Household Cavalry Regiment

2nd Lieutenant Ralph Johnson

Aged 24, who lived in Windsor, joined the Life Guards in August 2005 and established himself as a first class Troop Leader who led from the front. 

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Smyth-Osbourne, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, based in Windsor, said of him: "He was brave, determined and thoroughly loyal to his soldiers and superiors. He excelled in training and quickly won the respect of the men who in turn showed absolute faith in his decisions and leadership. He was popular, quick witted and hugely enthusiastic. His innate energy enamoured him to all; particularly endearing was his devotion to his men and the time and effort he committed to them prior to their deployment. "It was obvious to all that he adored his time in the Army. In Afghanistan he displayed real composure and huge professional competence in a novel, harsh and unforgiving environment – and it was typical that, during the early hours of 1 August, he was leading from the front when killed in an ambush in Northern Helmand. "With his death the Household Cavalry Regiment has suffered the loss of an exemplary young officer and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends." 2nd Lt Ralph Johnson was single.

Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls

Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls

Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls, 27, enlisted in Edinburgh into the Royal Corps of Signals in August 1995 and served with 216 Signals Squadron, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. During that time he completed a number of operational tours including both Afghanistan and Iraq before transferring to the Blues and Royals in July 2004.  Lieutenant Colonel Edward Smyth-Osbourne, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, based in Windsor, said:  "He embraced life with the Household Cavalry with gusto and enthusiasm serving with D Squadron on the Prairie in Western Canada and picking up his armoured trades with alacrity. Indeed his previous experience stood him in good stead and he established himself as a bright, professional and effective operator whose presence was a real asset to the Squadron.  "He volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan despite the fact he had decided to leave the Army and was serving as Lt Johnson’s operator when he was killed in an ambush during the early hours of the 1 Aug in Northern Helmand. With his death the Household Cavalry Regiment has suffered the loss of a talented soldier and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."  Lance Corporal Nicholls leaves behind a wife, Angela, a two year old son, Cameron, and a newborn baby girl named Erin, who live in central London.

UK Forces were involved in ongoing action against insurgent forces in northern Helmand Province on the morning of 1st August 2006. During the incident, a UK vehicle patrol was attacked by insurgents with rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine guns. Sadly two soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment and one from 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery were killed, and one further soldier was seriously injured.

[ Trooper Ratu Babakobau  ]

The national flag of the Republic of Fiji that is presently in use was officially adopted on 10th October, 1970. The Fiji Flag has a light blue background which symbolizes the Pacific Ocean. The light blue background of the Fiji Flag bears the flag of the UK in the upper quadrant of the hoist-side and the Fijian Shield on the centre of the other half of the flag. The Union Jack on the Fiji Flag represents the association of Fiji with the Great Britain. The Fijian Shield on the flag bears the images of a golden lion holding a coconut. The other panels in the shield displays a palm tree, sugarcane, bananas and a white dove of peace.

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), with a total manpower of 3,500 men, is one of the smallest militaries in the world.

Trooper Ratu Babakobau of the Household Cavalry Regiment was killed Friday 2 May 2008, in Helmand, Afghanistan. At 1350hrs local time whilst providing protection for a routine patrol in the Nowzad area of northern Helmand, the vehicle he was travelling in suffered a mine strike.  Three other British soldiers and one local national were also injured in the incident. The medical incident response team was called in and evacuated the casualties to the ISAF medical facilities at Camp Bastion.

Trooper Babakobau, 29 from Fiji, joined the Army in 2004 to serve in the Household Cavalry Regiment. He deployed to Afghanistan in April 2008 serving under the command of the 5 SCOTS Brigade. This was his first deployment on operations overseas. He is survived by his wife Camari and two sons, Ratu Seru, aged four, and Ratu Sakeasi Sucumailodoni Selamu, aged one. Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, said: "He had excelled himself as a truly versatile Household Cavalryman, rising to become a star of the Mounted Regiment, proving to be one of the best troopers in his squadron.  "In a very short space of time at the Household Cavalry Regiment he had yet again proved himself to be a highly adaptable and determined, proud and professional soldier, who had bags of potential and so much to give. He was already a leader of men.  "Words themselves cannot express our grief at this time and our thoughts lie with his wife, children and his family back in Fiji." Lieutenant Colonel David Richmond, Commanding Officer, 5 SCOTS Brigade said: Trooper Ratu Babakobau died in action doing a job he loved and excelled in, surrounded by men who held him in the highest regard. He possessed all of the best qualities of a British soldier: selfless commitment, utter professionalism and the absolute will to win. He also had a strong morale compass and an acute sense of fun. He had enormous potential, which with his strength of character and determination, he would certainly have fulfilled. He was a big man, in every sense, loved and respected by all and his loss will be sorely felt. It was a deep honour to command him on operations and my thoughts are with his wife and loved ones at this tragic time." Major Will Bartle-Jones RHG/D, D Squadron Leader, said of him: Trooper ‘Baba’ Babakobau was a rising star of the Household Cavalry and in particular, D Squadron. He made an instant impact on arrival from the Mounted Regiment, with his unrivalled professionalism, thirst for knowledge and truly Trojan prowess on the rugby pitch. He displayed a great deal of humility which belied his capabilities as an armoured vehicle driver and he took a great deal of personal pride in his work. He was highly respected by all ranks, across both Regiments, tipped to be one of the first Fijian SNCOs, with responsibility he would have revelled in and with the chance to show his myriad of talents.  All junior soldiers looked up to him as the model of a strong junior leader, with an exceptionally deft touch with new soldiers who quickly warmed to his strong personality. Equally at home on a horse as in a fighting vehicle, he upheld traditional standards, strong personal beliefs and a sense of immense fun. He was desperate to go on operations in order to improve the lives of those less fortunate than himself and he gave his life so selflessly in pursuit of this cause. "He was instantly likable with a gentle and caring nature that belied his stature. His physical strength was mirrored in his strong moral and ethical bearing."  Captain Tom Long LG. I have been immensely privileged to have had such a strong character within D Squadron, to have served alongside him and enjoyed the many humorous moments that so endeared him to all within the Squadron and Regiment. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his wife and children in Windsor, but also his extended family in Fiji at this immensely difficult time. His loss is a huge tragedy; however his selflessness will drive the remainder of us forward to ensure we achieve our aims and remember him as a stalwart member of this close knit Squadron and Regiment."

Captain Tom Long LG, Squadron Operations Officer of D Squadron Household Cavalry Regiment, said: I have had the honour of serving with Trooper Babakobau both in the ceremonial role in London and in the armoured role in Windsor. Trooper Babakobau was a larger than life character with a hugely infectious smile. He was instantly likable with a gentle and caring nature that belied his stature. His physical strength was mirrored in his strong moral and ethical bearing. Trooper Babakobau excelled in his job at the Mounted Regiment. He was always immaculately turned out and was an example to others by maintaining the highest of standards. An athletic sportsman he quickly adapted to riding cavalry horses, often on State occasions. After serving for 3 years at Mounted Duty, he was eager to experience the armoured role of the Regiment, fulfilling the role of a Recce soldier.

He was an astute operator often at the hub of any troop or squadron activity dispensing help and advice above and beyond his rank and experience and always found time for his comrades. It was in this role of a Recce soldier that Trooper Babakobau was tragically killed in action, serving with his friends, in the job that he loved. His loss will be keenly felt by all in D Squadron and at both regiments in the UK where he made a lasting impression on everyone he met. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time, but they should take some comfort knowing that he was at the forefront of the Squadron, doing the job he joined the Army to do and was surrounded by his friends." He was a wonderful bloke and he would do anything for anyone."

Lance Corporal of Horse Graham, of 4 Troop, D Squadron, said:

Baba was a professional soldier. Always smiling and offering a helping hand. A gentle giant and an extremely proud soldier. He will be missed greatly by his Squadron and Regiment."

LCpl Ross of 2 Troop, D Squadron, said: 

He was a great soldier who worked hard in whatever task that was asked of him. He was proud to be in the Household Cavalry Regiment and he will be missed by all of the Regiment and our thoughts go out to the family." Friend and colleague Trooper Watson of 4 Troop said: "He was a joy to be around. He was a very good trooper who always had a big smile and would always stop to talk to you and give a helping hand. He was physically strong and very friendly. He and I got on well and always talked New Zealand and Fiji. I will always remember that I would greet him with a Maori greeting of kiore and he would do the same. He will be missed by all and our hearts go out to his family. God bless you."

Trooper Clayton, SQMC Department, said: 

Babs was a very good friend of mine. When I first got to the regiment he welcomed me with open arms. Babs would always ask if you were alright. He was a wonderful bloke and he would do anything for anyone. I will deeply miss him as a fellow soldier but mostly as a friend. He will be missed by the Squadron and the Regiment."

[ Trooper James Munday ]

Trooper James Munday, of 1 Troop, D Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment, Killed on Wednesday 15 October 2008.

Trooper Munday was serving as a Jackal driver on Operation HERRICK 8 when he was killed in action in Helmand province. His Troop was conducting a routine patrol approximately 23km north of Forward Operating Base Delhi when he was killed by a contact explosion. Universally known as ""Magpie", Trooper James Munday, aged 21, from the Birmingham area, joined the Army on 9 February 2005 and after passing out of basic training he went straight to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Knightsbridge.He stayed there for 18 months and spent a season riding with the Musical Ride, widely acknowledged as a privilege open only to the best jockeys. He also displayed an unusual talent for downhill skiing and was an accomplished rugby player. Trooper Munday moved to the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) based at Windsor in April 2007, where he was trained as a Scimitar driver and gunner. He looked forward to deploying to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 8 and quickly proved himself as a reliable operator in the demanding environment of southern Helmand. Trooper Munday's family issued the following statement: "James was an adventurous, gracious and caring son, who excelled as a soldier and died doing a job he loved. "James was a tremendous character, who lived life to the full. He was a talented and fearless skier, an enthusiastic horseman and was relishing the opportunity to help those in need on operational service. "We are devastated by the loss of James, who will be sorely missed by his family, numerous friends and colleagues. We are so proud of what he achieved as our son and have been humbled by the many messages of condolences received.  Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, Commanding Officer, HCR, said: "Trooper James Munday was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best of his generation. He was a rising star in his peer group and a truly brilliant Life Guard and Household Cavalryman. He excelled at all he turned his hand to. "He joined the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and was quickly noticed as a gifted rider and hard worker. He was selected for the elite Musical Ride Display Team, where he proved his worth. He became a Junior Skiing Champion on his first skiing tour. He finished his gunnery course as the top gun. He was posted to D Squadron, where he prepared for operations and won the confidence and respect of his Squadron Leader and all his colleagues immediately. He relished the prospect of serving his country on operations. "He served on this tour with courage, honour, humility and always put his colleagues' interest first. He was passionate about his job and the regiment could ask for no more from him. He has paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others. His family have lost a wonderful son and we at the Regiment have lost one of the best. "We are humbled by his tragic death and our thoughts are with his family at this time."  Lieutenant Colonel Alan Richmond, Commanding Officer, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (Battlegroup South), said: "James Munday was a superb soldier, full of character and a highly popular member of his squadron. He had a great sense of humour, was a gifted sportsman and lived life to the full. He was fully aware of the dangers of operations and yet was always one of the first to volunteer to go out on patrol. He was killed doing what he loved, surrounded by friends. "For almost six months he and his fellow Household Cavalrymen have worked tirelessly to bring peace to Helmand province and its troubled people. It is especially tragic that he should be taken from us so close to the end of his tour of duty. Trooper Munday's death is a great loss to all of us in Battlegroup South. We will remember him, and our thoughts are now with his family and their most painful loss." Major William Davies, D Squadron Leader, said:  "Words cannot describe the sense of total despair at the loss of our dear friend and fellow Household Cavalryman, James 'Magpie' Munday. Today is indeed the darkest of days. Professional in all that he did, enormous fun to be around and admired by everyone for his vast range of natural talents, James was quite simply a very special person. His appeal touched all ages and all ranks. "We are deeply honoured to have known and worked with him. James was surely destined for great things on a path now cut short so cruelly and abruptly. D Squadron is a quieter, darker, and lesser place for his loss. James will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers now turn to his poor family to whom we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences." Captain Tom Long, of The Life Guards, D Squadron Operations Officer, said: "'Magpie' was a bright, motivated soldier who had a very promising career ahead of him. Having served closely with him over the past few months of the tour Magpie was at the forefront of the Squadron's activities always volunteering to go out on either vehicle or foot patrols. He had an infectious enthusiasm that motivated and inspired all around him. "A natural athlete he was at home on the ski slopes, rugby field or 'tabbing' into a night observation post in southern Helmand. His sense of humour was irrepressible and he was enjoying being on operations with his friends and comrades. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this most difficult time." Warrant Officer Class 2 (Squadron Corporal Major) Daniel Hitchings, of The Life Guards, D Squadron Corporal Major, said: "Trooper Munday was a true Household Cavalryman, mastering the challenges of Knightsbridge and the high-speed tempo of operational life as a formation reconnaissance soldier. He was hugely popular with all ranks and always maintained a steadfast and determined approach, even in the most demanding situations. Magpie will be sorely missed by all those that were lucky enough to have known and served with him. James was killed in action surrounded by his comrades doing a job he loved - securing a safer future for the people of Afghanistan." "James, or Magpie as we all called him, was the centre of morale in his troop and for most of the squad rn too. I will always remember the quirky little sayings he used to seemingly pull from thin air to make everyone laugh." 

Tpr Zak SmithStaff Corporal Mick Flynn, of The Blues And Royals (Royal Horse Guards And 1st Dragoons), 1 Troop Leader, D Squadron, said: "It was a pleasure to have James in the Troop. He was a bright and intelligent soldier who had a very likeable character. He was like any other young man of his age. He enjoyed a drink or two, he had a cheeky, mischievous sense of humour but never with any malice. He was a man's man who played rugby with a hardness respected by his colleagues. Recently selected for the second year to represent the regiment in the downhill ski team, James lived his life to the full. "James showed all the best qualities that you would like to find in a person: honesty, thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, a good sense of humour, and was never work-shy. He was a young soldier who, not surprisingly, was already ear-marked for early promotion. I feel honoured to have known him and to have had him in my Troop. He will be massively missed by all who knew him in D Squadron and the Household Cavalry."  Trooper Zak Smith, of The Blues And Royals (Royal Horse Guards And 1st Dragoons), said: "Trooper James Munday was the most honest, hardworking and loyal person I have known. His passing away has deeply saddened me, yet I cannot begin to think how his parents are feeling right now. James, or Magpie as we all called him, was the centre of morale in his troop and for most of the squadron too. I will always remember the quirky little sayings he used to seemingly pull from thin air to make everyone laugh. "James was always the first to make his opinion felt whether it was in the squadron while working late on a Friday or if I'd just soaked him in water! I used to think it was hilarious when he used to try to turn off his vehicle master switches or disconnect a Bowman radio cable and he couldn't do it, because he'd get really stressed within four seconds and start shouting about being beaten by inanimate objects! "James was a skiing lover and had skied for the regiment previously. He was very much looking forward to the forthcoming ski trip in December and already had his new ski boots in mind. Ninety-nine per cent of things he did used to make me laugh and, for that James, I thank you. James was a good trooper but, most importantly, a good friend who will be sorely missed. "So here's to you, James Munday. We will miss you." "James, you were a true friend not just to me but to everyone you came across in your Army career. You always put a smile on everyone's face no matter what the situation." 

Tpr Adam CooperLance Corporal Alex Rose, of The Life Guards, said: "James 'Magpie' Munday played rugby for the squadron team as a flanker in a game against Manchester OTC [Officer Training Corps] before the deployment to Afghanistan. He excelled himself by winning man of the match and putting in a similar performance drinking; that was the kind of guy he was! He was a great friend and a great soldier and will be missed by all of us. His memory will be in our hearts and minds always."  Trooper Sam Greenwood, of The Life Guards, said: "I served in Knightsbridge and Windsor with James. For as long as I have known him he was always laughing and joking. He was always up for a good time and was naturally at the front of any good night. He was great to be around and anyone that met him will remember him forever. He was a fantastic friend, a great soldier and he will be in our memories forever."  Trooper Jason Corcoran, of The Life Guards, said: "James started his career at Knightsbridge where I first met him and we soon became friends. He was good at his job and would always be seen helping others with their kit. He was good at boosting morale in and out of work, no matter what mood he was in. He would always make you laugh. "I arrived at Windsor a month after James and he had quickly made new friends and was still the same source of morale for the lads. He was such a character within the squadron and will be forever missed. He was an awesome friend and he will always be in my thoughts. It was an honour to have known 'Magpie'. Rest in peace my friend."  Trooper Adam Cooper, of The Life Guards, said: "James, you were a true friend not just to me but to everyone you came across in your Army career. You always put a smile on everyone's face no matter what the situation. I remember the good times in Knightsbridge cleaning rooms and 'bobbing' boots for all the hours God gave us. It is a shame I always beat you to the Number 1 Box! James was a clean, keen Knightsbridge Warrior and he will be missed by everyone and never forgotten."  A Clarence House spokesman said: "Prince William and Prince Harry are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news that Trooper James Munday of D Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment has been killed in action in Afghanistan. Together with the rest of their Regiment, the two Princes' heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this most distressing of times. Trooper Munday was in D Squadron with Prince William, and he remembers him as an exceptional soldier."

[ Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate ]

Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate, from the Household Cavalry Regiment, serving as part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, was killed in Afghanistan on the afternoon of 26 March 2010. Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate, aged 26, was on a Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) foot patrol operating about three kilometres to the south of Sangin District Centre when he was fatally wounded by a grenade thrown from behind a wall. Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. He attended Great Cornard Upper School before joining the Army Foundation College in 2001. After completing his training, he moved to Windsor and joined D Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment, and deployed on Op FRESCO and on Op TELIC 1 as a driver in 2 Troop. These tours were followed shortly by Op HERRICK 4 as a gunner for the 1Troop, Corporal of Horse. After returning home from HERRICK 4, he immediately moved across to B Squadron and started training to deploy again to Iraq on TELIC 10 with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. He completed Close Observation Training Advisory Course as a team commander and deployed in May 2007. Recently Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate completed a Formation Recce Crew Commanders' Course finishing in the top three of the course. Shortly after completing the course, Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate went to Canada to take part in two MEDMAN exercises in the OPFOR Recce Company, to gain experience as a vehicle commander. On returning to Windsor he was sent to Command Troop for a few months before rejoining B Squadron shortly before Easter 2009 to prepare for Op HERRICK 11. He completed the Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing course as a Section Commander with a high pass, and also took part in the testing pre-deployment training needed to be part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was killed by an insurgent’s grenade on 26 March 2010 whilst on foot patrol with 4 Troop, BRF, near Sangin. It was to be his last patrol of the tour. He leaves behind his parents and three sisters.


Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate's family said: "The family are immensely proud to have had a son, brother and friend who was so brave and dedicated to his career. We feel so very, very lucky to have had Jo in our lives. "He was more than just a professional soldier…he was a friendly young man with immense charisma, humour and artistic flair whose laid back manner belied a great strength of character, Jo was self-disciplined, focused and carried out his duty to the very best of his abilities." Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse 'Jo' Woodgate was one of our finest soldiers. Known affectionately by his friends and comrades as Woody, he was hugely popular, tremendously capable and a truly consummate, professional warrior. He had packed so much into his life in The Household Cavalry, rising rapidly through the ranks. "This was his fourth Operational tour and there are few others of his generation who had done and achieved as much as he had. Ever the volunteer, he served his Regiment with pride and distinction. He thrived on what his career offered him and he was clearly a young leader who had far to go. Everything he did proved how talented he was. "Everyone wanted Woody to be part of their team and he was always eager for fresh challenges. So it was that he volunteered for a second tour of duty in the elite Brigade Reconnaissance Force. "He passed the gruelling selection process with ease, in addition to coming near the top of his recce commander's course. Here was a young man who was destined for the very top. "He had spent the last six months in Helmand Province, operating in dangerous environments and situations nearly every day. His courage was undefeatable and he was resilient to the end. His ability to see the funny side of life maintained the morale of his Troop and Squadron. "It is a cruel blow that he was killed so near to the end of this tour. Words cannot express how much he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his mother Susan and his family at this most tragic time." Major Gus MacGillivray, Officer Commanding Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was a most remarkably happy and enthusiastic man, always with a grin and never with a complaint: he was a joy to work with and a very fine Junior NCO who was enormously liked and respected by all. "His loss is tragic and his family, friends and all of us feel it more keenly so very close to the end of the tour, during which he had become like a brother to those around him. "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was most certainly very talented, and took great pride being in the Household Cavalry and his role in the BRF. He will be so very sorely missed." Lieutenant Geordie Mackay-Lewis, 4 Troop Commander, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was killed doing a job that he loved, and commanding a Section in 4 Troop that he was very proud of, and utterly committed. "Those who worked with him would agree that he was one of the most professional Lance Corporal of Horse in the Regiment, who no doubt would have gone a long way in the Army. "I am incredibly proud to have commanded one of the finest NCO's in The Household Cavalry Regiment. He was the heart of the Troop, and was always looking out for the welfare of the lads, and they in turn would look to him for advice. "He set the standard in the Troop and the Squadron, and looked and acted the part in every aspect of his life and career. "He was respected and loved by everyone. Woody had a totally unique character. He was intelligent, good looking and had a brilliant sense of humour. "He had it all. Whenever there was a roar of laughter from a group of people, it's a sure bet that it would have been one of his jokes.  "During this tour, on two different occasions, members of his Section had been injured by small arms fire. On both occasions Woody displayed outstanding moral and physical courage in extracting and treating the casualties, under heavy fire. "This is just one of many examples of how good he was at his job, and how he would always fearlessly put his blokes safety ahead of his own. "Everyone in the BRF and The Household Cavalry Regiment is devastated by his loss, but this can never compare to what is felt by his family and closest friends, of which there are many. "He has left his mark on so many people. It has been my greatest privilege and honour to serve alongside him. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."  Captain Rhys Smith, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Jo Woodgate was a key member of B Squadron when I joined in 2007. "Already a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he was respected by everyone. His technical expertise on TELIC 10 were vital to the BRF - indeed, he became the theatre expert in the use of specialist reconnaissance equipment. "We crossed paths numerous times after Iraq. His Crew Commanders' Course and my Troop Leaders' Course overlapped for the tactics phase. I remember him being nothing short of outstanding and only just missing out on the top student prize. I was incredibly pleased when he rejoined B Squadron as it took on the role of BRF again for HERRICK 11. "During the training and then on tour, he shone as an incredibly thoughtful, intelligent, tactically aware and hard working commander. "He was one of the key characters of the BRF; although not in my Troop, I was frequently aware of his presence on the battlefield. "He was such a prominent figure. The care he would put in to ensuring his men were as well prepared as they could be was exceptional. He was a great leader, with operational experience matched by very few others. "I will remember Jo as the most stylish soldier I have ever met, and surely ever will. He always looked incredibly sharp. He was a fantastic soldier and a man of great courage and personality. He will always be missed; rest in peace." Captain Charlie Meredith-Hardy, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Jo Woodgate had a very positive and fun loving attitude to life. "He was a constant source of morale in the troop and saw the best in people and situations. 'Woody' was an extremely professional soldier, who the lads looked up to and respected. "From his commanders' point of view he was utterly reliable, willing to take on any task, and complete it to the best of his ability. He had performed to a very high standard throughout his career and was by far one of the best Lance Corporal of Horse in the Regiment. "He wanted to continue his career in the army and I have no doubt that he would have had an extremely successful career. I will remember him as the life and soul of the Troop and Squadron, and he will forever be in our memories." Captain Robin Bourne-Taylor, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was one of those Section Commanders that you wish was in your troop. He stood out as a talented and highly professional soldier with natural leadership combined with a sharp attention to detail. "He was witty, creative and had a contagious character that would spread through his men. "Professional through and through, Woody was destined for a shining army career. "His loss has put a huge hole in the BRF and we will all miss him dearly. All our thoughts are now with Woody's family and friends for whom the loss will be the greatest." Captain Andy Breach, 3 Troop Commander, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "The loss of Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate during the closing of hours of the final 11 BRF Operation has dealt a huge blow to everyone that has shared the hardships of operating in Afghanistan with him. "As an outsider to the Household Cavalry Regiment, it was obvious the high regard that everyone from the youngest Trooper to the Commanding Officer held for Woody. "His enthusiasm for soldiering was infectious and it is no coincidence that those in his Troop copied his "Ally" kit and shared his love of American war films. "He was a central figure in his Troop and the Squadron. "The potential he possessed was obvious. As ever, the best are taken from us in their prime." Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Corporal Major) Daniel Hitchings, Household Cavalry Regiment, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was a soldier ahead of his time. I had the fortune to have served with him during Operation TELIC 10 and even then it was clear that Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate would have a bright and prosperous career. "He was a hugely popular character throughout the whole Regiment and consistently excelled on Operations. "His sense of humour never faltered and no task was ever far from his reach. The death of Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate is a tragic and untimely loss to the Household Cavalry Regiment and he will be sorely missed by all that knew him. "Our thoughts at this difficult time are with his family and closest friends."  Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison, A Squadron HCR, said: "I've known Jo for years and he was a good friend and an exemplary solider who could adapt to anything he put his hand too. "Once in a lifetime an outstanding soldier joins the army and thank God Jo joined the HCR. "You'll be dearly missed and will leave a big hole in the BRF as well as in the Household Cavalry. Rest in peace good friend."  Lance Corporal of Horse James Griffin, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Words will never express the pain of losing Jo as my best friend. "Genuinely the friendliest man I've ever known a total gentleman and bloody good solider. "Through the good times to the downright awful times, Jo was always there to talk and laugh it off. "Impeccably turned out socially or on the battlefield, his enthusiasm was infectious to all around him. "He had damn good taste and a love for whiskey, good whiskey, expensive clothes, even more expensive watches, beautiful women and Rock n Roll. "Jo was a rock star in uniform. And that is how I will remember him. My best friend lived by the sword and died by the sword. He wouldn't have had it any other way. "To all who knew him, he was a legend. My prayers go out to his family with all of my heart. It's time to kick back and relax now Jo, I will see you again." Lance Corporal of Horse Daniel Ridge, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Jo, a best friend that I'll never forget. As a boy I met at 17 to a man that will live forever. Both at work or out, you, me and many others created memories that will surpass our lifetime. "At work you set a standard amongst our peers with professionalism and experiences that no-one could compare with, yet a modesty and coolness taken in your stride, while you and everything around you was immaculate. "Out of work your personality attracted everyone that men and especially women found hard to resist. "Often with the two of us going out we would never be alone. Your eye for looking your best, carried where ever we went with impeccable style and the charisma of a true gentleman, made you so loved; making friends in a moment that would last forever. "Being so talented and succeeding in everything you did from soldiering, drawing, to being a friend, brother and son. Jo Woodgate, a friend that I looked up to so much and stood beside so often." Lance Corporal Ronnie Rincon, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Jo Woodgate, my best friend, and I'm sure everyone else's, because that's the type of guy he was; not one bad bone in his body. "The most genuine person I will ever come across. "As for being a soldier, he was up there with the best, his professionalism was unmatched. "I never once saw Jo switch off, you knew when you were with him everyone would be ok. "Jo will always be with me and whatever I decide to do I know he will be watching over me and make sure I give my all. My love and condolences go to your family Jo, and if I can do anything for them I will always be there." Lance Corporal Simon Collinson, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "I have known 'Woody' for 3 years since we deployed to Iraq in 2007 for our last BRF tour. "But it has only been over the last year and a half working as his section 2IC that I've come to know him well. He was always the icon of fashion, both in Windsor and by his ever present campaign to look that tad 'Allier' than the rest of us out on the ground, which in typical Jo style he pulled off. "Jo was at the centre of troop banter and morale, and someone all could turn to. No words of mine can ever sum him up, or ease his family's grief, but Woody bud, you may be gone but you will never be forgotten. Recon. Rest in Peace." Trooper Thomas O'Callaghan, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "I have known Jo for about 2 years, but had gotten to know him well over the past year and a half, especially the last 6 months. "He was always a laugh to be around, except for first thing in the morning when you had to wait for him to crack the first joke. "Jo was someone who everyone could turn to and ask advice. Jo always took pride in his appearance and was the best dressed man in the Regiment, and the 'alliest'. "He also had the looks to pull off whatever he was wearing. I'm going to miss doing our Maverick and Goose impressions in front of the wagon. You will never be forgotten, you were a good friend." Lance Corporal Robert Parry, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "I first met Woody when we went to Afghanistan in summer 2006. His vehicle drove over a mine and he managed to have a laugh about it. He had told me about the incident in Iraq with the A10 and I remember thinking; how does someone so young have all this happen to them, and yet remain so calm and strong? But that was Woody; he didn't let anything get him down. "I was privileged to be in his team for TELIC 10. The only reason I got through COTAC was because of Woody. I could see him struggling with the PT but he never gave in and he still had the courage to help me. "I couldn't sum Woody up in a word, a sentence or even a whole page; I don't have the words to do him justice. "He was everything I would have liked to have been and more. Even though he was younger than me I looked up to him and respected him greatly. "A brilliant soldier and a lovely person who always had time for anyone, I will always remember Jo Woodgate and the world is a better place for having had him in it. My thoughts and prayers go to his family." Lance Corporal Clive Hall, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Woodgate was a great friend of mine, who will surely be missed. "He was the most genuine guy I have ever met who also had a great sense of humour. Jo, you will always be in my heart with unconditional love." Lance Corporal of Horse Andrew Wilkinson, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Woody, there will never be another like you, and although I rarely showed it, I thought of you more of a brother than a best friend, more part of me than family. "The world is a dark and scary place without you mate, especially as I have no one to turn to for style tips anymore! Rest in Peace mate, you've lived for all of us." Lance Corporal Nick Gardyne, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Woody, There is so much I can say and tell about you. I remember the first time I met you, on HERRICK 4, 2006, as your 'crow' driver, I walked into an ISO and saw you in your aviators looking 'ally' as ever. "You were always the man or soldier I could go to for advice, about kit, skill and drills. I count myself lucky to have been in your Troop twice out of three tours. "The men would look to you for inspiration and the latest squaddie fashion. To me, you are not gone; you will always be there watching our backs, so rest easy, I look forward to seeing you in the future." Trooper Aiden McAuliffe, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Jo Woodgate or 'Woody' was an inspiration, his endless humour, witty comebacks and general banter kept the troop in high spirits throughout the tour. "I remember him and me flawlessly quoting lines from all the old classic war films and using those quotes on tour whenever we could. You will be sorely missed by all of the BRF; you epitomised all the qualities of a Recce soldier; one of the very best. It was an honour serving with you. Rest in Peace."