Royal Tank Regiment 


2nd Royal Tank Regiment

MoD website

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, and Trooper Joshua Hammond of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment were killed, Wednesday 1 July 2009, in Afghanistan. They were killed by an explosion whilst on convoy along the Shamalan Canal, near Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. On 1 July 2009 Lt Col Thorneloe left the Battle Group Headquarters on a re-supply convoy so that he could visit his men, because they were conducting a major operation in hostile territory. He was travelling in a Viking armoured vehicle, but at 1520hrs local time an improvised explosive device was detonated under this vehicle. Lt Col Thorneloe and Tpr Hammond were killed by the blast.

[ Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE and Trooper Joshua Hammond  ]

Trooper Joshua Hammond, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (2 RTR)  The family of Trooper Joshua Hammond said: "Joshua was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Joshua, who was a loving son. We are proud of the fact that Joshua was prepared to do his duty, helping the people of Afghanistan."

[ Trooper Joshua Hammond ]

Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Simson, Commanding Officer 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said: "Trooper Joshua Hammond enlisted in the Army aged 16-and-a-half and attended the Army Foundation College in Harrogate to complete his initial training. From Harrogate, having been accepted into the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, Trooper Hammond moved to Bovington to learn his trade as a Challenger 2 tank driver. "He arrived with the regiment in Tidworth in May 2008, shortly before his 18th birthday, and within months had deployed with his squadron to Canada where he spent a happy and fulfilling three months training on the prairie. He quickly established himself as a professional and capable young soldier, full of potential and with a future full of promise. "On his return from Canada, Trooper Hammond volunteered to change squadron in order to deploy to Afghanistan. He threw himself into life in his new squadron, the pre-deployment training, and his conversion to the Viking vehicle that he would be operating in theatre. "He deployed with his squadron to Afghanistan exactly a month ago. In the month he had in theatre, he proved himself to be a superb soldier. Fit, courageous, and robust, he was the first to volunteer, the first to muck in, and the first to offer help to others. But he was so much more than that. "For he was at the heart of everything that was going on. He was full of laughter, was always ready to listen and he cared deeply about his mates. "Known regimentally as Josh, Trooper Hammond died on patrol doing the job he loved, amongst his friends, the week before his 19th birthday. "He was proud to be a Tankie, and we are proud to have served with him. His tragic death has left a vast hole in our hearts - both those in his squadron in Afghanistan and those of us left behind in the UK. "Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends, but most particularly with his parents and his fiancée." Major Charlie Burbridge, Officer Commanding Egypt Squadron, 2 RTR, said: "Hammy joined 2 RTR in May 2008 and it was clear from the outset that he was going to be a fine soldier. He took pride in his fitness and was determined to be the best tank driver he could be. He succeeded. "He also succeeded in being admitted into the Egypt bad tattoo club and very swiftly became a central figure in the squadron. "Hammy was a quiet, unassuming but highly courageous young man with a roguish sense of humour. Earnest, thoughtful and happy, he was an essential part of my squadron and he died, a week before his nineteenth birthday, doing a fine job as a proud soldier. "He had a glint in his eye and a wry smile which always made one feel that you were in on the joke. He was professional and capable and was only just getting into his stride as a soldier. Only days before his tragic death he had said how much he was enjoying the job. "My words will do little to console his mother or fiancée whom he planned to marry on his return from Afghanistan but our prayers are for them. Hammy was a Tankie, through and through; I am proud to have served alongside him and we will never forget him." Lieutenant Terry Newton said: "Tpr Josh Hammond was an easy-going and popular individual who fitted in exceptionally well within our troop. He was a jovial character who always had an air of mischief about him that made being his Troop Leader so enjoyable. "Josh's performance in Afghanistan was superb and he continually proved his quality as a field soldier. Josh was a quietly courageous character who met adversity with a smile, a murmured joke and a ‘can do' attitude. He will be sorely missed by everyone who ever had the privilege of knowing him." Lance Corporal Chris Burwood said: "Josh Hammond was a kind and generous person who wasn't scared to get his hands dirty. He was always the first in every situation whether in the field or in camp. "His thirst for adventure was second-to-none, and even though he was new to the regiment, he was liked by everyone that knew him. "Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends. Our loss is felt throughout the squadron, and he will surely be missed." Trooper Chris Stone said: "Josh was among my closest friends in 2 RTR, one of a few whose company I could really appreciate. As I am writing this I'm finding it hard to keep my feelings stable and can only imagine the effect this will have on his friends, family and fiancée. "It's going to be hard doing all the things we planned together and I can't imagine being able to do it without him. I miss you mate, always will. Chris." Trooper Patrick Flowers said: "Josh was a nice lad. He was always there to help us out and listen to our problems. Josh was a trustworthy guy, had a great sense of humour, and loved drinking and dancing with the lads. Josh was a remarkable character." Trooper Ben Probets said: "Josh Hammond was one of the few great people in this world. No matter how bad times got, he always had something to laugh about. He hadn't been in Egypt long, but the short time of being with us he made a lot of friends, me being one of them. "I didn't know him at all before January, but it didn't take long to realise just what sort of person he was. He was only 18 years old, with his birthday coming up in eight days, but in these short 18 years he achieved what some people could achieve in a lifetime. "With a loving fiancée at his side, this is a devastating blow. His life will live on in our memory and our hearts. God rest his soul. RIP Josh Hammond." Trooper Adam Minns said: "Josh Hammond was a brilliant soldier and a one-of-a-kind bloke. We spent three months working together in Canada. Josh helped me prepare my vehicle into the early hours of the morning even though he had his own vehicle to fix. "We had some laughs together in Canada. Josh always went out of his way to help his fellow colleagues no matter what the problem was. He cheered me up when I felt down and you could talk to him about anything. Josh was the most trustworthy person and a top bloke to everyone. He will always be in our hearts forever and always." Trooper Tom Henderson said: "Josh was a true soldier's soldier. An essential member of any night out, boasting a vast knowledge of good bars and bad drinks. "He was one of the main reasons 3 Troop were banned from ordering Jager bombs at a function in Tidworth having spent £200 of the squadron's money in 10 minutes. At work when I was struggling with a wagon he'd be the first to come over and help me destroy it faster. "He joined the Army immediately after school, volunteered for HERRICK, and volunteered to go out on the ground with his troop as a dismount. "He wasn't out here to serve his country, or earn respect, or for the money. He was out here to have an adventure with his mates, to drive a big wagon around a strange country and have a laugh doing it."

[ Corporal Lee Scott ]

Corporal Lee Scott, 26, of The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment was killed during an explosion while taking part in Operation Panther’s Claw, just north of Nad Ali, Helmand Province, on the morning of Friday 10 July 2009. Corporal Scott was born in Ely and grew up in Kings Lynn, where he married Nicola (Nikki) in February 2008. Nikki Scott, Lee’s wife: "Lee was not only my husband but my best friend, ask anyone who was lucky enough to have met Lee and they'd all tell you the same, he was the most loving, kindest, thoughtful person you could ever meet. "He was so full of life and permanently had a cheeky grin on his face. I am so proud to be his wife. As well as the army, his family were his life. "He was the best daddy to Kai and Brooke and he will live on through them. Lee will always be in our thoughts and hearts and greatly missed by his Dad, Mum, Kelly, Dean and Denise. This is a devastating loss to the whole family."

Major Charlie Burbridge, EGYPT Squadron Leader said: "Corporal 'Scotty' Scott died, whilst leading his section of Viking vehicles from the front. He was a true Tankie, a highly experienced combat soldier and was always willing to have a go. He was charismatic, inspirational and hugely popular with everyone in my squadron. He was an instinctive soldier who had a keen and canny tactical brain. This led to me taking a chance and sending him on the Challenger 2 Crew Commander's Course several years earlier than he otherwise would. He passed the course easily and proved to be a very effective Troop Corporal in just five years after joining the 2nd Tanks. "Scotty was a central figure in my squadron; fun loving, thoughtful, honest and effective. He was part of a very close band of NCOs in EGYPT and was usually at the centre of any mischief. This trait contributed to his operational excellence. In short, he was the perfect soldier both in the field and at home. He was a loving family man whose devotion to his wife and children was obvious. They were the most important part of his life and always placed them before his career. Our prayers are for them; Nicola, Kai and Brooke." His Troop said: "Corporal Lee Scott met his death leading his Troop from the front as he insisted he always did. He was fully aware of the dangers this entailed, but it was a mark of the man that he wouldn’t ask anyone to do a job that he wouldn’t do himself. Lee did not regard this as a brave act, but would claim that he only wanted to keep the dust out of his eyes. "Lee was a fast rising star in the Regiment, born out by his rapid rise through the ranks. Lee was not just an excellent combat soldier but also found himself time to become a qualified freefall parachutist and coastal day skipper. "To say that Lee was a character would be an understatement. To say that he was a legend would also be an understatement ... according to Lee anyway. He was undefeated in the troop Scrabble tournament. Lee was a soldier’s soldier and as such, was always the first to come up with labour saving grand ideas. Such ideas were required in order ensure Lee’s need for sleep. He was perhaps the only man in Afghanistan who could sleep through the midday sun without even sweating. "In life Lee was unforgettable, in death never forgotten." Sergeant Paul Culwick said: "He was a great husband and father and was one of the youngest Tank Commanders in the Royal Armoured Corps. Well mate I hope that the green fields that they keep going on about are as green as they say. "Rest In Peace mate and Fear Naught." Corporal William Hudson said: "Here we are again saying goodbye to another friend. I share fond memories of Lee and the times we had together. Like the time we went to a fancy dress party and Lee being Lee, at last minute put 4 holes in a suit case and just went as that. Or the time we were both in hospital after our daughters Brooke and Jasmine were born. On comparing pushchairs we discovered that we had brought the same one. These are just a couple that come to mind but me and many other members of EGYPT Squadron have very good memories of Lee and the time we had together. "He will be deeply missed by all of the members of the Second Royal Tank Regiment and friends and families alike. The people who have to now pick up the pieces of a broken life are Lee's family my deepest sympathy goes out to Nikki his son Kai and his daughter Brooke. Nikki has lost a loving husband and a best friend his two kids have lost an outstanding father. Nikki I can’t even start to imagine how you must feel but we are here for you and will always be. "Lee as a comrade and as a friend you will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace mate." Corporal Trev Hopkins said: "Corporal Lee Scott was a true friend, a real adrenaline junky, and an excellent soldier. He loved to skydive; in fact he just loved life. As a fellow troop Corporal within the Sqn, Lee showed experience beyond his years, earning the respect of all those that served with him. He tackled the Challenger 2 commander’s course as a Lance Corporal which is a rare thing in the Royal Armoured Corps. "Lee loved his job and the Regiment, but that love was nothing compared to the commitment and devotion he showed to his beautiful family. His wife Nicola and children Kai and Brooke have been cruelly robbed of a loving husband and father, and my thoughts are with them all." Corporal Kevin Williams said: "A loyal, caring, brave and courageous soldier, Corporal Lee Scott, "Scotty", was dedicated to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. His self pride and continuous selfless commitment were clear from the outset. With an extremely promising career ahead of him, Scotty always excelled at every given opportunity. So much so that he was selected early to do his Challenger 2 commanders course, the only Lance Corporal ever to do so in the Royal Armoured Corps. "After passing this course with flying colours, he was hand picked to join Egypt and become 3Tp Corporal. Loved by all, Scotty was a popular member of Egypt . He was always first to help if needed, and always carried an infectious smile taking happiness, morale and laughter everywhere with him. He would always brighten up a room with his contagious laughter and smile, and would never let a thing get him down. "Scotty loved the Regiment but it was always clear his priorities lay with his beloved wife and beautiful children. His family meant everything to him, and it was obvious by the way his eyes lit up and his smile grew as he often spoke of them. He came to work carrying a smile and left work with it bigger. "Scotty will be missed by all. He may be gone, but he will always remain in our hearts. He will never be forgotten." Lance Corporal Blake Rushmere said: "Lee, aka Scotty, for obvious reasons was a definite key player in our squadron and regiment. He loved his family a lot and also had a great love of football. Although football was a big interest, card games was where Lee could take people’s money with no worries, and never let anyone live that down. "Lee had good fitness and from the word go he knew he would go far in the regiment and he did at great lengths, being a full-screw tank commander after six years in the regiment. Lee always had a smile and a cheeky grin on his face, and kept morale for the troops up at its highest. Lee also loved his wife Nikki and children Kai and Brooke enormously, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Lee, you will be deeply missed but never forgotten." Lance Corporal Chris Bryant said: "Corporal Lee Scott wasn’t only a work colleague; he was a family man and friend. Never have I met a prouder man of his family and job. His death is a great loss to all that knew him, and my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Nicola, Kai and Brooke. "Rest in peace Lee. See you in the green fields." Lance Corporal Mark Layer said: "Corporal Lee Michael Scott, or as I used to call him, Bob. I have known Bob for 5 years, and it is a privilege to have worked along side such a true and dedicated professional. Bob was destined for great things in the Regiment and the Army; everything that Bob did was to the highest standard. Bob set these high standards as he would want the juniors under him to follow him. He was a true leader and was a true believer of the sayings: "All of one company, "Do as you ought, not as you want, "Think through to the finish. "All the lads looked up to Bob and respected every decision that he made. Out of work he was a loving father to his 4 year old son Kai, his 8 month old daughter Brooke, and his wife Nicola. His laugh was probably the worst I’ve ever experienced. Bob was extremely fit and always encouraged the lads that were struggling as he always lead from the front. He was the perfect role model for every Tankie. "Lee your death has come as a massive shock to us all and I want you to know that we are all thinking about you. We are tremendously proud of what you have achieved in such a short time, mate in my eyes you are a legend. "Lee, I’ve always looked up to you, and you will be missed but never forgotten. As always we will continue to be brothers in arms, to the green fields and beyond.

"Fear Naught."

[ Trooper Brett Hall ]

Trooper Brett Hall, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment  Trooper Brett Hall, aged 21, was brought up in Dartmouth, Devon. He joined the Army in November 2006, aged 18. He leaves behind parents, Susan and Peter. Lt Col Marcus Simson, Brett's Commanding Officer, said: "Trooper Brett Hall joined the Army in November 2006, undergoing training at the Army Training Regiment at Winchester and then at the Armour School in Bovington where he qualified as a Challenger 2 tank driver. In October 2007, aged just 19-and-a-half he joined the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth. "At the Regiment, Trooper Hall quickly made a name for himself. He loved vehicles and he loved making them work. His talent and enthusiasm was quickly spotted and he was soon driving for the Squadron Headquarters – a rare promotion for someone of his experience. In November 2008, Trooper Hall began preparations and training to deploy to Afghanistan with his Squadron. He converted his driving skills to the Viking vehicle that he would be driving and once more his thirst for knowledge was all too apparent. "Trooper Hall deployed to Helmand province with his Squadron in early June 2009, the week of his 21st birthday.  "As with everything he did, Trooper Hall proved a tower of strength amongst his Squadron in theatre. Quietly getting on with business, and not one to shout or seek attention, he would be found on the tank park making sure that his vehicle was ready to go, and when it was, helping someone else with theirs. "His endless cheerfulness and his happy smile, alongside his talent and enthusiasm, promised much for the future. Tragically, it is not to be. Trooper Hall was critically injured on the 12th September 2009 whilst taking part in a major operation to the south of Musa Qualeh when his vehicle was attacked by an insurgent Improvised Explosive Device. "Although given life saving treatment at the scene of the attack, and evacuated by helicopter to the hospital at Camp Bastion, Trooper Hall died of his wounds in hospital in the UK on 16th September 2009.  "Known Regimentally as Albert, Trooper Hall's death leaves an indescribable hole in our hearts and it is only some consolation that he died whilst surrounded by his family. He was loved by all who knew him as a happy, hardworking young man who was full of fun, was desperately proud of his Squadron and their achievements in Afghanistan, and who cared deeply about his mates. We are proud to have known him and to have served alongside him." Major Charlie Burbrige, Egypt Squadron Leader, said: "Trooper 'Albert' Hall died as a result of injuries incurred from an explosion south of Musa Quala in Helmand province. He received fatal wounds at the controls of the Viking which he drove. Albert had a rare talent for engines, even amongst Tankies. He was happiest when he was covered from head to toe in the grease and oil that are the mark of a true Tankie. "His vehicles never broke down. It was a matter of personal pride for him and the abiding image of Albert that will remain with us is of his shaggy haircut, cigar and filthy coveralls. His ever present smile appeared to shine through the grime. He was fit and enjoyed the esoteric pleasure of fell running and it was typical of him to pursue this sport without fanfare but to the high standards that he set himself. "Albert never sought the limelight but when something was happening he would be amongst the group or on the very edge, smiling at what he was watching. He was quiet and extremely popular, loved by all in the squadron for simply being a good bloke and a very hard worker. He was a Tankie through and through and he will be desperately missed by us all."