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  • Christina Drummond

Corporal Andrew Roberts and Private Ratu Silibaravi, 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistics Corps

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Corporal Andrew Roberts and Private Ratu Silibaravi (23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistics Corps) died in Afghanistan. They were killed in an indirect fire attack on Forward Operating Base Ouellette.

Corporal Roberts had joined the Army in 1998 and had served as a Section Commander in 23 Pioneer Regiment since 2008. He had served on operations in Bosnia and Iraq and this was his second tour of Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher said: “Corporal Roberts is a man I am proud to say I knew well, the epitome of a Pioneer soldier; brave, fit, robust and a ‘salt of the earth character’, who led his soldiers from the front and by example at all times. Ginge had a very infectious and engaging sense of humour, that made him hugely popular with all ranks and he could lighten any dark moment with his cheeky wit and northern banter. He was a selfless man and one of complete integrity. He took great pride in his role as Section Commander and was always looking out for the welfare of his soldiers. Ginge is quite simply irreplaceable.” Andrew, from Middlesbrough, was 32 years old and left behind two daughters and a son.

Private Silibaravi joined the British Army in 2002, and served in Iraq as well as Afghanistan twice before. He was a member of the Regimental Rugby Team; a fine runner, he represented the Regiment at athletics. Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher said: “Private Silibaravi was one of my most experienced soldiers. Steadfast, redoubtable and brave, this soldier was a Pioneer to his core. A man of strong belief and affable character, he was immensely popular in the Regiment and a highly valued member of his Search team. With his broad operational experience and superb soldiering skills, he quickly established himself as an invaluable member of his section. Intelligent and thoughtful by nature, he was highly professional and always gave 100% to any task he was given. He died on operations in a role that is vital to achieving progress in Afghanistan and highly regarded by all deployed UK forces.” Ratu, originally from Fiji, was 32 years old.

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