33 Engineer Regiment


[ Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas ]


33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) was born out of the Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal companies, formed during the Second World War to deal with the mounting problem of German unexploded bombs ... read more


Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 15 November 2009. Corporal Marlton-Thomas was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device whilst conducting a route search to clear devices in the vicinity of Patrol Base Sandford, in the Gereshk area of Helmand province. Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, aged 28, and known as 'Loz' to his comrades, deployed on Operation HERRICK 11 as a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander within the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group; part of the Counter-IED Task Force responsible for minimising the threat posed to ISAF, ANSF and the people of Afghanistan. The cornerstone of 4 Troop, 49 Field Squadron RE (EOD), 33 Engineer Regiment RE (EOD) in Wimbish, Essex, he deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 as an Acting Corporal. In the relatively short time that he had been in theatre he had proved himself more than worthy of the rank and responsibilities of a Section Commander. Cpl Marlton-Thomas made the decision to serve his country by joining the Army in 1998. He had his mind set on a life full of challenge, excitement and adventure.  He initially considered a life in the Parachute Regiment; however he quickly found that his talents were better suited to life in the Royal Engineers. In typical 'Sapper' style he was a man of many talents, a first rate soldier, an extremely competent combat engineer and accomplished blacksmith. Not one for barracks routine he really came to the fore and flourished in the operational environment. Prior to embarking on his career in EOD, 'Loz' served in a number of units including: 35 Engineer Regiment in Paderborn, 21 Engineer Regiment in Osnabruck  and in 25 Engineer Regiment in Northern Ireland. His military experience led him to complete operational tours of Northern Ireland on Op BANNER and Iraq on Op TELIC 11. On both tours he served in the Advanced Search Troop giving him a wealth of search experience which translated into him being an exceptional Team Commander. Corporal Marlton-Thomas epitomised the men of courage and nerve that he led; Advanced Search (AS) teams, the 'improvised explosive device hunters', are a unique breed who stalk their concealed quarry along the tracks and wadis of Helmand. He was extremely proud of this life saving and critical role that his team performs and demonstrated his true merit as a leader of men in this role.

[ Loren was Army barmy right back to being a Cadet ]

Cpl Marlton-Thomas's wife, Mrs Nicola Marlton-Thomas, paid the following tribute:

"Loren was Army barmy right back to being a Cadet. He did the job he loved and paid the ultimate price for his friends, comrades and country. We are proud to say we knew and loved him. A true hero in our eyes - you may be gone but you will never ever be forgotten".

Lt Col David Southall MBE RE, Commanding Officer of 33 Eng Regt (EOD), said: "Cpl Loren Marlton-Thomas was a man of great courage and commitment, a gifted Junior NCO who was truly passionate about his profession. "He revelled in his Search Team Commander role, with skills honed on operations in both Northern Ireland and Iraq. 'Loz' was one of life's optimists who always led from the front; whatever the challenge, you would always find him right in the thick of it. "His role, in leading teams to find IEDs, was undeniably amongst the toughest in Helmand Province. Despite this, Loz was one of the most irrepressible and positive Junior Commanders I have met. With a smile on his face, his natural charm, confidence and soldiering skill meant men followed him instinctively. "Loz made the ultimate sacrifice whilst striving to rid Afghanistan of IEDs and make the country a safer place, for both our troops and the Afghan people. Our thoughts are with his wife, Nicola, and family; we share their grief. Loz will not be forgotten." Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex RLC, Commanding Officer Counter IED Task Force, said: "Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a courageous soldier and a strong leader; his boys loved him. He epitomised the character and bravery required of a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander and his loss will be felt keenly across our close knit community. "Chatting together in Camp Bastion recently as we both surveyed a starlit Helmand sky, I was impressed by his enthusiasm and immediately taken by his intelligent and thoughtful nature. Immensely proud of his role he waxed lyrical on the jobs he and the boys had done so far. "His pride and dedication is an inspiration to us all, and we will not let his death be in vain. He knew more than anyone that his job was dangerous, but understood that his role was vital to the security of decent Afghans and his fellow soldiers." Major Tim Gould QGM, RLC Officer Commanding, Joint Force EOD Group, said: "Corporal Marlton-Thomas made an immediate and lasting impression with me and clearly stood proud of his peers. An intelligent, articulate and focused individual he was emerging to be a most capable leader of men; the highest accolade you can afford a professional soldier. "He was passionate for those in his charge and for the vital contribution that they are making here in Afghanistan. Highly revered by all within the Group, men of his distinction are few and far between and he will be gravely missed." Captain Gareth Bateman RE, Second-in-Command Joint Force EOD Group, said: "In the short time that I have known Corporal Marlton-Thomas, it was clear that he was highly-respected amongst all in the Squadron. His determination to lead his team from the front on operations was demonstrated by the way in which he fought to overcome an injury and be fit to deploy. "He was the embodiment of the consummate Royal Engineer Soldier; I am proud to say that I served with him." Lieutenant Fran Rizzuti RE, Troop Commander Joint Force EOD Group, said: "Corporal Marlton-Thomas had a beaming smile and it was a feature that conveyed his immense enthusiasm for a job that he truly loved. Although we had only worked together for a short period, it was obvious to me that as a Search Team Commander he was second-to-none. He spoke of his wife, Nicola, often and it was clear that he was a proud and devoted husband. "Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a fountain of knowledge, a man of many talents, who had a genuine aptitude for soldiering. I am honored and proud to have known him as both a colleague and indeed a friend. My only regret is that our paths did not cross sooner."

[ Sapper David Watson ]

Sapper David Watson from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was killed on Thursday 31 December 2009. Sapper David Watson, born on 28 October 1986 and known to his friends as 'The Leg', deployed on Op HERRICK 11 as a Number 3 Operator in a Conventional Munitions Disposal Team as part of the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group within the UK Counter IED Task Force. Sapper Watson died of wounds sustained in an explosion caused by an Improvised Explosive Device in the vicinity of Patrol Base Blenheim in the Sangin region of Helmand Province.

His parents John and Anne, walked on foot behind the hearse carrying his coffin.  Veterans formed a standard party outside the Church of St Mary the Virgin, in the soldier's home town of Whickham, near Gateshead. 

Sapper David Watson's family made this statement: "Dearly beloved Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, David. He always managed to achieve above and beyond the goals that he set for himself often going that extra mile to achieve beyond the bounds of what was expected of him. "He loved life itself and all of its challenges. David's dry sense of humour combined with his ability to articulate any situation into a moment of laughter were two of his many talents, he was loved by all. "The Army was his career which he loved the most and his achievements whilst serving in the Army show his genuine commitment and determination to serve his country proud. "Amongst his many accomplishments, David was awarded the fittest soldier upon completion of his basic training, moving onto do his Commando and Paratrooper training as well as becoming top recruit for P Company Infantry training. "He lived his dream and did what a true soldier is ready to do for his country, a true hero. "David was a proud and very much loved uncle of Michael. Michael would often ask to be lifted high in the sky, now he will be regularly reminded that David has joined the stars above, giving hope and inspiration to those that hear of his story. "David was a very much respected friend to all that had the pleasure of meeting him and most of all a very much appreciated and inspirational member of his family. His life taken away from us and words left unspoken. "You will be dearly missed in our hearts and thoughts, always loved and missed by all family." 

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex Royal Logistic Corps, Commanding Officer Counter IED Task Force, said: "Sapper Watson was the epitome of a warrior: fearless, ruthlessly determined and a great team player. An immensely proud parachute and commando trained soldier he was highly respected by his peers; they looked up to him with the deference that individuals of his sheer quality warrant. "Although this was his first operational tour Sapper Watson was a man very much in his element out here in Afghanistan; if ever there was a man born for soldiering it was him. "Sapper Watson excelled on operations in Afghanistan, reveling in the vital role his team conducted. I am humbled and inspired by the courage and resolve men like him show every day in ridding Afghanistan of the threat from IEDs. "Although it is a tragedy to lose such a fine soldier, it is a comfort knowing that he served a noble cause and that his efforts are recognised in Helmand and back home in the UK. "Sapper Watson will always have a place in our hearts and his loss will hit the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group and wider Counter IED Task Force very hard, but we will never tire in our efforts. "The Counter IED battle is tough and ongoing, but he knew that we are making steady progress. This success is due to the courage and deeds of men like Sapper Watson and we must continue to hold our nerve and plough on with the same determination that he showed." Major Tim Gould QGM Royal Logistic Corps, Officer Commanding Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, said of him: "Sapper Watson was brought up in Whickham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and joined the Royal Engineers in February 2007. "It is incredible what an inordinate amount this promising young Sapper managed to fit in to his relatively short career. He qualified in his chosen trade as a Builder and Structural Finisher and in the field of Combat Engineering. "A natural soldier and candidate for both Airborne and All-Arms Commando training, Sapper Watson completed both arduous courses within the first two years of his career. He excelled on Pegasus Company, so much so that he was awarded the honour of being the course top student. "On meeting Sapper Watson you could very quickly see that it was not only his outstanding athletic fitness that gave him the accolade of best student on Pegasus Company, it was his team spirit, his drive and his willingness to help his comrades in everyway he knew how. "He was delighted to be posted to 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), specifically the Airborne Troop of 49 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Royal Engineers. "A man-mountain of a young man, Sapper Watson was as strong as an ox and was completely unsurpassed in any challenge of a physical nature; he was a veritable 'machine' in these terms and countless numbers of his peers sought to emulate his exacting standards. "Sapper Watson was the archetypal gentle giant; strong and silent, the big brother that you never had. He was the one that you wanted by your side no matter what you were doing, be it on a night out in town, the sports pitch or on the battlefield here in Helmand. "What does a man like Sapper Watson do in his spare time? As you would undoubtedly expect of a soldier who had passed so many arduous courses, he loved to fell run and was a keen mountain biker. "This was his first experience of an operational deployment and one that he was very much looking forward to. From the very outset he had tackled every challenge head on in his characteristically unflappable manner. "He excelled in his chosen profession and was carving out a very bright and promising career for himself. "To say that it is a tragedy to lose a soldier of Sapper Watson's calibre is an understatement. This remarkable young man leaves a substantial void in our hearts and we will honour his memory in both our thoughts and our deeds in our endeavours here in Helmand." Lieutenant Colonel David Southall MBE Royal Engineers, Commanding Officer 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) said: "Sapper Dave 'The Leg' Watson was a remarkable soldier. Known and respected for his phenomenal fitness, this Commando, Parachute and Bomb Disposal trained Sapper was simply a cut above the rest - no one was surprised when he excelled as the top student during his Parachute training this year. "Sapper Watson's physical prowess was founded on a character of immense strength and whilst his natural talent always shone through, it was always with great modesty and good humour; such qualities won him tremendous respect from all whom he served with. "Sapper Watson worked selflessly on the most demanding of tasks; working to liberate Afghanistan from the threat of IEDs. In doing so, he paid the ultimate price - his sacrifice will not be forgotten." Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said: "In the time he had been with the Battle Group, Sapper David Watson had made a significant contribution to our efforts to provide security to the local population here in Sangin. "With his close-knit team he had been involved in a large number of operations to deny insurgents the use of weapons caches, firing points and munitions in the ongoing fight against improvised explosive devices. "Sapper Watson's loss is a tragedy but we are at least comforted by the fact that he died in the finest traditions of his regiment, providing security for one of our outlying patrol bases. "He will be missed by the Battle Group and our thoughts and prayers are with his team, his friends but above all his family at this most difficult of times." Major Richard Hawkins Royal Engineers, Officer Commanding 49 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "To be so highly thought of in a Squadron of so many talented and professional soldiers, is an indication of just how exceptional Sapper Dave Watson was, both as a soldier and a friend to many. "Men of his high calibre can often be arrogant; Sapper Watson was anything but. A real team player, he helped out whenever he could and carried himself with a quiet confidence that was humbling given his obvious ability. "Sapper Watson's vital work clearing mines and unexploded bombs throughout Helmand Province has undoubtedly saved the lives of countless soldiers and local civilians. No other job more directly represents the commitment of the British Army to ISAF's mission in creating a safer environment for the people of Afghanistan and he was immensely proud of his role. "Sapper Watson’s death is a tragic loss to his family, friends and brothers in arms, but it has also strengthened the Squadron’s resolve to finish the job in hand. It was an honour to have served on operations with Sapper Watson and he will never be forgotten." Lieutenant Lee Thornhill Royal Engineers, Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Bomb Disposal Officer and 1 Troop Commander: "Sapper David Watson was a true soldier. On a recent pre Junior Non Commissioned Officer Cadre he gained the nickname 'PAM Head' such was his capacity to absorb and recall the information he was being taught. "But he wasn't the kind of soldier who was satisfied with just the lesson and always wanted to know the 'whys and the hows?'. As his Troop Commander, I could not have asked for any more of him. He was a model Sapper and was most certainly destined for great things. "He had already 'smashed' two arduous courses and had been awarded top student on Pegasus Company such was his ability and determination. He had gained the nickname 'The Leg' as his capacity for running was unsurpassed. "Sapper Watson was a traveller at heart and loved to share stories of his trips to Australia and Thailand. "No doubt the boys will raise a number of glasses in memory of 'The Leg' when they take their leave. He was a rare breed - the type of man who considered nothing too demanding or tough. "He feared no challenge. 1 Airborne Troop and 49 Field Squadron (EOD) will be a lesser place without him. Captain Gareth T Bateman RE, Second-in-Command 49 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal): "Simply unstoppable, Sapper Watson was an inspirational soldier. "His tremendous physical ability was matched by a terrific mental capacity, a combination that was fast carving out a very promising career. "His death is a tragic loss both to the Counter IED Task Force and to 33 Engineer Regiment but it has galvanised our will to push on with our task and we will take our inspiration to continue from the example that he set." Sergeant Dave Hird, Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, his colleague said: "The future of my Corps has been denied a real star. "The Leg" (because his were freakishly long and he ran like the wind!) came to 1 (Airborne) Troop, after a short time at 24 Commando Engineer Regt where he had passed the All Arms Commando Course. "Without much chance for hesitation or protest he was loaded straight on to P Company in order to be suitably qualified to wear the Maroon Beret. "He came away with the Top Student award! His size and physical prowess were so immense his potential was seemingly limitless. "It would have been very easy for Dave to get a big head and carried away with his achievements to date, but the measure of the man was his incredible humility. "He never saw anything as a task beneath him and never hesitated in anything that was asked of him by anyone. "He is a huge credit to his family and parents and should be held as the measure of what "the youth of today" can actually achieve. Dave Watson will not be forgotten amongst his Airborne and Commando Bomb Disposal brothers." Lance Corporal Ellis Acaster, Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, his friend and colleague said of him: "The very first moment I met him I knew he was an absolute machine. We did the Commando Course together and Dave was one those blokes everyone wanted to be. "I remember Dave for many things but for me it was the nine mile speed march on our course, he cared more about the other blokes than he ever did for himself. "The Army was made for him; he had achieved so much in such a short time, more than some in a career. Dave 'The Leg' Watson, Commando, Para, 'Machine' and friend - Always in our thoughts." Lance Corporal Charles Best, Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, – friend and colleague: "Sapper David Watson, 'The Leg', was probably one of the most professional and fittest soldiers I have met to date. "I really got to know this huge structure of a man when we completed P Company together. He was always willing to do anything for anyone, even if he was already busy with other tasks. "With a bad knee injury from Pre Para, he just worked harder and was rewarded with the Top Student on our course, breaking the existing record for points scored. "You made such an impact on my life in such a short space of time, it is an honour to have been your friend and to have served with you, my thoughts are with your family and friends, take it easy mate." Sapper Stu Little, Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, – friend and colleague: "Dave 'The Leg' Watson had many moments of distinction in his short time with us, but this one sticks in my mind the most. "After successful completion of P Company, the blokes who had passed were taken down town to take part in a time honoured ritual. 2 Chicken Phal's were ordered and Dave and Besty commenced eating. He destroyed it in seconds with his typical no fuss manner whilst Besty struggled in agony. True to the spirit of the man he took the remainder of Besty's Phal and smashed that down as well. "Nothing you can say or write will be able to justify how good a soldier he was and how much he was one of the lads. We will all miss you Dave and we will always remember you."

[ Acting Corporal David Barnsdale ]

Acting Corporal David Barnsdale from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Tuesday 19 October 2010. Acting Corporal Barnsdale deployed on his second tour of Afghanistan in September 2010 with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force. Trained as the team commander of a Royal Engineers Search Team, he was responsible for the detection of improvised explosive devices in areas deemed to be high risk. On 19 October 2010 his search team were deployed on Op OMID CHAR - operating in an area east of Gereshk, working towards the construction of a new check point and patrol base to enhance the security of the local population. During the task Acting Corporal Barnsdale was caught in the blast from an IED which resulted in his death. Acting Corporal Barnsdale, from Tring in Hertfordshire, was 24 years old and joined the Royal Engineers in September 2002. Following his basic combat engineer training in Camberley, he completed his Class 2 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration trade training at Chatham before being posted to Hohne in Germany. His four years in 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, part of 32 Engineer Regiment, saw him promote to Lance Corporal and complete operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. Posted to 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) in October 2009, he comfortably passed his role-specific training and quickly settled into his new discipline. At the top of his peer group and already an  Acting Corporal, he was in line for promotion at the earliest opportunity. An enthusiastic football player and sportsman, he enjoyed playing the game as much as supporting his team, Queens Park Rangers. A highly professional and sociable individual he was well liked by those who knew him. He leaves behind his mother Wendy, his father Stephen, his sister Vanessa and his girlfriend Helen.


Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis GM RLC, Commanding Officer Counter-IED Task Force, said: "Acting Corporal David Barnsdale, Dave to his friends, was a young, bright and incredibly likeable team leader. He died leading his men in what must be one of the most dangerous tasks in the Armed Forces – that of deliberately searching for IEDs. "He embodied the finest traditions of a soldier, constantly displaying bucket loads of grit and determination; he was utterly professional but always with a dash of humility. He was generous to a fault but not when playing cards, where he had a tendency to accuse others of cheating when he was, in fact, the offender! "Acting Corporal Dave Barnsdale was known as a considerate and friendly man, always willing to pass on his expertise to others, to engage with everyone in conversation and to encourage those around him – nobody had a bad word to say about him. "He was no stranger to operational duty either, having previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan and until today, in the thick of it, helping Afghans and the Combined Forces to rid this land of the improvised explosive device. "Acting Corporal Dave Barnsdale was an outgoing person and always fun to be around. He was an avid Queen's Park Rangers fan, always talking about them, but never able to understand why he was the only one who did so! "But at heart, his family was dearly important to him and at weekends he was often to be found travelling to Tring in Hertfordshire to be with his parents, Stephen and Wendy, sister Vanessa and his girlfriend Helen. We feel the pain of his loss and pass our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family and friends." Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, Commanding Officer 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "Acting Corporal David Barnsdale's loss has been a great shock to the Regiment. A young junior non-commissioned officer with boundless potential and the steely understated determination of a man you know you can rely on in difficult times. "His operational service has been exemplary, with busy tours of Iraq and Afghanistan showing the breadth of his talents and a level of experience uncommon in a Lance Corporal. It gave me great pleasure to welcome him in to the Regiment as I knew he would quickly become a valuable asset and I have not been disappointed. "My overwhelming memory of Acting Corporal Barnsdale will be his irrepressible enthusiasm and no nonsense approach. Always wearing a wry smile wherever he was and whatever he was doing, always happy to set you straight and voice an opinion, a truly refreshing trait. He had a bright future ahead of him either in Explosive Ordnance Disposal or out in the wider Corps. He was a key player in the Regimental dynamic and his Squadron will be a lesser place without him there. "On behalf of the Regiment I convey my deepest heartfelt sympathies to Acting Corporal Barnsdale's mother, Wendy, his father, Stephen, and his sister, Vanessa. David Barnsdale was simply a first rate soldier and leader of men." Major Rod Brown, Officer Commanding 61 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "Soldiers like Acting Corporal David Barnsdale are the sturdy foundation on which the Army is built. His selfless devotion to those under his command and his unique ability to see the good in every situation was equalled only by his professionalism and drive. "Whenever I asked his Troop Commander, Captain Sinnot, for a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer for an ‘opportunity' he would, without hesitation, volunteer Lance Corporal Barnsdale who, with great enthusiasm, would use the 'opportunity' to shine amongst his peers. "It was therefore an easy decision to award a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer of his calibre the rank of Acting Corporal in order to give him the opportunity to command a Search Team on operations in Afghanistan. I knew that Acting Corporal Barnsdale would not let me down, it was clear from the start that his team drew great strength from his presence and his Troop Commander understandably had great faith in him. "A fun loving and outgoing individual, Acting Corporal Barnsdale contributed a great deal to the personality of the Squadron. His inclusive attitude, buoyant personality and lust for a good social have marked his time in the Squadron. He enjoyed his sports, especially football and contributed to the Squadron's sporting successes on a number of occasions in the face of a very competitive field. "With imminent promotion and a bright future ahead of him, Acting Corporal Barnsdale's death is a tragic loss to his Squadron, Regiment, Corps and Service. I cannot imagine the grief that his family are currently suffering but they should know that our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues alike." Captain Luke Sinnott, Troop Commander and Royal Engineers Search Advisor, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) said: "I count Dave Barnsdale as one of the finest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He was a rock for his team and a good friend to all of us. He fearlessly led his team in a very difficult environment and I can think of no man I would have sooner trusted with so much responsibility. "Despite his easy manner he was able to be the strong hand the searchers needed when walking towards dangerous areas, making the way safe for other people and giving them confidence to do their job day after day. "Dave had a boundless passion for Queen's Park Rangers football club and carried his club flag everywhere he went. It was always easy to spot his bed space in a room by the same flag hanging with pride from the nearest rail. The avid cards player, he was never without his cards in case an opportune moment arose to start a game of Yuka, because Dave loved company and people loved his company. "It appals me to loose a friend like Dave and I can not help but feel the world is a lot worse off for losing him. He was the one man I always knew would have a big smile on his face and a good word to say and I can not begin to try and repair the void he leaves behind. "He was my friend and a friend to many others, but our loss can not compare to that of his family and his girlfriend Helen. I hope they know we are thinking of them during this difficult period. His adopted Search Team family will always honour his memory. Rest in Peace Dave." Corporal Si Archer a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) said: "In the time I have known Dave he was always determined, brave and professional in all aspects of his life; which was sadly cut short. He will be truly missed and it has been an honour to serve with him as a friend and a colleague. Our thoughts will be with his family and friends at this difficult time and I will never forget him." Corporal Andy Byres a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) said: "As a team commander Dave was held in high regard, always professional, considerate and friendly. All you had to do was ask around to find the true Dave, every man had a good word to say, as his efforts to engage with everyone were second to none. The best Yuka partner anyone could ask for, the Squadron and Army will be a lesser place without him." Corporal ‘Bri' Derrick a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) said: "The first time I met Dave was on our B1 Combat Engineer Course. It didn't take long, in fact a matter of days, before we became good friends. Dave and I were in the same section. He was such an outgoing and fun guy to be around. In our spare time after work we would hit the local pub and have a good laugh together. "I always looked up to Dave for his professionalism and dedication to everything he did. After the course we lost touch, but were soon working together again in the same Squadron doing the same job. Again Dave put his all into everything he did during our training before deploying to Afghanistan. "You will be sorely missed as a great friend and colleague. My thoughts are with your family and friends at this time." Corporal "Foggy" McGuffog friend and fellow Royal Engineers Search Team Commander, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "I didn't get the chance to work with Dave but I did get the chance to socialise with him. "Dave was a great bloke and a man who cared about those around him, always asking how they were and making them smile. He loved to go out for a curry and a beer or three either for the crack or to cheer you up. Dave will be sorely missed as a friend and a team commander. It's people like him who are the glue that hold the unit and the Army together." Lance Corporal Craig Davies, a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "Dave was a brilliant friend who led by example in everything he did. My two biggest memories of Dave are playing cards together, and he always seemed to know when I was cheating. He was also a massive QPR fan who took great pleasure in giving me stick when my team, Middlesbrough, were beaten. A legend who will never be forgotten." Lance Corporal Jones a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "From the moment I arrived at the Squadron Corporal Dave Barnsdale was very welcoming. He would approach you and you knew that you could have a good chat about things. Always happy and willing to have a good laugh, all that knew him respected him. "He knew his job well and this was reflected in the team he commanded. Dave will always be remembered for his morale amongst the lads. A sad loss for us all. "RIP Dave, gone but definitely not forgotten."  Lance Corporal Adam Muirhead a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "I met Dave in 2005 when I was posted into 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron at Hohne in Germany, and from my first night in the Squadron bar I knew that Dave and I would be friends for life. I had the pleasure of deploying on Op TELIC 7 and also Op HERRICK 9 with Dave. I will always remember Dave's face when we were stood at the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. "The look of pure fear in his eyes was almost comical as we were shot up in the air on the rollercoaster. Dave's passion for football and his beloved QPR would match that of any hard-core football fan. Dave was always willing to help those in need and was much liked and respected by all that had the pleasure of meeting him. He will be sorely missed by the Squadron and the Corps. One day we will meet again Dave. "Gone but not forgotten." Lance Corporal 'Phil' Studdart a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "Cpl ‘Dave' Barnsdale, Joint Forces Explosive Ordinance Disposal Group. Friend and Colleague. "Cpl ‘Dave' Barnsdale was a great colleague and outstanding friend. Serving in the same troop as Dave it was easy to see his enthusiasm to help others towards success. He always acted selflessly and was a true inspiration to myself and those around him. God bless you Dave, you will truly be missed by all." Sapper "Kasper" Mulrooney a friend and Royal Engineers Search Team member, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "What little time I spent with Dave I will remember for a long time to come. I worked in his team for almost 2 months during pre-deployment training and in that time I knew I was in good hands under Dave's guidance. As a TA soldier I had to work that little bit harder to make my mark in his team, but Dave was always understanding with me and for that I thank him. "No matter how bone a question I asked, or how funny he found it, Dave would give me a straight answer; after some ribbing. "My last and fondest memory of this great Royal Engineer Search Team commander will be the lift home he gave me from our Dari course in Waterbeach. On the two-hour drive home, I gained much knowledge from an experienced soldier and got to know him that bit better. He was a fine example of what a man of the Corps should be. He will be missed by all." Sapper Ben Thompson, a friend and colleague, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "Dave was a fantastic friend and one who always kept morale high no matter what situation he was in. My biggest memory of Dave is when we went to KFC and we smashed over £28 worth of food and he was still hungry. Dave was also a beloved QPR fan who you could always enjoy great banter with. We will all miss you Dave and always remember you."