Corporal Matthew Thomas, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Corporal Matthew Thomas, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and also attached to the Special Forces Support Group, was killed in the Garmsir district of Helmand province when the vehicle he was driving was struck by an IED. He was laid to rest with full military honours at Swansea's St. Mary's Church. His mother said that the family drew strength from the knowledge that he meant so much to so many. "As parents Robbie and I couldn't have wished for a more perfect son. He was thoughtful, kind, considerate, happy-go-lucky and always had a smile on his face. He had always wanted to join the Army and was extremely proud on the day of his passing out parade.” His passion to be the best at everything he did saw him promoted to the rank of corporal in the REME at such a young age. From the tribute paid by a REME spokesperson: “Corporal Matthew Thomas was an intelligent, dedicated and courageous man whose all-round professionalism as a soldier, and deep, deep competence as a mechanical engineer were widely respected and admired. Though still a young man he was a natural leader, setting the highest standards, showing enormous moral strength, and nurturing those under his command at every turn.” Matthew, from Swansea, was 24 years old.