Royal Regiment of Scotland


 

 

The death of Private Craig O’Donnell killed in Afghanistan on Monday 4 September 2006.


Private O’Donnell, 24, was killed in a suicide bomb attack while serving with B Company of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland in Kabul. Private Craig O’Donnell, Originally from Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Private Craig O’Donnell joined the Argylls in 2004. He served in Bosnia in 2005 and Kenya in 2006, before deploying to Afghanistan as part of the force protection element in Kabul in July. Private O’Donnell was described by Commanding Officer Lt Col Simon West as "a very positive young man, well liked by all his peers and with a very bright future ahead of him. He stood for all the right things in life and was a dedicated and professional Argyll soldier."  On behalf of the family, Robert and Lorraine have issued the following statement on the death of their son: "The family and all of Craig’s friends were shocked and saddened to hear of his death during active service in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was a wonderful son who lived life to the full, and was an ardent fan of Celtic Football Club and the rock band Queen. He was a happy go lucky person who always put others first. "He was looking forward to moving into married quarters and setting up home with his girlfriend, Jessica, and to the birth of their first child this coming Christmas. "Craig had the ambition to join the regular Army from the age of four, and he talked often about how much he loved serving with The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, which he joined in March 2004. He is sorely missed by all the family – all of whom were extremely proud of him being a soldier, and he was much looked up to by his younger sister Claire. "At this time words cannot express the depth of our grief, but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride in the knowledge that he died while serving his country. He will be remembered by all that knew him forever. "On behalf of the whole family, we would be grateful to the media to now leave us alone to grieve in peace during this very sad time."


[ Lance Corporal James Johnson ]

Lance Corporal James Johnson, B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 28 June 2008. LCpl Johnson was part of a vehicle checkpoint patrol operating in the Lashkar Gar area, when he was killed by an anti-personnel mine.

LCpl James ("Jimmy") Johnson was born in Scotland on 3 June 1977 and grew up in Chatham, Kent. He joined the 1st Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1997. He quickly found his niche in the Army and once he gained experience in a Rifle Company he joined the Assault Pioneer Platoon.  Seeking a challenge, he put himself forward for a demanding Close Observation Platoon (COP) course in July 2001, showing himself to be an extremely fit man who put others to shame with his ability to burn the candle at both ends and still perform. He served a very successful tour with the COP in Belfast from 2001 to 2003. On the Battalion's re-rolling to 16 Air Assault Brigade LCpl Johnson volunteered for a Sniper Course and qualified as a Sniper Section Commander in December 2003. His skills as an infantryman were second to none and he reveled in his role as a sniper, testing himself and those in his section. Since then he served again with the COP for a tour of Bosnia in 2005, the Sniper and Recce Platoons and latterly with the Heavy Machine Gun Platoon before transferring to B Company for Op HERRICK 8.  James's father, Lawrence Johnson, said: "I am very proud of my son for being a soldier. It was his life. He always wanted to be in the Army since he was a small boy. He loved it." James's fiancée, Bernadette Broadley said: "He was my best friend and my fiancée. I am very, very proud of him being a brave soldier. I want him to be remembered for who and what he was." Lt Col David Richmond, James's Commanding Officer, said: "LCpl Johnson has made the ultimate sacrifice; a superb soldier and junior commander he died doing the job he loved, among men who held him in the highest regard. He set the pace among his peers with his fitness, outstanding infantry and leadership abilities, native wit and sense of perspective. He was loved and respected by everyone he served with and will be remembered for his humanity, the time he always had for people whatever the pressures on himself, his keen sense of humor and, above all, his professionalism.  "LCpl Johnson was one of our stars for the future; his death is a tragedy and his loss is felt by the entire Battalion. We have lost one of our best; a true air assault infantryman, a gentleman, friend and colleague with spark, wit and courage. The courage and commitment that he showed every day in Helmand Province has been an inspiration to us all. "I have been immensely proud to have commanded Jimmy Johnson on operations and humbled by the sacrifice he has made. My thoughts and sympathies and those of all ranks of the Battalion are with LCpl Johnson's fiancée Bernadette, his daughter Shannon and his family. He will be deeply mourned, but never forgotten." James's Company Commander, Major Harry Clark, paid the following tribute: "LCpl "Jimmy" Johnson joined B Company just prior to deployment to Lashkar Gah on Op HERRICK 8. Despite his late arrival he had no problems fitting in to the company and immediately started to add value on patrol and in camp. A highly effective team commander he preferred to lead by example and pass on his considerable experience to those under his command. "It is no coincidence that many of the young Jocks in his multiple now wish to attend a sniper cadre after the tour. It is a mark of his professional quality that I made no secret of my aspiration to ‘poach' him from Support Company at the end of the tour.  "As a man Jimmy was kind and considerate and worked particularly well as a steadying hand for the younger Jocks in the Company. Despite his reputation as a highly professional soldier everything he did was laced with humility. For example my most vivid recollection of Jimmy was visiting a sangar in Lashkar Gah Provincial Reconstruction Team to find him on duty. "As an NCO there was no requirement for him to do this duty, he did it to lighten the load for those in his multiple. Above all Jimmy was a good man and the world is a darker place for his absence. "At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Bernadette, his fiancée, Shannon his daughter and Connie and Lawrence, his mother and father." WO2 Tam Rankine, LCpl Johnson's Company Sergeant Major said the following: "LCpl Jimmy Johnson arrived in the Company just prior to deployment and quickly established himself with the Company and Jocks alike. He excelled at the in-theatre training package and on the ranges he single handily trained the whole Company in sharp shooting with the Sniper rifle and conducted in depth training to bring the Jocks up to his professional standards. "As a soldier and a man Jimmy was approachable and a great source of leadership for the young soldiers under his command. He had a manner that allowed him to bring the best out of the Jocks he worked with. He was a reliable and trusted leader who always got on with the job at hand to the highest professional standard; the Company and the Battalion will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time." Sgt Scotty McFadden, James's Platoon Sergeant and friend from the Recce Platoon said the following: "LCpl Johnson, better known to the troops and the hierarchy of the battalion as Jimmy "J". Jimmy was a soldier first and foremost. Throughout my time in the Argyll's I have had the distinct privilege of serving with some of the finest soldiers a man could wish to serve with, and none come higher than Jimmy "J". I have done a lot of soldiering alongside Jimmy and I categorically state that he was a pleasure to work with. "From our days in the Recce Platoon he was always the quiet guy, but he was also the guy with all the good ideas. Jimmy was a forward thinker, constantly thinking of ways to improve his and others performance, whether that be in the office layout or the way in which kit could be carried more effectively during patrols.  "You really couldn't wish for a better team commander in Afghanistan, he was always thinking. It got to the point of being scary, like he could read your mind; everything would be squared away before you got the chance to tell him to do it. As a character there are not many people in this world like Jimmy. A quiet man in his day to day life with a heart of gold, nothing was ever too much trouble if you needed help "no drama's mate" that's what he'd say because that's the man he was. "When it came to nights on the town Jimmy was the ultimate party animal he was no longer the quiet man, quite the opposite, the life and soul. Jimmy was a Soldier first and foremost but he was also a very good friend and will be sorely missed." LCpl Showell, James's best friend from 5 SCOTS, pays this tribute: "Jimmy "J" what can I say about him? Well, this man liked to live life to the max. I was his best friend and had known him for 11 years and there was never a dull moment when he was about. Jimmy, or as I used to call him ("Jonny 5") back in the old days, loved his job and always did it to a very high standard no matter how he felt that day. We used to do a lot together as we were part of a team, we started off in A Company back in Edinburgh. "After 4 years in A Company he moved to Support Company to go to the Assault Pioneer platoon and that's where he stayed for a while. He then went and did the COP course and he found it very interesting and the job suited him down to the bone. "He left all that behind when he moved to Canterbury and joined the Recce platoon as a sniper and with the hard courses he's done, has always given 110 percent. That was just the way he was. After a while in Canterbury he met Bernadette and they both became inseparable, they both had the same things in common - always partying at the weekends. That's the way everybody should remember him." LCpl Pete McBurney - Recce Platoon "I first met Jimmy in Belfast and straight away we became good friends. Once the Battalion moved to Canterbury we went to separate Companies, but remained good friends. We often went out to watch rugby at the weekends together. "Jimmy was always full of life and had no difficulty making new friends as his outstandingly generous and kind personality would shine through. One of the people Jimmy was to charm with his personality was Bernadette, his fiancée. She became a very important part of his life. As their relationship grew Jimmy and Bernadette got engaged. "For those who knew Jimmy they know how much of a character he was whilst he was out and how happy he was as well. That's how I'll remember him." Pte Woody Wood - Recce Platoon "I've known Jimmy for a good few years and have many fond memories. He was a very dear friend who will be missed dearly by all who knew him."


[ Sergeant Jonathan Mathews ]

 

Sergeant Jonathan William Mathews of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland who died on 28 July 2008. At the time of his death, Sgt Mathews was attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment Battle Group in southern Afghanistan, serving as a mentor and trainer to the developing Afghan Army. On 28 July 2008, Sergeant Mathews was on a joint foot patrol with the Afghan Army which was helping to protect Afghan Police in a town near the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. Just after 10 am, the patrol was warned by local civilians that Taliban fighters lay ahead. As the patrol went to investigate, a single shot struck Sergeant Mathews. He was evacuated to Camp Bastion but despite the best efforts of the medics, died of his injuries.

Sergeant Jonathan 'Jon' Mathews was born in Edinburgh on 6th September 1972. At the age of 21 he decided to join the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and on completion of basic training was posted to Fort George, Inverness. A few years later, he moved to Glencorse where he met his wife Shona, later marrying her in Edinburgh Castle. A proud Scottish warrior, he climbed the ranks swiftly, undertaking demanding military courses at Brecon and Warminster along the way. Quickly singled out as a man with significant potential, Jon was selected for training as a Sniper and a reconnaissance soldier. With experience on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo behind him, he moved to The Infantry Training Centre in Catterick as a recruit instructor, a job for which he was tailor-made.

In July 2006 he was posted to The Highlanders in Fallingbostel as a rifle platoon sergeant in D Company. He made immediate impact, quickly earning a strong reputation as a capable soldier with a compassionate touch. When the call came for the Battalion to provide mentors to serve alongside the Afghan Army as part of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment Battle Group, Sergeant Mathews was quick to step up. He knew the importance of the role and was determined to employ his now vast experience and play his part; his enthusiasm was unstoppable. He died doing the job he loved, leading others by example.  Beyond the Army he was a keen sports parachutist, a canoeist and a hill walker, all sports that captured his love of the outdoors and his sense of adventure. But more than anything else, Jon was a family man who was passionate about Edinburgh, his wife and his family. Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Campbell, Commanding Officer The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland paid tribute: "The death of Sergeant Jon Mathews has come as a great shock to the Battalion. A hugely popular man, he was a fine senior non-commissioned officer who loved his job and cared deeply about those in his charge. An experienced field soldier and a simply superb trainer, he rose quickly up the ranks.  "An absolute professional, he was courageous, reliable to the core and unwaveringly loyal to all." "He always led from the front, inspiring others to follow and with his operational background and determination to make a difference, was ideally suited to the demands of Helmand province. An absolute professional, he was courageous, reliable to the core and unwaveringly loyal to all. "But his love of soldiering could never be matched by his absolute devotion to his wife Shona and his children, William and Meghan. No matter where he found himself he always found time to keep in touch with them.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time. He will be sorely missed by all." Sergeant Rab McEwan 4 SCOTS was Sergeant Mathews’s best friend: "I've known Jon for gone on near 14 years since I joined the Royal Scots at Fort George in 1994. He was the first man I met when I joined B Company.  "Throughout the years he did not change. Jon was a soldier and would go anywhere and help anyone. His death was a devastating blow to the team and he will be sorely missed by all. None more so than me. "You were a good mate Jon and my deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to your wife Shona and your family. You are gone from this earth but you are not forgotten. Rest in peace mate." His family paid the following tribute:  "Jonathan trained all his life for the job he was doing, loved what he did, died doing what he loved, he was well respected. "Loved by his wife Shona, daughter Meghan and stepson William and all the family. A lover of the outdoors, an army man through and through, we will miss him, but it gives us great comfort knowing he died doing what he trained to do – he would not have had it any other way."


[ Corporal Barry Dempsey ]

Corporal Barry Dempsey from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 18 August 2008. At 0825 hrs local time, a joint Afghan National Army and UK Operational Mentoring Liaison Team were patrolling, when they dismounted in the region of Forward Operating Base Attal, in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province. An improvised explosive device was detonated which resulted in the death of Cpl Dempsey and shrapnel and blast injuries to one other ISAF soldier, an Afghan National Army soldier and the patrol interpreter.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ... Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Corporal Barry Dempsey was 29 and from Ayrshire. He lived with his wife Shelly, a son, Charlie, aged two, and daughter Andie, aged four, at the battalion’s base in Penicuick near Edinburgh.

His wife made the following tribute to her husband:  "Barry was a devoted husband and father. He has died doing a job he loved. His family and the Army was his life. He will be forever missed by his wife, children and family. He will never be forgotten. He died a hero."

[ His wife Shelly ]

The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Borton, paid this tribute: "Cpl Barry Dempsey joined The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1998, and spent the majority of his career as a medic in the Regimental Aid Post (RAP). Barry was a dedicated medic, who had found his real vocation in life. He successfully worked his way up through the RAP and was promoted to Corporal in 2007. Recently he successfully completed the Regimental Combat Medical Technician 1 course, and was a highly respected and competent medic.  "Always calm and professional, he was naturally suited to a medical career, and planned to continue progressing in this area. Barry was a stalwart of the Medical Centre; a hard worker, he always volunteered for any task, and was always at the centre of the team, motivating and encouraging the younger medics. "Barry Dempsey loved his Regiment, but he was above all a dedicated family man, who devoted most of his spare time to Shelly and the children, Andie and Charlie. He was a private man, who enjoyed spending time with his young children. He had a wry sense of humor, didn't take life too seriously, and always had a ready smile for everybody. He will leave a tremendous gap in the 2 SCOTS medical team. "Barry was tragically killed while on patrol attached to 1 R IRISH, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, in the Gereshk Valley on 18 August 2008. He was in Afghanistan to provide aid to his comrades, and served with bravery and dedication, doing what he was best at. "A thorough professional and a loving family man, we have lost a great friend and fellow soldier. While we mourn the loss of a regimental comrade, all our hearts go out to Shelly and the rest of Barry's family, for it is they who have borne the real burden of his absence, and they who have now sustained the real loss. They are ever in our thoughts and prayers." The 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment Commanding Officer in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Freely, paid the following tribute to Cpl Dempsey: "It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of an outstanding man, and an excellent medic. Cpl Barry Dempsey died supporting his own men.  He has helped to save the lives of many Afghan soldiers and civilians alike. Barry understood the dangers - standing up to a ruthless and determined enemy, one who is set on bringing disruption and brutality to Afghanistan. He also understood that his work was part of the lasting solution to the ongoing insurgency.  "Having volunteered to accompany his team to one of the most remote patrol bases in all of Helmand, Cpl Dempsey bonded closely with those he worked with, caring deeply for them and working diligently to ensure all their needs were met. He achieved this all with great humility and character. "On learning the news of his passing, the Battle Group paused to remember this fine man and brave colleague. We gathered around our simple stone memorial, prayed for him, his wife, son and daughter back in Edinburgh. When we all return home, we will mourn him properly. Until then, we will continue to pursue our task of helping the Afghans create the conditions for security - a task which Barry Dempsey believed in, and worked so tirelessly to achieve."  Cpl Stephen Quinn, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "I first met Barry when my wife and I moved next door to him and Shelly in Cyprus. Even though he was a diehard Rangers fan and I was a Celtic fan we became good friends and Shelly was a great support to my wife during her pregnancy. "Barry loved his job in the medical centre and talked of becoming a paramedic when he left the Army. "He loved to socialise with his friends and had built a makeshift bar in his garage where we would watch the football and have a few beers. Even though our football loyalties were different, we used to watch Old Firm games together and no matter what the outcome, we remained friends - although he was first to rub it in when Celtic were beaten! "Everyone who knew Barry will miss him and his sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers are with Shelly, Andie and Charlie." Major Kryssy Lithgow Smith and Sergeant John Taylor, of the 2 SCOTS Regimental Aid Post said: "Cpl Barry Dempsey spent most of his Army career with the Regimental Aid Post. During this time it was obvious he had found his niche, proving himself to be not only an excellent medic, but a trustworthy and reliable colleague. He had a very professional attitude towards his work, and he would, without fail, go on to  complete any task to a high standard. "He would be the first to volunteer to pick up the medical Bergen to cover sporting events for the Battalion, but in addition to these fun taskings, he would also voluntarily stay late to ensure work was completed. He was instrumental in motivating those around him to get the job in hand done, and had repeatedly proven himself to be thoroughly professional. His absence from the MRS, when he was away successfully completing his Class One training, was noticeable. "On a personal level, Barry was always a pleasure to have around. Although a fairly private person, he had a cheery nature and was always up for a bit of banter. He was one of the characters in the MRS in Redford Barracks, well-liked by staff and patients, military and civilian alike. He was also well-liked throughout the Battalion and the married quarters, being a dedicated family man. Indeed, his face lit up whenever he talked about his family, and his world revolved around his two children. Monday mornings were not complete without a story from Barry as to what he'd been up to that weekend, usually taking his kids to the zoo! "Barry was keen to undertake further medical training to improve his skills, and had seriously considered pursuing a career within the medical field, specifically assisting anesthetists in operating theatres. His skills and professionalism here would have been greatly appreciated. Indeed, whatever he had decided to turn his hand to and wherever he had ended up, he would have been a valued member of the team.  "Overall, Barry Dempsey was a true character, and one who will be greatly missed by all in the RAP and all who knew him. Our deepest sympathies go to Shelly, Andie, Charlie and his parents."


THE BLACK WATCH - (3rd Battalion) Founded in 1725, the Black Watch was already one of the best-known in the British Army. It served with distinction during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, leading the way into Basra. Its battle honours include Waterloo, Alexandria and Fontenoy. It now becomes the Black Watch (3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland). It will be allowed to keep its famous red hackle but will wear the new Regiment's cap badge ... more from Wikipedia

A personal page to Sean ...  please click here

 

[ Corporal Sean Binnie ]

 

Sgt Sean Binnie from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Killed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday 7 May 2009. Sgt Binnie, aged 22, was killed during a fire fight with insurgents near Musa Qaleh in Helmand province, where he was serving as part of the Battle Group mentoring the Afghan National Army (ANA). Sgt Binnie joined the Army in 2003. Following basic training he joined his battalion in Warminster and moved with them to Belfast at the end of 2005, taking part in the operation to close down British Army bases in the province. He served with his battalion in both Iraq and the Falkland Islands. Sgt Binnie passed the arduous Section Commanders' Battle Course last year and took command of his section in time to deploy on Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan in March, living and working amongst the Afghan troops.

 

Sgt Binnie was an enthusiast by nature, with a strong, determined streak not always seen in one so young. He loved his job and was always the first to volunteer for extra courses - often doing them during leave as he claimed that otherwise he simply got bored. He was very much his own man but also a team player, which made him an excellent JNCO (Junior Non-Commissioned Officer). He was very robust, both mentally and physically, and carried others along with his force of personality. He also had a great sense of humour and could laugh at himself as well as with others. Sgt Binnie's wife, Amanda, said:

"My husband, my hero - you have been so strong and brave. Our married life has been a short six months and I'm speaking for both of us in saying it was the best six months ever. "I know you have died a happy married man in doing what you loved. We're so proud of you. God bless you babe. Your loving wife, Amanda Binnie." Sgt Binnie's mother, Janette, said:

"We are devastated at the loss of our son, Sean. We are very proud of him and he will be missed always. Sleep tight." Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright, Commanding Officer of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), said: "Sgt Sean Binnie has given his life in service of others in the career that he loved. He died in the defence of his friends and his comrades in the Afghan National Army. "His death is a great blow for everyone in The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, but particularly for Delta Company who he was serving with in Musa Qaleh. He was part of a small team bound together by trust and self-respect, built up over their arduous training in the last year and in their first months here in Afghanistan. "Recently promoted and very much a career soldier with a great future ahead of him, Sean was full of life, always cheerful, and a loyal JNCO; he will be missed by us all but will not be forgotten. His loss will further serve to stiffen our resolve to see our task through this summer and we will not fail him. Our deepest condolences and prayers go to Amanda, his wife, and his extended family at this most tragic time." Lieutenant Colonel Simon Banton, Commanding Officer of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Battle Group, said: "Sgt Sean Binnie had been working with the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Battle Group responsible for the development of Afghan soldiers fighting alongside British soldiers to provide security for the Afghanistan people in Helmand province. "This role is unique and requires a special type of soldier to cope with the stresses and strains this employment throws up; Sean was one of those special soldiers. At every moment he displayed professionalism and purpose. He was calm under fire and dedicated to the soldiers in his team. He readily accepted the challenges of developing and fighting alongside the Afghan Warriors and approached the task with patience and good humour. "He was a very talented soldier who at 22 had already completed the arduous Section Commanders' Battle Course and been promoted to Corporal. His toughness and selfless behaviour was admired and respected by all that met and worked with him. "It was no surprise that when Sean was taken from us he was leading from the front, setting the example and taking the fight to the enemy. We will remember his bravery and that he had the mental strength and physical courage to take the difficult decisions and walk the hardest path. His wife, Amanda, will be distraught at her loss. We share her grief." Major Angus Philp, Officer Commanding Delta (Light) Company, said: "I remember very clearly first meeting Sgt Sean Binnie during my tenure as his Company Commander. We were hill-walking during an Adventurous Training Camp in 2007, and his physical strength and enthusiasm stood out all week. "He was obviously a young man with a mature head on his shoulders, who had ambition, resolve and energy. He loved his work and he was going to do his best to make the most of his chosen career. "He volunteered for numerous courses and excelled on all of them, most recently the arduous Section Commanders' Battle Course in Brecon. However, it was far from being a case of all work and no play. Sean was a sociable man with a deprecating sense of humour and a wide circle of friends. His soldiers liked him, but they also respected him - as we all did. "The manner of his tragic death was typical of the man. The ANA he was mentoring were in trouble and, with no thought for his own safety, he went forward to engage the enemy and get his comrades out of danger. "It was an act of great courage and selflessness, in the finest traditions of The Black Watch Battalion, but no less remarkable for that and for which he made the ultimate sacrifice. I feel privileged to have known him and served alongside him. All our thoughts are now with his wife Amanda and the rest of his family during this difficult time."

His Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2 Scott Shaw, said: "The first time I got to know Sgt Sean Binnie was upon taking over the company as Sergeant Major. He was one of the company physical training instructors and one of the characters within the company. "He was respected by all ranks and had many friends within and outside the company. Sean led from the front and his troops trusted him and would follow him to the ends of the earth. Sean will be sorely missed by myself and all the members of the company. All our thoughts are with his wife and family; we will always remember him." His Platoon Commander, Captain Olly Lever, said: "Sgt Sean Binnie was a fine man; he typified every possible characteristic a soldier should have. Brave, determined and totally selfless, he was an individual of the highest calibre. "Acting Sgt Binnie was a strong willed NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] and he had his sights set firmly on the top; second best just wasn't good enough. He died as he lived in the thick of the action and totally committed. "Corporal Binnie also however had a softer side. He was truly devoted to his wife and his family circle; he spoke of little else. Acting Sgt Binnie will be remembered as a hero by all who knew him and all who had the privilege to serve shoulder to shoulder with this great man." Captain Russell Doughty said: "Sgt Sean Binnie was a section commander in my platoon prior to Delta Company restructuring for the OMLT [Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team] task. He was keen and very serious about soldiering, always and always striving to be better. I had constantly seen him improve. I know he was very happy to be married and my thoughts are with his wife." Captain Tom O'Sullivan said: "Sean was a good man, friend and husband. He was well known within the company and had lots of comrades and nicknames. Above all, he was a good bloke. We will all miss him and he will never be forgotten. All of our thoughts in AMBER 33 go out to his family and wife; we feel for you all. Our deepest sympathies and all our love." Lance Corporal Duncan Milne said: "Binnie was one of my closest Army friends. We were in the same platoon when I came to the battalion and we were soldiers side by side ever since. Binnie was an effortlessly good soldier, he never struggled with anything. "The key to his soldiering ability was his unmatchable determination. Binnie and I had a healthy rivalry, competing on all fronts. We grew to be close friends through many nights out. These memories are what he was legendary for. "Binnie was about being the best and was an inspiration to myself; he made me try harder and want to go further. I will always remember him as a brilliant commander and an even better mate." Lance Corporal Charles Brady said: "He was not just a soldier but a hero to the end. I am proud to say I knew him, a comrade, a friend fearless in battle, and a true leader of men. The bravest of warriors, our fallen brother Sean, RIP from all your friends in AMBER 32."

Private David 'Ned' Kelly said:  "I knew and worked with Sean Binnie for a few years. He was one of the most professional soldiers I have ever worked with, always keen to get the job done and done well. We have two things in common: our passion for chess and our bigger than average waistlines. We were pretty even on the first but I think I won the last. He was a good guy and a good soldier." Lance Corporal Jimmy Hutton said: "The thing that reminds me about Sean was his very sweet tooth. There was hardly a time I saw him without a packet of sweets or chocolate bars on him or in the vicinity." Lance Corporal Sam Watt said: "I have known Sean since AFC [Army Foundation College] Harrogate and had the pleasure to serve with him in the same platoon since we joined the battalion. I always found him to be a good friend and he could always be depended upon to lift spirits. He will be sadly missed."


[ Private Robert McLaren ]

Private Robert McLaren from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), was killed in Afghanistan on the morning of 11 June 2009. Pte McLaren aged 20 years old from Kintra, by Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull, was fresh out of infantry recruit training. He was schooled at Bunnessan Primary and then Oban High School. Pte McLaren joined the Army in November 2007 and trained first at the Army Training Regiment in Winchester and then as a Royal Engineer in Surrey. Pte McLaren ultimately decided to pursue a career as a Scottish Infantryman and attended and comfortably passed the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. He passed out of Seven Platoon on 3 April 2009 and was posted to The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland on operations in Southern Afghanistan. Pte McLaren's family said: "We are very proud of Robert; he died doing a job he loved and we will cherish fond memories of Robert for ever." Commanding Officer 3 SCOTS, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright said: "Private Robert McLaren has been cruelly taken from us after only four weeks of active service in The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. "The Battalion was conducting an offensive operation against the insurgents in one of the most dangerous parts of the southern Afghanistan. His Company had been engaged in close combat with the insurgents for several hours and Robert had displayed enormous physical courage during this battle for one so young. "He gave his life for his friends with his selfless commitment, moving forward in the face of a determined and ruthless enemy. "From the moment he arrived he threw his heart and body into everything he was asked to do. He completed three large operations with his Company and he made an immediate positive impression with his JNCOs (Junior Non-Commissioned Officer). "Fit, keen to learn and easy company, Robert had so much going for him and was so proud to be on operations so soon in his career. "Any death in this close knit Battalion delivers an emotional body blow, but the loss of this young man so soon after joining us has hit us particularly hard." Lt Col Cartwright continued: "He has died in the service of his country, his Regiment and for his friends in his platoon. On behalf of everyone in the Black Watch Battalion, I send my deepest condolences to his parents and wider family for their most tragic loss. "He will be sorely missed by his many friends in the Battalion and we will never forget him. We march forward on this most difficult task knowing that Robert would be urging to do just that. Nemo me impune lacessit." Officer Commanding Alpha (Grenadier) Company, Major Matt Munro said: "Robert McLaren will be remembered as a trusted friend, a brave highland Jock and an enormously talented and decent man. His sudden death is a huge blow to all of us who were privileged and fortunate enough to soldier with him. "Quietly confident, steady and assured he was an old head on young shoulders. Thoughtful and reflective, he had a ready smile, a wicked dry sense of humour and an easy manner. "Though he soldiered with us for barely a month he immediately won the respect and admiration of all of his brother Jocks; he made a tremendous impact in the short time that he served with us in Alpha (Grenadier) Company. "Robert was a clever man who well understood the big picture; he was a 'canny' Jock who was as comfortable when robustly defeating the insurgent as he was compassionate when interacting with Afghan civilians. "He was in his element here in Afghanistan. On his first operation, just a month out of recruit training he left an indelible impression on his brother Jocks when in his first contact he fearlessly and decisively engaged insurgents at close range. "He was killed two weeks later by an improvised explosive device as once again; under accurate and sustained fire he pushed himself forward to support his imperilled colleagues. "This was typical of the man who without hesitation, question or thought for his personal safety, repeatedly pushed himself to the fore. "Our grief is seemingly overwhelming but nothing compared to that which his family must be suffering. They are in our thoughts and prayers. "If Robert were still with us I am clear that as a proud and determined Grenadier he would be urging us forward. Robert will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Nemo Me Impune Lacessit."

Officer Commanding 2 Platoon Lt Robet Colquhoun said: "Quiet and mild mannered, with a ready smile, Robert made friends quickly and had gained the respect of his peers within days of his arrival. "This calm and pleasant manner belied a determined and mature young man who was committed to his friends and the task in hand. No soldier has impressed me so much in such a short amount of time. "Always pushing himself forward to get a new angle to defeat the enemy and support his friends, he acquitted himself  throughout his short time with 2 Platoon with bravery and skill. "His final action exemplified this: with his section pinned down by accurate rifle fire from two sides and the target of indirect rocket attacks his instinct was to thrust forward once again to improve his position and relieve pressure on his comrades. "His selfless commitment is consistent with the highest qualities of a soldier and testimony to his fine upbringing and excellent training. "Killed taking the fight to the enemy, he will ever be remembered with a smile on his face, ready and willing to do what  was necessary to get the job done. Committed, fearless and courageous, his measured steadfastness set him apart from his peers. "Had his life not been cruelly cut short Robert was destined for great things and all who knew him will miss him greatly. We are the richer for having known him and our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they come to terms with their loss. "It was an honour to have led such a fierce, brave, loyal and proud highland soldier. Robert McLaren, I salute you." Section Commander Samison Boila said: "Rab was up for anything. He was keen and enthusiastic doing the job he loved and it was a pleasure to work with him. I am filled with respect for his bravery. He will be greatly missed by the boys who knew him."

Pte Mark Methven said: "Robert was quite a man: he made friends quickly, he was a great soldier to work with, and always knew what he was doing and did it to the best of his ability. He will be missed but always remembered. Rest in Peace." Pte Sireli Uluilakeba said: "Rab was a quiet but hard working guy. He joined The Royal Regiment of Scotland because he wanted to do this job, and I think he deserves respect for all he has done since he got out here. A good friend and a willing ear, he is in my thoughts and prayers." Pte Amphon Supharee said: "Rab was a quiet boy when he arrived, but got on well with the guys and he was a switched on soldier. "Even though he was new, he was welcomed and everyone had respect for him. He was not just a good guy, but a great soldier. "He did his job with pride and he was always up there whatever was asked of him. I am honoured to call him my friend and will always remember him as part of our team." Pte John Easson said: "Robert pushed himself to the limit always giving his best. Committed and reliable, I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to watch my back. "A good friend and a brave soldier he'll be sorely missed."


[ Sergeant Stuart Millar and Private Kevin Elliott ]

Sergeant Stuart Millar and Private Kevin Elliott of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

[ Sgt Stuart 'Gus' Millar, ]

The soldiers were killed as a result of an explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket-propelled grenade when they were attacked by insurgents whilst patrolling on foot in Babaji District, Helmand Province on the morning of Monday 31 August 2009.

Sgt Stuart 'Gus' Millar, aged 40 from Inverness, joined the British Army in November 2000, after service in the Territorial Army. Following training he joined the Mortar Platoon of 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers. He served in Northern Ireland, Falkland Islands, Cyprus and Iraq. He moved to The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) as a mortar fire controller in Belfast in July 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan in April 2009. Sgt Millar's family said: "Gus always wanted to be a soldier from a very young age. He passionately enjoyed his job and often talked fondly about his colleagues and friends. "He was very brave and is a credit to both our family and the Army. We are really proud of him as a father, son, brother and soldier."

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright, Commanding Officer of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "I have been fortunate to know Sgt Gus Millar for many years and we have shared many happy moments, not least dragging ourselves over the Aonach Eagach Ridge in Glencoe some eight years ago. He was one of a very select few characters in the Battalion that I could sound out for 'ground truth', due to his friendship, honesty, integrity and humour. "Sgt Gus Millar was a dedicated and professional Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. A career mortarman, he loved his job and during this tour had been able to put all his experience and years of training to the ultimate test in the most demanding of environments. He was a wonderfully kind and dependable man: the solid rock amongst the shingle. He had a remarkable sense of duty and has been the continuity in the development of the mortar platoon over the years. "In his role as a mortar fire controller, he was at the very front of the action throughout the summer, famously being caught on the ITN news on the first day of Op Panther's Claw, complaining that a long fire fight with the insurgents had delayed his 'morning brew'. It was typical of the man: in the thick of the action, professional expertise to the fore, combined with his wonderfully positive and humorous style. But he had a bite when required, and the Jocks knew not to cross the line. "He had a truly wonderful sense of humour and it is this facet of this great man that we will all miss the most. "He has given his life in the service of his comrades, for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, his country and the people of Afghanistan. We all consider ourselves truly privileged to have known him, to have served with him. "He was 40 years young and married his wife Jillian last year. They have a very young and beautiful daughter, Grace. He showed a recent picture of them to the Padre, beamed with pride and tucked it into his notebook, minutes before he deployed on this operation. All our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Jillian and Grace as well as Gus' family and friends at this most tragic time. "Whilst the pain of this loss to them is unimaginable I hope they will draw considerable strength from the fact that we all will cherish some wonderful memories of the humourous rock that Gus was. We will all miss him terribly." Major Matt Munro, Officer Commanding Alpha (Grenadier) Company said: "Sgt Gus Millar will be remembered by his brother soldiers in Alpha (Grenadier) Company as an outstanding soldier and also as a caring friend and a devoted family man. He was great company; we loved his Glaswegian patter as it was guaranteed to raise a smile in even the most trying of circumstances. Gus was an awesome soldier; brave, technically capable, energetic and self-disciplined. He was quite simply a wonderful example to us all. "Though we will mourn him and miss him terribly our loss is nothing compared to that which his family is suffering; they are in our thoughts and prayers.  "Rest in Peace. Nemo me impune lacessit." Major Jez Sharpe, Battery Commander, 38 (Seringapatam) Battery said: "Sgt Gus Millar was as key a figure in the Battery Tac Group as he was in the Battalion. Sergeant Millar had worked with us consistently over the last year and a half and is ready his exceptionally dry sense of humour and willingness to pass on his vast experience made him hugely liked and respected by everyone in the Battery - he will be greatly missed. All our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and daughter." Captain David Mack, Officer Commanding the Mortar Platoon said: "Sergeant Gus Millar was renowned throughout the Battalion as an irrepressible, jovial and proud character. Through time spent in Fort George and numerous exercises in Otterburn, Kenya and Salisbury Plain it has been my joy to come to know this great and wonderful man. "Gus was a professional soldier whose judgment could be trusted without hesitation. An accomplished and inspiring man, Gus possessed remarkable potential. Moreover, he was a courageous man who volunteered for any opportunity to go onto the ground. Once deployed, more often than not, Gus would manoeuvre himself to the forefront of a fight. "He was confident and proud of himself and the men of the Mortar Platoon. Keen to prove the effectiveness of the men he had trained, Gus was the first mortar fire controller of the Battalion to engage a target. "Ever enthusiastic to launch his beloved mortars, his booming voice monopolised the net as he took any and every opportunity to call in fire; his tempestuous personality only occasionally requiring reigning in. "Gus was a genuine man who was honest and forthright. He was an outspoken and opinionated individual for whom subtlety was a skill yet to be mastered – if he did not like something he would make it clear to any and all. Blunt and to the point, Gus was never frightened to air his thoughts regardless of the company. He wore his heart on his sleeve such that one was never in doubt of where he stood with Gus. "Despite his often strong and uncompromising stance, Gus was also a charming, outgoing, and charismatic figure. He was a natural leader whose welcoming nature drew others into his company. He set the standard for the Jocks, but had the ability to empathise with those under his command – often taking the role of a big brother. "Renowned for his sense of humour Gus could be relied on to offer a smile or comic relief even in the most demanding situations. His presence alone brought morale and strength to all. "Although he was in his element in the Army and serving in Afghanistan, he nonetheless possessed those qualities that define a man – he could be gentle and loving, and his heart was squarely focussed on his wife, Jillian, and daughter, Grace, at home. "It has been my honour to serve with Gus and to consider him my friend. I will deeply treasure the time I spent with him and will sorely miss him." Captain James Banks, Fire Support Team Commander Alpha (Grenadier) Company said: "Gus Millar was a soldier of the highest calibre. Not only was he a technically superb mortar fire controller but also a hard working and dedicated Senior NCO. "He was an extremely grounded gentleman happy at engaging the enemy with devastating effect or taking pride in the design and construction of ablutions for his fellow soldiers. Gus had the presence of a fearsome soldier but the heart of a caring father. "His ever present smile and sense of humour will be greatly missed. Whether it was complaining about missing his Tea on the News at Ten, whilst under contact, or making fun of everybody, his wit was legendary. Sgt Gus Millar was a one-off, he will be sorely missed. He will never be forgotten." Captain Ben Collis, Adjutant and a former Mortar Platoon Commander said: "Sgt Gus Millar joined us in July 2007 when we were reforming the Mortar Platoon following a Northern Ireland tour. We badly needed experienced mortarmen and Gus Millar arrived, like a tidal wave – he was passionate about his job. He enthused a generation of young Jocks in the Platoon and was trusted absolutely by everyone. "He made a point of mentoring his Junior NCOs, though he would not hesitate to step in if he thought grip was required. It was impossible not to like the man; he had a dry, sophisticated wit and was in every way a gentle giant. Working with him was enormous fun; he will be hugely missed." Sergeant Syd Masson, longtime friend, comrade and Mortar Section Commander: "Anyone that ever met Gus Millar will always remember him, he was a larger than life character that filled a room with his presence, he was an individual of overwhelming ability, as a soldier, he graced the lives of everyone who encountered him. "A loyal and trusted comrade but above all a true friend, he leaves behind a hole that can never be filled. My heart goes out to Jillian and little Gracie whose loss far outweighs anything that we may be experiencing at this devastating time." Captain Samuel Newson, Second in Command Alpha (Grenadier) Company said: "Gus was the oldest man in the Company and it sometimes felt as if someone had brought their Granddad along, albeit a Granddad who could move around the battlefield at alarming pace and co-ordinate fire missions at the same time. "The paternal aspect to Gus was in reality due to his irrepressible good humour and the reassuring calm with which he brought to any situation. "He took great pride in his job and revelled in a fire mission successfully executed but always in a professional and understated manner. He had been with the Company since Kenya and contributed so much on so many levels, as irreplaceable as he was irrepressible he leaves a huge void in the Company." Warrant Officer Class Two Callum Scott, Second in Command of the Mortar Platoon said: "Sgt Gus Millar was a larger than life character in the Mortar Platoon and within the Battlegroup as a whole. He had a strong personality and inspired others with his diligent approach to any task. He will be remembered for his honesty, integrity, knowledge and courage. "He was always the first to volunteer and inspired others to follow suit. If he felt something was amiss or needed rectifying he was not afraid to raise his concerns regardless of who he was addressing. He could always be relied upon to carry out any task to the highest standards never taking the easy option. "His knowledge of mortaring was second to none which allowed him to provide effective support to whoever required it. "He was always to be found where the action was. He understood that in order to provide the best support to the troops he had to be in a position to observe what was going on. This meant that he was always to be found in the heart of the battle doing what he did best calling in mortar fire. He was an inspiration to others as they knew that if they were in trouble they could rely on Gus to help." Sergeant Gordon Porter, Mortar Fire Controller said: "To all who knew Gus he was a larger than life character and his passing will leave a huge void in those who were closest to him. He was a friend to all and never let anyone pass him by. He was always chatting to someone, usually at great length, regardless of who they were." "He was a diligent, professional, and enthusiastic soldier. He had immense moral courage and would always fight his corner regardless of who the disagreement was with. His enthusiasm would rub off on his soldiers as well and he would often push them beyond the limits they believed they were capable of. He always gave 100% and expected no less from his subordinates and indeed his peers." Sergeant Ross McBride, Forward Air Controller Alpha (Grenadier) Company said: "Gus was a popular member of the team a professional at every level who loved doing his job and loved his family fiercely, he was often the first person to make light of a bad situation and then call in accurate mortar fire when required, a high calibre SNCO who will be sorely missed by all, my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. "EMERALD 51A end of mission rest!" Corporal Dave Muirhead, Mortar Command Post Operator said: "Gus was a fun loving character with a witty sense of humour. He was very much a soldier in every sense of the word and always strived to be the best at whatever he did. He was regarded as a strong leader, certainly amongst the soldiers within the platoon. Not only was he a pleasure to work with he was perfect role model who never suffered fools gladly. "During his time in Afghanistan he excelled doing a job he loved. His enthusiasm reflected on all who had the privilege of serving alongside him. Gus had a real love of his previous battalion the Royal High Fusiliers of which we were often reminded. However, he also demonstrated a great passion and love for the Black Watch Battalion. Although most believed he just had a real passion for soldiering. "It is with deep regret and sorrow that we have to say goodbye to one of the finest to have served within the Royal Regiment of Scotland. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and closest friends at this sad and difficult time, more so with his wife Jillian and his young daughter Grace who he adored with all his heart. "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT."


[ Private Kevin Elliott ]

Private Kevin Elliott was killed as a result of an explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket-propelled grenade when they were attacked by insurgents whilst patrolling on foot in Babaji District, Helmand Province on the morning of Monday 31 August 2009.

Private Kevin Elliott, aged 24 from Dundee, of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, attended Braeview Academy in Dundee where he was a keen boxer and footballer. He joined the Army in 2002. After basic training he was posted to Bravo Company, later moving to Charlie (Fire Support) Company. He had previously served in Iraq and Northern Ireland. Pte Elliott's family said: "Kevin was a loving son, brother, grandson, brother, nephew, uncle and cousin who will be sorely missed by the whole family." Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright, Commanding Officer of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "Pte Elliott was an awesome fighting Jock, who was very much in his comfort zone here on demanding operations in Afghanistan. He lived his life one day at a time and it is fair to say that he did not especially enjoy 'peacetime soldiering' - like many a Jock that has gone before, he was a lovable rogue. "He was on the verge of leaving the Army earlier this year, but his inclination to be in the thick of the action was too tempting and he caught the last transport to Afghanistan with his mates. He loved operations and he was a big team player. "It was no surprise to hear that in this tragic incident, he was the first man on the roof in the defensive position, the first to volunteer to protect his colleagues in a dangerous area. That sums up the man; he took life seriously when it was important to do so, and he was a first class field soldier as a result. He would never let his friends down. "Pte Elliott's loss will be hard to accept by all who knew him well. We will not forget his sacrifice, giving his life protecting his friends, representing his Regiment and his country, and so that the people of Afghanistan might have a better future. "We offer our deepest thoughts and condolences to his family and friends and that they might gain some strength that he has died in the service of others, doing a professional job that he loved." Captain Harry Gladstone, Fire Support Group Commander said: "Pte Kev Elliott was a unique soldier. He was excellent in the field and had a brilliant sense of humour. He was naturally fit and most importantly he was very loyal to his friends. Pte Elliott died in tragic circumstances doing what he loved. "I remember talking him shortly before we left Inverness to deploy to Afghanistan in March. He was dressed in his civilian clothes, having been de-kitted, and about to walk out of Fort George back to civilian life when he decided to sign back on. When asked why he decided to sign back on he simply said "I didn't want to miss the boys." This comment sums up his attitude to the army. "My last memory of him is seeing him overjoyed having heard that he had been chosen to go as part of a Javelin Detachment to support A Company, rather than sitting in camp.  "The guy loved having fun, and lived life to the full. He leaves two brothers Craig and Thomas, and his two sisters Natasha and Kirsty. Our thoughts are also with his mum Maggie and his grandmother Margaret. We remember him for his sense of humour and all that he contributed to Battalion life." Warrant Officer Class Two Andy Lambert, Company Sergeant Major Charlie (Fire Support) Company: "Pte Elliott was every Company Sergeant Major's nightmare in camp but a great soldier in the field on operations. Kev was partial to the odd beer or two in the UK and had an eye for the girls.  "Rest in Peace Kev, you have gone but will never be forgotten by the boys of Charlie Company." Private Peter Fenton, Fire Support Group gunner said: "Kev was cheeky but you couldn't get annoyed with him. He was always able to get a laugh in any situation. He would bend over backwards to make sure everyone was alright. "He was hilarious, confident, loyal, and above all charming. His loss will leave a big hole in the Platoon." Private Kyle Russell, Fire Support Group gunner said: "A story typical of Kev was on having a room inspection in Fort George, the Platoon Sergeant opened the fridge to see it full of beer. He told Kev to get rid of it; Kev proceeded to drink the contents of the fridge in front of him and continued for the rest of the night. "Kev was kind and generous – he lived for the moment. If you asked for a fag, he threw you a packet of twenty. He was a terrible singer but my fondest memory of him was sitting in the back of a vehicle screaming out the words to 'I got you babe' at the top of his voice." Lance Corporal Ian Bruce, Fire Support Group gunner: "Kev was a poser – he loved his body – but underneath he cared deeply about the other people in the Platoon. He would try and wind people up but you couldn't get annoyed with him, he was too nice. He wanted to be active the entire time. "He loved being in Afghanistan and had booked a holiday to Australia for our return. He also wanted a pair of white socks to walk down Dundee High Street pulling the birds! We will all miss him badly. "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT."


[ Corporal Thomas 'Tam' Mason ]

Corporal Thomas 'Tam' Mason from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), died at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Selly Oak Hospital, on Sunday 25 October 2009. Corporal Mason was injured when an improvised explosive device detonated during an operation in Kandahar province on 15 September 2009. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, both in theatre and back in the UK, over a period of nearly six weeks, he sadly died as a result of his wounds. Corporal Thomas Mason, known as Tam, was 27. He was born in Bellshill, Glasgow, and brought up in Rosyth, Fife. He joined the Army in February 2005 and, after completing basic training, he joined the Battalion in Warminster, Wiltshire. He deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK in 2006 before returning for a promotion course. He qualified as a Mortar Fire Controller in 2007 and was promoted to corporal. He deployed again to Afghanistan in March 2009.

[ Cpl Thomas "Tam" Mason, 27 ]

Corporal Mason's wife, Kylie Mason, paid the following tribute: "I have thought long and hard to find the right words to describe how Tam was and what he meant to me. But there are no words in the world that would even come close to describe what a great husband Tam was. He was the most genuine and kindest man I have ever known. "He was my best friend and my wonderful husband. I am distraught that this has happened and still finding it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that I have lost my honey. "I am also aware what a great soldier Tam was and how passionate he was about his job. The reason he loved his job so much was he had such fantastic friends in the Army who are equally as courageous as Tam was. "I have so many happy memories of Tam that I am finding it difficult to pick out my most memorable or joyous occasion. However If I had to select one special day it has to be the day we were married which was the best day of my life. "I know that I had struck gold with him and even though I am devastated and hurt that he has been taken from me I value and greatly appreciate the time we had together and will cherish these memories forever."

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright, Commanding Officer 3 SCOTS, said: "Corporal Tam Mason was a highly motivated and exceptional junior non-commissioned officer who had only been in the Army for four years. A late joiner to Service life, his experience and maturity allowed him to be promoted twice in quick succession, evidence of the talent of the man and the dedication he gave to his vocation. He had set his heart on Special Forces selection next year and no-one would have bet against him reaching his ultimate goal. He was an immensely popular and modest man and he will be sorely, sorely missed. He has given his life in the service of his friends in the Battalion, for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, his country, and the people of Afghanistan. "Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kylie, and his family who have been with him by his side as he has fought for his life over the last few weeks. It has been a desperate time for them all and we pray that they can take some comfort from the fact that their Tam was a hero and that he is now resting in peace. We will all miss him terribly but he will not be forgotten." Captain David Mack, Mortar Platoon Commander, said: "Corporal Tam Mason was one of those special people that one has the opportunity to meet every so often in a lifetime. Corporal Mason was a man with direction, a man with real tangible potential, and a man who would deliver on his word. I can still recall a long drive back to Fort George from Otterburn in which Corporal Mason detailed a myriad of his interests: he was an expert in a number of martial arts and also an amateur chef, with a special interest in pastries. I was both impressed and amused by the depth of this soldier. "Deployed on Operation HERRICK 10, Corporal Mason was at the top of his game; he was at his physical peak and thoroughly embraced the Scottish warrior ethos. Corporal Mason was a rugged, experienced, and hardened soldier who had been involved with the fiercest fighting that the battle-group had witnessed. Often in the midst of a fight, Corporal Mason would heroically expose himself to enemy fire in order to get a vantage point to call in fire missions and strike the enemy with mortar fire. Technically, a superb mortar fire controller, Corporal Mason's confidence in his own abilities was founded on natural talent. Corporal Mason could always be relied on to remain cool and collected on the radio when calling in fire missions despite being in very difficult situations and under intense pressure. In addition, Corporal Mason was able to apply wisdom in challenging circumstances and was able to make the difficult decision of using appropriate and justified force. In short, Corporal Mason thrived on operations. "In camp, Corporal Mason was equally as reliable as he was in the field. Corporal Mason had high expectations of himself and of the other members of the mortar platoon and he strove to maintain the highest standards. On numerous career courses, Corporal Mason demonstrated his natural intelligence and determination and was always ranked at the top of his colleagues. "Corporal Mason's focus throughout his military career was driven by a desire to complete Special Forces selection. The loss of Corporal Mason is felt by all members of the Mortar Platoon and our thoughts and prayers remain with Kylie and his family." Captain Ben Collis, Battalion Adjutant and a former Mortar Officer, said: "Corporal Tam Mason was bright, with a thirst for knowledge about his chosen skill but as stubborn as a mule, provoking some highly amusing and longstanding banter with his older MFC [mortar fire controller] partners. He was dedicated in everything he did, whether it be patiently explaining some technical mortaring point to a puzzled jock or on exercise in the driving rain of the Highlands. He was utterly loyal, trusted and a joy to work with. He will be sorely missed.' Warrant Officer Class Two Andy Lambert, Charlie (Fire Support) Company Sergeant Major, said: "Tam was always enthusiastic in all aspects of his job. A quirky sense of humour he was always at the forefront of the banter within the Mortar Platoon. Tam also had an abundance of drive and determination and would always strive to improve himself and other members around him. A big loss to the Mortar Platoon and a massive loss to the Company. RIP Tam from all the boys in Charlie (Fire Support) Company: 'Gone but never forgotten'." Sergeant Sid Masson, Mortar Platoon Section Commander, said: "Tam Mason was the most talented Mortar Fire Controller that I have worked with in years, his dedication to the Army and the Platoon was unquestionable. He was a model professional that had a wicked sense of humour even during the most daunting of situations. He will be greatly missed by every member of the Platoon and by the wider Battalion that had the privilege to work with and meet him and call him a friend. His memory will live on forever." Sergeant Gordon 'Goggs' Porter, Mortar Fire Controller, said: "Tam was a great friend who had a wicked sense of humour with his ready smile he was always there to cheer you up. Tam will be greatly missed by all the members of the Platoon and indeed the Battalion all our thoughts go out to his family at this time. "Tam was an excellent Junior NCO who set an example that we all should aspire to. He had the full trust of all his colleagues and friends. His professionalism shone through in all his undertakings always producing exceptional results even in the most arduous of conditions. "He was a man of immense courage bringing in fire for his friends even when his own position was precarious and latterly with his long fight for his own life. Tam is an irreplaceable member of the Platoon and the Battalion. We will miss you mate." Sergeant Eck Reilly, Mortar Platoon Section Commander, said: "Tam was a great friend and a very strong Mortar Fire Controller in the Mortar Platoon and a great man to work with. Even though I only worked with him for a short period of time, it was plain to see that he was going to become a very strong member of the Platoon. "He had a great sense of humour no matter what the situation was. He was a great joker with the boys in the Platoon and looked forward to the boys getting him back no matter what the prank was on him. Tam's life was the Army and he will be a great loss to the Army, the Battalion and the Mortar Platoon." Corporal Jamie Rock, Mortar Fire Controller, said: "Tam Mason was a very close friend who was always there to help you with anything no matter what. He was an outgoing person – he was always playing pranks on other guys but was always first to laugh when they were played on him. The Army was his life. He had many ambitions and I am sure he would have succeeded. Tam touched many peoples' hearts and will be missed deeply but knowing Tam he would want everyone to have a good time for him and not for us to get ourselves down. You mean so much mate RIP. Tam, you will be sorely missed." Corporal Jamie Steele, Mortar Fire Controller, said: "Tam was the best of the best when it came to doing his job, he loved being in the Mortar Platoon and being a Mortar Fire Controller. When it came to having a laugh and a joke Tam was always at the centre of it and it was great to see that he hadn't changed. I knew Tam from school and we would always talk about how he got caught for stuff he had done. We would always talk about how he had no luck because he had ginger hair but in his eyes it was strawberry blond! "I remember when we were on a NAAFI break at Fort George and he bought a carton of milk took a big drink and his face went chalk white he was OK until he saw the milk was out of date and started to be sick as we were all laughing at him, he saw the funny side and bought another milk. Tam was a true friend throughout school and the Battalion. We will all miss him but we will never forget him a true hero." Corporal Lenny Ramsay, Mortar Line Command Post Operator, said: "Tam was a brilliant example of a young thrusting soldier who had only been in the Battalion for a short period of time and had gained the rank of corporal. His humour was the typical squaddie humour and the banter that flowed between him and the Platoon was second to none. "He was confident and - maybe to an outside party he may have seemed to have a 'big head' because of it - but his friends knew when he set his mind to something he would achieve it. Tam was fit and robust and liked nothing more than going to the Canadian gym to throw people around like empty shell cases during martial arts lessons. Tam was true to the core values and was an asset to the Mortar Platoon and anyone else who was lucky to have crossed paths with him. You will always be remembered but never forgotten and sorely missed. Rest in Peace mate!" Lance Corporal Alex Little said: "Tam was an amazing character who showed such energy and enthusiasm in everything he did. He will be sorely missed for his humour, wit and pride both as a mortar NCO and as a friend. You will always be remembered Tam." Private Kyle McIntosh said: "Tam had his own brand of humour that will be what I will always remember about him, always there to listen to the jocks and never one to be to critical of others. An inspiration to the younger members of the platoon, he will be a void that the platoon will never fill with such a character again. RIP mate." Private John Lowson said: "Corporal Tam Mason was a good friend. He was always up for a laugh and was good at his job. I knew Tam when he came to Charlie Company in Belfast. He was a good mortar fire controller and a good signaller. Tam taught me my trade and he will always be in my heart." Private Benui Tawake said: "Tam Mason was highly motivated no matter what the task. He was always willing to help anyone in need and was always easily approachable if you had a problem or just wanted a chat. He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Platoon. Rest in Peace Brother." Private Billy Sinuleleiwasa said: "Tam was always one for jokes and always keen in everything he did. He would always go out of his way to help the jocks whether out on the ground or during the mortar cadres. Always during PT [physical training] you would hear his voice above anyone else telling us to keep together and would constantly run up and down the squad to make sure we were ok and not struggling. He will be dearly missed by the Platoon. Rest in Peace Brother." Private Graham Johnson said: "Corporal Tam Mason was energetic and entertaining. A leader, Tam was held in the highest regard. His knowledge, professionalism and pride gave us inspirations to be successful. A privilege to have served with him, his absence will leave a void that will be difficult to fill. RIP Tam."


[ Corporal John Moore and Private Sean McDonald ]

Corporal John Moore (left) and Private Sean McDonald (right) The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS), part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, who were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 7 February 2010. Corporal John Moore, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland Corporal Johnathan Moore was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire on 2 July 1987. He went to Hamilton Grammar School before enlisting and going to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in 2004. He completed a years training, designed to promote junior leadership, before going to the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick for his phase two, infantry specific, training. He joined The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in March 2005 and since then has been on two tours of Iraq. Corporal Moore deployed as a Section Commander with B Company, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, to Sangin in October 2009. His company is operating mainly from Patrol Base Wishtan in the Sangin area of Helmand Province, and has been conducting operations to provide security and development to the local nationals, whom they live amongst. Corporal Moore was commanding his section on a routine night patrol to the south of the Company Base on the evening of the 7 February when an IED detonated killing him and his lead man. 

[ Johnathan ]

The family of Cpl Moore said: "Johnathan was a proud Scottish Soldier who was doing a job that he loved; he will be sadly missed by a loving and very proud family. The Army and his family were Johnathan's life we are devastated at our loss."

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said: "Corporal 'John' Moore was as determined and committed as he was able and professional. A junior leader of the rarest quality, our army depends on men like him and his loss is a bitter blow. "Another of our brightest stars has given his all before we have had the chance to see his full and undoubted potential unfold. Yet he would be the first to tell us not to dwell on our sense of terrible loss but to pick ourselves up and carry on the outstanding work he and his men have been doing. "Corporal Moore has been at the forefront of some of the most demanding urban counter-insurgency operations imaginable amongst the tight and treacherous alleyways of his company's part of Sangin. "He has daily and nightly run the gauntlet against a small band of callous insurgents rarely willing to show themselves or fight head on, preferring to rely on indiscriminate booby traps which have also taken a devastating toll on locals and their children. "Their nihilistic desire to cow the local population stands in stark contrast to Corporal Moore's own selfless dedication, not just to his men - his brave Jocks, but to the local Afghans, for whom he wanted nothing but a better future. "This Battle Group salutes Corporal Moore's unflinching commitment and reveres his proud memory. He stands as an example to us all and we renew our determination to continue the clear progress that has been made in our mission – progress to which his personal contribution was immeasurable. The thoughts and prayers of all in the 3 Rifles Battle Group go out to his family, his friends and his own fine regiment." Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Herbert, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "Corporal 'John' Moore was the type of non-commissioned officer that every commanding officer wants in his Battalion, and I am privileged to have had the honour to work with him. He had all the attributes of the perfect Scottish warrior; bold, charismatic, tough as nails, utterly professional and a born leader of men. "He was destined for the top; best student on his non-commissioned officer course in 2007, and a star of his Corporals course in 2008. As the Regimental Sergeant Major said, "Corporal Moore personified everything there is about being a soldier." I can think of no more fitting tribute to him. "Corporal John Moore was perfectly suited to this unique profession of ours, and like so many of his peers he looked upon it not as a straightforward job, but as a true vocation. He played a pivotal role during the Battalion's tour in Iraq in 2008, and relished the opportunity of an operational deployment to Afghanistan alongside the 3 RIFLES Battle Group. "Equally, perhaps more importantly, he believed passionately in the difficult work that he was doing to protect the people of Helmand. In doing so, and in helping to keep our country safe, we owe him and his family an enormous debt of gratitude. "I valued him immensely and feel his loss dreadfully, but I take comfort in knowing that he died doing a job that he absolutely loved. I have lost one of my most gifted young commanders, the Royal Regiment of Scotland has lost a shining star of the future, but I am conscious that his family have lost a son and a brother. My heart goes out to them. He will be missed, but never forgotten." Major Graeme Wearmouth, B Company Commander, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "Corporal John Moore was a big man in lots of way. He was one of the fittest men in the Company and I remember one particular fitness test where his time was so far in front of the rest that it made the remainder of us look like imitation soldiers. "And he was no imitation. When I first arrived in the Company in 2008 a place came up at very short notice to attend the tough Section Commanders' Battle Course. When I offered him the opportunity to attend he nearly bit my arm off despite having only 3 days notice to prepare. It was typical of him that he went and got a very good pass and came back to us with the glint of ambition in his eye. "He promoted well ahead of his peers and excelled as a field soldier, always leading from the front, including under fire. But he also had a mischievous side, lived life to the full and was always in the thick of the banter. "He was universally popular throughout the Company and threw himself into everything he did. As a young man himself, he was close to the Jocks – and they looked up to him without exception. He was the shining example of one of them on the rise – they knew it and wanted to be with him. He was a brother to so many. "They trusted him implicitly – all of us did - and after this tour he was due posting to a training job where I have no doubt his wonderful mentoring ability would have turned out more young Jocks just wanting to be him. "We will miss him and are now the poorer for his loss and words seem very empty. But he was where he wanted to be and would be the first to stand up defiantly and tell us to continue our work here in Afghanistan. "We will honour him by doing so. We have had a genuine star taken from our mist, and are devastated, but hope that those whose grief is far greater than ours, his two sisters Emma and Heather, and his parents Ian and Karen, will take some comfort in knowing that he remains one of a kind to us and will always be remembered. We will all meet on the Re-org. Nemo me impune lacessit" Lieutenant Dave Clark, 4 Platoon Commander said: "Corporal John Moore was a young rising star of the battalion; he took every opportunity in his career and life with both hands and didn't look back. Corporal Moore joined the army in 2004 with initial training at Harrogate and ITC Catterick. Since then he had completed 2 tours of Iraq on Op TELIC 7 and 11 and had been deployed on Op HERRICK 11 since October 09. Corporal Moore had excelled as an infantryman and upheld the highest standards of a soldier in The Royal Regiment of Scotland. "The passion he brought to the job meant quick promotion and after a strong performance on EX GRAND PRIX 6 in Kenya he was given a section to command on operations. Whilst in Afghanistan he led from the front and earned the respect of the Jocks and his chain of command. Corporal Moore had also demonstrated courage under fire and was not afraid to break cover and give as good as he got. "Corporal Moore also showed courage in his choice of hobbies. He had developed a taste for skydiving during adventurous training in Kenya and when he threw himself out of the plane first, it meant no turning back for the rest of us. Corporal Moore had drive and was looking forward to training recruits at ITC Catterick upon returning from Helmand, he was also focussed on having a crack at SAS selection, where he would have given his all. "To say that the soldiers of 4 Platoon will miss him is a vast understatement; he was a friend to many and a mentor to the young Jocks. I am proud to have served alongside him and we will continue to serve with a gap in our ranks. Our thoughts are with his parents Karen and Ian and with his sisters Heather and Emma, he was the very best of us."  Warrant Officer Class 2 (CSM), Scotty McQuillan said: "Corporal John Moore was an extremely fit and focused commander; he was liked and well respected by all. He was a rising star within 1 SCOTS; he will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace, we will always remember you."  Sergeant Sean Jardine said: "John was one of the best: keen, enthusiastic and, most of all, loyal to both the Army which he loved and most of all to his family. He always had a smile on his face when telling me about going home to see his niece Esmee. "He was one of the best Section Commanders I have ever seen and he was well respected within the Company and Platoon. There is a hole in 4 Platoon that will never be filled. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, John." Sergeant Johnny Gooding of 7 Troop, 42 Field Sqaudron RE said: "As a section attached to B Company 1 SCOTS, we have only known Corporal John Moore and Private Sean McDonald for a short period of time. When I asked the Engineer Section to sum both John and Mac up this was just a few of the words they used; professional, courageous, selfless, committed and true infantry soldiers. PB Wishtan has lost two true brothers from their close family. To these Warriors we will continue the fight. Rest in peace Corporal John Moore and Pte Sean McDonald." Corporal Eddie Scott said: "Big John was a true warrior who wasn't scared of anything the enemy had to fling at him. I was honoured to fight by his side; he will always be in my thoughts. Rest in peace Big Man." Corporal Sean Cumming said: "John Moore was a young keen enthusiastic soldier who had all the potential in the world. He was a very strong member of 4 Platoon and all the young Jocks looked up to him. Before we deployed on patrol the night he was killed a fellow soldier had said to John about how bad the weather was. John's reply was; if it isn't raining then you're not patrolling. And that just sums John up. John will be sadly missed and forever in our thoughts. Rest in peace." Lance Corporal Calum Fleming said: "I remember the very first time I met John, it was in Baghdad during Op TELIC 7. I didn't know who he was but I had heard how he managed to clear a room within seconds, those who were there will know what I am talking about! The last night we had out together was in Glasgow at Corporal "Eddie" Scott's stag do. "It was one of the best nights I have ever had thanks to John. But then of course the next morning bright and early he was banging on my door saying let's go shopping because he was never affected by anything. He is the only person I know to be so hyper first thing in the morning. I will always remember him. Rest in peace John." Lance Corporal James Merrylees said: "You were more like a brother than a mate, since the day we started Catterick to the day you were taken away, we were always together. You will never be replaced. I don't think anyone is as keen as you. Always up first and ready to annoy us all. Since you fell, me and the boys were talking about Cancun where we paid so much money to get there and you only managed to get out once. "I remember it like it was yesterday when I was walking along the corridor of the hotel to see your black figure on the floor and as I got closer I realised you were using your trainers as a pillow - that was John being John! There is keen, and then there is "John Moore Keen." Rest in peace, John."  Lance Corporal Kieran Cromie said: "Corporal John Moore was not only a great work colleague but a great friend and an even better buddy too. He was well respected by all members of 4 Platoon and B Company as a whole. John was a bit of a joker in 4 Platoon and liked to have a carry on all the time. "He loved to go out and have a drink with his buddies. But the one thing I will remember about John is the smile on his face when he was talking about his niece Esmee. But I must admit John; I don't know who is going to carry me to bed now! Rest in peace John, you will never be forgotten."  Private Stuart Collins said: "I have known Corporal John Moore for about 1 and a half years. John was not only my army friend but he was a true civvie friend too. We lived near each other in Hamilton and we would meet up at weekends and go for a few drinks. "I am truly going to miss John and the dramas at the Hamilton Palace. I want to give my deepest regards to all his family and my thoughts are with his niece Esmee, whom I know he wanted to get home to see. And I best not forget about his dog that I know he loved even though he pretended he didn't. I am going to miss John so much and I know that everyone in 4 Platoon will too."  Private Jason Munro said: "I joined the Battalion with John over 4 years ago and right from the word go he loved his job and he was keen in every way possible. He was the best commander I have ever worked for. He will be truly missed by me and all the guys from 4 Platoon. He will always be in my thoughts, and I am thinking about his family at this difficult time. I will also miss spending time at the weekends out in the town with John. Rest in peace." Private Carl Fisher said: "I will always remember Corporal John Moore not only for his love of the Army, but his love of Indie rock music. Not long before we deployed out here to Afghanistan I went on holiday with John and Private Sean Thomas to Ibiza. "He always wanted to go to a place called the "Ground Zero" because it was well known for playing what he liked. I will miss a lot of things about John but most of all it will be how he would always be there to help and have that big smile on his face. My deepest thoughts and sympathy are with all John's family and friends at this time. You will never be replaced and you will be missed dearly. Rest in peace." 


[ Private Sean McDonald ]

Private Sean McDonald (above) The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 SCOTS), part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, who were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 7 February 2010. Corporal John Moore, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland Corporal Johnathan Moore was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire on 2 July 1987. He went to Hamilton Grammar School before enlisting and going to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in 2004. He completed a years training, designed to promote junior leadership, before going to the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick for his phase two, infantry specific, training. He joined The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in March 2005 and since then has been on two tours of Iraq. Corporal Moore deployed as a Section Commander with B Company, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, to Sangin in October 2009. His company is operating mainly from Patrol Base Wishtan in the Sangin area of Helmand Province, and has been conducting operations to provide security and development to the local nationals, whom they live amongst. Corporal Moore was commanding his section on a routine night patrol to the south of the Company Base on the evening of the 7 February when an IED detonated killing him and his lead man. 

Private Sean McDonald was born in Toronto on 5 October 1983. He attended Currie Community High School in Edinburgh before enlisting into the Army and joining the Army Foundation College in Harrogate at the age of 16. Following a year's initial training, he completed his Infantry phase two training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. He joined his Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in 2001 and has since been on three tours of Iraq, and has also served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Private McDonald deployed with B Company, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, as part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group on 2 October 2009. His Company is operating mainly from Patrol Base Wishtan in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, which  previously saw significant activity over the summer of 2009. Private McDonald, as a senior soldier, was responsible for clearing the ground of improvised explosive devices to allow both ISAF and local nationals to walk the streets without fear of death or serious injury. Private McDonald was on a routine night patrol providing security to the local people when an IED detonated, killing him and his commander. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer, his mother Jacqueline and his brother, Darryle McDonald, and his sister, Ceilidh Spratt. Pte McDonald's mother, Jacqueline McDonald, made the following statement on behalf of his family: "My son was so proud to be a Soldier. He will be desperately missed by all family and friends. This tragedy has left a hole in our lives and a hole in our heart. Sleep well Baby Boy." Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said: "Private Sean McDonald was a true individual whose talents and outlook brought huge strength to the team. In our hierarchical and career focused organisation a ten-year private soldier can be a rarity these days, especially one found on the very front line, at the tip of the spear as he was. "Yet such exceptions to the rule are just what bring us true strength and Private McDonald was certainly no exception in this regard. Loved and respected in equal measure, he clearly inspired and emboldened the younger members of his section, his platoon and his company. "Fearlessly and without hesitation Private McDonald threw himself at the most dangerous and daunting of tasks that the treacherous alleyways and towering compound walls of eastern Sangin could offer.

"Time and time again, day in, day out, he risked his life for his mates, the mission and better prospects for an oppressed local population. Far from being futile, the risks he and his comrades have taken have brought clear signs of progress towards a better future, none more apparent than in the area in which his company is based. Whether doggedly taking the fight to any enemy brave enough to show himself or compassionately addressing the needs of the local Afghans, Private McDonald was a true warrior and a consummate professional. "We all honour Private McDonald's selfless dedication and determination. We are deeply proud of his contribution and, while hit hard by his loss, we revere his memory with a renewed determination to continue his good work and live up to his fine example. The thoughts and prayers of all of us in the 3 Rifles Battle Group go out to his beloved wife, his family and his friends." Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Herbert, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "Like so many of his generation Private Sean McDonald, or Mac as his friends knew him, lived life to the full, pushing himself to the limits, always looking for fun and adventure. He was a true Battalion character, often stretching the boundaries, sometimes crossing them, but always extraordinarily loyal to his Army mates. Loyalty and commitment may not be virtues held in the same regard by some parts of society, but Mac lived them to the full. "He was a talented sportsman, and although an avid rugby fan, his real flair was for mixed martial arts in particular cage fighting. It is no surprise  therefore that he displayed the highest levels of courage and tenacity in the face of the enemy whilst deployed alongside the 3 RIFLES Battle Group in Afghanistan. "But he was also a loving and devoted husband to Jenny, whose loss we can not begin to imagine, and my heart goes out to her. I hope that she takes some comfort in knowing that her husband died a hero, protecting the people of southern Afghanistan, and in doing so helping to protect this country. He will be missed, but never forgotten, and I am privileged to have served with him." Major Graeme Wearmouth, B Company Commander, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said: "Private Sean McDonald was a unique character. Having joined the Army in 2000 'Mac' was very operationally experienced, serving in Iraq three times. He brought a calm, measured approach to the dangers of patrolling in Afghanistan and it was typical that he fell while at the front of his section, leading them as he cleared a path through hostile territory. "I know he wrestled with his future in the Army and we talked of his ambition to go into psychology in some guise. I enjoyed his enquiring and bright mind – he could always be relied upon for an incisive observation. "Once his feet touched the plains of Afghanistan he was focussed and showed immense, single minded resolve. He was simply a very good soldier and proved his worth under fire on a number of occasions. After one incident when he was mildly injured he shrugged it off and cracked on with true Jock spirit. "He was physically tough and had a real passion for mixed martial arts, especially cage fighting, helping to introduce it as a sport at the Battalion when we were in Edinburgh. "We are hurting at his loss and as day breaks the world seems somehow a dimmer place for his absence. Our loss is nothing compared to those he  loved and who loved him. Our thoughts are especially with his wife Jenny and his mother Jacquie, father Curtis, brother Darryle and sister Ceilidh. We will ensure his memory will always remain strong in the fighting ranks of The Royal Scots Borderers. Go well. Nemo me impune lacessit" Lieutenant Dave Clark, 4 Platoon Commander said: "Private Sean McDonald was a vastly experienced soldier having joined the army in 2000. He had been deployed on Op TELIC 3, 7, 11 and had served on Op HERRICK 11 since October 2009. Private McDonald was a fighter, not only had he demonstrated bravery on patrol in Helmand and Iraq, he also took part in mixed martial arts. "Far from being a thug he was intelligent and had a sharp mind and quick tongue. He was interested in Psychology and hoped to gain a degree in the subject, as well as looking to work in mental health.  "Private McDonald was a fit and robust character who would push himself to the limits of endurance throughout training and whilst deployed. He got on with the task at hand in Helmand and didn't look to complain or give a second thought to the dangers he faced. Whilst deployed on the ground he would share a joke as if we were in a bar and then get up and clear a potentially lethal area of ground. "The loss of Private McDonald has stunned 4 Platoon, he was someone we could all rely on whilst in Afghanistan and his presence cannot be replaced. 4 Platoon was honoured to have him among us and his memory will be with us on patrol. "Our respects are with his family at this traumatic time, his mother Jacquie, his father Curtis, his brother and sister Darryle and Ceilidh. We also extend our condolences to his wife Jenny, he was a remarkable character and I hope they can take comfort in that knowledge." Warrant Officer Class 2 (CSM), Scotty McQuillan said: "Private Sean McDonald was a strong jock with a strong and reliable character who had great things ahead of him. He will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace, we will always remember you."  Sergeant Sean Jardine said: "Private Sean McDonald was a strong character always telling stories about his vast experience: he was well known within the Platoon and Company as being very strong and fit. He prided himself on this and whenever there was a hard task to be undertaken he would be there. Sean will be sorely missed within 4 Platoon. My thoughts are with Jenny and the rest of his family. Rest in peace." Sergeant Johnny Gooding, 7 Troop 42 Field Squadron RE said: "As a section attached to B Company 1 SCOTS we have only known Cpl John Moore and Pte Sean McDonald for a short period of time. When I asked the Engineer Section to sum both John & Mac up this was just a few of the words they used; professional, courageous, selfless, committed and true infantry soldiers. FOB Wishtan has lost two true brothers from their close family. To these Warriors we will continue the fight. Rest in peace Cpl John Moore and Private Sean McDonald."  Corporal Sean Cumming said: "Private Sean McDonald was a strong member of 4 Platoon and he was always willing to help other members of the Platoon. The things I will remember most about Sean is his love for his wife Jenny and his cage fighting and of course not to forget his local pub the Penny Black, back home in Edinburgh. He will always be missed and remembered. Rest in peace Sean."  Lance Corporal Kieran Cromie said: "Private Sean McDonald was a strong and reliable member of 4 Platoon, B Company. He was a very strong character from the Platoon who loved to tell a story to anyone who would listen, those mostly being about his wife Jenny and his cage fighting. Sean always liked to have a laugh and a joke within the Platoon. Sean, you will be strongly missed mate by everyone in 1 Section and the whole of 4 Platoon. You will never be replaced. Rest in peace Sean."  Private Calum Welsh said: "I have known Sean McDonald for about 2 years now; I will always remember him for looking out for the younger members of the Platoon. The other thing I remember about Sean is how he was always referring to how he had been in the Army for 10 years. Sean was a great guy and he will always be missed by me and the section. Rest in peace, you will not be forgotten."  Private Carl Fisher said: "I will always remember Private Sean McDonald for his story telling and his love for his wife Jenny and also not to forget his cage fighting. He was a great member of 4 Platoon and he will be missed dearly. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace Sean."


[ Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane Pool ]

Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane Pool of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 5 September 2010. Lance Corporal Pool was serving as part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Helmand province, involved in conducting operations over the last few months aimed at bettering the lives of the local people by improving security and increasing their freedom of movement. On Sunday 5 September 2010, the Brigade Reconnaissance Force were completing an operation in the Nad 'Ali (North) district to disrupt the insurgency by denying enemy freedom of movement and were conducting a series of searches on compounds of interest. At approximately 0700hrs during an exchange of fire with insurgents, Lance Corporal Pool was killed in action following a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Lance Corporal Pool, aged 26, from Greenock, enlisted in the Army in August 2003. After completing the Combat Infantryman's Course at  the Infantry Training Centre Catterick he joined 1st Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers before the formation of The Royal Regiment of Scotland in March 2006. He accrued a raft of operational experience during his time in the Army, completing tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan; often selected for demanding specialist roles on operations on the basis of his enthusiasm and natural talent for his chosen profession. Equally charismatic in barracks as he was in the field, he prided himself on his position as a battalion Physical Training Instructor. Lance Corporal Pool died doing a job he loved surrounded by men proud to call him a friend. He will be sorely missed by all his colleagues in both 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. His dedication to his comrades on the battlefield was only surpassed by that to his family; his fiancée Lynsey and sons Lee and Jamie were never far from his thoughts. He also leaves behind his mother and father, Stella and Roddy, and brother Ryan. Lance Corporal Pool's family paid the following tribute to him: "Joseph was a loving son to Stella and Roderick, brother of Ryan, loving father of Lee and Jamie and devoted partner to Lynsey. Joseph lived life to the full and was proud of everything he achieved in the Army, always putting others first and doing the best he could at all he did. "The family would be grateful if the media respect their privacy and let them grieve in peace at this time. RIP son, we will always love you." His fiancée, Lynsey Houston, added: "Joe was a loving fiancé and wonderful dad of two boys aged seven and two; he was much loved and he will be missed by all his family and friends." Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Herbert, Commanding Officer, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "Lance Corporal Joe Pool of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland was killed in action in Nad 'Ali district on Sunday 5 September. A former King's Own Scottish Borderer, Joe was no stranger to operational tours, having served previously in Northern Ireland and Iraq. Fit and tough as a butcher's dog, he had recently qualified as a Physical Training Instructor and an Anti-Tank Detachment Commander. "I take some small comfort from the knowledge that he died doing a job that he loved and that he was so very good at. He died a soldier's death, in close combat, bravely and tenaciously taking the fight to the insurgents, and in doing so helping to protect the people of Afghanistan from a barbaric enemy. I suspect that he believed passionately in what he was doing, and I know that he enjoyed it. "Like so many young soldiers of his generation he had an irrepressible sense of adventure, and a talent for this unique profession of ours. I first met him in Iraq in early 2008 where he was serving with the Brigade Surveillance Company; a task reserved only for the best soldiers within the battalion, and a job which patently suited his natural soldiering skills. "I was not at all surprised that he volunteered for the Brigade Reconnaissance Force during our tour in Afghanistan, or that he passed the demanding selection and training course with relative ease. As a member of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force he has been at the forefront of this counter-insurgency campaign over the last five months. Arguably they have seen more action than any other sub-unit during this deployment, and Joe was always at the vanguard of their fight. "Despite the intensity of the fight he remained undaunted throughout, part of a close-knit band of brothers for whom heroism, gallantry, service and sacrifice are more than mere words. I am exceptionally proud to have been his Commanding Officer over the past two years. "The battalion and the regiment have lost a very capable junior commander. We will miss him, and will remember him always. But our loss can never compare to that of his family; his fiancée Lynsey, his two young sons Lee and Jamie, his parents, Roddy and Stella, and his  younger brother Ryan. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them at this dreadful time." Major Marcus Mudd, Officer Commanding 4th Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said: "Lance Corporal Joe Pool was killed in action whilst in a firefight with insurgents in northern Nad 'Ali, fighting alongside his brothers-in-arms in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, doing a job that he loved and was deeply proud of. Joe was the ultimate Scotsman, exceptionally proud of his heritage, tough, stoical, and incredibly loyal. An outstanding soldier and Junior Non-Commissioned Officer but  above all he was a true friend to all in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. "Courageous and resilient, he was always at the forefront of the fight, leading the way, protecting his men and inspiring them through the tough times they endured. It was a privilege to have known and served with such an outstanding character who made such a mark on us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his fiancée and his two boys that he leaves behind. He died a hero, protecting those he led, selfless to the last. He will never be forgotten." Major Mark Suddaby, Officer Commanding Delta Company, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "Lance Corporal Joe Pool was a committed and enthusiastic member of Delta Company, as well as a friend and supporter to so many of us. At the very first opportunity to do so, Joe volunteered to serve in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, the most demanding role for an infantryman in Helmand. He wore the responsibilities of this important and difficult job lightly and was well known as a hardworking and highly professional combat infantryman. "Joe will be missed by his friends in Delta Company and as much by those with whom he shared the daily risks and hardships within the  Brigade Reconnaissance Force. Joe's sacrifice leaves a gap in our ranks and our hearts that cannot be filled, but his courage and spirit will inspire us for the rest of our lives. Our thoughts and prayers go with Joe's family and friends." Captain Will Wright, Officer Commanding Javelin Platoon, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "Lance Corporal Pool was a pleasure to command in the Javelin Platoon. As a Physical Training Instructor he was one of the fittest men I know. This combined with his quiet sense of humour would have him cracking jokes when the rest of us were exhausted during loaded marches. "An utterly reliable individual, Lance Corporal Pool was one of the core men in the platoon. He will be sorely missed by anyone who had the pleasure to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time." Sergeant John Knox, Reconnaissance Platoon, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "Joe was one of my recruits at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. A likeable, robust and reliable soldier with a witty sense of humour, Joe was liked by all members of his platoon and even more by his section members, and would put his neck on the line for any of them; even when it would cost him a broken jaw. "Joe was fair, and at the front of every event. Never one to back down nor give up, his tenacious and aggressive style of soldiering saw him excel in training, gaining the award of best at physical training. Always untouchable and leading from the front on every occasion, this trait continued with him through battalion life and to the end. "Poolie would have no doubt gone far in the battalion. Already a Lance Corporal, and a strong one at that, he could have breezed through any course thrown at him and was ready for that next step. A better soldier you could not want by your side. "As a soldier, he was in his element with cam-cream on, a bayonet fixed and in the thick of the action. I have no doubt that Joe loved every minute of his time with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force where I imagine he stood out a mile. "Joe will leave a massive gap within his peers in the battalion and will be missed by all in a tight-knit Javelin Platoon. Our thoughts and regards go out to your young family buddy. You are in our hearts mate. Rest in Peace, you will never be forgotten." Sergeant (Senior Instructor) Pete Newton, Army Physical Training Corps, said: "Lance Corporal Joe Pool was a true character within the battalion and a great team player, working with the other Physical Training Instructors in the gymnasium. His calm relaxed approach to life made him fit in straight away with the rest of the gym staff. He was always up for a laugh and loved to be amongst the wind-ups on whoever it was that day; many a time he would be the instigator. "He was a Physical Training Instructor who took a lot of pride in developing and motivating the soldiers he trained, always getting the best out of his lessons and students - notably during Mission Specific Training, ensuring the battalion was battle-fit for Operation HERRICK 12. "Joe was a very competitive sportsman, best renowned for his performances in the boxing ring, and most notably last year when he represented the battalion in a three-round hard fought battle against a 3rd Battalion The Rifles Regiment opponent. Joe will always be missed as a colleague and even more so as a friend; the gym will not be the same without him. My thoughts are with all his family and friends at this sad time." Private Iain Collins, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "I first met Joe in 2007 during pre-deployment training for Operation TELIC 11. I spent six months working closely with him, operating with the Brigade Surveillance Company. In 2009 I was lucky enough to be selected along with Joe to be part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force for Operation HERRICK 12. "Joe was immensely proud to be a Brigade Reconnaissance Force soldier. The fighting was fierce and the operations dangerous but Joe showed no fear and would constantly be in the thick of things during any contact. He was a cracking soldier, always up for a laugh, never afraid to help the lads whenever he could. He was completely dedicated to his job and he gained the respect and friendship of all he served with. "Joe was also a die-hard Celtic fan. I think the only thing he loved more than his beloved football club was his fiancée and children. Joe will be sorely missed by many, particularly by the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and the boys in the Javelin Platoon. My heart goes out  to those who will miss him most, his fiancée, his family, and his friends at home in Scotland. Sleep easy you Scottish Warrior, gone but not forgotten."