5 Division

Major Vanessa Lang. Aged 40


Major Vanessa Lang was killed in a helicopter accident in Sierra Leone on 19 October 2001. Major Lang was serving as an Army Press Officer with the British Army detachment in Freetown. Her normal base was Headquarters 5 Division in Shrewsbury. She was a passenger in a Mi-24 helicopter; the cause of the accident is not yet known. The other occupants are understood to have survived without serious injury. Vanessa Lang was aged 40 and joined the Army in 1979. Her family come from Yorkshire. The widow of an Army officer, she had no children. Her career was marked by service at several locations in the UK, including tours in Northern Ireland and Cyprus.  Colonel David Bone, the Chief of Staff of 5 Division, paid tribute to her: "Vanessa was a hugely professional person, but at the same time was great fun. Her death is a great loss. Everyone who knew her will be very shocked and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time."

Special Air Service

Trooper Brad Tinnion. Aged 28

First published on Wednesday 13 September 2000:

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SAS soldier killed in Sierra Leone action: Trooper Brad Tinnion, aged 28, suffered fatal wounds when he was hit by machine gun fire as he helped lift six Army hostages out of the jungle in Sierra Leone. The young soldier was to become a father in a few weeks time. He lived with his partner in a small village just outside Hereford. News of his death while in action on Sunday has shocked colleagues and many friends in Hereford.

The SAS had masterminded the daring, but dangerous mission to rescue six men of the Royal Irish Regiment who had been held hostage for more than a month by rebels known as the West Side Boys in Sierra Leone.

They were joined by members of the 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment and had carried out considerable reconnaissance to pinpoint the hostages and their captors in dense jungle and mangrove swamps. Trooper Tinnion was one of the men who went in by helicopter to rescue the hostages and capture some of the rebels.

As they were moving them out to a waiting Chinook helicopter, the men came under heavy machine gun fire. Trooper Tinnion was hit, and taken by his colleagues to a Royal Navy support vessel Sir Percivale in Freetown Harbour, but sadly, had died from his injuries. It is believed that several other soldiers were wounded but none of their injuries are life threatening.

Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Sir Charles Guthrie has described the military operation as one of the most complicated he had ever been involved in.

Royal Green Jackets


[ Cpl Michael Phillips ]

[ Cpl Michael Phillips ]

Cpl Michael Phillips 2 RGJ killed in Sierra Leone 27th Jan 2002 along with Rfn James Coman Both photo's on the left are of Cpl Michael Phillips Michael was in Sierra Leone on a peace keeping for 6 weeks, their team went into the jungle for 9 days, on way back which was about 9 hour drive the lead vehicle drove off and left them. There was a broken down lorry on side of Montanna highway the driver saw it and slightly swerved to avoid the broken down lorry, un-fortunately it lost control and overturned, Michael was killed instantly, James survived for 6 hours but no help came for over 2 hours.