Scots Guards Battlegroup

Guardsman Craig David Rae

Guardsman Rae was training as a member of the Scots Guards Battlegroup at Sennelager, Germany whilst they were undergoing an intensive and realistic pre-Iraq exercise prior to the Battle-group's deployment there in November 2007 ...  Guardsman Rae was struck by a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle and died instantly.

Lieutenant Colonel William Swinton MBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion Scots Guards paid the following tribute: "Guardsman Craig Rae's tragic and untimely death whilst training has left his Battalion feeling a deep and profound sorrow for his loss. As Scots Guardsmen, we have lost our brother, and we will always remember him. "Craig was the absolute epitome of a first class Scots Guardsman. So keen and enthusiastic to be with his Battalion as they prepared for operations, and already so very loyal to the Regiment he was obviously proud to have joined, he was a positive and shining example to us all. He will be remembered for his passion for rugby and for Blackburn Rovers, but missed for his sense of fun, his unselfishness and his unshakable loyalty to his friends. Craig never thought of himself first. "Craig was a Borderer, a loving son and brother to us all. He was, and always will be a part of us; forever a Scots Guardsman. The thoughts of every one of us are with his mother Christine and the family in Jedburgh at this very difficult time." Gdsm Rae's Company Commander Major Gareth Light IG said: "Gdsm Rae was a young man with a great deal of promise. He was fit, strong, smart, enthusiastic and professional in his approach. Indeed, he was everything a young professional soldier should aspire to be. He had served with C Company for only a few months since leaving F Company in London but during that time he had adapted superbly to the rigours of training for both high intensity war-fighting and pre-deployment training prior to a tour of duty in Iraq.  "The Armoured Infantry operate in and alongside the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle which provides them with firepower, mobility, protection from enemy fire and the ability to sustain themselves in the field for long periods. Working with this equipment is very exciting and rewarding but does have its dangers, and although all precautions are taken to make training safe, accidents occasionally and tragically occur. "Number 8 Platoon were engaged in a platoon level patrol to conduct Vehicle Check Points as a part of the Battalion's confirmatory pre-deployment training exercise in Sennelager in Germany. During this patrol Gdsm Rae was employed as an infantryman working on the ground, dismounted from his Warrior in order to provide local protection to other members of the patrol employed searching cars. During the patrol Gdsm Rae was tragically struck by a moving Warrior which could not see him and was instantly killed. "C Company are enormously privileged to have known Craig. He was a great comrade, a brilliant and promising young Guardsman with a very bright future and a great friend to so many."  Major Gareth Light IG "C Company are enormously privileged to have known Craig. He was a great comrade, a brilliant and promising young Guardsman with a very bright future and a great friend to so many. His tragic loss has been felt very deeply by us - particularly his platoon and those with whom he went through basic training in the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. He leaves behind him a huge hole in the company that will be very hard to fill. "Craig will be very sorely missed by all of his friends in C Company Scots Guards and the most heartfelt condolences are offered to his family and friends in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders." His Company Sergeant Major, David MacPhee, said: "Guardsman Rae was a quiet but likeable individual who enjoyed army life to the full. He was the sort of soldier who never complained and just got on with the job in hand. Even though he was a big lad he was very much a gentle giant who made friends with every person that he met. Guardsman Rae will be deeply missed by all members of the Company and many other friends within the Scots Guards family." Lieutenant Oliver Lippiett, his platoon commander, said: "Guardsman Rae was an exceptional Guardsman who stood for all a young Guardsman should. He was extremely keen, fit and motivated. He fully embraced his armoured role in the platoon and was confident and good at his job. He enjoyed his training and adventurous training in Canada, and was always keen to try something different. His ability to look at taxing situations and still see the entertaining side was a great skill of his and one which his fellow Guardsmen much relied on at difficult times. Guardsman Rae's loss has had a big impact on the platoon and he will be sorely missed." Gdsm Johnathon Scott said: "I will always remember him for his enthusiasm for rugby, his determination and passion for life was always present on the rugby pitch and off it." Gdsm Richard Hanagan said: "Sting always kept morale high; he was a big guy but had a kind heart. We would often wind him up to get a reaction but he would always laugh about it afterwards."