• Christina Drummond

Rifleman Daniel Lee Coffey, 2nd Battalion, The Rifles


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Rifleman Daniel Lee Coffey, from 10 Platoon, C Company, Second Battalion The Rifles, was killed in Iraq. He was returning to his base at the Shatt-Al-Arab Hotel after taking part in a task mentoring the Iraqi Police Service when his patrol was ambushed by two gunmen. Rifleman Coffey was on top cover providing protection for the patrol vehicles when he was hit by small arms fire. He was immediately evacuated by helicopter to a field hospital, but sadly he died later in the day from his injuries.

He had eHeenlisted in the army in 2005, winning best shot during his Combat Infantryman’s Course, and was posted to The Devon and Dorset Light Infantry the following year. He served in Iraq on Operation TELIC 8 during 2006, operating out of the Shaibah Logistics Base on the outskirts of Basra City. One officer referred to Rifleman Coffey’s “dedication and his selfless commitment” as he immediately volunteered to serve in Iraq again, this time deploying with C Company Second Battalion The Rifles at the beginning of 2007.

Major Michael Foster-Brown said: " Rifleman Coffey was professional, enthusiastic and a reliable soldier with a bright future. He fitted in very quickly, winning everyone’s respect and admiration, not least for his sense of humour and his enthusiasm for soldiering. He had asked for a permanent transfer to the battalion and wanted to come with the Company to Ballykinler. I fully supported his request - I told him we were always happy to have good men. He was very fond of his family and used to delight in showing pictures on his mobile phone, in particular the newest edition to it, his six-month old brother. Rifleman Coffey had the qualities of a good rifleman: hard-working, thorough, quick-witted, brave, adventurous and with maybe just a hint of cheekiness. With these qualities he had strong potential for the future. We will miss him."

Daniel, from Exeter, was 21 years old.

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