Royal Military Police

Afghanistan


[ National Arboretum ]

[ National Arboretum ]

RMP Memorial National Arboretum (Right & Above)


[ Corporal Mike Gilyeat ]


Corporal Mike Gilyeat, from the Royal Military Police, Killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 30 May 2007. Cpl Gilyeat died when the United States Chinook helicopter he was travelling in crashed in the Kajaki area of northern Helmand. Cpl Gilyeat, 28, known as ‘Gilly’, was a photographer attached to the Media Operations team based at Regional Command (South) in Kandahar.  Cpl Gilyeat was on the aircraft to film the insertion of US troops as part of a wider piece he was producing on a major alliance operation around Kajaki. He died alongside his Canadian colleague, Master Corporal Darrell Priede, aged 30.  Born in Hanover, Germany, Cpl Mike Gilyeat followed his father into the Army in August 2002. He had previously served in Iraq (on Op TELIC 6) and had more recently been based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan, motivated by a desire to make a difference, and to diversify into news photography. Lieutenant Colonel Mike Smith, his commanding officer in Regional Command (South), said: "Cpl Gilyeat was a gifted and enthusiastic member of the team who had made a real difference in the time he had been in theatre. He was an eternally cheerful character who was always quick to lend a hand wherever it was needed and did so without complaint.  "Despite being an experienced and proud Military Policeman he was thriving in his first employment as a news photographer. He showed great flair and promise and had already produced several powerful images.” "In the six weeks he had been in theatre, he had struck up a close friendship with his fellow photographer Master Corporal Priede, with whom he enjoyed a constant stream of banter, usually centred on their friendly competitiveness over pictures. "The tragic loss of both of them is something which has been keenly felt by everyone in our team; we miss their infectious enthusiasm, consummate professionalism and unwavering good humour. Our thoughts are with their families and friends." 


[ Master Cpl. Darrell Jason Priede  ]

One of the most thrilling and interesting jobs in any military is that of combat photographer. The job takes the photographer to an incredible number of places and inserts him or her into a great variety of situations. Combat photography in the military in critical in creating a visual record of all that the Canadian Forces do. Master Cpl. Darrell Jason Priede was a Combat Photographer, doing his job ... a job he loved, when the helicopter he was in went down taking his life along with the lives of his comrades in arms from several other countries.

Master Cpl. Darrell Jason Priede was a Combat Photographer serving with "The Canadian Army"

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Statement by the Prime Minister on the death of Master Corporal Priede 31 May 2007 Ottawa, Ontario Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the death of Master Corporal Darrell Jason Priede: “It is with sorrow that I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Master Corporal Darrell Jason Priede who died when the helicopter he was in went down yesterday in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. I also extend my condolences, on behalf of all Canadians, to the family and friends of the six other coalition members who lost their lives. Master Corporal Priede was working with allies to fulfil our international commitment to bring security, democracy and self-sufficiency to the Afghan people. This crash occurred near the site of a hydroelectric dam that is being repaired so it can provide electricity to the southern city of Kandahar.  The progress achieved in Afghanistan would not have been possible without men and women like Master Corporal Priede who put themselves on the line everyday. We will not forget Master Corporal Priede’s selfless contribution on behalf of Canada.”


Sgt Ben Ross RMP and Cpl Kumar Pun RGR killed, Thursday 7 May 2009. in Afghanistan

 

[ Sgt Ben Ross RMP and Cpl Kumar Pun RGR ]

Sergeant Ben Ross of 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment, Royal Military Police and Corporal Kumar Pun of The 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles were killed as a result of a suicide improvised explosive device during a patrol in Gereshk, Helmand province.

Sergeant Ben Ross of 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment Royal Military Police Sergeant Ben Ross, aged 34, was born in Bangor, Wales, in 1974 but grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was educated at Hazlegrove Prep School and subsequently Kings School, Bruton in Somerset. Sergeant Ross joined the Army in September 1996 and upon completion of basic training joined The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards where he served in Germany, Canada, Poland, in the Balkans and as a Phase One instructor. Sergeant Ross transferred to the Royal Military Police in 2003 and was subsequently posted to Weapons Intelligence Section in Northern Ireland.

He deployed on Operation TELIC 4, completed the Close Protection Course and deployed to 177 Support Platoon, 6 Royal Military Police with General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland. Having moved back to the Close Protection Unit as an instructor he subsequently deployed to Iraq as part of the Close Protection Team for the British Ambassador to Iraq. He has served on various other tours including Operation TELIC a second time, Operation HERRICK (Afghanistan) and within a Close Protect team in Sudan. In December 2008 Sergeant Ross was posted to 173 Provost Company 3 Royal  Military Police in order to deploy on Operation HERRICK 10. On Operation HERRICK 10 (Afghanistan) Sergeant Ross was a team leader within the Police Mentoring Company. His role was to mentor, train and advise the Afghan Uniformed Police on security, policing and law enforcement, a role he relished. Sergeant Ross is survived by Sheena, a serving Royal Military Policewoman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sheena and Sergeant Ross’s family at this most difficult time.

Officer Commanding 173 Provost Company, Major Adam Quantrell, said: "Sergeant Ross’s tragic death has come as a huge shock to all of us and the hole that has been left by him, appears at the moment to be overwhelming. I know if Ben were still here he would just look at me, tell me to fill the hole and get on with the job. "This was the nature of the man, a professional; a veteran of many tours with a warrior attitude and sprit. Fiercely determined yet compassionate and patient he added colour to all our lives. "Despite him being in the Unit for only short time, his impact has been fundamental to the attitude, professional standards and outlook the Company took on in preparation for this tour; forever looking for ways to improve the lives of those under his command, he always found time to mentor the young Junior Non Commissioned Officers in the Company. His impact on these young soldiers was immeasurable and will be long lasting.  "A wise man once said that a truly great man is somebody that doesn’t remind you of anyone else. Ben Ross stood alone in this respect; utterly competent and truly professional. Dedication, Sacrifice, and Leadership were his mantras and they are the best words in which to describe him. He was a giant among men and I am blessed for having him under command and the Company is blessed for having served with him. "At this time our thoughts and prayers go out to Sheena and Ben’s family and I pray that they may be strengthened in some way by the effect Ben’s death has had on all of us and find some solace in the lasting impact his life has had on those who knew him."  Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer (Class 2) Sean Kimber said: "For all the qualities that you ascribe to Ben, and there would be many that all his mates could think of, I believe impressive is the one that simply sums Ben up. "Impressive as a soldier, who could always be relied on by both his commanders and those that he commanded; in many ways he was my ‘go to’ man. Ben fell in the manner that he performed as a soldier; by leading the way and not shying away from the difficult situations he was confronted with. In many ways Ben as a person was more impressive. His composed nature meant that he always had time for people; rank was neither here nor there for Ben when it came to assisting those that needed his calm words of advice or his experienced hands to help. "It will be hard not having Ben around, especially at such an early stage of the tour, however it will be offset by the fact that I and the rest of the Company knew such an excellent bloke." 8 Platoon Commander, Captain John Steele said of him: "Sergeant Ben Ross was a soldier who exemplified the Military Police ethos of leading by example. He was utterly selfless in his actions, hugely professional and liked by all. "He died on patrol whilst mentoring the Afghan Police, a job he excelled in and found hugely rewarding. He was a natural instructor and one who led from the front under any conditions. He touched all our lives in a positive manner and he made a huge impression on those he served with in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan . "The Company and the Royal Military Police as a whole has lost one of its finest and a void has been left which can never be filled. He was an inspiration to us all. "He will be deeply missed and never forgotten. I extend my most sincere sympathy to his family and friends." 8 Platoon Second in Command, Staff Sergeant Dan Stephens, said: "Big heart, big smile, enormous personality, as my right hand man and one of a few Senior Non Commissioned Officers within a close knit platoon, I relied on Ben hugely and he never failed to deliver. His keen eye, sharp style and forthright manner belied an immensely loyal and devoted Soldier, a professional and outstanding Military Policeman and a compassionate and understanding man. "In the time Ben and I worked together he quickly gained my trust, my loyalty and my un-wavered respect. Never shy of responsibility and never afraid of saying what needed to be said, he earned the respect and the trust of those he knew and worked with. "His steadfast dedication to the job at hand and his soldiers was unquestionable and surpassed only by the devotion, love and loyalty he quite clearly had for his wife Sheena. "Our Platoons’ thoughts are with Sheena and Ben’s family and I and the platoon miss him dearly. Your work here is done but will not be forgotten, rest in peace."


[ Corporal James Oakland ]

Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 22 October 2009. Corporal Oakland died after being mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device on a foot patrol in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. He was conducting a route search to clear devices to allow the Battle Group freedom of movement. Corporal James 'Jim' Oakland, aged 26, deployed two months early as a battlefield casualty replacement prior to the rest of the company for Op HERRICK 11. On arrival he was deployed to a Forward Operating Base as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand province.  Embedded within the Battle Group, his duties included direct support to improvised explosive device (IED) disposal teams, scientific exploitation of devices and support to Battle Group patrols. Corporal Oakland was an outstanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer with excellent prospects. He joined the Army in January 2002 and passed out into the Intelligence Corps. In 2003 he transferred to the Royal Military Police and attended Phase 2 training at the Royal  Military Police Training School, Chichester.

His first posting was to 156 Provost Company RMP in Colchester, where he conducted general policing duties. From there he deployed with the Spearhead Lead Element to operations in Kosovo and Beirut. Following this Corporal Oakland immersed himself in pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 8 where he deployed with the Force Protection Company in Kabul. After this highly successful tour he was posted to the Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company and soon sent on his Level 2 Investigational Course, qualifying him as a Class 1 RMP Investigator. He passed with a very high standard and a recommendation for the Special Investigation Branch. On return to his unit he again became involved with pre-deployment training prior to deploying as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand province. Corporal Oakland was a personable, motivated and intelligent individual. He nurtured those under his command whilst constantly striving to better himself by learning from his superiors. He was enthusiastic and energetic about his work. Corporal Oakland is survived by his parents Steve and Christine and a brother, Daniel, who is in his final term at the Royal Military  Academy, Sandhurst. He had a long term girlfriend, Lauren Bowyer, whom he loved dearly and enjoyed travelling the world with. Corporal Oakland was very close to his family who are from New Moston in Manchester. Corporal Oakland's family paid the following tribute: "We are immensely proud of James, the person he was and the job that he did. He was a true friend, loving son, grandson, brother and boyfriend who will be dearly missed and never forgotten." Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex, Royal Logistic Corps, Commanding Officer of the Counter-IED Task Force, said: "Corporal James Oakland was an excellent soldier, a natural leader and extremely well thought of by all ranks. He was an inspiring character and his loss will be felt keenly across our close-knit community. "When a battle casualty replacement was needed two months ago, his professionalism made him the natural choice to deploy and he excelled in his operational duties. "He always sought additional responsibility and had a very bright future ahead of him. His personal example and dedication is an inspiration to us all. At this sad time our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones." Major Andy Lewis, Royal Logistic Corps, Company Commander, Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company, said: "Corporal Jimmy Oakland was one of the brightest stars in my company and it was an honour to serve alongside him. A giant in both mind and body he had a natural flair for his job. "He was the man you wanted on your side in a difficult situation as he had been there many times before. A soldier's soldier, he was in his element in the field; robust, devoted and utterly professional, he epitomised the RMP soldier in every aspect. "It was on that basis that he was selected to go out to Afghanistan in advance of the main body. Then, as always, he was in the lead, taking the counter-IED fight to the enemy. "He understood the risks associated with his job in Helmand but he never wavered because he knew that he could make a difference to others. "He was a central part of company life and he worked hard and played harder; his keen wit brightened many a dark moment. Always cheerful he was the steadfast rock that brought a calm and reassuring air to the company and to those he worked with. "Never a man for ceremony, he let his actions speak for him and they did. The company is understandably shocked by his death and that such a pivotal character has been taken so cruelly. Our thoughts go out to his family and girlfriend at this awful time. He will be missed but never forgotten." Major Danny Rea, Royal Logistic Corps, Company Commander, Weapons Intelligence Specialist (WIS) Company, said: "Corporal Oakland was an outstanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer who joined WIS Company on HERRICK 10 midway through the tour, under difficult circumstances, following injury to one of his colleagues. He immediately stood out as a talented, enthusiastic and totally reliable individual. "Popular with his peers and highly respected by all who worked with him, Corporal Oakland was a credit to his cap badge and to WIS Company and will be sorely missed by all who knew him." Captain Laura Briggs, Second-in-Command, Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company, said: "On first meeting Corporal Oakland it was clear from the outset that he had, in abundance, every attribute desired of an exemplary soldier. He was highly motivated, intelligent and physically robust. "Corporal Oakland was an inspiration to his peers and those under his command and earned the greatest respect from his commanders. His loyalty to his peers, the company and to the mission was second-to-none. "Corporal Oakland's mindset was selfless and professional in every way. He was a thoroughly decent individual who will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. My deepest condolences go to Corporal Oakland's family, friends and girlfriend Lauren." Captain Miles Nettleship, Second-in-Command, Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company, said: "Although I did not know Jim well, the overriding impression I have is of a highly professional, dedicated and popular soldier. He was stood up at short notice for this tour and he reacted as I was told he would - with enthusiasm and commitment. "Our thoughts are with his family, girlfriend and his many friends both in the RMP and the Intelligence Corps. "No longer will the camp have to suffer the awful sound of Jim trying to get his Lotus Elise over the speed bumps at the front gate; so we will just have to find another car and just keep on doing it! You will be sorely missed." Warrant Officer Class 2 Andy Peat, Company Sergeant Major, said: "Jim was one of the company's natural leaders, best soldiers and funniest guys. Never shy in coming forward or from speaking his mind, he was always reliable and I trusted him implicitly; he was a fantastic man. "My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, girlfriend and all that knew him. I for one was proud to serve and drink with him. We will miss him deeply but he will never be forgotten. "Rest in peace, mate." Sergeant Phil Buchan, Platoon Sergeant, said: "Corporal Oakland was not only a member of my platoon but a close friend. WIS Company is a small unit and we have all been hit hard by this tragic loss, but our hurt is nothing to the devastation of his family. My thoughts are with Jim's family and his girlfriend Lauren. RIP mate. We will remember you." Corporal Tom Hempsey, a colleague, said: "No words can describe this loss to everyone but Jim was one of my closest friends who will be missed dearly not only by me but by all that knew him. "He could put a smile on anyone's face in any situation. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. The world is a lesser place without him but he will never be forgotten. Soon, mate, we will dance together again and the turkey will be on me! Rest in peace; a man and a legend." Corporal 'Polar' Morrissey, a colleague, said: "The loss of Jimmy will leave a huge hole in the hearts of the people who were privileged to know him. "Not only was he an outstanding soldier but he was also a fantastic friend. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten. The world won't be the same without you, Jimmy, and never will. Wherever you are, mate, have a glass of turkey on me." Corporal Rick Lacey, a colleague, said: "Jim was reliable, honest and not afraid to speak his mind. He was one of the funniest people I have ever met. He was loved by all who knew him and will be missed even more. "Jim has left a hole in our company and our hearts that can never be filled. Our thoughts are with his mum, dad, brother and girlfriend Lauren. "The memories we have, especially the days and nights out, not forgetting the Army Navy weekends dressed as Smurfs in London will never ever leave us. Jim we miss you, gone but not forgotten. Rest in Peace Gypsy King." Lance Corporal Becky Abbott, a colleague, said: "Honest, dedicated and a good laugh are just a few words in which I would describe Jim. He was a great all round guy who was an extremely strong character within a close-knit company. "He will leave a great void within our company that will not be filled. Jim will be deeply missed but never forgotten. The memories that have been made will be held dearly and will stay with us always. Rest in Peace Jim x."


[ Corporal Steven Boote ]

[ Corporal Steven Boote and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith (RMP) WO1 Darren Chant, Sgt Matthew Telford and Guardsman James Major from the Grenadier Guards  ]

Corporal Steven Boote (above) and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, both of the Royal Military Police, were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali. The soldiers were part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at a checkpoint. The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations. WO1 Darren Chant, Sgt Matthew Telford and Guardsman James Major from the Grenadier Guards (above right) were also killed in the incident.

Corporal Boote, known as Steven or Booty to his family, friends and colleagues, was 22, when he was killed in action whilst carrying out his duties at Blue 25, an ANP checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 3 November 2009. Corporal Boote was a soldier in the Territorial Army and a member of the Manchester Detachment of 116 Provost Company, Royal Military Police (Volunteers). He was attached to 160 Provost Company for his deployment on Operation HERRICK 11. Steven was born on the 4 December 1986 in Birkenhead, Liverpool. He joined the Territorial Army in early 2006, joining 107 Field Squadron Royal Engineers (Volunteers) in his local town of Birkenhead. Shortly afterwards he transferred to the Royal Military Police and on completion of his basic training joined 116 Provost Company. He completed his police training and was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2007. In late September 2008 Corporal Boote volunteered to deploy on Operation HERRICK 11 with 160 Provost Company and took part in many exercises during the pre-deployment training, performing to a very high standard throughout. Corporal Boote was exceptionally proud to be a soldier in the Territorial Army, and always went that little bit further to prove this - it didn't go unnoticed. A Security Team Leader at a local Tesco store, Corporal Boote had aspirations to join the Civilian Police. Corporal Boote had a long-term girlfriend Emma, who was constantly in his topic of conversation and who we all know he loved very much, along with his mum Margaret and dad Anthony whom he was very attached to. One of his main passions in life was motorbikes, which he and his dad spent many hours restoring and building, as well as riding them together. Steven was a strong character with a good sense of humour and enjoyed being round his friends, colleagues and always up for a laugh. His final request was for his family and friends to be brave as he was and remember Help for Heroes. Corporal Boote's family paid the following tribute: "Our son Steven was a wonderful, genuine young man. He would light up a room with a single smile and left a lasting impression on all he met. A son and friend who can never be replaced, but never be removed from our hearts. An only child but never alone, who through family and friends led a full and happy life. "Emma, his partner, was the love of his life and his soul mate. We couldn't stop him doing what he believed in, and he did believe he was doing his bit for his country. Steven, we are all so proud of you and you will always be our hero. Look after Nan and Granddad. Goodnight our son, our friend, our life." Corporal Boote's girlfriend Emma Murray said: "Your cheeky smile would fill everyone with happiness. Steven I love you so much. You are my rock, my refuge and I will love and miss you more than words can say. Your caring nature and gentle ways will never be forgotten. All my love, my heart and soul, I will see you in my dreams." His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis (Commanding Officer 4th Battalion Royal Military Police) said: "Corporal Boote was very proud to be a Territorial Soldier, second only to his pride in being a Military Policeman. He worked tirelessly to ensure he was at the top of his game and showed steadfast resilience and determination in gaining a much sought after place on Operation HERRICK 11 with his regular counterparts. "Although relatively new to the Territorial Army and the Military Police, Corporal Boote was a popular member of both 116 Provost Company and 160 Provost Company alike. He was accepted readily by his colleagues, largely down to his professionalism and enthusiasm. "Corporal Boote spoke at length of his long term partner, Emma, and his parents, Tony and Margaret, with whom he was very close. His other passion in life was motorbikes, spending many an hour with his Dad restoring and building them as well as hitting the open road. "Corporal Boote was a strong character with a good sense of humour and enjoyed being round his friends and having a laugh. It was an absolute pleasure to promote him to full Corporal at the end of an exercise earlier this year, he utterly deserved it and the smile on his face will be my enduring image of him. "The Regiment is stunned at the untimely loss of Corporal Boote; it is a much poorer place without him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents and his girlfriend at this difficult time; we share in their grief." Cpl Boote's Company Commander, Major Phil Hacker, said: "Steven's death, so early in our tour, has come as a great shock to us all. He loved being a soldier in the Territorial Army and revelled in Army life. "He knew and accepted the dangers a tour of Afghanistan might bring. Courageous by nature, he was an outstanding soldier who always volunteered for the most demanding tasks. He inspired confidence in all those he served with and we are all so proud and feel so humble to have served with him. "We will always remember Steven who was a true example of the Royal Military Police Corps motto 'Exemplo Ducemus'; by Example we Lead." The Operations Officer for 160 Provost Company, Captain Karen Tait, said: "Corporal Boote made an instant impact with 160 Provost Company, he was grinning with excitement at the prospect of training with us and ultimately deploying with us on tour. "He spoke with me about the possibility of enlisting as a regular soldier, something I would have wholeheartedly supported. "Throughout pre-deployment training and during his short time on operations he demonstrated why he was the man for the job - committed and courageous to the end. It is an honour to have served with him." 2nd Lieutenant Richard Evans said: "Corporal Boote served with 160 Provost Company as a Territorial Army soldier from 116 Provost Company. He was a keen, hardworking individual who fully embraced the ethos of the Royal Military Police and Military life. "He immersed himself fully in all he did, and did so with a sense of humour and alacrity. Corporal Boote is a shining example to Service Police. "He was a grafter, dedicated soldier, and a good friend to many within the Regiment. Never one to complain, Corporal Boote accepted all responsibilities bestowed on him, and eagerly tackled every challenge he came across. "He was a tough individual who made a great and lasting impression on those who served with him. He will be sorely missed."


[ Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith ]

Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, known as Nic or W-S to his family, friends and colleagues, was 24, when he was killed in action whilst carrying out his duties at Blue 25, an ANP checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 3 November 2009.

Corporal Webster-Smith was born on 2nd May 1985 in Glangwilli Hospital, West Wales. He attended Llangunnor Primary School and Queen Elizabeth Cambria Secondary School in Carmarthen before moving to Tenby, West Wales where he completed his education at Greenhill School, Tenby. He lived latterly in Brackley, Northamptonshire. Following his Phase 1 training, Corporal Webster-Smith enlisted into the Corps of Royal Military Police in February 2005 and upon successful completion of his training was posted to 160 Provost Company, Aldershot in November 2005. During his time at 160 Provost Company, as well as conducting Garrison Policing he completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 5, a deployment in Kosovo, and a Joint Service Policing tour of the Falkland Islands, where he contributed to the Joint Service Provost and Security Unit, for which he was awarded a Commander British Forces Falkland Islands Commendation. Corporal Webster-Smith was the eldest son of his proud parents Richard and Jacqueline and a loved brother of Christopher, Samuel and Hannah. Corporal Webster-Smith leaves behind his much loved partner and soul-mate Emma Robinson, along with a loving and proud family.

Corporal Webster-Smith's family said: "An irreplaceable son, brother, boyfriend and friend. One of the most loving, generous, kind-hearted men you could meet. He always put others first and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Nic will forevermore always be in our hearts." His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis (Commanding Officer 4th Battalion Royal Military Police), said: "Corporal Webster-Smith was a real character amongst the Regiment and the Company. A professional and determined soldier, Corporal Webster-Smith was always the first to volunteer and the last to give up. "A spirited Non-Commissioned Officer with a keen sense of humour, Corporal Webster-Smith was at his most comfortable in the midst of fellow soldiers, either guiding and mentoring them, or having a laugh and a joke with them. "During his short military career he undertook operational tours to Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as volunteering for a six month deployment to the Falkland Islands before deploying again to Afghanistan this year. "His continual deployments are testament to Corporal Webster-Smith's desire to be a soldier first, alongside his mates. He was very much a part of every aspect of Company life and could normally be found in the thick of it with a cheeky smile on his face. "The Regiment is currently overwhelmed at the sad loss of Corporal Webster-Smith; it is a much poorer place without him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his girlfriend at this difficult time; we share in their grief."

His Company Commander, Major Phil Hacker, said: "Corporal Webster-Smith's death is a tragedy to us all, especially so early on in the tour. Corporal Webster-Smith loved Army life and he also knew and accepted the dangers that faced him during this tour of Afghanistan. "He cared deeply for his fellow soldiers and this was reciprocated by all who served with him. He was a very popular soldier within 160 Provost Company  and touched all of our lives with his humour, laughter and great professionalism. "He set the best example of what it is to be a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer within the Royal Military Police, accepting difficult and demanding tasks with great pride. Serving with Corporal Webster-Smith has inspired and humbled us all. He exemplifies the Royal Military Police Corps motto, Exemplo Ducemus; By Example we Lead." The Operations Officer for 160 Provost Company, Captain Karen Tait, said: "W-S was a true soldier and Military Policeman. His pride at wearing his beret and working alongside his colleagues was evident. "He had a fantastic sense of humour that he brought out when we all needed it, always at the centre of activity. His professionalism and courage is what stood him out amongst his peers. He demonstrated his 'wilco' approach to life until the end. "A sociable character who always made time for his friends and loved ones. The loss of W-S has left a void in the Company." 2nd Lieutenant Richard Evans said: "Corporal Webster-Smith was a respected, fun and well liked Military Policeman. He was a key member of the Corporals' Mess and Regimental sports teams. "He was always at the heart of any social function and part of a close knit circle of friends. He was a fantastic example to those he served with - knowledgeable, confident and open. "He was an asset not only to his Company but to those he served with. Corporal Webster-Smith had a keen, dry sense of humour which he often shared with those around him. A sure source of morale, and a reliable individual, he was selected for his role in theatre because of his robustness, clarity of thought, and professionalism. "Corporal Webster-Smith was an exemplary Royal Military Police Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. He would soldier on regardless of the situation, he knew his job, and was adaptable. He will be sorely missed, he was selected for t his very important job in the Commanding Officer's TAC group. For a small man he had a longer than life personality with a presence and loving/sharing nature which made him standout amongst his peers. "A character full of spirit and laughter, which will be missed by all that knew him."


[ Sergeant Robert Loughran-Dickson ]

Sergeant Robert David Loughran-Dickson of the Royal Military Police (RMP) Killed in Afghanistan on 18 November 2009. Sergeant Loughran-Dickson died as a result of gunshot wounds sustained whilst taking part in a routine patrol in the vicinity of Patrol Base Wahid in the Nad e-Ali district of Helmand province. Sergeant Robert David Loughran-Dickson, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, Sergeant Robert David Loughran-Dickson, known as Robert to his family, Rob or 'L-D' to his friends and colleagues, was 33 at the time of his death.  The youngest of three children, he was born and raised in the town of Deal in Kent. Together with his two sisters he attended a local village primary school of fewer than 100 children, followed by the town's secondary school. Sergeant Loughran-Dickson attended further education and, following this, in 1997 he enlisted into the Army, in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In 2001 Sergeant Loughran-Dickson transferred to the Royal Military Police and, over the course of his career, deployed on operations in Kosovo, Iraq, Northern Ireland and finally Afghanistan. He was initially posted to 156 Provost Company and subsequently moved on to 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, which led to his deployment on Operation HERRICK 11 in Helmand province.  Sergeant Loughran-Dickson held a variety of positions during his time in the Army, including Police Post Non-Commissioned Officer, Motor Transport Non-Commissioned Officer, and Crime Reduction and Local Intelligence Officer. This last job was the one in which he got the most job satisfaction, giving crime reduction presentations and visiting schools or processing intelligence, and the job where he gained his promotion to Sergeant. He was a keen runner who enjoyed preparing for and running marathon races, as well as hill-walking and swimming. Sergeant Loughran-Dickson was the proud father of a son, also named Robert, born in September 1992.

 

The Dickson family paid the following tribute: "Robert is a true hero in many ways of whom the whole family are extremely proud. He gave the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved and was devoted to. "A beloved father, son, brother and uncle. You lit up our lives and that light will stay bright forever. You will be greatly missed but always loved by all." Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis, Commanding Officer, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, said: "Sergeant Loughran-Dickson was an exceptional soldier and was completely committed to the Royal Military Police; he will be sorely missed by the regiment and by the military community in Aldershot. "Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, Sergeant Loughran-Dickson was the Local Intelligence Officer and a community policeman; he excelled in this role, where his calm personable nature, dedication and commitment, plus his consistent enthusiasm for the job, made him stand out. "He was totally professional, easy company, and was the first to volunteer for anything - whether it was helping his colleagues, attending community events out of hours or taking on additional tasks. I had absolute faith in Sergeant Loughran-Dickson; he was utterly reliable, wise beyond his years, and he simply got on with the job, quietly and without fuss. "He was an extremely proud father, and his son Robert is a credit to him." Major Phil Hacker, Company Commander, 160 Provost Company, said: "We have lost a talented, dedicated and much loved Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. Sergeant Loughran-Dickson was deeply respected by all who served with him. Undoubtedly professional, he was adored by those he led and by those who served with him. "As a professional soldier and as a man, he has left a lasting contribution towards helping the people of Afghanistan. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones." Captain Karen Tait, Operations Officer, 160 Provost Company, said: "Sergeant L-D was an honest, caring, genuine and devoted soldier and father. He was the kind of man who commanded respect from all who worked with him. His work back in Aldershot was exemplary and in his role out here, even in such a short space of time, he was far superior. "L-D was a true friend whom I will deeply miss and even now cannot comprehend the void he will leave, not only in me but those he has served with and those he loved deeply and who loved him. I was proud and honoured to serve with him but above all being able to call him my friend. His smile I will miss the most." Lieutenant Dominic Ellis, Platoon Commander, 160 Provost Company, said: "Sergeant Rob Loughran-Dickson was a fine soldier and military policeman. Intelligent, confident, courteous and stalwart, he led from the front, happy to get stuck in at the sharp end, always setting an excellent example to his subordinates. "Sergeant Loughran-Dickson could always be relied on to provide sound advice for junior officers who had the privilege to have him under their command. His professionalism ensured he was well respected by all he worked with, regardless of rank. "Sergeant Loughran-Dickson's death is a tragic loss to the Royal Military Police and the British Army as a whole and my sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends." Warrant Officer Class 2 Jon Barnett, Company Sergeant Major, said: "When I arrived at 160 Company in Aldershot, L-D was one of the first Non-Commissioned Officers I met. I knew that when he was on shift, with such an abundance of confidence, he had the ability to produce the goods under pressure. It was a pleasure to see him promoted to Sergeant and work with him here in Afghanistan, where he thrived on the responsibility and the opportunity to lead from the front. "He was one of the most professional Senior Non-Commissioned Officers I have had the pleasure of knowing."


[ Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard ]

Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, was killed in Afghanistan on 20 December 2009. He was killed as a result of small arms fire in the Sangin area, in central Helmand Province. The possibility that he died as a result of friendly fire is being investigated in Afghanistan but no firm conclusion will be reached until the coroner's  inquest. Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard, 22, was born in Maidstone, Kent on January 11 1987, but lived in Eastbourne, East Sussex, from the age of one and went to school there. After leaving school and college, he enlisted into the Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police) in July 2007 and on completion of Phase 1 and 2 Training was posted to 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, in Aldershot as a General Police Duties Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. Shortly after this, he deployed to Kenya as part of the training for Op HERRICK 11. He arrived in Afghanistan in October attached to 4th Battalion The Rifles. His comrades said Mike "Pritch" Pritchard loved to laugh and joke and this is how he should always be remembered.

LCpl Pritchard's family paid the following tribute: "With great sadness we say goodbye to our beloved son, a lover of life who has lived life to the full and has brought great joy to all those who are lucky enough to know him. "A light that shines brightly, our precious son, brother, grandson, boyfriend and special friend to all, we are very proud of you in all that you have done and achieved and you will always be in our hearts now and evermore. God bless our darling boy from all of your family and friends."

[ Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard ]

Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis, Commanding Officer, 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police said: "Lance Corporal Pritchard had only been in the Royal Military Police since July 2007 but he very quickly made a huge impact on all of us. It is tragic that we have been robbed of such a promising Junior Non-Commissioned Officer and one who was everything you would want in a Military Policeman. "He was a professional and robust soldier and one who was both physically and morally courageous. He was absolutely committed to providing policing advice where it mattered most, alongside his Infantry colleagues on patrol and as part of the team. "A cheeky chap, whose laughter was infectious, and whose sincerity and generous spirit touched the lives of many, Lance Corporal Pritchard made us smile every day and we will miss him very much. "He was never afraid to speak his mind, even if that sometimes got him into trouble, but he was one of those soldiers you could never really be cross with for long; he had the broadest smile and the most wonderful personality. "I can't begin to imagine the pain felt by his parents and sisters, and his wider family and close friends. My thoughts and prayers are with them now, throughout this Christmas period and then as they come to terms with their loss. I do know that they should be extremely proud of their son and brother; he was a very special young man, strong, courageous and a real team player. "I also know that Lance Corporal Pritchard's death has hit us as a Regiment very hard, at a time when we thought we had already suffered unbearable pain and grief. "We will continue with our mission here with resolute determination and grit, not just because that is what Lance Corporal Pritchard would do but also because we do not give up and we are making a difference." Major Phil Hacker, Officer Commanding 160 Provost Company, said: "Lance Corporal Pritchard was a gregarious, outgoing and hardworking soldier. His enthusiasm was matched only by his superb sense of humour. He truly was one of the central characters of the Company. Utterly professional and wholly dependable this much-loved soldier will be missed by us all." Major Richard Streatfeild Officer Commanding, A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, said: "I first met Lance Corporal Pritchard or "Pritch" as he was universally known by A Company in July when he joined us for training in UK. Pritch managed to break down barriers between Riflemen and the RMP. He was a consummate soldier and policeman. "During operations through shared success, hardship and danger those attached to the Company from other Regiments and Corps become brothers in arms. Pritch was a brother. He won the respect of all ranks for his willingness to go everywhere with us. "He was a volunteer for the most demanding tasks. Most recently he has been attached to a Platoon in a small patrol base and they feel his loss most keenly. We grieve for a comrade but our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends who have known him longer than us. "It was a great privilege to have served with him, he was a star who burned brightly, if all too briefly, in our firmament."  Captain Dave Cooke Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police), 11 Brigade Provost Officer said: "Lance Corporal Mike "Pritch" Pritchard was an energetic, zealous Non-Commissioned Officer who dealt with his job, personal life, sports and social activities in the same manner. "Always able to inject humour, he was stalwart amongst the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers. During his time in the Royal Military Police he submerged himself in our ethos and camaraderie and encapsulated the composure and professionalism required to conduct his role during peacetime and in the current operating environment. "Pritch was an honest, gentle and personable lad who was respected and adored by his peers and hierarchy alike. There will be a hole in the hearts of those he served with and knew, and he will be remembered as an infectiously happy, confident and effective man whose memory will serve as inspiration to many." Lieutenant Rich Evans Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police), his Platoon Commander, said: "A larger than life character, Lance Corporal Pritchard was a popular individual and a sure source of morale within the Company. He had a good sense of humour and was always in the middle of any banter. "His antics were often comical, though not always intended as such, and I would always eventually find out the daft things he had been up to; Pritch would make me laugh on a regular basis. "Pritch was a very professional soldier and a fantastic Military Policeman with the potential to go far. He was always in the thick of things, gaining valuable experience and often learning hard lessons - he was an asset to my Platoon. "He was never far away from his sidekick Lance Corporal Cooper; the two of them would often be found in the gym thinking up new and interesting ways to test each other, before taking the time to pose in front of the mirror and admire themselves. "Pritch was an enthusiastic young man, always asking questions and keen to learn. A remarkably fit and robust individual, he was always someone I could rely on during field exercises. If a message needed passing, Pritch was there. "If a scenario required someone to run up a hill carrying another soldiers kit (as well as his own) Pritch was there. If I needed someone to exploit a crime scene after having just slogged our way across a training area, Pritch was there. "It was a privilege to command a soldier of Lance Corporal Pritchard's calibre. He will be sorely missed and has left a gap in my Platoon that no one will be able to fill. He sadly died doing a job he loved and for which he had trained hard. He set a fantastic example for others to follow." 2nd Lieutenant Tom Foulkes-Arnold, Platoon Commander, 3 Platoon, said: "Pritch has spent a good deal of time with 3 Platoon through Pre Deployment Training to the Upper Sangin Valley. As such he was an obvious choice to join us as we set up a new patrol base. "He showed a fantastic ability to blend in with the Platoon and from day one he was not simply "an Attachment". Pritch was utterly professional in all aspects of his work and was an excellent embodiment of both a Royal Military Policeman and a Rifleman. "A constantly cheerful upbeat and motivated individual, Pritch showed an eagerness to get stuck in that set a great example to all. Pritch became a genuine character within the platoon and calls for him to transfer and become a Rifleman were heartfelt and genuine. "A true testament to his ability and character and the strength of feeling towards him in the platoon. Commanding Lance Corporal Pritchard was a pleasure and we will truly miss a great asset to the Platoon. Our thoughts go to his family and his girlfriend Leanne." Warrant Officer Class 2 Jon Barnett, Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police) Company Sergeant Major said: "Lance Corporal Pritchard had only been in the unit for a short period of time but he has most definitely left a lasting impression on all who were lucky enough to have known him. "Lance Corporal Pritchard was larger than life; you knew when he was around because of his infectious and instant morale-boosting laughter. He had a fixed cheeky grin, which always made me wonder what mischief or prank he was up to next. "Nothing was ever too much bother for Lance Corporal Pritchard; he was an excellent soldier and Military Policeman who would be the first to volunteer or offer his assistance. He had the lot; the Company will miss him more than words can describe." Serjeant* Jimmy Houston, Platoon Serjeant, 3 Platoon, said:  *The spelling of 'Sergeant' with a 'j' is unique to The Rifles. "Lance Corporal Pritchard was exactly the type of individual that any Serjeant would be glad to have in his platoon, hard working and diligent with an appropriate sense of humour he fitted seamlessly into a group of men he had not met previously. "The bond of friendship which, by sheer force of personality, he had created with 3 Platoon was demonstrated by the heroic efforts of his new comrades to save his life and by the enormous grief felt by the whole platoon on hearing the news of his death. "With his professional attitude winning smile and cheeky sense of humour Pritch forged a lot of strong friendships in 3 Platoon and we will never forget him. He joined us as a Redcap and left us as a Rifleman." Corporal Michael "Cat" Felix said: "All he wanted to do was be here and come on patrol. He was never going to be happy a Royal Military Policeman sat behind a desk; he wanted to get out on the ground. He talked of joining the infantry and his girlfriend Leanne. "He was happy when we moved to a Patrol Base; he preferred to be amongst it especially the day he fired his first round. He just enjoyed being with the lads." Rifleman "Topsy" Turvey said: "Lance Corporal Pritchard was a great lad. I only got to know him out here but he became a really good mate of mine. We had some good laughs and he was a really nice bloke, I will miss him." Rifleman "Stan" Stanley said: "He joined the Company during Pre Deployment Training and immediately got on with the Platoon and was accepted as one of the lads. "Whilst on tour he was exceptional and was well known for his keenness for the job and his hard work, he was seen as a fellow rifleman by the Platoon and his good sense of humour and cheekiness will be missed by everyone. "Pritch will be sorely missed he was an amazing person and soldier. RIP mate." Corporal Hayley Wright said: "I only knew Pritch for a couple of months but it felt like longer, he was a bubbly lad and always had something to say or laugh about. "The last thing Pritch said to me was 'I'm going to the Patrol Base, I can't wait to show them all that I'm not just a Monkey'. He will be sadly missed, gone too soon mate. Sleep well." Lance Corporal Craig Knight said: "The first time I met Pritch was the first week in Inkerman in the Gym. He was listening to some music on his laptop and the music was familiar to where we live so I asked him where he was from and from then on we went to the gym and trained together, he wanted to get massive. "Pritch was a good soldier, he didn't mind coming on patrol but sometimes found it hard to get out of bed, he always said he couldn't wait to get home to see his girlfriend. Our thoughts are now with his loved ones." Rifleman Martin Kingett said: "Rifleman Pritch, as we started to call him, was always good morale for the troops. He was always smiling and cracking jokes and was all together a joy to be around. When he got the first load of parcels delivered, he was sent some Long Johns and he gave me a pair. "I wouldn't take them unless he had something of mine so I gave him some cookies that he shared with the lads. He was a hard worker and a good mate. I'm sure if we had longer together, we would have become good mates, if not best mates. I'm going to miss him and I feel for his family."  Rifleman Wayne "Sarge" Sargeant said: "For the short time I knew Lance Corporal Pritchard, he always showed a great level of professionalism to the platoon, always bringing morale and smiles. "It's a great loss to the platoon because he was a vital part of the team. I give all my condolences to his family. We will remember you." Rifleman Tommy Townsend said: "Pritch was an awesome lad who came to 3 Section as a Royal Military Policeman, but became one of the boys. His sense of humour and willingness to help in every situation saw him evolve as a soldier and a person. "He was dedicated to his girlfriend and family and always talked about them and his plans. We are going to miss you Lance Corporal Pritchard. Travel well mate." Rifleman Mark Bridgewater said: "In the short time that I knew Lance Corporal Pritchard, I found that he was a genuine character and full of life. Outgoing and humorous from the start, it was almost guaranteed that he'd have something funny to say. "Sharing a moment once, talking of home, girlfriends, loved ones and cracking jokes is a fond memory I hold of a man whose loss is truly tragic for all who knew him. Lance Corporal Pritchard will be deeply missed by all who he passed in life, and will never be forgotten." Rifleman Dickie Sheldon said: "The first time I met Pritch was on Pre-Deployment Training. Since being deployed here in Afghanistan, Pritch and I had numerous chats over a brew and a smoke, normally when we were supposed to be working. "These chats normally consisted of what we were going to do upon returning to the UK as well as winding his colleague, Corporal Churchill up. I'm pretty sure this was one of his favourite pastimes. "Pritch was a good bloke to be around and always seemed to be smiling. He will be sorely missed and it was an honour to have served beside him. Although he wasn't quite a Rifleman, he still became one of the chosen men, swift and bold. May his soul rest in peace."  Lance Corporal Joe "Coops" Cooper Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police), his closest friend in the unit, said: "Pritch was as loyal a friend as anyone could ever wish for. He was a 'jack the lad' and a 'cat among pigeons' - that is how I believe he would like to be remembered. "I'm absolutely gutted about losing such a good friend. Some would have criticised a lot of things about him but I say to them 'don't point out the splinter in his eye until you've taken the plank out of your own.' "He wasn't without faults but I believe he had it sussed in a lot of ways. He didn't care as much about trivia as the things which might actually make a difference in people's lives. Many people could have learned a lot from him. "He lived his life to the full, enjoyed himself and remained one of the most professional soldiers in our Company. Despite learning the Army's Core  Values in training, I could tell Pritch already had these qualities in him when I first met him. "He would put his friends before himself every time without a second thought and it is not often you meet someone that loyal. "I pray he goes to heaven and I think God will let him in but he might have some more rules to live by up there. As he would say 'It's not gonna be the same in the gym without you mate!' I'll miss you forever."