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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Liam Maughan, 3rd Battalion, The Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Rifleman Liam Maughan of 3rd Battalion The Rifles died in Afghanistan from wounds received as a result of small arms fire.

He had been in the army for two years, deploying to Afghanistan five months before his death. His family described him as happy, relaxed, and always smiling; taking everything in his stride, seemingly indestructible, and oblivious to danger – traits they hoped would keep him safe.

Lieutenant Tom Vila said (with a touch of respectful humour): “I always thought that Rifleman Maughan seemed a bit stunned, but from the year that I have known him, I now know this was down to his un-flappable composure. Thrown into the most extreme situations on Operations after only five months with the Battalion he oozed contagious serenity indicative of one far more experienced. He always be-calmed his fellow soldiers. His ability to shoot straight was quickly picked out (for he rumored that he could shoot straight often enough) such that he was chosen to be the Platoon’s sharp shooter. In this role he exemplified everything that was best in a thinking rifleman, selecting his own targets and timelessly hunting down a fleeting enemy through his scope, this man required little leadership. His boy band good looks led the rest of the lads to nickname him ‘Princess’; on the battlefield he was anything but. He thrived on soldiering and was proud to be a Rifleman. I was lucky enough to ‘chew the fat’ with him over a brew the day before he died. He was telling me about his newborn son, of whom he had not yet even seen a photo. He had a look in his eye that said that he was a man that any son would want for a father. That he himself was barely out of childhood mattered not a bit. This quality was inspiring but unsurprising as time and again put the needs of others before his own. Ultimately he placed himself in the line of fire, giving his own life for those of his comrades. Intelligent, naturally fit, fearless and sickeningly handsome, Rifleman Maughan has been robbed of the opportunity to make the most of his endless talents, and only 8 months after his 18th Birthday. This is a tragedy with no comparison. His brothers in arms will bear his loss, not lightly, for ever. This has been a dark day for 5 Platoon. The bravest of the brave, Swift and Bold.”

Liam, from Doncaster, was 18 years old and did not get to see his newborn son.

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