Born in Zimbabwe on 18 July 1981, Lance Bombardier Ross Clark was brought up in South Africa before joining the British Army in April 2002.
Following his basic and specialist military training, he volunteered for service with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, passing the Commando Course in March 2003 and proceeding directly to war-fighting operations on the Al Faw Peninsula in Iraq.
In November 2004, he was posted to 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery, following completion of their arduous selection course.
An exceptionally gifted soldier, Lance Bombardier Clark had proved his mettle on operations, as well as on exercises in Norway, Belize and the United States.
Enormously strong and physically capable, he took the harshest of conditions in his stride, and strove resolutely to complete any task to the absolute limits of his ability.
He did not take his role as a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer lightly and invested considerable effort into mentoring those less experienced than him. Renowned within the unit for his unwavering professionalism, he was set for a highly promising career within the Royal Artillery, with further promotion a certainty upon return from operations.
Lance Bombardier Clark was also an accomplished triathlete; indeed, some measure of his unwavering determination can be gleaned from his repeated attempts last year to secure funding for a new race bike from the Regimental Second in Command – an individual renowned for his knotted purse strings.
Equally, some might have questioned his suitability for military parachuting as, during his Basic Course, he plummeted from the skies, entangled in someone else’s parachute. None would have questioned his resolve, however, as he dusted himself off, shrugged his shoulders and cracked on with the next serial.
In quiet moments, Lance Bombardier Clark spoke often of his family in South Africa, to whom he clearly was very close. He saw his time in the United Kingdom as an opportunity to explore another part of the world, and spent much of his free time visiting its sights and cities, often catching up with old friends from South Africa, including fellow members of the Regiment.
Lance Bombardier Clark deployed to Afghanistan on operations in September 2006, and from the outset, performed exactly as expected. Utterly reliable and generous in spirit, Ross will be sorely missed in the Regiment.
In the words of his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Wilson RA:
Ross was a determined, intelligent and motivated young man who epitomised the standards of professionalism against which we measure ourselves. He was extremely popular within the Regiment and had already begun a rapid progression through the ranks.
“It is particularly poignant that his Battery should lose two of its members on the day that it celebrates its battle honour, and the entire Regiment is profoundly saddened by his loss. Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends at this terrible time.”