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...

February 21, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Marine Scott Summers, 42 Commando Royal Marines, died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident in Afghanistan.

He had volunteered for a re-supply run and was part of a convoy, driving a Pinzgauer vehicle, when he was severely injured in a road traffic accident. After being treated in Afghanistan, he was sent to a specialist unit in the UK, but died seventeen days after the accident. Marine Summers had joined the Royal Marines in 2005, and deployed to Afghanistan in October of 2006. He is remembered as “a real character”, selfless, warm-hearted and with a sharp wit. He showed courage in over twenty fire-fights with the Taliban, and was always ready to volunteer whether for something mundane or dangerous.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Holmes said of him: “The loss of such a fine young man as Scott Summers is felt across the whole Commando, and shows the high regard in which he was held. It was typical of the man that he had volunteered for the...

February 14, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Private Robert Wood and Private Dean Hutchinson, the Royal Logistic Corps, died in Afghanistan.

They had been sleeping in the tented Transport Troop Office at Camp Bastion in order to respond quickly when vital supplies arrived. Another soldier was woken by the smoke and left the tent to raise the alarm, but those at the scene did not know the emergency number. When the firefighters arrived the tent was ablaze. That soldier admitted he should not have gone to bed but had told another soldier to stay, something the latter denied.

The coroner stated he would make a “preventing further deaths” report and recorded a narrative conclusion; there were eight areas where there was either a failure or a systemic failure that led to the deaths of Private Wood and Private Hutchinson. A fire risk assessment had not been carried out when the extension had been built. The fire began where electrical appliances were located, igniting combustible material clos...

January 28, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2004, Private Jonathan Peter Kitulagoda, E (Devon and Dorset) Company, the Rifle Volunteers, was killed in Afghanistan.

He had graduated from Plymouth University with a degree in marine navigation, and had joined the TA while studying.  He had then volunteered to serve in Afghanistan.  In a suicide bomber attack, Private Kitulagoda was killed, and four other soldiers were injured – they were travelling in Land Rovers on a main road and a taxi blew up as they overtook it.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Blewett said of him:  “It was with immense sadness that we learnt of the death of one of our soldiers, and injuries suffered by his colleagues, while on peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan. My thoughts, and those of the entire Battalion, are very much with Private Kitulagoda’s family, and the families of those injured, at this dreadful time.  Jonathan Kitulagoda was a young man who played a full and professional role as a TA infantryman, and was a popular...

January 11, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Marine Travis Mackin, 45 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan.

Marine Mackin was serving as a member of the Security Sector Reform Group in Afghanistan, and was killed by an IED during a joint patrol with the Afghan National security forces.   As a member of the specialist team mentoring the Afghan National Army and the National Police, one of his tasks was to guide and lead those he was training into and out of hostile situations.  He had been previously selected for specialist training and showed a strong performance on the communicators’ course, qualifying as a Royal Marines Communicator.  Marine Mackin is remembered as selfless, confident, a natural leader with huge potential and an infectious sense of humour.  He had joined the Royal Marines in July of 2004.

Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Armour said of him:  “Marine Travis Mackin was an archetypal Royal Marine who thoroughly embodied the ‘work hard - play har...

December 28, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Henry Wood, 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, serving with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, was killed in Afghanistan.

At the age of seventeen WO2 Wood had joined the army in 1994, something he had been keen to do since he was a child.  He had served in Iraq and Bosnia before deployment to Afghanistan, by which time his leadership abilities had been well-proven.  Promotion was rapid, he was seen to be talented and successful, and was considering a Late Entry Commission.  Keen on football all his life. WO2 Wood represented his regimental team as well as using his skills as trainer and manager.  He also raised thousands of pounds for forces charities.  On the day of his death, working as Advanced Search Advisor, he was leading the clearance of a route through the Khushdal Kalay area of the Helmand River Valley, when he was killed in an IED blast. 

Lieutena...

December 12, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Lance Corporal Steven “Jamie” Fellows, Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Group Royal Marines, was killed in Sangin, Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Fellows had joined the Royal Marines two years earlier and was awarded the King’s Badge as best recruit in his troop. He was a keen sportsman who represented his unit in the Royal Marines Boxing Championships, and was invited to represent them in the Royal Navy Boxing Championships. Colleagues remember him as mature, determined, tough yet compassionate, a popular man with a quick wit. He was promoted to the rank of lance corporal after eleven months out of training, proof of his abilities and determination.

On the day of his death he was travelling in a Jackal on a foot and vehicle patrol when the vehicle struck an IED. Despite medical attention and being evacuated by helicopter, Lance Corporal Fellows did not regain consciousness.

Lieutenant Tom Winterton said of him: “Lance Corporal Fellows was an awesome...

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