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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Paul Donnachie of 2nd Battalion the Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Rifleman Paul Donnachie of 2nd Battalion the Rifles was killed by small arms fire during a routine patrol in the Al Ashar district of Basra City. He had only arrived from training in December as a Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry recruit. His section commander commented that he knew he had “struck gold” when Rifleman Donnachie joined his team. His company commander said of him: "Rifleman Donnachie was the epitome of what it is to be professional. All those who trained with him remember how studious he was. He’d absorb everything he was taught like a sponge - earning him the nickname ‘Potter’. Out here in Basra City, he was one of those rare sorts that never complained whatever he was told to do; in fact he used to volunteer to go out on patrols. He never wanted to be away from where the action was. For an 18-year-old that’s pretty impressive. He was no average Rifleman; brimming with confidence and a cheeky sense of humour. Despite having been involved at the front end of strike operations and numerous contacts against the enemy in Basra City, he had already volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan later this year. He delivered the goods on time, every time and with a smile. He loved the Army, he loved the Rifles, and he died protecting those around him. His loss is tragic and he will be sorely missed by those who had the privilege of working with him. He really was the Best of British.” Paul, from Reading, was 18 years old.

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