2nd The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)

Ministry of Defence website link to 2nd Yorks

[ Captain John McDermid ]

Captain John McDermid killed in Afghanistan Captain John McDermid of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Killed Wednesday 14 November 2007, in southern Afghanistan.

Captain McDermid, who was serving with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was leading a joint UK and Afghan National Army patrol to the south of the district centre of Sangin in Helmand Province, during which he was also mentoring an Afghan National Army officer in the leadership and infantry skills that platoon commanders need.  At approximately 1130 hours local time an Improvised Explosive Device detonated, which sadly resulted in the death of Captain McDermid and serious injury to the Afghan interpreter who was accompanying him.

Monday 26th November 2007

The funeral service for Captain John McDermid took place at Inverness Cathedral and afterwards John was laid to rest with full military honours at Kilvean Cemetery.

Captain John McDermid, aged 43 and born in Glasgow joined 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1983 and served 21 years as a soldier and three years as an officer. In a distinguished career, he served in Berlin, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus and Belize, conducting two tours in Bosnia as part of the UNPROFOR mission and one in Kosovo as part of the NATO deployment. He completed four Northern Ireland tours and a further tour in Iraq cemented his standing as a hugely experienced, skilled, knowledgeable and capable soldier. His quality was identified early on and he rose quickly through the ranks. As a first-rate Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, he was selected to instruct officers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he excelled. On return to the Battalion he served as Company Quarter Master Sergeant, Company Sergeant Major and Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant before promotion to Warrant Officer 1st Class as Regimental Sergeant Major of The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 2002. His performance there was typically outstanding. He was commissioned in June 2004 and, initially, led the Regimental Recruiting Team based in Glasgow. His energetic and engaging approach overhauled recruitment. His subsequent appointment was as Unit Welfare Officer where he oversaw the move of the Battalion (now The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland) from Cyprus to Glencorse Barracks, Edinburgh. Captain McDermid was posted to a staff appointment at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in early 2007. Always a field soldier, he volunteered for operational service in Afghanistan. In September 2007, he was attached to 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a member of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, tasked with training the Afghan National Army. As a mentor, he was responsible for developing the leadership and infantry skills of platoon or company commanders.  Captain McDermid leaves behind his wife Gill, and three children. Captain McDermid's family said: "John's family and friends are devastated by this loss. John was such an important part of their lives and his death has left a void that can never be filled. Every one who knew John knew how loving, dedicated, strong, hilarious and truly wonderful he was. Although very much a family man, John's sense of duty and responsibility were never overlooked." Lieutenant Colonel Paul Harkness MBE, Commanding Officer of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "Captain John McDermid represented everything that is special about both the Army and The Royal Highland Fusiliers. From Fusilier to Regimental Sergeant Major, his 21 years service as a soldier was notable for its professionalism, commitment and loyalty. His exceptional qualities led to him being commissioned into the Regiment that he loved and into which he had devoted so much of his time and energy. Since his commissioning in 2004 he had continued to serve with the Battalion in both Cyprus and Scotland, where his exceptional talents remained evident amongst the Regimental family. "Captain John McDermid was a friend and mentor to everyone. He loved the Army and everything that it represented. It came as no surprise to those who knew him that he had volunteered to go to Afghanistan as soldiering was in his blood. Held in the highest regard by all ranks, he occupied a unique place in everyone's hearts and minds. His death will leave a gap in all our lives that will never be filled. Today we have lost a friend and colleague, but his memory will live on within the Battalion and amongst those fortunate enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, now and always." Lieutenant Colonel Simon Downey MBE, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said: "Captain John McDermid was an exceptional soldier, officer and man. Deeply able, hugely energetic, and an accomplished, compassionate and encouraging leader, he rose rapidly through the ranks from private soldier to captain, excelling at every stage. Attached to 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a member of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, he made an immediate and thoroughly positive impact. Good natured, good company but with an inner steel, he was a very popular and key member of the mentoring team.  "Whether it was training the Afghans or commanding on operations, he was always at the forefront - seeking the best, encouraging and re-assuring those around him and leading by example. His command in Sangin was simply inspirational. Captain John McDermid's loss is a heavy blow to us all. We have lost, in John, a good comrade and an outstanding officer. He will be sorely missed, but we take great strength from his friendship, his example and his determination to make a difference for the people of Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family - his wife Gill and his three children." Major Barrie Terry, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, Officer Commanding Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, said: "Captain John McDermid was a first rate officer. He was a charismatic leader, who had vast experience and a real flair for command. He was a loving husband to Gill and father to his children. Typically, he volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan and join the Combat Support Operational Mentoring Liaison Team. A highly qualified Late Entry Commissioned Officer and exceptional instructor; he was ideally placed to mentor the Afghan National Army and prepare the less experienced members of his mentoring team.  "Deployed to Sangin, John was energetic in taking forward operations against the Taliban. Characteristically, he was always at the forefront of everything his team did, leading by example. A professional and committed soldier, he had already achieved so much, as a Colour Sergeant Instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Regimental Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers, and he had a bright future ahead of him. "With his quick sense of humour and a warm but no-nonsense approach, he was extremely popular; he will be very much missed by all who knew him. The British Army has lost an able and devoted servant. My thoughts are with his family as they cope with this tragic and devastating news." His close friend, Captain Ekbahadur 'Ek' Gurung, of 36 Engineer Regiment, Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, said: "He was a Scot who was professional and committed to his job. He was absolutely dedicated to his family and children. His pictures and stories reflected his love for his family. His knowledge of the infantry role and tactics was first class and this knowledge has been responsible for the safety of the whole Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team. We will miss the compassion that he showed to every one regardless of rank." Captain John ‘Dud' Southam, Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, Queen's Royal Lancers, said: "I first met Captain John McDermid just prior to the deployment and was immediately struck by his warmth and good humour and with his ability to make friends very quickly. During the deployment it became very clear that his professionalism and drive were immense and that he was an inspiration to all who worked with him. The fact that even after almost 25 years of service he continued to set standards for others to follow speaks volumes for the kind of soldier he was. Sadly, John ultimately lost his life doing the one job he had always excelled at: being an exceptional soldier who knew only one way, that of leading from the front. "The loss of Captain John McDermid I know will leave a large hole in people's lives across the Army, but our thoughts are with his family. Their loss is immeasurably more than ours can ever be. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time." Captain James Manchip, Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, said "Captain John McDermid was a softly spoken and very likeable character. He was a consummate professional and took a keen interest in his soldiers' well being. He always led from the front and would do everything he expected his soldiers to do, often putting himself in harm's way ahead of his soldiers. All found him approachable and easy to talk to. He always showed a genuine interest in other people's lives and in getting to know them. He will be much missed." Sergeant Whelan, Combat Support Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Foremost we knew him as a strong soldier who enjoyed commanding us. He believed what we were doing in Afghanistan was right and gave up his desk job to be here. He spoke a lot about his family and was most proud last week that his son was in a military cadet parade in his kit and couldn't wait to see the photos. He had a strong bond with his men and with the Afghan National Army, who like us, are heartbroken at the events."

Sergeant Lee Johnson, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, killed Saturday 8 December 2007, in southern Afghanistan. Shortly before 1010 hours local time Sergeant Johnson was taking part in operations to recapture the town of Musa Qaleh in Helmand Province when an explosive device detonated - suspected to be a mine - resulting in the death of Sergeant Johnson and inflicting serious injuries to another soldier in the same vehicle.

HUNDREDS of servicemen joined the grieving family and friends of Stockton soldier Sergeant Lee Johnson to lay their brave comrade to rest. The 33-year-old father-of-two was honoured with a full military funeral at Stockton Parish Church yesterday, Many ex-servicemen joined mourners in the packed church to pay their final respects to the soldier described as one of his battalion’s “great lights”. Sgt Johnson’s coffin, draped with the Union Jack and his cap and medals, was carried aloft into the church at 12.30pm by comrades from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards. In the High Street, hundreds of shoppers stopped to pay their own silent respect to one of Stockton’s sons who had lost his life in a far away land. Sgt Johnson’s body was flown home from Afghanistan accompanied by brother Don, serving in the same battalion in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The dedicated soldier had cancelled his leave to take part in operations spearheaded by the Afghan army to recapture the town of Musa Qaleh from the Taliban. He was killed when his vehicle hit a mine. As reported, he had been due to marry fiancée Lisa McIntosh next summer. He also leaves behind son Ashley, 16, and daughter Lilly, two-and-a-half. “He was a fantastic bloke and a real character. He had a bit of everything. He was courageous, he was fit and he was determined. He was always right up there in front of the action. “But he also had that human touch as well and had a lot of friends.” Lieutenant Colonel Simon Downey, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, described Sergeant “Judo Jonno” Johnson as one of “life’s great gems”. “A huge personality and a supreme soldier, he had a zest for life that took all before him,” he said. “He could get the best from anyone by inspiration, by his unfailing humour, by his example and his sheer determination. Wherever he went, whatever he did, he made a difference, and always with that great style of his. “His loss robs the battalion he loved of one of its great lights, a comrade regarded with tremendous affection and respect - but he, of all of us, would not have had us falter.” Sgt Johnson was buried at Durham Road Cemetery where colleagues gave a gun salute.

 Lee Johnson was born on 7 June 1974 in Stockton-on-Tees and started his basic training on 30 July 1990. Upon completion of this he joined the 1st Battalion The Green Howards. He served in Canada, Germany, Belize and the United Kingdom, and deployed to the following theatres: Northern Ireland 5 times, the former Yugoslavia once and twice to Afghanistan. Sergeant Johnson joined B Company as a new recruit and served virtually his whole career in that company. It was fitting that when recently promoted to the rank of sergeant and appointed Platoon Sergeant, it was in B Company. An accomplished sportsman, he represented the Battalion at boxing and the Army at Judo. Sergeant Johnson was serving with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a member of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, tasked with training the Afghan National Army, when he died.  Lt Col Simon Downey MBE, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment said: "Sergeant "Judo Jonno" Johnson was one of life's great gems. A huge personality and a supreme soldier, he had a zest for life that took all before him. Energetic, deeply professional, warm and encouraging, he could get the best from anyone by inspiration, by his unfailing humour, by his example and his sheer determination.  "It was typical that he died taking charge of a difficult situation and driving it on. Wherever he went, whatever he did, he made a difference, and always with that great style of his. His loss robs the Battalion he loved of one of its great lights, a comrade regarded with tremendous affection and respect; but he, of all of us, would not have had us falter. "Our thoughts and our prayers are with his brother, LCpl Johnson currently serving with the Battalion in Afghanistan and his family and loved ones at this terrible time." Maj James Bryden, Officer Commanding A Company 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment said: "On the recent Kajaki Relief in Place flight I flew back with Sergeant Johnson as he was due Rest and Recuperation Leave. He described his time in Kajaki as a Platoon Sergeant as the best 2 months in his army career. "He had clearly developed an outstanding rapport with the Afghan National Army Soldiers that, with his Platoon Commander, he led through many fights. In addition and of note he had an excellent professional reputation with C Company 40 Commando. "The measure of the man is that on arrival back at Camp Shorabak he cancelled his planned leave to go to Musa Qaleh with his Company." Maj Duncan Manning, Officer Commanding C Company 40 Commando said" "Sergeant Johnson served with C Company 40 Commando in Kajaki for the vast majority of his Op HERRICK Tour and was very much an active and popular member of the Company Group. An accomplished professional he was able to adapt quickly to the demands of the Kajaki area and demonstrated considerable tact diplomacy and humour when dealing with adversity.  "Always calm under pressure his most endearing characteristic was his enthusiasm and dedication to all tasks. He mixed well with all Royal Marine ranks throughout his time in Kajaki and will be missed by everyone." Warrant Officer 1 RSM Hind, Regimental Sergeant Major of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment said: "It is with great sadness that I have to write about Sergeant Johnson. I first met the then Corporal Johnson when I arrived at the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. It struck me straight away that this enthusiastic, professional and without a shadow of doubt the keenest Junior Non Commissioned Officer in the Battalion was a soldier to watch. "I had a smile on my face like a Cheshire cat the day he was promoted and was then welcomed into the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess.  "Any soldier or officer who is reading this and has had the privilege of working with Sergeant Johnson will know that it is by no way an exaggeration that I can safely say that Sergeant Johnson was a fine soldier. He was liked and respected by everyone and seemed to have boundless amounts of energy and tenacity. He was an absolute professional. "As Regimental Sergeant Major you are meant to be impartial. I will have to confess, that Sergeant Johnson was a favourite of mine, because he was one of the finest soldiers that I have met and was the iconic Infantry Platoon Sergeant." C/Sgt Elsdon YORKS, CQMS Sp Company 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment said: "I have known Lee 'Mad Dog' Johnson for 15 years, he was an excellent soldier and friend. The keenest soldier I have ever met, he was utterly dedicated to the Army, the Green Howards, but most of all to his family and fiancée Lisa, young daughter Lilly and son Ashley.  "Never daunted by a challenge he was always the first to offer a hand to a friend or colleague in need. He was great company and as a close friend we spent a great deal of time together both at work and during leave. Socially he was the life and sole of any party and his larger than life character always made him an amusing centre of attention. "As a soldier he was the best and you would always want him at your side, due to his absolute professionalism and outright ability. With him around you always felt safe and that nothing could go wrong. As a sportsman he excelled in Judo hence one of his nicknames was 'Judo Jonno'. And in boxing what he lacked in talent he made up for with courage and determination.  "I will always admire Jonno and he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. I am glad to have known him and I know he would have been a friend for life. I feel honoured to have served alongside him and privileged to have been his friend." Sgt Johnson's sister Cassandra said: "I can't believe that I have lost my brother. A boy who was 16 and a half years old crying the night before he went into the Green Howards scared to leave home. But after 18 years of serving his country has now lost his life fighting for what he thought was right. I am so proud of him. In mine and my family's eyes he is a hero. He went into the army a little boy and came out as a man, a man and father, brother to be proud of.  "His life was not wasted. Lee lived life to the full he loved a drink, he loved a laugh, he thought the world of his fiancé Lisa and son Ashley and most of all his daughter Lilly Rose, who still thinks that her daddy is coming home for her 3rd birthday in February. "This is such a loss to our family we cannot believe that our brother, my mam and dad's son is gone. Lee took so many chances in life we never ever thought that his luck would run out. "I hope we give Lee the best funeral a person could ever have and remember him as the joker he was. Lee was a true soldier, it was his life. He always put 100 per cent into his job motivating others. He also put just as much effort in having a pint as well. "I will always remember the last party, we were all at my wedding the last family reception and Lee as usual was the life and soul of the party and what made it so special was that we both said we loved each other, I will never forget that moment. "And that is how I will remember my brother a happy lad full of fun, a loving brother who would be there for all his family. A proud father and a loving son who worshipped his mum and dad. We are just glad that his brother Don is with him and can bring him home to us." Sgt Johnson's fiancée Lisa said: "My Lee lived for the army and his family. He was a soldier first and a father and fiancé second. He loved his job, it's all he talked about. I didn't mind though, it's part of the reason I loved him. Our wedding was planned for 1 August and we were so excited and happy. He had everything to look forward to. "He said being with his family was what was going to get him through his 6 month tour. He told me his leave was cancelled earlier this month but I knew he had offered to stay and take part in this operation against the Taliban. That's what made him the soldier he was, dedicated, professional and always in the thick of it. He leaves behind his son Ashley and 2 and a half year old daughter Lilly. They had made so many plans to go camping and fishing together when he returned.  "I promise I will do these things with them in his memory. I love you so much Lee, only you and I know the real story. I don't know how I will get through life without you. You are my whole world, you and the kids are my life. I will love you always."

[ Corporal Damian Stephen Lawrence ]

Corporal Damian Stephen Lawrence of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) killed on Sunday 17 February 2008, in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan.

Shortly before 2100 hours local time Corporal Lawrence was taking part in a joint UK - Afghan National Army night patrol in Kajaki, tasked with clearing a number of compounds. Immediately upon entry into a compound an explosive device detonated fatally injuring Corporal Lawrence. Another soldier was also wounded, but his injuries are not life-threatening. Medical treatment was administered at the scene and both soldiers were evacuated to Camp Bastion by emergency response helicopter. Sadly Corporal Lawrence succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Corporal Damian Lawrence, aged 25, was born on 26 January 1983 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, but had his roots firmly based in the town of Whitby. He enlisted into the Army on 28 October 1999 and on completion of his basic training joined the 1st Battalion The Green Howards, 10 Platoon Charlie Company then based in Warminster, Wiltshire. Initially in a rifle company, he spent his first year as a rifleman before being singled out to move to the Reconnaissance Platoon. He went on to complete a Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Cadre in 2005 whilst in 'A' Company and was noted for his diligence and enthusiasm. Cpl Lawrence continued to develop his leadership and command skills and recently attended the Section Commanders Battle Course in Brecon where he achieved a high pass; he returned to complete pre-deployment training in time to deploy with the Battalion to Helmand Province. Cpl Lawrence's role was to train and mentor an Afghan National Army Platoon – a dangerous and difficult task that he performed outstandingly. Whilst on Op HERRICK 7, Corporal Lawrence served in Gereshk, took part in the recapture of Musa Qal'eh and conducted operations in Kajaki. A keen and enthusiastic soldier he had served with distinction in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and twice in Afghanistan; his future in the Army was bright. Corporal Lawrence leaves behind a daughter, Jessica. "Every way you considered him, Corporal Lawrence was outstanding. "He was a loving partner and a doting father to his daughter Jessica. To his Battalion, he was a great comrade and an accomplished soldier. Good company, a trusted friend, warm and blessed with an infectious sense of humour he could mix with anyone, puncture any ego and lighten any mood. As an infantry soldier and junior commander he was formidable - able, determined, driving on, a man who knew what he wanted and who had a fine career ahead of him. "He flourished in the dangerous challenges of mentoring the Afghan Army on operations and it is absolutely typical that he died leading from the front, paying the ultimate price for the leadership and courage that came so naturally to him. In Corporal Lawrence's death, the Battalion has been robbed of a first rate commander and a good friend, taken all too early when he had so, so much else to live for. "Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time." Major Matt Adams, Officer Commanding the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team 3,  2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "Corporal 'Damo' Lawrence was a lynchpin within C Company, a special soldier who was deeply popular and deeply professional. Softly spoken, compassionate and very courageous, he also possessed a great sense of humour despite adversity and stress; in Afghanistan he never failed to act as an example to those around him. "Corporal Lawrence died as he lived, leading his men, in a high threat environment under adverse conditions and to the highest standards of the British Army. "He is irreplaceable." "Corporal Lawrence died as he lived, leading his men, in a high threat environment under adverse conditions and to the highest standards of the British Army." Major Matt Adams.

Captain James Ashworth, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), Officer Commanding Reconnaissance Platoon, said: "It is with great regret and sadness that the members of the Recce and Sniper Platoon have heard of Corporal Lawrence's death. He will be sorely missed by all the lads who knew him so well. Corporal Lawrence loved his job and always put himself forward for the most demanding courses, he revelled in the challenge. He was a real character and fiercely loyal to his friends. Parted by separate tasks in Afghanistan, we all looked forward to having him back in the Platoon after the tour. Everyone in the platoon conveys their deepest sympathy to Damian's family." Warrant Officer 1st Class Richard Hind, Regimental Sergeant Major of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "Corporal Lawrence was one of the Battalion's finest Junior Non-Commissioned Officers. An enthusiastic and outstanding soldier, he had recently completed the Section Commanders Battle Course at Brecon. Professional, determined and encouraging, he knew how to get the best from his soldiers. It was typical that he died leading from the front where others may have faltered. He lived life to the max, working and playing hard. Corporal Lawrence was regarded with fondness and respected by all. It has been an honour to have served alongside him. "The Battalion and the Regiment's thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this saddest of times." Colour Sergeant Mark Connell, Company Quartermaster Sergeant Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team 3, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "I have known Corporal Damian Lawrence since 2004 when he joined 3 Platoon, A Company as a rifleman. Damian was a hard working, determined and highly professional soldier who was well respected by all members of his Platoon. Within a short period of time he became a key personality within the Platoon, best known for his humour, morale and practical jokes. As Damian's Platoon Sergeant I had the privilege to experience his professionalism and determination first hand; he often told me that he wanted to go places, I had no doubts that he would. "The last time I saw Damian was eight months ago at Brecon as his instructor. I immediately noticed the changes in Damian's personality, leadership style and mannerisms. He had grown into a fine NCO and would, no doubt, have gone far within the Army. Damian often spoke to me about the forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan and was looking forward to his new role. Damian was always keen to make a difference and has proven his worth many times in barracks and on operations, I am extremely proud of all he has achieved. "As a commander and friend, I will always remember Damian for the man that he was. My thoughts go out to his family. "We have all lost a highly respected commander and dear friend, he will be sorely missed." "Corporal Lawrence was regarded with fondness and respected by all. It has been an honour to have served alongside him."  Warrant Officer 1st Class Richard Hind

Corporal Carl Storr, Provost Corporal 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) added: "Damian's a Whitby lad and he and I hit it off straight away. He was a character, known throughout the Battalion for his sense of humour. "I wouldn't say we lived out of each others pockets but we knew where we were if we needed each other. When we did see each other we would always have a laugh and a joke which would normally be at my expense. What I would give for that now; the memories will stay. You'll be missed mate. "They say him upstairs only takes the best, well he's taken one now. God Bless. Our thoughts go out to all his family." Corporal Steven Rowe, Section Commander 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "I've known Damian all his Army career and the time we spent together in Patrol Base Zulu in Afghanistan will be one to treasure. He was a keen and outstanding soldier, one man who was going a long way, his professionalism showed through in everything he did. He will be sadly missed. My deepest sympathy goes to all his family. God bless." Lance Corporal Gavin Geraghty, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "It has been six years since I met Corporal Lawrence. From working alongside him it was easy to recognise he made the most of things. He made the most of being a soldier and his excellent report on Junior Brecon shows just how much potential he had. But he was also one of the boys and he made the most of his social time with many, many funny stories and memories. "Things are going to be very different without our 'Damo' and his comments, as he was not shy in telling people what he thought. From our first night out together when we met in Scarborough, he has been a friend and a brother in work. No more hard times now mate, you're in good hands. All our thoughts go to your family and little Jessica." Lance Corporal Allan Lanaway, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) said: "I've known Damo for about five years, however for the last two and half years we have been really close, meeting up with each other's dads in Whitby. I always met up with Damo for a laugh and a good night out which often led to days. There was never a dull time with him always laughing and joking. If I start on stories now they will go on forever, I think I should just keep the memories inside. "My thoughts go to all his family at this difficult time, I know how much you all meant to him." Mother of Corporal Lawrence, Alison Lawrence said: "I would like all soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment to promise me that on their return to England they find the nearest bar and raise a toast to my son. Damian was a very special son always joking and loved to party. He was also an amazing father to his three-year-old daughter, Jessica. I know, like us, you will all have your own special memories of him and I want you all to know that he lived and breathed army life. I am proud as his mother to say he died doing what he loved. I still wear my support bracelet and will not remove it until each and every one of you return home where you belong. I send my love to you all and pray for your safe return. As I said to my son and I'll say to you all, 'Stay safe lads and be happy', from his very proud and heartbroken Mum, Alison Lawrence." Corporal Lawrence's father, Steven Crabtree, added: "Damian, the best son any father could wish for. I am so proud of the way he went through life, and what he achieved. Also the joy he brought into other people's lives.  "The devotion, love and dedication he showed to his daughter Jessica will never be forgotten. The way he treated his brothers Lee and Josh was a great pleasure. No wonder he was their HERO. They will always look up to him and he will be a great example to follow. He has left a massive hole in all our lives. His family and all his army mates. He died doing what he loved best, his job. To the rest of the lads still out there. Keep your heads down and come home safe. We are proud of all of you. His heartbroken Dad."

[ Private Jonathan Andrew Young ]

Private Jonathan Andrew Young was born in Hull on 19 September 1990. He joined the Army on 24th February 2008 and completed his training at Catterick, North Yorkshire, in September 2008 before joining the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) based in Warminster, Wiltshire. Private Young made an immediate impression for his easy going nature, good humour and faultless manners. In the short time he was in Burma Company he was recognised by all as a popular, capable soldier with great potential. Burma Company Group were tasked to provide Battle Casualty Replacements for 19 Light Brigade in July 2009 and Private Young was quick to volunteer. He deployed with the rest of his platoon, 6 Platoon, to 2nd Battalion the Rifles on 2nd August 2009. Since arriving in Sangin, where he and his section reinforced a Platoon still suffering from losses earlier in the tour, he demonstrated all the tenacity and no-nonsense bravery that one would expect from a Yorkshire soldier. Private Young was killed on the Afghan Election Day, 20th August 2009, on patrol near Forward Operating Base Wishtan whilst trying to secure a vital thoroughfare for the people of Sangin. He leaves behind his mother, Angela; his brother, Carl; his sister, Leah; and his girlfriend Nicola.  His mother and family said: "John was so handsome. He was a good son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and boyfriend. He will be loved and missed by all who knew him. We were so proud of our John, he was our brave heart, our Johnny Bravo. Night night Johnny Bravo." Lieutenant Colonel Tom Vallings, Commanding Officer 3 YORKS said. "Private Jonathan Young joined us at the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment in October 2008 just after his 18th birthday. He had already set his mark as a robust and determined soldier who always put his friends first. He had a strength of character that forced him to be at the very centre of events and it was no surprise that he volunteered to deploy at Afghanistan at short notice. "Private Young had only been in Afghanistan for three weeks when he was tragically killed on patrol in Sangin. Once again, he was selfishly at the forefront of the action a true Yorkshireman: proud, tough and honest. In his 18 years he has made a big impact on those who knew him and served with him. His loss is felt by us all, but none more so than by his family." Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "Private Young is a hero in my book. A soldier from the Yorkshire Regiment, he volunteered to come to Afghanistan to reinforce my Battle Group. I will always be in his debt. He died on Election Day, helping to give democracy a chance in Sangin. "He had quickly made a mark in C Company - a bright enthusiast who was a natural soldier, he was right in the mix in his tragically short time here. We will miss him greatly and salute his service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, whose loss is immeasurably greater than ours." Major Sam Humphris, Officer Commanding Burma Company 3 YORKS said. "The death of Private Young has come as a devastating blow to Burma Company. He was a committed and extremely diligent young soldier who, in his short time in the Company, had made a real mark. He was most definitely a Regimental star in the making. "He was utterly personable, a delight to be in the company of, and his infectious sense of humour made him an exceptionally popular member of 6 Platoon and Burma Company. "That he managed to marry this sharp sense of humour with a polite and caring nature was to his absolute credit. "He had a strong sense of duty with energy and enthusiasm in abundance. It came as no surprise to me when he volunteered to serve his country on operations in Afghanistan. That he was killed on the day of the Afghanistan elections marks the sacrifice he has made as particularly poignant. "I feel honoured to have served with, and commanded, someone of his singular quality. He will be sorely missed by all of us in Burma Company, but never forgotten. God rest." Major Rupert Follett, Officer Commanding C Company 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "Private Young had only been under my command for 2 weeks. He was part of a group of soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who had flown out to Afghanistan at short notice to act as replacements for soldiers already killed or wounded. "Private Young had one of the most dangerous roles in Afghanistan. As lead man for patrols he was responsible for finding and confirming Improvised Explosive Devices. As an 18 year old soldier, this was an enormous responsibility to bear on such young shoulders. He was fully aware that IEDs have accounted for the bulk of our casualties, and yet the bravery and courage he displayed was humbling. "Private Young was part of my close knit band of proud Yorkshiremen and although his time in Afghanistan was short, he made a lasting impression. Our sorrow at his tragic loss will be nothing compared to the grief of his family and friends and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this darkest of times." Captain Doug Hayton-Williams, Second in Command Burma Company, 3 YORKS said: "Although Private Young was new to Burma Company, he quickly impressed his peers by showing outstanding commitment to his job through his professionalism and unflinching reliability. He particularly impressed me with his positive attitude when faced with deploying to one of the most notorious areas of Helmand province, by volunteering to go with his comrades – such was his loyalty. "His strong personality was evident from the moment he arrived, fitting in well with the soldiers and rapidly establishing himself as an effervescent and affable young man within the Company. "He was killed doing the job he loved amongst his mates and proudly serving our country. He will never be forgotten. My deepest sympathies are extended to his family and to his friends." Lieutenant Rob Taylor, 6 Platoon Commander said: "A hugely capable and conscientious soldier, Private Young was relatively new to Burma Company and had just missed out on deploying to Baghdad with Alma Company. "He was very much looking forward to deploying to Afghanistan with his friends. His easy going polite nature and quick sense of humour made him very popular in the Platoon. Fit and strong, Pte Young was a keen sportsman who enjoyed his football and rugby league. Youngy treasured the friendships he made in the Army and was incredibly loyal. "He will be missed by all in 6 Platoon and in Burma Company. A genuine and sincere man, Youngy will leave a huge gap in the lives of all who knew him." 2nd Lieutenant Rob Hilliard, 10 Platoon Commander said: "Private Young arrived in theatre and came to reinforce 10 Platoon after losses earlier in the tour. Along with his colleagues from the 'Yorks' he impressed with his enthusiasm, strong work ethic and willingness to adapt to a challenging new environment and ever evolving tactics at very short notice. "Private Young stood out amongst his peers in terms of aptitude, skills and concentration and was in turn given the responsibility and burden of clearing routes in an IED heavy patch. In the course of fearlessly carrying out these duties he was tragically killed. "Private Young was another young soldier indiscriminately targeted by this most evil of enemies. I know his loss will be sorely felt by his fellow Yorkshiremen and his fortitude long remembered and respected by the Riflemen of C Company. Our thoughts and prayers rest now with his family and friends." WO2 Mick Clarke, Company Sergeant Major Burma Company, 3 YORKS said: "Pte Young joined Burma Company prior to our deployment to Afghanistan. He had been disappointed to miss out on deploying with Alma Company to Iraq. "From the very start of our pre-deployment training he demonstrated himself to be a very robust, bright and talented young soldier with a great deal to offer. He displayed a huge amount of enthusiasm, was very eager to deploy on operations and serve his country and enjoyed the respect of his commanders and peers alike. "He had a first class sense of humour and had settled in very quickly to the Company. He clearly had the ability to go far in the Army and his loss is deeply felt by everyone in the Company. We will miss him. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time." Sergeant Steven Harrison, Section Commander said: "Private Jonathan Young was an enthusiastic and bright soldier. Although he was originally in Alma Company, his infectious personality attracted friends immediately. After only a few days in Burma Company, Private Young had fitted in with the rest of the Burma Lads and wherever you heard laughter, you could be sure to find Private Young in the middle of it, which is where he loved to be – with the guys who had come to respect him, not just for his love of life but also for his professionalism. "Private Young had volunteered to be the lead man for his section, possibly the most dangerous job out here in Afghanistan. He put the lives of his comrades before himself, clearing the routes of IEDs in alleyways and compounds so the rest of the men could advance safely. He displayed immense courage every time he stepped out the gate. "Private Young will be missed by every one of my men. He loved life and lived it to the full with energy and enthusiasm. I hope he can now find peace. The thoughts of all our men here in Wishtan are with his family and friends at the passing of Jonathan Young. "Rest in peace brother." Corporal Paul Whitting said: "Private Young, or Heinz as some people knew him, was a character who always tried his hardest to make your morale higher whatever the situation and I know he would have done this until he couldn't do it any more." Private Sam Granger said: "The first time I met Youngy was in Bristol; we had both missed the train to get back to Battlesbury Barracks. We got on straight away. He was great fun to be around and was always a good laugh. We were both looking forward to going on holiday when we got back from the tour with some of the other lads from Burma. He was a good mate right from the time I knew him and he will be really missed by all the lads in 3 YORKS." Private Sam Williams said: "I have known Private Jonathan Young all his Army career, he started off in A Company and we hit it off straight away. He was a well mannered lad from Hull who didn't have an aggressive bone in his body. We would always go down town and he would make me laugh with his 'chicken dance' which he couldn't do! "He was a young, bubbly lad with a random sense of humour. We both moved to B Coy together, carried out Pre-Deployment Training together and couldn't wait to go on tour. When we got out here Youngy was made the Lead Scout and, although nervous on his first patrol, he told me after that he got a buzz from doing it. "That's Young's sense of humour coming out. He was a decent bloke both in and out of work and always sensible – he kept me out of trouble a lot! I feel for his family and friends and girlfriend who have lost someone so great and fun loving. I will miss Youngy massively, and I'm sure that all of B Company will miss him too. We've lost a great friend and a great soldier. "Rest in peace Youngy." Private Tom Clews said: "Private Jonathan Young, or Youngy as he was known to all the lads, was a proper lad within our Platoon and Company, although he had previously been in Alma Company with my twin brother. This is where I first saw his big smile and instantly got on with him. "He was always smiling no matter the situation and was a real inspiration to be around. When you were down Youngy would always pick you up and do anything for you. He would go out of his way to ensure everyone around him was OK. When he got here and was told he would be the Lead Scout, in typical Youngy style he cracked on and didn't bat an eyelid. He stepped up to the most important role in the Section and even used his own time to perfect his skills and drills in the evening to ensure he was properly prepared. "He would never do things by half and that attitude made him a good soldier. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and families at this time and I will never forget his big smile and his weird sense of humour. I will treasure the memories I have of him and the laughs we had. You will be sorely missed Youngy but never forgotten." Private Lawrence Hill said: "Youngy was new to Burma Company. He had been in Alma Company for about a year and a half, when he moved to Burma and he instantly made friends. A real good lad who loved to have a laugh and a good time, loved to go out drinking and socialising with the lads. He was an amazing bloke. Never without a smile on his face and extremely brave. He was loved and will be missed by everyone." Private Chris Higgins said: "Private Jonathon Young, but known amongst the lads as 'Youngy'. We did not know Youngy for that long due to the fact he moved to our Company a few months ago, but in those few months we knew him I can tell you that Youngy really was one in a million. "He had a weird sense of humour, would always make you laugh and the fact he would do anything for his friends and we know he died doing the job he loved. I know everyone says that but he actually did. He was a Lead Scout with all the responsibilities that gave him and he did it brilliantly. We still cannot believe he has gone but he knew that he was loved and will be missed by all, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Private Young. "Gone but not forgotten."

[  Corporal Liam Riley ]

Corporal Liam Riley (above) and Lance Corporal Graham Shaw from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (3 YORKS) were killed in Helmand province on Monday 1 February 2010. The soldiers, who were serving as part of the Coldstream Guards Battle Group, were killed as a result of two improvised explosive device (IED) blasts near Malgir, which lies between Babaji and Gereshk. Corporal Liam Matthew Riley was born in Sheffield on 7 July 1988. He finished Army training in July 2005 at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick and arrived in the Battalion in September 2005. He completed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course in 2009 and was promoted to Corporal later that year. Corporal Riley was a member of a 3 YORKS platoon serving with 1 Coldstream Guards Battle Group, in the Babaji District of central Helmand province. On 1 Feb 2010, he was the patrol 2iC of a base security foot patrol south of the Kings Hill check point when an improvised explosive device detonated. Corporal Riley received catastrophic injuries from the explosion and was killed in Action.

[ Prince Harry ]

PRINCE Harry paid tribute to an Army comrade killed in Afghanistan - calling him "a legend, a really special man", who got us all going and heading in the right direction. It was a privilege to have worked alongside him.  He and Corporal Liam Riley served together at a massive British military training area in Alberta, Canada, in 2007.  Harry, who spent ten weeks on the front line in Afghanistan soon after completing the Canada exercises, said: "I remember Liam Riley so well from the time we spent together at Suffield in Canada.

Corporal Riley’s family said: "Liam was a wonderful son who always wanted to join the Army from being very young. He loved Army-style stories as a little boy. "When he was old enough to join he took to Army life like a duck to water. "He was very conscientious with his Army work and didn’t want to disappoint anyone. We were very proud of him and what he achieved both in life and in his Army career. "Liam liked sport and tried many different types – long enough to join or get the kit – but none lasted as long as football. "This was his love and when he was at home he played for both Beighton Magpies and the Throstles and was a keen Sheffield Wednesday supporter even when he was away in Afghanistan. "One of the things he asked when he rang home was how "Wednesday" were doing. "He loved and respected his family and friends and was very close to his siblings Jonathan and Olivia. "He was a bubbly, fun-loving lad and all his family and friends loved him – no-one will ever replace him." Lieutenant Colonel Tom Vallings, Commanding Officer 3 YORKS said: "Corporal Liam Riley volunteered at short notice to serve in Afghanistan such was his eagerness to do his duty. "He was a strapping soldier from Sheffield and at only 21 years old had been identified as one of our stars of the future. "He was an inspirational leader of men and was the youngest corporal in the Battalion. "I have little doubt that he was heading to the top of his unique profession. He led by example, with boundless energy and an infectious smile that would spur his team on when life got tough. "He was killed today by an IED in Helmand, whilst heroically returning fire to extract one of his team. "He personified all the very best qualities of a Yorkshire soldier: brave, tough, honest and proud. "Whilst we take great strength from Corporal Liam Riley's distinctive courage and example, his loss has hit us hard in 3 YORKS. "Our thoughts and prayers are not only with his fellow soldiers who continue to rise to the challenges of Helmand, but also with his family and friends whose loss is immeasurable." Lieutenant Colonel Toby Gray, Commanding Officer, 1 COLDM GDS Battle Group said: "In the short period Corporal Riley served with the Coldstream Battle Group, there had been only the highest of praise for this exceptionally talented and promising JNCO. "He had the brightest of futures ahead of him. A volunteer augmentee, he was operating in the most demanding of environments in the role of patrol 2iC, a position he held with evident pride. "With a natural charm and easy going nature, he and his 3 YORKS comrades fitted into the Battle Group with ease, forming a potent and effective fighting team. "Leading from the front, his diligence, professionalism and unfaltering courage have been an example to us all. "Whilst we may not have shared the same cap badge, as fellow infantrymen we have an unbreakably close bond. "We therefore share the same deep pain of loss right across the whole Battle Group. "We offer our most heartfelt sympathies to his family at this desperately tragic time." Major Charlie Foinette, Officer Commanding 4 Company, 1 COLDM GDS, said: "I was privileged to know Corporal Riley only for a short while, but from the moment he arrived at the beginning of January to join the Battle Group he stood out. "He was enormously professional and quickly established himself amongst the company – we all knew him within a few days. He was one of us and will not be forgotten by the Coldstreamers here. "My sympathies are with his family at this most painful of times." Major Nick McKenzie, Officer Commanding Corunna Company, 3 YORKS said: "Corporal Riley was outstanding during our pre-deployment training prior to his deployment as a Battle Casualty Replacement in late December last year. "He was delighted to deploy with a 3 YORKS multiple that was attached to the Coldstream Guards. "Corporal Riley was one of the best soldiers I have ever met, who clearly had a bright future ahead of him. "At only 21 years old he had recently passed the section commanders’ battle course and had just promoted to Corporal. "As a thoroughly professional soldier he eagerly awaited an opportunity to deploy on operations and immediately grasped the chance when it arose. "Since his deployment he has thrived on operations in Babaji, able to quickly understand the complexities of the local environs. "He was comfortable in command and showed excellent leadership when under pressure "Terrier-like in his approach to his work, he was professional through and through and always led by example. "He was a very popular member of the company, who was never far from the centre of platoon repartee; a young leader who achieved much in a short space of time. "His passing is a desperately sad loss for those in the company that had the pleasure of training and deploying with him, but only a fraction of the loss that will be felt by his family and friends. "I only hope that they can take some comfort from the fact that he died doing something that he loved. He will live forever in our memories." Captain Chris Ibbotson, Company Second in Command, 3 YORKS said: "Corporal Riley was the epitome of the British Soldier. Extremely capable and bright, his professionalism shone through in everything he did. "Corporal Riley was an extremely eager volunteer to deploy to Afghanistan and fully believed in his purpose here. "The most likable of characters, Corporal Riley used a blend of his professionalism and personality to accomplish his job to the highest level. "He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues alike." Captain Simon Farley, Platoon Commander, 3 YORKS said: "Liam was a pleasure to know and a privilege to work with. "He was a young man who showed a quick wit and cheeky approach in times of extreme discomfort. "Hugely courageous he led by example. He was a fine soldier who took great pride in what he did, and he did everything to the highest standard. "A central member of any group, he led for others to follow. "I count myself as very lucky to not only have known him but to have worked with him as well. I will miss him. "My thoughts are with his family at this difficult and sensitive time." Sergeant Adrian Dixon, Platoon Sergeant, 3 YORKS said: "You were all I wanted from a 2iC – your attention to detail, positive attitude, professionalism and upbeat outlook made my job so much easier. "You gave so much only to be taken in this most tragic way. All of us from the multiple are going to miss you, and our thoughts are with your family." Private Luke Wilkinson 3 YORKS, said: "This has been one of the most difficult days in my life. "We will feel the loss of such a quality soldier for many years to come and he will never be far from our minds. "I will have to get someone else to teach me how play the best poker! We're going to miss you!"

[ Lance Corporal Graham Nathan Shaw ]

Lance Corporal Graham Nathan Shaw was born in Huddersfield on 31 January 1983. He completed Army training in September 2000 at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, and arrived in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in November of the same year. He successfully undertook a JNCO cadre in 2002 promoting to Lance Corporal in the spring of 2004. Lance Corporal Shaw was a member of a 3 YORKS platoon serving with 1 Coldstream Guards Battle Group, in the Babaji District of central Helmand province. On the 1 February 2010, he was a Team Leader of a base security foot patrol south of the Kings Hill check point when an improvised explosive device detonated killing him instantly.


Lance Corporal Shaw's family said: "Russ and Karen Shaw, and all the members of Graham’s family are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved member of the family who has been taken away from us in the prime of life. "Graham enjoyed life to the full, running everywhere. He ran to visit relatives in Calderdale and often ran on the moors near his home. "He was very active and took part in many different sports from sky diving last summer to skiing with the Army in Canada and even surfing on the South coast – he was up for anything. "Graham was a soldier from 16 when he attended the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. "He was proud to be a member of the British Army like his father before him. He knew the danger that he was to face whilst serving in Afghanistan. "He lost his life doing the job he liked and enjoyed. "We are all very proud of our hero". Lieutenant Colonel Tom Vallings, Commanding Officer 3 YORKS said: "Typically, Lance Corporal Graham Shaw was at the front of the patrol when he was tragically killed by an IED in Helmand. "He was 27 years old, totally selfless, an excellent soldier and the best of fun. "He had that knack of being able to balance both work and play to ensure he got the very best out of all that he tackled. "He was from Huddersfield and he had that Yorkshire fighting spirit in abundance. You would want him on your team whatever the task. "Lance Corporal Graham Shaw was at his best on operations where he thrived under the added pressure and difficult conditions. "He would brighten your day with his sense of humour and determination to get the job done. "Lance Corporal Graham Shaw's loss is felt by us all in this close knit Battalion, but none more so than by his family and friends and our thoughts and prayers are with them. "A great soldier and a great bloke who served his country and his friends, making Afghanistan a better place." Lieutenant Colonel Toby Gray, Commanding Officer, 1 COLDM GDS Battle Group said: "For the Coldstreamers, we have been privileged to have had such a fine soldier as Lance Corporal Shaw serving amongst us. "He was a perfect example of the level of soldiering excellence resonating from all the attached ‘Dukes’. Bright, enthusiastic and keen to do the right thing no matter how daunting, he epitomised everything you would want in a JNCO. "Lance Corporal Shaw's short time serving in the Coldstream Battle Group was characterised by an invigorating boost of energy brought by his presence. "His passing is keenly felt across this Battle Group, and across all ranks and capbadges. "Lance Corporal Shaw's tragic death only strengthens our resolve to bring peace and stability to this part of Helmand province. "His family's pain at his passing is reflected here amongst his fellow infantrymen and our thoughts are very much with them at this time." Lance Sergeant Steve Stuart, Section Commander, 1 COLDM GDS said: "Lance Corporal Graham Shaw was a loyal friend and throughout my years of having the pleasure of training, working and socialising with him I found him to have a great sense of humour. "He loved his job and always conducted himself in a manner that demonstrated the utmost professionalism. "An inspiration to all those around him, he will be greatly missed by his friends and both Regiments; he devoted his life to the service of both. "Rest in peace my friend; my heart is with you and my thoughts are with your family." Major Charlie Foinette, Officer Commanding 4 Company, 1 COLDM GDS said: "We received thirteen men from 3 YORKS at the beginning of January to reinforce the Coldstreamers and their comrades from 2 YORKS, already operating from this patrol base. From the very first, they have impressed everyone with whom they work. "That they are such a very strong multiple is to a large degree due to the infectious and highly professional personalities of their team commanders. "Corporal Riley and Lance Corporal Shaw were these men and will leave a huge gap, not just in their team, but also for the company at large. "They were extraordinarily fine representatives of the 'Dukes' and had made themselves very firmly part of the Coldstream 'family' too. "The men of this company extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends left behind by Corporal Riley and Lance Corporal Shaw. We will never forget them. Lance Corporal Shaw was an impressive NCO, clearly respected and popular amongst a very close-knit team.  "I regret that I knew him for such a short time, but he made firm friends amongst this company. "In the few weeks we knew him he demonstrated time and again that he was very much one of us. He will be so sadly missed." Major Nick McKenzie, Officer Commanding Corunna Company, 3 YORKS said: "Lance Corporal Shaw trained with the company throughout our pre-deployment training for Op TELIC and Op HERRICK. He deployed to Babaji as a Battle Casualty Replacement with the Coldstream Guards in late December last year. "I was amazed with the way in which he handled his short notice deployment, full of beans and ready to get to Afghanistan and do the job that he loved. "He was a first rate junior commander with bags of military and life experiences. "Whilst not deploying in his usual guise as a sniper he was more than happy to deploy as a team commander. "He was thriving on the daily challenges that he and his mates were facing. "He was known to us as 'Shawy' or 'Shozza'. Relaxed and calm under pressure, he was always able to provide the goods when required. "During pre-deployment training he was always in the thick of the action charging around on his quad, delivering essential supplies and morale. "Lance Corporal Shaw died doing the job he loved. He will be sorely missed by us all in the Company, but never forgotten. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this desperately difficult and sad time." Captain Chris Ibbotson, Company Second in Command, 3 YORKS said: "Lance Corporal Shaw was an extremely likeable and capable man, a figurehead for the men under his command. He was always able to see the bright side of any occasion, no matter how bleak, and could always be found helping less experienced, and at times more experienced, individuals when needed. "Extremely professional, Lance Corporal Shaw also sported an infectious sense of humour. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Captain Simon Farley, Platoon Commander, 3 YORKS said: "'Shozza' was one of life's true characters and will be missed beyond words. He epitomised what it was to be a soldier. "His courage was evident in everything he did and he wore his heart on his sleeve. It was a privilege to have served with him. "The phrase 'work hard, play hard' couldn't describe his take on life any better. "Ever smiling, he approached life with gusto and enjoyed every minute of it. "My thoughts go out to his family. He will leave a gap in more lives than he would ever know and I will miss him. "The loss of 'Shozza' is huge and will be felt throughout the Regiment for a long time. "Our thoughts are with his family who will be feeling the loss more acutely than we can imagine." Sergeant Adrian Dixon, Platoon Sergeant, 3 YORKS said: "We got to know each other throughout training, and then saw each other when I joined 3 Yorks. "You were the 'granddad of the Multiple' and all the boys looked up to you. Your experience was overwhelming. We are all thinking of your family at this awful time. Private Luke Davidson 3 YORKS, said: "'Shawy' was always someone you looked up to. Calm and composed he was a great commander, ready to offer good advice to those less experienced. "We will be lost without you."

[ Lance Corporal David Andrew Ramsden ]

[ logo]

Lance Corporal David Andrew Ramsden Lance Corporal David Ramsden was 26 years old and from Leeds. He joined the Army in January 2002 and, following attendance at the Army Training Regiment Glencorse and the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, he joined the 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in July 2002. He served in the United Kingdom and Belize and on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and finally Afghanistan. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 2005 and left the Army in 2007 to pursue a career in civilian street. Following mobilisation as a Regular Reservist, Lance Corporal Ramsden joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) in January 2010 and completed Mission Specific Training in readiness for a six month deployment to Afghanistan. He deployed to central Helmand in April 2010 and joined the Police Advisory Team, working from the Afghan National Police Headquarters in Gereshk, Southern Afghanistan. His team has been advising the Afghan Police in the area in order to ensure that they are better able to deliver more effective security to the city, whilst reinforcing Afghan rule of law and creating the conditions for economic development. On 23 June 2010, following an incident at a nearby Police Check Point, Lance Corporal Ramsden's Police Advisory Team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force in support of their Afghan colleagues. The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal. At approximately 2208hrs local, Lance Corporal Ramsden was killed in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team - Colour Sergeant Horton, Private Douglas Halliday and Private Alex Isaac.


The family of Lance Corporal Ramsden made the following statement: "David lived life at 1,000 mph. He loved Army life and his job and as a teenager was in the Army Cadet Force. "His friends called him Lizard due to him keeping two iguanas which he re-homed before he left for Afghanistan. He was a normal young lad who would always cheer you up and often did things for a laugh. "He loved socialising with his mates both in and out of the Army. We all loved him so much – he was very generous and he would do anything for his family and friends. "Although we didn't see much of him due to Army life, when he arrived back his personality lit up a room and we knew he was home and we will miss him so much." – From his Mum, Shirley, Dad, Eddie and brothers and sisters, Zoey, twin Emma, Matthew and Jeremy." Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Lance Corporal Dave Ramsden enlisted into the 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in January 2002. During his time with the Battalion he served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq, before leaving the Army in 2007. "We were fortunate that when he returned to the Colours this year he chose to join the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) for our tour of Afghanistan. "As an experienced hand he had an immediate impact on those around him, calming nerves and helping the junior men to cope with the demands of operational service. As a proud Yorkshireman he told it the way it was, but he fitted in well with his new adopted Regiment and the men of the North-West. "Known as 'Lizard' in both Regiments, he will never be forgotten. "He lived the values of the Yorkshire Regiment, being honest, fair, gritty and proud. "I am privileged to have had him under my command and know that he stood firm and struck hard to the last. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Edward and Shirley, his family and many friends." Major Paul Dupuy, Officer Commanding Police Advisory Team Gereshk, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery said: "In the short time I have known and had the privilege of commanding Lance Corporal Ramsden, 'Lizard' to his colleagues, he proved to be a highly professional and competent soldier. "He was always keen to get stuck into any task and he had numerous good ideas which I often implemented to improve the way in which the team mentored the Afghan Police. "An inquisitive and engaging individual, I will always remember the frequent conversations we had discussing politics and strategy. His loss will be felt by us all. "My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this most difficult of times." Captain Ben Stephens, Intelligence Officer, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Lance Corporal Ramsden possessed a quiet and sincere disposition. He executed his duties with a consideration for others not always seen in soldiers. "As a reservist volunteer for operations in Afghanistan I had the utmost respect for him and his dedication to the cause. He was highly committed to his job and hoped to re-enlist back into the Regular Army to continue his career. "It was for these reasons he was such a popular figure amongst his peers. "His passing will not be forgotten amongst those who served with him. My honest and heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends whose loss we cannot comprehend. Stand Firm and Strike Hard "Lizard" Ramsden, your memory lives on." Ranger Sammy Macauley, A Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Dave, what can I say? He was one of a kind. I first met Dave in January 2010 when all the Territorial Army and Regular Reservists met to do a two week mobilisation package in Chilwell before moving to our receiving units. "Dave was always the joker and always up for a laugh. He was so laid back, any more and he would have been lying on the ground. "Dave was always up for a drink and having a good time. It didn't matter what day of the week it was, he always made sure everyone, including me, enjoyed life to the full. "The best thing about Dave was that he was always smiling; it didn't matter what the situation was, he would always boost morale with his smile. "I will miss Dave very much; he was as good a friend as he was a good soldier. Everyone that knew him will miss him very much. You will never be forgotten my friend. My thoughts go out to your family and friends. "Rest in peace, we will always remember you." Fusilier Jason Palmer, Private Benjamin Yandell, Fusilier William Dawson and Private Paul Lowden, A Company, 1St Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "We first met Lance Corporal Ramsden at the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre, Chilwell in January during our mobilisation phase. A likeable Yorkshireman, friendly and funny, a committed soldier and one of a trio of socialites. "His dedication and commitment proved an inspiration to us all. You will be sadly missed and somebody we would all be proud to call a brother. God bless you Rammie."  Private Daniel Neale, Police Advisory Team Gereshk, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Lizard and I met when we deployed and we instantly became friends. "He was like my younger brother. He was naturally friendly and outgoing and could get on with anyone he met. "He was happy to chat to anybody around him and always had them smiling in seconds. "Lizard had a unique character and sense of humour and these things made him the person he was. "He always wanted to get his point across and stood by the things he said and believed in. "He was always happy and willing to help with anything and whether he liked what he was doing or not, he would always do it anyway. He would do anything to help the team and to make people's lives better in any way he could. "He was a truly selfless person. I miss him very much and wish to pass on my condolences to his family and friends. "I am truly sorry for their loss and he will always live on in my memories." The Police Advisory Team Gereshk, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said: "Lizard was a unique character with an equally unique sense of humour. "He was never afraid to speak his mind and his friendly nature endeared him to everyone who met him. He always went out of his way for the team and was driven to making everyone's lives easier. "His chirpy and outgoing nature meant that he naturally clicked with everyone he met. He was always happy and approached everyone with a huge smile on his face. "Lizard was a valued member of the team whose natural confidence and ability always meant that he took things in his stride."