone. A true accolade: his men loved him and regarded him as much more than their Platoon Commander. One of the very best of his peers, and an inspiration, Second Lieutenant Shearer had only just been selected to run the next cadre for soldiers wishing to become Junior Non-commissioned Officers. In the Officers' Mess, Rich was a popular friend to all, fun to be around and with a mischievous sense of humour.
"Private Hewett, aged 21, from Tamworth, was Second Lieutenant Shearer's driver - a respected position of enormous responsibility only given to the best of senior soldiers. He was skilled as a driver of both Land-Rovers and Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles and had been with the platoon since arriving in the 1st Battalion three years ago. A cheerful and intelligent young man with a natural air of confidence, Phillip had worked with the Platoon throughout the build-up to the deployment to Iraq and was a well established member of a very close team. His lively nature ensured he was always popular and despite just returning to Iraq from leave in England he was full of good humour and stories. Private Hewett had marked himself as having a sound future in the army and had been selected to attend a promotional course in the winter. Exceptionally fit, he was also short-listed to become a Physical Training Instructor.

"Private Spicer, 26, was also a Tamworth soldier. After sustaining a serious injury his leg last year, he had worked against the odds to become fully fit again. He had shown tremendous grit and determination to rejoin 7 Platoon, and to be with his friends in Iraq. Always larger than life, Leon got along extremely well with all those he worked with, and was a strong young man who enjoyed his soldiering.

"To lose any member of a team is a severe blow to those that are left behind, those that they had trained with, played with and fought alongside. The loss of three such popular and professional men is simply devastating. Second Lieutenant Shearer, Private Hewett and Private Spicer will be sorely missed by all those serving in The Staffordshire Regiment and in Task Force Maysan. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families through this tragic time."

2Lt Richard Shearer, Pte Phillip Hewett and Pte Leon Spicer, of 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment, were repatriated to RAF Brize Norton on 22 July 2005. Major General ARD Shirreff CBE, General Officer Commanding 3 Division, was the senior Army representative at the ceremony.


Private Wysoczan aged 21, from 4 Platoon, B Company, First Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment, died as a result of injuries (on Sunday 4 March 2007) he had sustained during a patrol in South Basra, Iraq, last week, when his vehicle was tasked to investigate a possible mortar firing point.

[ Pte Jonathon Wysoczan from 4 Platoon B Company First Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment ]

[ Private Johnathon Dany Wysoczan ]

[ Private Johnathon Dany Wysoczan ]

Private Wysoczan was on top cover, providing protection for the vehicle and those around him, when he was struck by a single round from an unobserved gunman. He was immediately taken back to his base location and then evacuated by helicopter to a specialist medical facility. Private Wysoczan was then evacuated to the United Kingdom but despite receiving the best available care, he sadly later died.

Johnathon Wysoczan was born on 18 September 1985, and attended Holden Lane High School, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent and later went to Biddulph High School. After leaving school, he completed the Public Services Course at Stoke College. He then worked for Airbags international in Congleton for 18 months before joining the Army on 12 February 2006. Private Wysoczan had wanted to blaze his own trail by joining the Staffords and not the Royal Navy which his father, Dany, had served in. After completing his Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick Private Wysoczan was posted to the 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment, in Tidworth. Following preparation in Tidworth, Private Wysoczan then deployed to Iraq and joined B Company in Basra City South, on Boxing Day 2006.
Private Wysoczan was unmarried and leaves behind a loving family.

His father Dany said:

"Johnathon was his 'own man' and it was his decision to be a soldier. We are all very proud of him for doing what he wanted to do. He was looking forward to his brother Jason joining him in B Company, 1 Staffords. He was a brave young man, nothing ever phased him and he was happy to be on active service."
Major Dominic Rutherford, his Company Commander said this of him:

"Private Wysoczan was a professional, enthusiastic and reliable soldier with a bright future. He arrived like an extra Christmas present on Boxing Day. He quickly fitted into the Company, winning everyone's respect. Dany was always seen to have a smile on his face. He was a very confident soldier, indeed the very first time I met him he jumped in before I could call him by his name and told me how to pronounce it or to call him A-Z as it was easier.

"Private Wysoczan will always be remembered for his cheeky smile which seemed to permanently adorn his face, even when he was doing something wrong. Even in the few months that he had served with us, Private Wysoczan had made his mark. It was an honour to lead and serve with such a brave, enthusiastic soldier."

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Sandiford, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment writes:

"The death of Private Dany Wysoczan as a result of enemy action on the 28th of February 2007 is a tragic loss to the Staffordshire Regiment. That he was wounded when providing protection for his colleagues is testament to his courage. "Dany had not served with the Regiment for very long but he made an immediate impact. Cheeky, charming, confident and professional in equal measure he will be sorely missed. "Private Wysoczan was an enthusiastic and determined soldier. He clearly loved his chosen profession and it was an honour to have served with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Private Fletcher of 5 Platoon went through training with Private Wysoczan:

"I met 'Wysco', as he was known in training, in February 2006 when we both began our training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. We were the only two Stafford recruits in the Platoon so were teased by the instructors. This meant that we instantly became good friends. We would meet up on leave, both in my home town of West Bromwich or I would visit him in Stoke. "Wysco was mischievous, and was always getting in trouble. I remember on a battlefield tour in Belgium where he managed to acquire some wine when we were not supposed to be drinking. Needless to say, he got caught; but took his punishment with a smile on his face. "We were both sent to the same Platoon in Iraq, where his nickname quickly became 'Gucci'. If he wasn't on patrol, he was on the internet, talking to his girlfriend or younger brother. "Whenever I would moan about the army he would ask why and give me a list of reasons why he loved his job. It would always cheer me up. "He was a good lad with a good heart. He always tried his best."

Private Robert Tagg, 4 Platoon said of Private Wysoczan:

"A-Z, as he was known, was well respected by everyone that knew him. No matter what he was doing he always had time for his mates. He was a big football fan and supported Manchester United. He could always be found in the pub, with a beer in his hand, when they were playing. He also loved music. Every time I walked passed his room I could hear his music booming out. I can still picture his face when he passed out of training- he couldn't stop grinning. He was a great friend and will never be forgotten."


Intelligence Corps

Major Matthew Bacon 
Killed Monday 11th September 2005

Major Matthew Bacon, pictured during an earlier deployment in Afghanistan

At approximately 1100hrs local time, an armoured SNATCH land-rover was attacked in Basrah City by an improvised explosive device.
Major Matthew Bacon was killed in the explosion. Three other British soldiers, also travelling in the vehicle, were seriously injured.
Major Bacon, known as Matt, was 34 years old, single, and came from the London area. He joined the army in 1988 and served with the Intelligence Corps. At the time of his death, he was serving as a staff officer with the Headquarters of Multi-National Division (South East) (MND (SE)).
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Barrow, said:
"Major Matt Bacon's death is a desperate loss to his family, and his girlfriend, and a tragic blow to his friends and colleagues.
"Major Matt Bacon died instantly when his patrol was attacked by a roadside bomb as it drove back to Basra Air Station from a meeting in Basra Palace. "Major Matt Bacon did not waste a moment of his life. He loved soldiering, had a passion for physical exercise, and in his spare time was studying for a law degree. He had been in theatre for only a short time, but the headquarters staff had all witnessed his tremendous sense of humour, his prodigious and infectious enthusiasm, and his willingness to do anything challenging. His wide experience and seemingly unstoppable drive and determination singled him out, meeting his challenges with unbridled imagination.
"Major Matt Bacon was hugely popular and a real contributor to whatever he undertook. His death is deeply felt by all those who have been privileged to serve alongside him."

Major Bacon's parents today issued the following statement:
"On Sunday, 11 September we were notified by the British Army that our beloved son Matthew was killed early that morning.
"Our son was a hero, invincible we thought, having served in conflict zones including Northern Ireland, the Gulf, Former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as well as enjoying high-risk sports like sky-diving.
"We have always understood the risks attached to Matthew’s career but never imagined that anything could or would happen to our son.
"We are immensely proud of Matthew, of the leader he became, the lives of people he touched directly and indirectly and the good work he did throughout his career.


Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott

A ceremony was held, Thursday 16 November 2006, at RAF Brize Norton to mark the repatriation of five Service personnel killed on operations in Iraq.

Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott

Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, Aged 34, spent her early career in the Womens Royal Army Corps (WRAC) proving herself early on when she was one of the first women to qualify as an aircraft technician in the army. Keen for new challenges, she transferred to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. For further challenges, she transferred to the Intelligence Corps and served in the United Kingdom, Germany and Belize, as well as completing a number of operational tours including service in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq.

She had recently been posted to Cyprus from the Defence College of Intelligence where she had been a highly successful instructor. She was deployed to Iraq to fill a temporary post but, typically selfless, had volunteered to extend to serve a full six months tour.
Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott was born and grew up in Ipswich. She was single and leaves behind her parents and a wide circle of friends who will sorely miss her infectious love of life and her engaging smile. She dedicated much of her time before deploying to Iraq comforting a close friend who had been diagnosed with cancer.
Her Officer Commanding in Cyprus, Major Nick Tuppen, said:
"Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott was fit, robust and full of life and ideas. She was a strong team player who was admired and respected by all. A no-nonsense, professional soldier who displayed both strength and compassion, we will remember her for her steel and determination, her calm, considered words and her smile. Our thoughts are with her friends and family."
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Park, SSgt Elliott's Commanding Officer in Iraq, said:
"Dedicated and professional, Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott was an inspiration to all she worked with. Having very recently arrived in Theatre, she had taken it upon herself to assist the less experienced members of the unit. She set the highest of standards, and encouraged all those around her to strive for the very best. 
"Her love of the work led her to volunteer to train others in the skills she had acquired. She was a dedicated instructor: exacting in what she expected from her students, whilst always prepared to assist them to develop their full potential.

"Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott lived for her job and was passionate about her work and all that she did. Never afraid to challenge the status-quo, she would always give her opinion. She was fun loving and full of zeal; she always had a smile however difficult the circumstances. Our sympathy and thoughts go out to her family at this very difficult time. She will be sadly missed by her many friends and colleagues."
SSgt Elliott's family issued the following statement: 
"Sharron was the most beautiful caring person in the world. She was very strong-minded but very compassionate," said her mother, Mrs Elsie Manning.
"She had lots of friends and used to look after one of them who had cancer so that her husband could have a break – that is the sort of person she was. She loved cooking and used to take over the kitchen when she came home, whipping up all kinds of exotic dishes for us all to try.
"She was very close to her four step brothers and was "best man" at her stepbrother David’s wedding . She was delighted to become an Auntie again last year to little nephew Bradley."
Sharron was born and brought up in Ipswich and moved to South Shields in the North East in 1998. She had four step brothers, two of whom are still serving in the Army. At the age of 18, she joined the Army as an Aircraft technician transferring six years ago to the Intelligence Corps. 
"Sharron deployed to Iraq just over a week ago. Her life was the Army and she had served all over the world. It is of some comfort to the family that she died doing what she loved," added Mrs Manning.
"We all loved her so much - she has left such a big hole in our lives. She was the most fantastic person, she was just amazing and touched the hearts of everyone she met. We can never replace her."


Second Lieutenant Joanna Yorke Dyer.

Second Lieutenant Joanna Yorke Dyer, killed in Iraq 6th April 2007, was born in Berlin in 1983. After completing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, she went on to Officer Training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. A keen and talented hockey player Jo, from Yeovil, was a popular member of her Sandhurst Platoon. Commissioning into the Intelligence Corps in December 2006, she was attached to the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in order to gain operational experience in Iraq on Operation TELIC 9 before completing her Young Officer Training.

An enthusiastic and charming officer Jo quickly made her mark as the Battalion’s ISTAR officer, a post normally reserved for a more experienced officer. Jo was keen to get the most out of her 
attachment and was soon developing a wide ranging portfolio of skills. These skills enabled her to be tasked with supporting the planning and conduct of ground operations alongside the other officers and Kingsmen of the Battalion.

Her Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Kenyon MBE, said of her:

"From a very early stage it was evident that Jo was a talented and energetic officer who was determined to make the most of her deployment to Iraq. Her enthusiasm was boundless and her contribution to our operations, even within a few short weeks, was invaluable. We very quickly came to think of her as one of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time." 

Friends and colleagues from the Battle Group said of Jo:

"Jo was a genuinely selfless person who seized every chance to get involved. She had a thirst for knowledge and really wanted to experience all she could, whether it was in the office or on the ground with the soldiers. She embraced every challenge of being on an operational tour with us.

"Jo always managed to amaze us with the amount of mail she received – this is testament to just how loved and popular she was. She always spoke with great pride of her family, her partner and her friends back home. We will remember how she could have banter with anyone and was always fun to be around. To those who she lived with, she will be remembered as the girl who could light up a room. Jo was a privilege to have known and we will sorely miss both her and her infectious smile."