• Christina Drummond

Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, 1 Armoured Division, and Marine Christopher Maddison, 9 Assault Squa


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2003, Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley of 1 (UK) Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment, and Marine Christopher R Maddison of 9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, died in two separate situations.

Lance Corporal Brierley was killed in a Land-Rover crash in Kuwait. A coroner at his inquest criticised the Ministry of Defence for failing to properly equip British troops after the hearing was told that infrared plates fitted to the Land Rover he was travelling in had affected the vehicle’s lights and prevented the driver seeing an obstacle.

His father has been a prominent anti-war campaigner ever since, and refused to shake the proffered hand on Tony Blair at a reception for family members in 2009: “I understand soldiers go to war and die, but they have to go to war for a good reason and be properly equipped to fight. I believe Tony Blair is a war ¬criminal. I can’t bear to be in the same room as him. I can’t believe he’s been allowed to come to this reception. I believe he’s got the blood of my son and all of the other men and women who died out there on his hands. It comes back to me every day, every time I see a coffin come off a plane it reminds me of what ¬happened to Shaun.”

Lance Corporal Brierley had wanted to join the army since he was very small, and while in school he joined the Combined Cadet Force. He was a Radio Systems Operator with nine years experience, and had had served in Germany, the former Yugoslavia, Oman and Poland. Shaun, from Batley in West Yorkshire, was 28 years old and left behind a three-year-old son.

Marine Maddison was killed in action during an ambush near Basrah, on Al-faw peninsula. This article gives a comprehensive account of what happened that day, and raises uncomfortable questions: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jul/03/military.iraq

He had decided at the age of fourteen that he wanted to be a Marine, so signed up at sixteen. His closest friend said that Christopher would be “surprised and embarrassed” at the tributes paid to him, not only for his bravery and determination, but his character and his principles. Christopher, from Guisborough in North Yorkshire, was 24 years old

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