Royal Signals


Cpl Peter Thorpe Killed 2nd July 2006

14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)

Corporal Peter Thorpe Royal Signals, was born on 3 January 1979 and lived in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Corporal Thorpe joined the Army in August 1995 as an apprentice tradesman at Harrogate and went on to complete his communications training at the Royal School of Signals at Blandford, Dorset. He was then posted to 216 Parachute Signal Squadron in the 5th Airborne Brigade. There he went on to successfully qualify as a military parachutist, fully embraced his role as an airborne communicator and completed his first tour of Afghanistan in 2001. He was then posted on a two-year tour to Northern Ireland. Subsequently, returning to the UK in January 2006 to prepare for his second operational tour in Afghanistan. Corporal Thorpe was a keen sportsman, turning his hand to a wide variety of pursuits, as well as being an Army Physical Training Instructor. He was a well-respected member of the Squadron whose outstanding trade and soldiering skills combined with his great sense of humour endeared him to all. His Commanding Officer said "Corporal Thorpe was a highly motivated, talented and tremendously popular soldier who constantly inspired those around him whatever the situation. A gifted instructor, he had acquired a huge range of military skills and qualifications and was happiest when passing on this knowledge. "He had recently been selected for promotion to Sergeant and was keen to work in an Army Training Regiment. He undertook his role as a patrol commander with absolute professionalism in support of the 3 PARA Battlegroup in the demanding environment of Afghanistan. An outstanding man, his sad loss and that of Lance Corporal Hashmi is felt by us all."

14 Signal Regiment (EW) Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington Killed in  Afghanistan on Sunday 27 August 2006.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington

Lance Corporal Hetherington, from 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), based at Cawdor Barracks, Brawdy in Pembrokeshire, died following an attack on the Platoon House in Musa Qal'eh, Northern Helmand Province in the early hours of the morning, local time. No other UK or friendly forces were injured in the incident. Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington was born on 20 June 1984 in Salisbury and raised in South Wales. He enlisted into the Royal Signals on 1 September 2000 at Swansea. He attended the Army Technical Foundation College, Harrogate, before going on to complete phase two training as a Radio Systems Operator at the Royal School of Signals, Blandford, Dorset.  Following phase two training, he was posted to 249 Signal Squadron (AMFL), Bulford, before his subsequent posting to 102 Logistics Brigade Signal Squadron, Germany, in January 2003. It was from here that he deployed on Op TELIC 1, serving in Kuwait and Iraq, and also the Falkland Islands. During this time, Lance Corporal Hetherington also qualified as a class 2 Radio Systems Operator. Lance Corporal Hetherington was posted to 14 Signal Regiment (EW) in February 2006 and was selected for deployment on Operation HERRICK 4, Afghanistan. He was an extremely conscientious, well-respected and popular junior non commissioned officer, whose excellent trade skills and keen sense of fun ensured that he was always in great demand.  Lieutenant Colonel Steve Vickery, his Commanding Officer, said: "Lance Corporal Jon Hetherington had only been in Afghanistan for a short time; in this period his commitment to his profession was first class and he stood out as a young man of stature and great enthusiasm. He was a very bright junior non commissioned officer who had integrated extremely well into Regimental life since his arrival in February of this year.  "At all times his love of soldiering and great work ethic was very apparent and he also proved a very able sportsman. As such an engaging character, he was selected to join the very important Regimental Recruiting Team prior to his deployment to Afghanistan in support of the 3 Para Battlegroup. He will be fondly remembered for his amiable nature and engaging sense of humour and without doubt a very promising military career lay ahead.  "Jon was an outstanding soldier, trusted comrade and valued friend; his loss will be greatly felt by all who served with him. Naturally, our thoughts are with his family during this sad and difficult time."

[ Sergeant Barry Keen ]

Sergeant Barry Keen of 14 Signal Regiment, killed by a mortar attack in Afghanistan on Friday 27 July 2007.

Sergeant Keen was serving as a communications specialist with 245 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals, attached to Battle Group (South). The Battle Group is currently deployed on Operation CHAKUSH (or "hammer"), a deliberate operation to defeat the Taleban in the Upper Geresk Valley, Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan. 

The operation was in its fourth day of fierce fighting when Sergeant Keen was killed in an indirect fire attack on a compound near the village of Mirmandab. He and his team were reorganising themselves in a secured area after acting in support of the Afghan National Army, when a single mortar round landed next to Sergeant Keen.  Despite being located with the Regimental Aid Post and receiving immediate medical treatment, sadly Sergeant Keen's injuries were too severe and he died. Sergeant Barry Keen, aged 34, was from Rolands Gill, Gateshead, and had spent nearly 18 years in the Army having joined in August 1989; his long and industrious career included tours in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Lieutenant Colonel Steve Vickery, Commanding Officer 14 Signal Regiment said: "During his 6 month tour in Afghanistan, Barry had thoroughly proved himself as a dedicated soldier with a flair for helping others. This trait had been strongly evident throughout his career and typified a man who always thought of others before himself. "Modest to a tee, he was respected by all who met him. He died doing the job he loved - helping his fellow soldiers perform their duties in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. "It is also a mark of his quality that he had recently been selected to attend specialist communications training, he was due to commence his intensive training in September at Blandford Camp, Dorset. "The news of his death has been received here in the Regiment with great sadness, but also with a fierce determination to complete our tasks and to be a force for good in Afghanistan." Lt Col Steve Vickery, Commanding Officer 14 Signal Regiment

"The news of his death has been received here in the Regiment with great sadness, but also with a fierce determination to complete our tasks and to be a force for good in Afghanistan. "This Regiment and the Army are a close-knit family which has pulled together in this difficult time. We offer our sincere condolences and his wide circle of friends."  Lieutenant Dave Phillips, his Troop Commander said: "Sergeant Keen was the epitome of a Royal Signal senior Non Commissioned Officer (SNCO). An inspirational figure within the Troop, he was widely respected and well liked by all. The soldiers he worked with looked up to him and would willingly deploy along side him. As his Troop Commander I relied upon his knowledge and experience on an almost daily basis, not once did he let me down. "Sergeant Keen will be missed by all those that knew him, not only as a tradesman and a soldier but as a friend." Friend and comrade Sergeant Bruce Morrison said: "Baz was a good guy who would always put a smile on your face and lift your spirits. We used to make the most of the bad times with our outrageous banter. He will be sorely missed as a soldier but even more as a friend." Staff Sergeant Daz Edge, his friend and colleague said: "Baz was one of those people who naturally brought out the best in all those he worked and had contact with. He was most happy when deployed onto the ground and was not shy in making his feelings known when he was left in barracks while others were out.  "An excellent team commander and operator, Baz lead his team from the front and died carrying out his duty whilst under fire. The Squadron will be so much less without him and all those who knew him will undoubtedly feel his loss greatly. "A good mate for a lot of years and colourful character with an infectious laugh, Baz will not be forgotten." "Even though Baz was a SNCO, he was, and always will be one of the lads. I will never forget the friendship we shared." Warrant Officer Class 2 Gaz Robinson, another friend and colleague, added: "My friendship with Baz goes back about 15 years and I cannot begin to describe my emotions at this time. I can honestly say that he has changed not one bit since I first met him. He was a quality soldier and tradesman who had the ability to make you laugh out loud with his jokes and stories.