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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Stuart Nash, 1st Battalion, The Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Rifleman Stuart Nash, 1 RIFLES Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battle Group, died in Afghanistan. He was wounded as he was covering comrades during combat in Zarghun Kalay, Nad e Ali District, Helmand province.

One of his comrades reported: “He was shot whilst calling out target indications and returning fire, all the time under heavy enemy fire. Despite being recently out of training he was a professional and a soldier in the best traditions of Australia and Britain.” First aid was administered and he was evacuated by helicopter, but died of his wounds. He had enlisted in the Rifles in March of that year, having dreamed of a military career since joining the cadets at the age of thirteen. He told his parents that moving to the U.K. and joining the British Army would give him “a better opportunity to do real soldiering.”

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Joe Cavanagh remembers clearly his impressive and humbling loyalty, good humour, maturity and intellect: “Rifleman Nash was clearly thriving on the dual challenges of his own early professional service and the responsibilities of mentoring his Afghan National Army warrior colleagues. He was honest about the difficulty and danger of his work, modest about his own reserves of courage, robust and determined to succeed. He was already enthusing - utterly realistically - about joining the battalion’s reconnaissance or sniper platoons after this operation in Afghanistan. He would have been superb in either. He fell a hero, in combat alongside his fellow riflemen.” Stuart, from Sydney, Australia, was 21 years old.

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