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Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett (Left) from The Light Dragoons and Corporal Stephen Bolger (Right) from The Parachute Regiment were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 30 May 2009. Both soldiers were killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a deliberate operation near Musa Qaleh. They were serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

[ LCpl Moffett  ]

LCpl Moffett was born in Holywood, Belfast, on 12 December 1980. He joined The Light Dragoons in July 2003 and served on operations with Regimental Headquarters in Iraq in 2003 and C Squadron (The Legion) in Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2006. From the very beginning he showed an enthusiasm for soldiering that stood him apart from his peers. Keen to try his hand at everything,

LCpl Moffett ran, boxed, cross-country skied, hill-walked and played rugby with the regiment. He was very much a regimental character, particularly due to his love of extreme physical challenges. He would routinely choose to carry the heavy General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) on endurance marches instead of his rifle. He carried his enthusiastic nature into the Corporals' Mess, where he could be relied on to be at the centre of any revelry.

In September 2008, LCpl Moffett volunteered to join the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) for 19 Light Brigade, as the brigade began preparing for Operation HERRICK 10. The BRF is selected from across all of the units from the brigade and acts as the eyes and ears of the commander. LCpl Moffett quickly established himself as the fittest member of the unit. A Physical Training Instructor, he was responsible for running much of the subsequent BRF fitness training. He brought to the BRF knowledge of mobility procedures and long range communications and previous operational experience. This helped mould the BRF through seven arduous months of pre-deployment training, where LCpl Moffett showed his natural leadership and physical and mental robustness on many demanding exercises. His performance on the Live Firing Test Exercise, conducted in Otterburn in January 2009, was nothing short of outstanding. In the worst environmental conditions, LCpl Moffett was fierce and relentless; attributes which he would call on more than once in the coming months. The BRF deployed on Op HERRICK 10 in early April 2009 to Helmand province. LCpl Moffett was immediately at the forefront of the action as the driver of one of the lead vehicles in his troop. 

[ Nigel & his Mum ]

His father, Nigel Moffett Senior, said: "He was a gentle soul and the eldest son. He had seven brothers and sisters and his late mother always said he was the most fantastic son and he was her right arm in bringing up his siblings. "Nigel was a career solider who wanted to make the Army his focus throughout his entire career. He made his Army his home and the Army treated him like their son. "Nigel felt he was prepared for operations in that he was well trained and had the right tools for the job. Both he and his family understood that ultimately he could die although we didn't want this to happen. Ultimately, Nigel was a soldier."

Nigel & his Mum rest in peace

 

He fought bravely in many engagements with the enemy, beginning with an advance against an enemy stronghold on 23 April. On 15 May, his troop was pinned down by heavy machine gun fire; LCpl Moffett rose to the challenge and mounted his GPMG on a rooftop, returning fire and giving his troop the breathing space to win the firefight. On 30 May, LCpl Moffett was taking part in an operation in Musa Qaleh, scouting a route for his troop, when he was killed in action. LCpl Nigel David Moffett will be remembered by the BRF and The Light Dragoons as a tough, brave soldier who was an excellent member of the team from the outset. Commanding Officer The Light Dragoons, Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, said: "LCpl Nigel 'Moff' Moffett joined The Light Dragoons in 2003. He had completed two tours of Iraq, and this was his second tour of Afghanistan. LCpl Moffett lived and breathed soldiering, and devoted himself to it. "He relished a challenge; on physical training he would make sure that he was carrying more weight than anyone else and preferably complete it faster than anyone else. It was not unusual to see him in camp during leave just so that he could conduct some extra training. "He relished his role as a Physical Training Instructor and was always the first to volunteer for a course or adventurous training. His dedication, fitness and sheer enjoyment of his work marked him out as a star of the future and a role model to the junior soldiers. "He died at the top of his game and showed all the potential of realising his ambition of serving as a badged member of UK Special Forces. "Moff made sure that he never wasted a moment of his life - he wanted to see as much of the world as he could and experience everything it had to offer. He was one of the very best, and the regiment will not forget his sacrifice." Officer Commanding, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, Major Neil Grant, said: "As strong as an ox, LCpl Moffett was an exceptionally physically fit and robust soldier. He had many other attributes. He was charming and funny, with a natural Irish wit, which both helped him and got him into trouble, in equal measure. "He was courageous under fire, and showed a streak of tenacity of which we in the BRF are immensely proud. A committed professional with burning ambition, he was hoping to attempt Special Forces Selection next summer after this tour. He would have acquitted himself well. "Today, the BRF have lost a brave soldier and brother-in-arms. He lived and died for his comrades who, despite being from all the units of the brigade, are All of One Company. LCpl Moffett's sacrifice will not be forgotten." Officer Commanding, C Squadron, The Light Dragoons, Major Sam Plant, said: "LCpl Moffett was attached to the Brigade Reconnaissance Force for this operational tour. It is typical of this man to have volunteered to serve as part of this important and dynamic sub-unit. "Always on the look out for a challenge, Moff was everything that a recce soldier should be - resourceful, inquisitive, brave and determined, equally happy in both the mounted and dismounted roles. "Moff will be hugely missed by all ranks of C Squadron, The Light Dragoons. He was universally respected as a soldier and a great friend to all of us. His personal fitness was nothing short of legendary and he set the standards in this department across the regiment. His contribution, as a Physical Training Instructor, to the preparation of the soldiers of C Squadron for deployment to Afghanistan was immense. "At the time of his death, he was knocking on the door of promotion and, in the rank of Corporal, he would have made an outstanding Formation Reconnaissance Vehicle Commander. "Moff will be hugely missed and remembered forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very difficult time." Company Sergeant Major, Brigade Reconnaissance Force, Warrant Officer Class 2 Martyn Chatterley, said: "I first met LCpl Nigel Moffett in September 2008 on the selection for the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. He was quick-witted and an instant character. He was quickly nicked named "THE LUNG" for his outstanding ability to run the whole company into the ground. "He had a flare for reconnaissance work with great spirit and a professional attitude; a man who would volunteer no matter what the task. "To me, not only was LCpl Nigel Moffett a first class recce soldier with whom I had the honour of working alongside, he had become a friend I will never forget. He will be sorely missed by all. My condolences go to his family and friends. Rest in peace LCpl Moffett." Squadron Sergeant Major, C Squadron, The Light Dragoons, WO2 David Rae, said: "LCpl Moffett was an outstanding soldier. It seems by looking back at his achievements and his attitude to his choice of career that maybe he was always destined to be a soldier; he was a natural but stood out amongst others with his dedication to becoming the best he could be. "My first memory of Moff was of a young lad about to learn his trade in Bovington. Even at an early age he was not convinced his aspirations would be met in the regiment he was allocated; instead he wanted to serve as a reconnaissance soldier. "I would see him daily with a 50lb [23kg] pack on running the training areas to become fitter and stronger than those around him. I enquired as to why he was training so hard whilst others were enjoying the freedom gained from leaving Basic Training, his answer was simple, 'I want to be a "recce" soldier and I need to convince them I am going to be one'. These words and his dedication had me wishing if only every young man had this zest for soldiering and this commitment to their chosen career. He was granted his wish and joined The Light Dragoons. "Again we crossed paths when I assumed my position as Squadron Sergeant Major. Moff was more experienced having been on tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and unbelievably, fitter and stronger than when we first met. He was the Squadron Physical Training Instructor, and to a man, we all paraded under him for PT with more than a little apprehension of how we would fair under his 'training'. "Moff took no prisoners and never eased off, regardless of how hard people were blowing and regardless of what rank they were. The Legion expected nothing less than a professional approach from him and we all benefited hugely from his expertise. "Moff was a real Legion character, strong as they come, committed to and proud of his squadron and his regiment, reliable in everything tasked to him, professional at all times, and totally committed to his fellow soldiers and friends, but his character shone through also. "Moff was honest, sincere, respectful and always ready to help a friend however he could. Moff is respected by all who knew him and we will miss this unique man dearly. We were proud to call Moff one of our own. His name will flourish forever, we will remember him. "Our deepest sympathy and blessings to his family and friends during this most difficult time." Corporal Tony Duncan said on behalf of his friends in Command Troop: "Moff was a true soldier and a loyal friend. He was an inspiration to the rest of the regiment and showed this by being at the front with the BRF. "Before we came out here, Moff let it be known that if he died in Afghanistan he would be happy because he was doing the job he loved. "He lived his life on the edge and always pushed himself to the extreme. Anyone that knew Moff would know that the Army was his life and the regiment a second family. We will never forget him."


[ Lance Corporal David Dennis and Private Robert Laws ]

Lance Corporal David Dennis (Top Left) from The Light Dragoons and Private Robert Laws (Top Right) from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment were killed in Afghanistan on 4 July 2009. Both soldiers died in separate incidents while taking part in Operation PANCHAI PALANG, an operation involving around 3,000 soldiers, to improve security in the area north of Lashkar Gah, clear the Babaji and Malgir areas of insurgents and restore government control before the national elections. Lance Corporal Dennis was killed by a contact explosion from an improvised explosive device whilst on foot. Private Laws was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

 

[ Lance Corporal David Dennis ]

Lance Corporal David 'Duke' Dennis was serving with The Light Dragoons Battle Group, which had begun a clearance operation the previous day, at the time of his death. He had deployed as part of The Light Dragoons' Command Troop and was responsible for ensuring radio communications for the Commanding Officer's tactical headquarters, both on foot and on vehicles. Having just helped to secure a helicopter landing site for the extraction of casualties from an earlier incident, Lance  Corporal Dennis was amongst a group hit by an improvised explosive device, and sustained fatal injuries.

The funeral took place of Lance Corporal David Dennis, 29 years, from Llanelli, South Wales, on Tuesday 28 July 2009 at All Saints Church, Llanelli.  He was laid to rest today with full military honours in a service and celebration of his life at All Saints Church, in Llanelli town centre. Whilst 500 mourners packed into the church for the service, many more listened in silence outside as tributes were paid the fallen soldier by family and friends. The funeral procession, with full military honours, then moved on to Llanelli Crematorium and was followed by a private wake for family and friends.

Thanks to "Black Planet Photography" for the photo on the right

[ Lance Corporal David Dennis ]

 

Lance Corporal Dennis was born on 16 May 1980. He joined the Army on 14 February 2003 as a gunner in the Royal Artillery before joining The King's Troop. Having served with the Gunners for just over two years, he was attached to The Light Dragoons for a six-month tour of Iraq in 2005. Having struck up strong friendships over the six months, he applied to transfer and joined the regiment in February 2006. Lance Corporal Dennis was on his second tour of Afghanistan. He leaves behind his mother Adele, of Llanelli, as well as his twin brother Gareth and his fiancée Lisa. Lance Corporal Dennis was a quietly spoken and popular soldier; fiercely loyal to his friends. He was known throughout the regiment simply as 'Duke' - a nickname of which he was hugely proud. He believed wholeheartedly in what he was doing and would always back himself to the hilt. Lance Corporal Dennis loved the banter that typifies Army life, and he could give as good as he got, though he had the character to laugh at himself as well. He loved the gym, and would jokingly show off his muscles at any opportunity. He took great pride in mentoring and looking after the junior members of his troop, and he would be one of the first they would turn to for advice and guidance. Ambitious and determined, Lance Corporal Dennis wanted to pursue the dismounted side of Formation Reconnaissance, and had volunteered to attend Junior Brecon on his return and wanted to serve in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in the future. Lance Corporal Dennis' family issued the following statement: "David was strong man and a courageous soldier who died doing a job that he loved. He was very proud to serve in The Light Dragoons and enjoyed life as a soldier which he lived to the full. We as a family are extremely proud and honoured to have been a part of his life and that pride extends to all of our young men and women serving overseas." Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair DSO, Commanding Officer, The Light Dragoons Battle Group, said:  "Lance Corporal Dennis was one of a hugely talented generation of Light Dragoons. With tours of Afghanistan and Iraq behind him, he was experienced beyond his relatively junior years. Duke loved being in the regiment, and the regiment celebrated this popular, genuine and heartfelt soldier. "If there is any consolation it is that he is reunited with his close friend Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, whose death earlier in the tour had affected Lance Corporal Dennis greatly. My sincerest condolences go out to his mother Adele, his brother Gareth and his fiancée Lisa. We will remember Lance Corporal Dennis; we will be worthy of his memory; we will continue to take the fight to the enemy that has taken him from us." Major Rupert Lyon Army Air Corps, Officer Commanding D Squadron Light Dragoons, said: "Duke was a quietly spoken Welshman who had no problems being the only Welshman in a regiment that recruits from the North East. It was a characteristic that immediately stood him out from his peers and ensured he got the recognition that he deserved. "He was well known throughout the regiment and was a great asset to have on your side during squadron rugby matches, where he was unstoppable. He was a very capable small arms instructor, and was vital to making sure that the squadron was properly trained for deployment. "During quiet periods he could often be found in the armoury checking that the squadron weapons were serviceable or otherwise in the gym improving on his already fearsome strength. Our thoughts go to his family and his fiancée Lisa, who he intended to marry on his return from Afghanistan. Duke will be surely missed by all of the regiment but will never be forgotten." Captain David Ansell, the Regimental Signals Officer, said: "Duke was a dedicated soldier and an absolute rock, who could be depended on no matter the circumstances. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him, whether it be at work or for his friends. He was an example to us all. "Duke was a true Light Dragoon and personified everything that the regiment holds dear. He was utterly professional in all he did. He remained flexible and adaptable to whatever came his way, being equally at home in the turret of a CVR(T) [Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)], top gunning on a Mastiff or in the dismounted role. More than this though,  he approached all he did with a desire to succeed. He was an excellent Junior NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] who was always looking after the needs of others first. His loss is a huge blow to the troop. "One of life's real characters, he was fiercely proud of his Welsh roots. He was gregarious by nature, and always to be found in the thick of things. Duke's sense of humour and his mischievous streak were well known to all. Whilst losing Duke  has had a profound effect on his friends and colleagues alike, it is as nothing to the pain his family and friends will be feeling back home. My thoughts and prayers are with them all at this most dreadful of times." Corporal Tony Duncan, on behalf of his friends from Command Troop, said: "Duke was one of the most loved guys in the regiment, and a character that will never be replaced. He will be remembered by his friends as being totally devoted and utterly professional. He loved being a skill at arms instructor, and never stopped reminding us that he was one of the best there was. "There was more to him than just soldiering though. We will remember him for looking like Freddie Mercury when he grew a moustache and his dodgy dress sense on nights out. No matter how outrageous the outfit, the Duke was always certain that he was the coolest guy out that night.  "Duke was a man that every soldier should aspire to be. He had it all. He was quick-thinking, hard-working, strong, selfless, courageous, and had a great sense of humour. Most of all he was well respected and loyal to all those around him. Our friend Duke will never be forgotten." Private Mike Devine, Adjutant General's Corps, said "Duke was one of the good guys in life who you could trust implicitly. I had the privilege to call him my friend ever since we first met in King's Troop RHA [Royal Horse Artillery]. He was a warm and caring man with a large heart who would go out of his way to help anybody who asked. "With his great sense of humour he was a joy to be around and could brighten up the dullest of days. He loved his job in The Light Dragoons and it was a pleasure to have served with him again. Rest in peace - I'll miss you."


[ Trooper Christopher Whiteside ]

Trooper Christopher Whiteside of The Light Dragoons was killed in Afghanistan on 7 July 2009. Trooper Whiteside was killed in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device near Gereshk in Helmand province. He had been taking part in Operation PANCHAI PALANG, a task force operation to clear Babaji and Malgir of insurgents and restore government control before the national elections in August. Trooper Whiteside was serving in The Light Dragoons Battle Group, which began its clearance operation on 3 July.

[ Trooper Christopher Whiteside ]

Trooper Christopher Whiteside, or 'Norm' to his friends, was deployed as part of Emsdorf Troop, a Light Dragoons' Troop operating in the dismounted role as a Fire Support Group for A Company, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN). Trooper Whiteside was born on 22 August 1988 in Blackpool. He joined the Army in July 2005 as an Infanteer in The Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR). Having served with the QLR for just over one year, he was discharged after suffering a serious knee injury. But still determined to serve his country, he joined up again when fully fit as a formation reconnaissance soldier in The Light Dragoons in March 2008. Trooper Whiteside, initially quiet on arriving at regimental duty in November 2008, thrived in Afghanistan. His hardworking nature, concern for others and selflessness endeared him to all who worked alongside him. As a small group of Light Dragoons attached to an infantry company, his troop had a very different challenge to the rest of the regiment, which brought them closer still.  Trooper Whiteside was on his first tour of Afghanistan. He leaves behind his mother Diane and her partner Malcolm, as well as younger brother Dan.

Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, Trooper Whiteside's Commanding Officer, said: "Trooper Whiteside had only been in the regiment for a short time, but had established a reputation as an excellent soldier. Fit, robust and determined, he had all the qualities that mark out a soldier of considerable promise, and he was at the top of his peers. "Norm had been tested in some of the most intense fighting ever experienced in Afghanistan for four days prior to his death and had never been found wanting. As part of the Fire Support Group, he had led 3rd Platoon from the front all day during fighting in the heat and demanding terrain. He will be remembered as a soldier at the top of his profession, who gave his all for his friends, and who has been cruelly taken from us." Major Paddy Ginn, Officer Commanding A Company 2 MERCIAN, said: "Trooper Chris Whiteside was a great lad. He was attached to A Company 2 MERCIAN for this tour, and it was a pleasure to serve alongside him. He exemplified all that was best in Emsdorf Troop: never flinching from the hard and dangerous job that he loved; and doing it with a smile. "He always put others first and was great company, always ready with a joke and a laugh. However tragic his death is for his mates in Emsdorf Troop and The Light Dragoons, this is nothing compared to the grief of his family. My thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult of times. We will never forget him and what he brought to the company. God rest, Norman." Major Sam Plant, Officer Commanding C Squadron Light Dragoons, from which he was detached, said: "Trooper Whiteside was still in his first year as a Light Dragoon at the time of his tragic death. Nonetheless, he had been quick to make his mark on 2nd Troop and throughout C Squadron. It was immediately apparent to all that this young soldier would become central to any team. "He was quietly confident and blessed with a great sense of humour that endeared him to all who worked with him. He thrived in a team environment and he enjoyed the absolute trust and respect of his fellow men. "Trooper Whiteside was quick to display all the skills that mark out a formation reconnaissance soldier. His versatility was very much apparent and he was comfortable operating in vehicles and on his feet. He relished the opportunities and challenges that Army life presented to him and his enthusiasm and desire to learn and improve rubbed off on all around him. "On arrival at C Squadron, he was quickly 'issued' the nickname 'Norm' by the senior element of the squadron. This led to some confused looks by the younger element of the squadron as the generation made its presence felt. The nickname, however, stuck, and somehow this matched his thoroughly positive and determined approach to life. "The pain of this terrible loss will be felt by his many regimental friends and colleagues, but this is nothing compared to that which will be felt by his family and friends. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult time." Troopers Ashley Cheetam and Steven Ball, friends from C Squadron (The Legion), The Light Dragoons, said: "Trooper Whiteside was known to us as 'Norm' or 'Wolfman' on account of his extraordinarily hairy body! He was pretty quiet when he first turned up to the regiment but that quickly changed when he had settled in. We will never forget him demonstrating his fencing techniques at a squadron BBQ in Swanton Morley and his 'moshing' at the bar at Warcop ranges. "He also made nearly all of us look like slowcoaches on squadron physical training sessions - he really was supper fit, and could cover a mile-and-a-half in no time. Despite passing his driving test first time, he did not have so much luck with his tracked licence - this took him five attempts! That did not matter though because as soon as he was out on exercise where he was brilliant. "Norm, you were always up for a laugh and you made us giggle so much. Most importantly, you were a brilliant friend to loads of us and everyone in The Legion will miss you and remember you for ever. Rest in peace, my good friend." Second-in-Command of C Squadron, said: "Trooper Whiteside was part of Emsdorf Troop, C Squadron. A quiet trooper, he had really begun to come out of his shell during Op HERRICK 10. A fine swordsman, he hoped to return from Afghanistan and begin training for a possible place in the 2012 GB fencing team at the Olympics in London. "A hardworking and enthusiastic trooper, he gave his all to any task he was given. He had much to give and a bright future ahead of him. Ever happy to lend a hand, he had only moments before the incident offered to swap his kit for someone else's. Trooper Whiteside was an example to all his fellow troopers and he will be missed greatly by all who have had the pleasure to work alongside him." Lieutenant Rowley Gregg, his Troop Leader, said: "Trooper Whiteside, Norm to the lads, was a very popular member of my troop. His enthusiasm and lust for life was testament to his character. Whatever he put his mind to he did to 100 per cent. "Above all his positive manner and the attitude with which he expressed himself was exemplified by this constant smile and air of happiness. Trooper Whiteside was a real pleasure to be around and to work with. It was obvious that he was  extremely proud to be in the Army and in The Light Dragoons. "Afghanistan was for Norm a perfect environment to prove his soldiering skills. He adapted to the environment and tempo of this busy tour with a desire to succeed. He was part of the troop's sniper team and a key asset. Trooper Whiteside was an extremely talented sportsman. "He excelled at fencing and his ambition to represent the Army. Judging by his character, I'm sure he would have gone far in this field. Trooper Whiteside died doing the job he loved. At all times he acted with dedication and loyalty to his friends  and his regiment, and for this reason he will be sorely missed. It was a privilege to work with Norm, and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. We will never forget him." Lieutenant Charlie Dunn, a Troop Leader in Emsdorf Troop, said: "Trooper Chris Whiteside arrived at the regiment in November and was put straight into 2nd Troop who was busy in pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 10. He quickly got the nickname 'Norm' after the ex Manchester United footballer as Whiteside was a bit of a mouthful for the boys! "He was a highly capable young man who quickly got to grips with life in the troop as we prepared for operations. He was an incredibly fit individual who loved the challenge of a demanding squadron PT [physical training] session. His passion in his life was fencing and had hoped to gain a place in the regimental and Army team on his return from Afghanistan. His enthusiasm was infectious and never bat an eyelid at any challenge that was thrown his way. "He excelled at all the dismounted tasks that the troop was given and it was obvious to me what an incredibly gifted young soldier he was. He had recently been operating as the spotter for the Emsdorf Troop sniper. During training last week in Bastion he excelled himself and resulted in the sniper pair being one of the top shots in the Battle Group, a further illustration of his ability. "I have no doubt in my mind in saying that he would have had an excellent career ahead of him in The Light Dragoons and it is a tragedy that a young and gifted life has been cut short. My thoughts at this moment go out to all of his family and friends at this time who are grieving the loss of a fine young soldier. He was a lovely young man, a real asset to the troop, and will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to have known him." Sergeant Keith Bell, Troop Sergeant 2nd Troop, C Squadron, Light Dragoons, said: "Norm had wanted to join the infantry and had attended training at ITC at Catterick. However through injury he had to pull out for one year. He then turned his hand to The Light Dragoons. Norm was a quiet lad, who had mates in every troop. Once told to get on with a job he wouldn't hesitate to put 100 per cent into it. "He was looking forward to the challenge that Afghanistan had to offer. He was selected as a spotter and sniper as he was a very good shot; he relished this challenge, again putting 100 per cent into it. He was then chosen for Emsdorf Troop FSG [Fire Support Group] attached to A Company 2 MERCIAN. Norm died on the battlefield doing what he loved, pushing forward, and taking it to the enemy with his mates beside him. Rest in Peace." Troopers Jamie-Lee Coates and Edward Jenkins, his friends, said: "Christopher Whiteside was known to all his mates as Norman. When Norm first got to the regiment he was a very quiet lad and very shy. But it didn't take long for him to come out of his shell. The first time we saw this was at a squadron barbecue when he had a few beers and showed off his fencing skills with a broomstick making everyone laugh and entertained for the evening. "Norm became a very likeable person and good for morale. He would do anything for anyone and always put his mates first. He was a keen and enthusiastic soldier and very hardworking, never down and always smiling. Norm would always say that he was 'living the dream'. From all his mates he will always be missed." Trooper Karl Leech, a friend from training, said: "Chris 'Norman' Whiteside was a good mate and an outstanding soldier. I went through training with him and he always had a smile on his face and would listen to anyone who needed to talk. Even when times were hard, Norm would never complain about anything. I have many good memories about Chris that will never leave me. He will be remembered and sorely missed by everyone that knew him." Trooper Stephen Crossman, a friend in The Light Dragoons, said: "Trooper Norm Whiteside was a brilliant mate, someone who would do anything for you without asking for anything in return. He was a talented fencer with ambitions of making the Army team and then on to the Olympics. He was a quiet and gentle soul and was liked by all who knew him. "He was always proud to be a soldier and loved the job he did. He always met you with a smile and never failed to make you laugh with his bad jokes and sense of humour! Norm, we'll never forget you, all our prayers are with your family and friends back home. We all miss you dearly mate." Trooper Martin Watson, a friend in C Squadron, Light Dragoons, said: "Trooper Chris Whiteside, also known as Norm, was an excellent mate. He always wanted to try new things and was always the first to volunteer. He was a great soldier and died doing the job he loved. His top ambition was to be a fencer for the regimental team. He was a great fencer and always kept on top of his fitness. He will be dearly missed by the regiment and especially me."


[ Trooper Phillip Lawrence ]

Trooper Phillip Lawrence was killed in an incident in Afghanistan on Monday 27 July 2009 ... Trooper Lawrence from The Light Dragoons died in an explosion whilst travelling in a SCIMITAR, or CVR(T), vehicle, as part of a patrol in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand province, while helping ensure the security of an area earlier cleared as part of Operation PANCHAI PALANG. He had volunteered to step in to drive for another Troop to fill a temporary manning gap when his vehicle was hit by an explosion, mortally wounding him.

[ Trooper Phillip Lawrence ]

Tpr Lawrence from Birkenhead, was born 31 March 1987, and enlisted into the Army in July 2005. After completing recruit training in Jan 2006 he conducted his Royal Armoured Corps training in Bovington before joining The Light Dragoons. Joining C Squadron from the outset, he deployed almost immediately on his first tour of Afghanistan in late 2006, where he quickly learnt his trade in the most demanding conditions. He was a talented, reliable and dedicated soldier. Tpr Lawrence deployed to Afghanistan this year as part of Emsdorf Troop, a Fire Support Group attached to A Company 2 MERCIAN. For the first three months of the tour he had operated on foot and in Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) in Garmsir, before the Battle Group deployed to the Lashkar Gah district. Always the first to volunteer for anything, Tpr Lawrence made a name for himself across the Regiment for not only being a surprisingly good dancer, but simply being the most cheerful, helpful and friendly person you could hope to meet. You could not help but like him, and he was universally popular as a result. He was a devoted husband to his wife Amy, and doting father to their baby daughter Jessica.

Tpr Lawrence's family paid the following tribute: "No words can ever explain the loss, he was our Knight in Shining Armour. Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Grandson, Son-in-law, Brother-in-law, Friend and in the early years The Man of The House a pleasure to be around. "The Light has been turned off in our world but his memories will always live on in his precious daughter who he thought the world of. "He lived for the Army and died for his country. A Hero in everybody's world he will be missed by everyone always in our hearts you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace."  Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, Commanding Officer The Light Dragoons, said: "Tpr Lawrence was one of the characters that make a family Regiment such as The Light Dragoons so special. Lenny's generous nature, inability to bear a grudge and sheer enjoyment of day to day life endeared him to us all. Everyone counted him amongst their friends, and his loss will hit the Regiment especially hard. "He soldiered with great heart, shown both in the boxing ring and on the battlefield. Utterly selfless, he was mortified if he ever made a mistake, and it was impossible not to forgive him immediately as you could see just how much he cared. "Lenny was devoted to his family, and the pride he took in his wife and daughter shone from him. It fills me with enormous sadness that Jessica, his baby daughter, will not grow up to know her brilliant father, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Amy and his mother Gaynor as they grieve this tragic loss. " Major Sam Plant, Officer Commanding C Squadron ‘The Legion' The Light Dragoons, said: "Tpr Lawrence, or ‘Lenny' as he was known by his many friends, was known to all of us as a real contributor. Whatever was going on, Lenny seemed to be at the centre of it – he was forever putting himself forward as a volunteer for both military tasks and other, extra-curricular events. He had an insatiable appetite for life and certainly lived it to the full. "There was nothing that he would not do to help out a mate and, in going about his business, he always sought to benefit the team at large. A more decent and selfless man one could not wish to meet. "It is typical of Lenny that he volunteered to represent C Sqn in the recent Regimental Boxing competition. As was his way, he displayed courage and determination in the ring and this positive approach had underpinned his work in Afghanistan until he was cruelly taken from us. He was dependable and hard working and enjoyed the friendship and respect of all those who had the privilege of working alongside him, "Lenny was a central player in a very close knit team. The sense of the loss and sadness will be intense for his great many friends and colleagues in The Light Dragoons and we will remember him with immense fondness and respect forever. "The sense of loss and sadness, however, will be nothing compared to that of his family. His wife, Amy, and their young daughter Jessica were everything to him. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the rest of his family at this exceptionally sad time." Lieutenant Charlie Dunn, Troop Leader, said: "Trooper Philip ‘Lenny' Lawrence was a senior Trooper in 2nd Troop when I arrived at Regimental Duty. It quickly became evident to me what a character and lively personality he was and I instantly took a shine to him. Tpr Lawrence was a true professional and a natural soldier. "He set an example to the other Troopers on how to balance being a highly capable and effective soldier but still enjoying all that life has to offer. He was conscientious and reliable and never one to complain about a job no matter how tough. "He was a talented sportsman with his passion in life being football and especially Manchester United even though he was from Liverpool! He was also a talented boxer and last year he boxed in the RAC championships. "He was a man of many words, which was a reflection of his bubbly character and enthusiasm for life. Only 2 months ago I was on stag with him in an OP during the early hours of the morning and I don't think through that whole period he remained silent. "He was good morale for the Troop, always involved in pranks and mischief and he could always be relied on when times were low with witty comments to get everyone laughing. The bar in Castlemartin will not be the same without a topless Lenny dancing away! "Lenny was a natural father and was so very proud of his baby girl. My heartfelt condolences go out to his loving wife Amy, daughter Jessica and mother Gaynor. They will be in mine and the Troop's thoughts and prayers. "Tpr Lawrence's tragic loss now leaves a void within 2nd Troop and his infectious enthusiasm and limitless energy will be sorely missed. It was an honour to command such a true character and a pleasure that I shall never forget. He loved the Regiment and the Regiment loved him, we have lost one of our true characters." Lieutenant Rowley Gregg Troop Leader, Emsdorf Troop, said: "Tpr Phillip Lawrence, known as ‘Lenny‘ to most, was a charismatic soldier that always put others before himself. A devoted husband to Amy and a loving father to Jessica who was born late last year, I remember how proud and happy Lenny looked whilst introducing Jessica to the Squadron.  "Tpr Lawrence had many hobbies, at the top was football. He was an avid Manchester United fan who was never to be seen without his favourite home strip; I believe Jessica owned a few strips herself. "Lenny put his heart and soul into pre-deployment training. A skilful gunner who excelled on a squadron range package in Castlemartin he was keen to put these skills into practice. "This was his second tour in Afghanistan, for this reason he was looked up to by his contemporaries for advice and guidance. He died whilst driving a CVR (T). This alone shows his diverse range of his skills as a Formation Reconnaissance soldier and his willing character, always volunteering to help others in need. Above all he was a real team player. "Tpr Lawrence will be remembered by the lads by his peculiar sense of humour that added to the morale of any situation no matter how serious the occasion. He was never shy to take centre stage, especially when karaoke was concerned. Tpr Lawrence was a Light Dragoon, part of Emsdorf Troop whilst in Afghanistan who was attached to A Company, 2 Mercian. "He will be greatly missed by all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely sad time. Rest in peace ‘Lenny'." WO2 David Rae, Squadron Sergeant Major, C Squadron The Light Dragoons, said: "Tpr Lawrence, or 'Lenny' as he was affectionately known, has been a 'Legion' lad since he joined the Regiment in 2006. I first met him when I assumed the post as Squadron Sergeant Major in early 2008. I immediately perceived him as a cheeky little Scouser; it was the smile in his eyes and the constant grin which led me to believe he always had something up his sleeve, but he wasn't that way at all. "Lenny was a grafter and he had bottle, he put his all into everything, especially when wearing his squadron colours in whatever he was doing, whether that be PT or representing the squadron at a sporting event. One event worthy of mention sticks to mind. "The squadron needed to win the Dodgeball competition to guarantee an overall victory in the "The Light Dragoons" sports trophy. Most of the team had been clobbered leaving Lenny and one other to make the almost impossible happen; Lenny was like William Tell with a Dodgeball and despatched the lot of them single handed. We were all amazed, Lenny was proud as punch, The Legion was victorious. "Lenny was immensely proud of his Squadron and his Regiment and a very caring husband and father. He was extremely mild mannered but also good fun to be around, regardless of the situation he had a smile which was infectious; he was one of life's good guys and a son, husband and father his family should be extremely proud of, just as we are. "We have all lost a dedicated and trusted friend and colleague within C Squadron and The Light Dragoons but ultimately our thoughts and prayers are sent to his family and friends, especially his wife Amy and young daughter Jessica who he was devoted to. "Lenny, you will be sorely missed in many ways but always fondly remembered and will always remain one of us." Sgt Bell, Troop Sergeant, said: "Tpr Phil Lawrence, Lenny to all who knew him, joined my Troop in November 2007, just 6 months after completing a tour of Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 5. This gave him experience beyond his young age and stood him in good stead for what lay ahead in all training and eventually this deployment. Lenny was first and foremost a Cavalry soldier. "However he showed his flexibility in Emsdorf Troop, by carrying out various tasks from mundane staging on to crewing a CVR(T) Scimitar, then deploying on foot carrying weight up to 40kg, on patrols lasting hours. "Lenny was a devoted husband, father, soldier and friend. and he gave 110 per cent in everything that he did. His devotion to his job was nothing short of selfless, however this did not compare to his devotion to his wife Amy and his daughter Jessica to whom he was totally committed. "Lenny was taken from us before his time as a young soldier, husband, father and son. Some comfort can be taken from the fact that he was with his friends when he was taken from us and we will continue the work he was part of, bringing peace to an unstable place. You may be gone mate, but your Memory will live on forever. You will not be forgotten. Cpl Mark Bowman, Vehicle Commander, said: "I've known Phil since he joined The Legion back in June 2006. He was a very confident lad which made him stand out amongst his peers; all of which joined for the up and coming deployment to Afghanistan. "Throughout his time in The Legion he became a very popular bloke; there wasn't a man to say a bad word about him. When 'Lenny' came to my crew as a driver we would often sit up after stand-to and talk about all the things we would enjoy doing with our families, wives and children when we returned home. It was an honour to have served with you mate, you will never be forgotten." Tpr James Wright, Gunner, said: "I met 'Lenny' in the early part of 2008 when I joined C Sqn 'The Legion' and the Light Dragoons; I didn't really know him that well then. He later came to our Troop as a replacement during the recent operations. "In the last 4 weeks I learnt so much about him; he was a confident character and always full of morale but mostly he was a great help to me and a good friend. It was a pleasure knowing and working with you Lenny, you will be remembered mate and never forgotten. Rest in Peace." LCpl Omar Wilson, a friend from C Squadron, said: "I first met Lenny in 2006 when he came to 1st Troop, C Squadron. We spent 6 months together in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 5 and he'd been a good mate ever since. He had a heart of solid gold and personality that could get him through anything. He loved being part of C Squadron and The Light Dragoons, and he was really popular with everyone he ever met. "I will miss you loads mate, and I will never forget all the good times with you and the lads. My heart goes out to his wife, Amy, their baby girl and the rest of his family back home." Tpr Chris Lewis, a friend from C Squadron, said: "For nearly two years I had worked with Lenny in the same Troop and, for most of that, we were in the same crew. Unusually, although I was quite a bit older than him, I was the driver and Lenny was the gunner but that did not affect our brilliant relationship. He was always on hand to help out and offer advice and working with him was always a privilege. "His wife and child were the greatest thing in his life and everything that he did, he did to make them proud. My thoughts are with him and the rest of his family at this time." Tpr Jamie Coates, a friend, said: "Tpr Phillip Lawrence, known to everyone as Lenny, will be missed by everyone that knew him. When Lenny was around the troop morale would always be high, as he was the joker and entertainer of the group and would always be laughing. Lenny was happy no matter what." "Anyone that knew Lenny would know what a kind, caring and thoughtful friend he was. He was friends with everyone, a popular character who was willing to do anything for his friends and family. "Lenny was never shy and being the entertainer he would always be the first on the dance floor or karaoke. He was the best dancer by far out of his mates and loved to show off his moves, always ending with him doing the worm across the dance floor on nights out. "Lenny was a keen sportsman which led him to take part in the Sqn boxing last year. Football was his favourite sport, being the massive Man United fan he was he was always wearing a footy shirt even when we were scuba diving in Malta. "Having been a close friend to Lenny I have many good memories. I will miss having a kick about and watching the boxing at his house at the weekend. But I will mostly miss his sense of humour and generosity. I think everyone will agree that Lenny was a true friend. "My heart goes out to Lenny's family as I know how much he loved his wife Amy and daughter Jessica. He was a proud Dad and would have done anything for his family. "I can't express how much Lenny will be missed but I know he will never be forgotten and I will remember Lenny as the happy, smiley character he was." LCpl Charlie Rock and LCpl Alan Cheshire close friends of Trooper Lawrence, said: "Lenny was a good soldier with a kind heart and would have done anything for anyone he knew. He was never shy to get stuck in and was also a keen sportsman. He was a great character and was a brilliant friend. He will be sorely missed. We will never forget him."