August 11, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2007, Captain David Hicks, 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.  His patrol base came under enemy attack and he sustained severe injuries as he co-ordinated the response to the attack.  Although taken to Camp Bastion for treatment, his injuries were too grievous for him to survive.

Captain Hicks attended the Royal Military Academy and was commissioned into the Royal Anglian Regiment.  He served in Bosnia and Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan.  He also spent a year training recruits at the Infantry Training Centre.   At the time of his death he was acting as Company Commander, and was known to be a courageous, conscientious and well-respected leader.   Colleagues remember him as a good listener, a calm and intelligent officer who cared for those with whom he served. . 

Major Phil Messenger said of him:  “Dave Hicks was the most professional and dedicated fellow infantry offi...

August 9, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2006, Private Leigh Reeves, the Royal Logistic Corps., died while in service in Afghanistan.

He had enlisted in the army in October of 2003, and after completing basic training as a Royal Logistic Corps driver, he was posted to the Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion in Rheindahlen, Germany.  At the end of March in 2006 he deployed to Afghanistan and was killed in a road traffic accident just over four months later, at Camp Souter, Kabul.

Private Reeves was a popular and well-liked young man, with what was described as “a wicked sense of humour and happy-go-lucky outlook”, known for cheering up those around him and boosting morale.  He was a determined hard worker with a promising future in the army.  Lieutenant Colonel Richard Winstanley made this statement:  “Leigh was one of those larger than life characters that every unit needs. This tragic accident has deprived the Battalion of a high calibre soldier who will be sorely...

July 16, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2011, Lance Corporal Paul Watkins, 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's), was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been in his vehicle at Nahr-e Saraj, providing fire and communications support for a joint foot patrol with members of the Afghan National Army.  One of the Afghan army soldiers turned his gun on Lance Corporal Watkins and shot him – the soldier then fled but was located and arrested three months later.  .

Lance Corporal Watkins who was born in South Africa, had joined the army four years earlier as a Foreign and Commonwealth soldier.  After basic training he completed special-to-arm training, and went on to serve in Iraq.  His colleagues described him as courageous, larger-than-life, enthusiastic and dedicated.  The tributes which were paid to him after his death showed how much he was liked and respected by all ranks. 

Lieutenant Colonel William Fooks said of him:  “Lance Corporal Paul Watkins was absolut...

July 5, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Private Thomas Sephton, 1st Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, died in hospital in England of wounds sustained the previous day in Afghanistan.

He had been part of a patrol in the Hahr-e Saraj distriction of Helmand Province when he was grievously wounded in an IED explosion while clearing a route for his section. He was treated on-site and at Camp Bastion, then flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham – but could not be saved and the decision was made to turn off his life-support.

Dedicated, mature and capable, Private Sephton was due to attend a promotion course on his return home. He had joined the army eighteen months earlier and trained in the Falkland Islands and Kenya before serving in Afghanistan. A superior officer considered him one of the battalion’s finest soldiers, fearless, and selfless.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield said of him: “He was a hardworking man, always ready to volunteer for additional work or responsibili...

June 27, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Captain David Patton, Special Reconnaissance Regiment, and Sergeant Paul Bartlett, Special Boat Service, were killed in Afghanistan.

They had been part of a twelve-man team on a planned operation, and came under attack when they were returning to a forward base in the Sangin valley. Sergeant Bartlett was wounded and Captain Patton went to his aid, but they were cut off from their colleagues and killed. Their bodies were found along with those of members of the Taliban, showing they had fought to the last.

No details could be located at this time on Sergeant Bartlett, other than that he was 35 years old. Captain Patton had served with distinction with the Royal Irish Rangers and the Parachute Regiment. From Limavady in Northern Ireland, he was 38 years old and married with a 14-month-old daughter.

June 12, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Lieutenant Paul Mervis, 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan. 

Educated at King’s College, Wimbledon, and University College, London, he went on to work as a journalist for The Week and The Spectator.  He travelled widely and was then commissioned into the Rifles in April of 2007, his first operatonal tour being in Kosovo.  Lieutenant Mervis is remembered as a professional and dedicated officer who cared passionately about his Riflemen.  On the day of his death he had been on foot patrol near Sangin when he was killed in an explosion.

Major Alastair Field said of him:  “Paul Mervis was a one in a trillion. I have never met a more passionate and engaging young officer in my twelve years in the Army.  His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. I could not have wanted more of him as a Platoon Commander.  Full-on, intelligently so, he was caring and understanding in the best way. He had a sharp intellect and immedia...

May 21, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Corporal Stephen Walker, 40 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been on a joint foot patrol with the Afghan National Army when he was caught up in an explosion near Patrol Base Almas in Sangin.

Corporal Walker had joined the Royal Navy in May of 1986, then after serving for four years he joined the Royal Marines.  He served in Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, 40 and 45 Commando Royal Marines and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines as a Recruit Troop Instructor.  He excelled in Junior Command Training and gained considerable operational experience serving in Iraq and Northern Ireland.  He arrived in Afghanistan in April of 2010 as a Section Commander based out of Patrol Base Almas.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James said of him:  “Corporal Stephen ‘Whisky’ Walker, an ex-Navy chef turned Royal Marine Commando, was one of the most professionally astute men I have ever met. Brave, loyal, utterly dedica...

May 15, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2011, Marine Nigel Dean Mead, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan.  He was fatally injured in an explosion during a cordon and search operation in the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand Province.

Marine Mead attended the Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen before joining the Royal Marines just after his seventeenth birthday. He had excelled academically at school, and had been the Welsh 800m champion and a member of Carmarthen Harriers.  In July of 2009 he was the youngest marine to pass out from his troop.  He showed keenness in the long-range rifle course, mountain training, and a two-month amphibious deployment in the United States.  Tributes speak of a dedicated, kind and courageous young man with an engaging and highly-likeable personality.

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison RM said of him:  “Marine Nigel Dean Mead was the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando.  A young man with considerable inner str...

May 7, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Sergeant Ben Ross, 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment, Royal Military Police, and Corporal Kumar Pun, 1st Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles, were killed in an explosion during a patrol in Gereshk, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Sergeant Ross grew up in Dubai and was educated at Hazelgrove Preparatory School and King’s School in Bruton, Somerset.  He joined the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in 1996 and served in Germany and the Balkans.  In 2003 he transferred to the Royal Military Police, took the Close Protection Course and served in Northern Ireland and Iraq.  In Afghanistan he mentored and trained the Afghan Uniformed Police.

Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2 Sean Kimber, said:  “For all the qualities that you ascribe to Ben, and there would be many, I believe impressive is the one that simply sums Ben up.  Impressive as a soldier, who could always be relied on by both his commanders and those that he commanded; in man...

April 9, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2002, Lance Corporal Darren John George, the Royal Anglian Regiment, died while serving with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. 

He was the first casualty of the Afghanistan war after being accidentally shot by a colleague while on patrol in Kabul.  Lance Corporal George died as he was being flown to Oman for treatment.

It was heard at the inquest in Chelmsford that a ricocheting bullet hit Lance Corporal George in the head.  The colleague told the inquest that he took his weapon off his shoulder, put it on the floor and was going through the normal safety drill when he had a dizzy spell, fell back and caught the trigger.  A verdict of accidental death was returned. 

Darren, who was living at Pirbright, was married with a one-year-old son - who grew up to be an army cadet and was given special permission to wear his father’s Royal Anglian beret.

March 27, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Lance Corporal Peter Edward Craddock, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, died in a road accident in Lashkar Gah, Southern Afghanistan.

Before joining the army he had travelled extensively, to Egypt, Israel, and the Himalayas, and at one point teaching English in Cambodia. His family described him as a free spirit, cheeky and cheerful, a unique person full of energy and life. He had enlisted in the army in January of 1998 and served in Northern and Kosovo as well as Afghanistan. Extremely popular, he is remembered as a calm and professional soldier who was doing a job he loved.

Lieutenant Colonel David Brown said of him: “You do not get soldiers any better than Lance Corporal Craddock. His loss on his multiple’s final patrol before completion of their 6-month operational tour of Afghanistan is an utter tragedy. We all felt numb at news of his death. ‘Tinhead’ [because of his love for tins of biscuits] epi...

March 26, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2012, Sergeant Luke Taylor, Royal Marines, and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, Adjutant General’s Corps, were killed in Afghanistan.  They were shot and killed at the main entrance to Lashkar Gah Main Operating Base by an Afghan soldier who was described as having a personal grievance.  He was shot dead at the scene. 

Sergeant Taylor had joined the Royal Marines in 1997, and had arrived in Afghanistan just four weeks before his death.  He was well-liked, professional, self-less, and ready for any challenge.   

His Commanding Officer (who was not named on the MoD site due to the nature of his work) said of him:  “Sergeant Luke Taylor was one of those very unique ‘soldiers’ who combined the highest professional standards with a completely disarming and relaxed personality.  Always an absolute pleasure to work with, you knew that Sergeant Taylor would deliver first time, every time. With a wealth of experience under his belt, he...

March 15, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Corporal Graeme Stiff and Corporal Dean John, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, were killed in Afghanistan when their Jackal patrol vehicle struck an IED.

Corporal Dean John had joined REME in 2000 and his first posting was to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery in Germany. He went on to serve in Northern Ireland and Iraq, and was on his second tour of Afghanistan where he was a Vehicle Mechanic in the Fitter Section of A Squadron, Queen’s Dragoon Guards. He won an award for being the joint best Non-Commissioned Officer in the Light Aid Detachment of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and was recommended for Artificer training. Corporal John is remembered as happiest when up to his elbows in an engine, a problem-fixer, selfless, hard-working and loyal.

Lieutenant Colonel Alan Richmond said of him: “The loss of Dean John has cast a dark shadow over the Regiment. He had been part of our Regimental family for almost three years. He was a huge character who had a...

March 6, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2007, Marine Benjamin Reddy, K Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan when his unit came under fire during a clearance operation in the Kajaki area of Helmand Province.

One of two sons of Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Gardener, he had joined the Royal Marines in 2005, and deployed to Afghanistan the following year.  He lived to be a Marine and treasured his green beret.  Popular in his troop and in his company, Marine Reddy is remembered as courageous, hard-working, dedicated and unselfish, with an open and friendly personality and an uplifting sense of humour. 

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Holmes said of him:  “Ben Reddy was a dedicated Royal Marine. He will be remembered as an honest and unselfish man who was conscientious in his approach to his duties and always worked hard for his friends and colleagues. He was always the first to offer assistance or to volunteer no matter what the associated danger.  He was rightly...

February 25, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Marine Michael Laski, Signals Detachment, Yankee Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, died at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham from wounds sustained in Afghanistan two days earlier.

He had been part of a foot patrol which came under heavy enemy fire while on open ground.  Marine Laski was hit and never regained consciousness.  He had joined the Royal Marines in 2006, soon deploying to Afghanistan, and returning in 2008 after completing the Signals Specialisation course.  Marine Laski was noted for his professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication.  His personality and sense of humour made him popular;  his colleagues could depend on his loyalty, courage, tenacity and compassion.

Major Rich Parvin said of him:  “Marine Mick Laski was a sharp-witted and thoughtful individual with an active mind.  His ‘scouse’ wit was always well-timed and he would often break the tension at moments of pressure with his dry sense of humour.   Bra...

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