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November 27, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2011, Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel, 5th Battalion, the Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been on foot patrol when he was caught up in an IED explosion, and although airlifted to hospital at Camp Bastion, could not be saved. 

Rifleman Steel had joined the army in November of 2009 and loved his job, having wanted to join up since being with the army cadets.  He showed early promise during training, where he was quick to learn, intelligent, mature and ambitious.  Rifleman Steel excelled on the sharpshooters’ course, proving himself to be focused, calm and professional.  A superior officer said that he was “destined for the Corporals’ Mess” following his time in Afghanistan, due to his diligence, hard work and dedication.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Copinger-Symes said of him:  Rifleman Steel was the essence of a ‘Delta Dog’, as the members of D Company, 5 RIFLES, are known…the Delta Dogs have a particularly special identit...

October 19, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Marine Gary Wright, 45 Commando Royal Marines, died of injuries sustained while on patrol in Lashkar Gar, Afghanistan. He was a top cover sentry on one of two Land Rovers when a suicide bomber stepped between the vehicles and detonated the explosives which were strapped to his body.

Marine Wright had joined the Royal Marines in 2002, passing out the following year and joining 2 Troop, Whiskey Company. He then served in Northern Ireland as a Land Rover Driver, something at which he was particularly skilled. Remembered as enthusiastic and very fit, he took the Recce Troop Selection Course and the Joint Services Parachute Course. He excelled at both with his ability to adapt to any conditions and environment, and his high levels of determination and fitness served him well.

Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar R.M. said of him: “Marine Wright was an outstanding young Royal Marine whose determination and professional ability led to his selection as a m...

September 21, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett M.C., 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been investigating an IED when it exploded, injuring him and two other soldiers;  he passed away from his injuries before reaching hospital.

Acting Sergeant Lockett had joined the army in 1996, and served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and on three tours of Afghanistan.  A machine gunner, he also held other qualifications, including Military Tracking Instructor and Jungle Warfare Instructor.  In 2008 he was awarded the Military Cross;  he had led his platoon to rescue the bodies of Private Johan Botha and Sergeant Craig Brelsford and four wounded comrades trapped in a Taliban ambush.

At the time of his death he was working as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battle Group, alongside the Warriors of the Afghan National Army in the Upper Gereshk Valley.  Acting Sergeant Locke...

September 6, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Lance Corporal Luke McCulloch, 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in action by Taliban forces in Afghanistan.  Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which occurred in Sangin, but they recovered after receiving medical attention.

Lance Corporal McCulloch joined the army in 2001. He served with distinction in Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq, and is described as an enthusiastic soldier who was held in high regard by all ranks.  He had a bright, good-humoured and likeable personality, made friends easily and packed a lot of living into his too-short life.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael McGovern praised him: "He was a truly outstanding soldier, very colourful and a real character. Larger than life, Lance Corporal McCulloch was a delight to have around and always the centre of attention.  Operationally, he was extremely experienced and served on Op TELIC 1, the liberation of Iraq and in Northern Ireland. Most recently, he...

September 4, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2008, Ranger Justin James Cupples, 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been on foot patrol in Sangin when an IED caused him grievous injuries.  Despite immediate medical aid, he could not be saved. 

Ranger Cupples was born in the United States and served with the U.S. Navy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.   He later joined the Royal Irish Regiment after training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.  He took the Operational Language Training Course, having shown an aptitude for languages, and learned Pashtu before deploying to Afghanistan.  Ranger Cupples is remembered by colleagues as a quiet, popular and motivated man.  He impressed with his enthusiasm and maturity, and showed great pride in being a ranger. 

Lieutenant Colonel Freely said of him:  “Justin Cupples was a character.  He stood out as such.  He was drawn to the Battalion by the Irish fighting spirit...

August 20, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Private Johnathon Young, 3rd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), was killed in Afghanistan.

Private Young had joined the army eighteen months earlier.  The tributes paid to him on the MoD site speak of an extraordinary young man, charismatic, dedicated, inspirational, courageous and full of humour.  His potential was recognized and he effortlessly became popular and respected.  He volunteered for Afghanistan and deployed three weeks before his death.  Private Young’s section reinforced a platoon which had suffered losses earlier, and he was immediate made Lead Scout.  He was killed while on patrol near Forward Operating Base Wishtan, clearing routes in what was described as an IED-heavy patch.  It was reported that he stepped on an IED and died instantly; 

Major Sam Humphris said of him.  “The death of Private Young has come as a devastating blow to Burma Company. He was a committed and extr...

August 13, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Sapper Darren Foster, 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been manning a sangar at Patrol Base Sangin Fulod when he was fired upon.  Although treated onsite and then taken to hospital, his injuries were so grievous that he could not be saved.

Sapper Foster had joined the Royal Engineers two years earlier.  He qualified as a combat engineer and then as a military fabricator.  Just over three weeks before his death, he deployed to Afghanistan.  Even during his short time serving, he made an impression as being intelligent and skilled sapper, a down-to-earth young man who was kind and genuine.  He was enthusiastic and energetic, and according to his family, fiercely proud to be a sapper.

Major Jason Ainley said of him:  “Sapper Darren Foster recently joined the ranks of 73 Armoured Engineer Squadron, bringing with him a real zest for soldiering. From the moment he first learned of his new Squadron’s...

August 12, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2011, Lieutenant Daniel John Clack, 1st Battalion, the Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been leading a patrol into the village of Dactran when they were hit by an IED, which killed him and injured five members of his patrol. 

Lieutenant Clack had joined the army two years earlier, after studying at Exeter University, working in Switzerland at a ski resort and attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.  Apart from being a keen skier, he was also outstanding at rugby and represented the R.M.A. as well as his battalion.  He deployed to Afghanistan four months before his death, and commanded Checkpoint Shaparak, in the district of Nahr-e Saraj in Helmand province.  Tributes speak of his integrity, loyalty and empathy, qualities which made him popular with, and respected by, those with whom he served.

Lieutenant Marcus Denison said of him:  “Dan was a fantastic friend and a great officer. Since arriving in battalion...

August 11, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2008, Signaller Wayne Bland, 6 Signal Regiment, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan.  He had been providing top-cover while in a patrol convoy when they were attacked by a suicide bomber who rammed them with his vehicle before detonating the bomb.  Two other soldiers were injured and were taken with Signaller Bland to hospital, where they survived but sadly he did not. 

Signaller Bland, an avid footballer who represented his regiment many times, had joined the regiment two years earlier, after having qualified as a driver lineman.  He worked in the Motor Transport Troop as part of the Kabul Support Unit for six months, responsible for delivering personnel and vital stores safely.  He trained as a driver of several key vehicles and had also taken the team medic course. 

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Hodges said of him:  “Signaller Wayne Bland was a superb soldier, full of character and a highly popular member of 16 Signal Regiment....

August 6, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Corporal Kevin Mulligan, Lance Corporal Dale Thomas Hopkins and Private Kyle Adams, the Parachute Regiment, were killed in Afghanistan while with the Special Forces Support Group.   They were leading a routine patrol to the north of Lashkar Gah when their vehicle was hit by an explosion as well as small arms fire.

The following tributes were paid by their Commanding Officer:

“Corporal Mulligan was the epitome of a professional soldier; diligent, selfless, caring, with a profound sense of duty. A charismatic man with an irrepressible sense of humour, he was overwhelmingly popular and universally respected. An exceptional leader, he died how he led his life, at the forefront of his men.  He gave his life for his comrades and for The Parachute Regiment, both of which were dear to him. We count ourselves privileged to have known this dedicated, brave soldier and every member of the unit is proud and deeply honoured to have served alongs...

August 1, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2006, Captain Alex Eida, the Royal Horse Artillery, and Second Lieutenant Ralph Johnson and Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls, the Household Cavalry Regiment, were killed in Afghanistan.  They were travelling in a Spartan armoured reconnaissance vehicle when their patrol was attacked by insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns.

Captain Eida joined the Territorial Army while attending the University of Glamorgan.  He then worked as a ski instructor in France and at Camp USA before attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, being commissioned in April of 2002.  He is remembered as courageous and passionate, mature and ready for a challenge, while maintaining a sense of fun.  He served in Iraq and Kosovo, gaining popularity among those who served with him. 

Lieutenant Colonel David Hammond said:  “I and the Regiment knew Captain Eida extremely well. He was a real character and personality who grew up as...

July 27, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2007, Sergeant Barry Keen, 14 Signal Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan, while serving as a communications specialist with 245 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals.  Attached to Battle Group (South) they were involved in the fierce fighting of Operation CHAKUSH in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand province.  On the fourth day, a single mortar round landed next to Sergeant Keen causing him grievous injuries, and despite receiving immediate treatment, he could not be saved.

Sergeant Keen had joined the army in August of 1989, and served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia.  He is remembered as inspirational;  a respected and well-liked soldier who believed in leading from the front, and a colourful character who relished making people laugh.

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Vickery said of him:  “During his six month tour in Afghanistan, Barry had thoroughly proved himself as a dedicated soldier with a flair for helping others. This trait had b...

July 21, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Corporal Matthew James Stenton, the Royal Dragoon Guards, and Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse, 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, were killed in Afghanistan.  They were providing security for the building of Route Trident in Basharan when they came under fire;  in the process of attempting to rescue a wounded colleague, both were killed by small arms fire.

Corporal Stenton joined the army on leaving school and attended the Army Foundation College at Harrogate.  He served twice in Iraq, and then passed the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Crew Commanders’ Course.  He is remembered as being kind, tenacious, resourceful and one who always looked out for others.

Sergeant Scott Dyer said of him:  Corporal Matthew Stenton is what I can only describe as an amazing soldier.  His drive and focus were an inspiration to us all.  Always the first to volunteer, he led from the front and never let anything break his enthusiasm, even when...

July 20, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Captain Daniel Shepherd, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.  He had been commanding an IED disposal team, working with a Royal Engineers Search Team to ensure that there was a clear route for an ISAF resupply convoy.

After his time in the Army Cadets, Captain Shepherd joined the army in 1998, attending Welbeck Military College, and also obtained an Electrical Engineering Degree.  In August of 2003, after attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he received his commission and served in Iraq the following year.  Four years later he passed Ammunition Technical Officer training and later the IEDD No. 1 (High Threat) course.  Captain Shepherd also represented the army in skiing and climbing competitions.

Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis said of him:  "Captain Shepherd was an extraordinary officer; composed, compassionate, utterly charming and imbued with a...