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  • Christina Drummond

Colour Sergeant Martyn Horton, Lance Corporal David Ramsden, Private Douglas Halliday and Private Al

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Colour Sergeant Martyn Simon Horton, Lance Corporal David Andrew Ramsden, Private Douglas Niall Halliday and Private Alex Isaac, all from 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), were killed in a vehicle incident near Gereshk, Helmand province. They were members of a police advisory team travelling to attend an incident at a nearby checkpoint when their vehicle rolled into a waterway.

Colour Sergeant Martyn Horton had enlisted in the Army in 1992; he served in the Falkland, Northern Ireland and Iraq as well as Afghanistan. He was promoted to Colour Sergeant in 2009 and assumed the role of Reconnaissance Platoon Second-in-Command.

Major Robin Barnbrook said: “Colour Sergeant Horton was a true soldier, a valued friend and comrade-in-arms. An extremely fit and highly professional field soldier, He was not happy unless he was in the thick of the action. Rumour had it that he was frustrated when he first came to Afghanistan because he thought his role would be dull; that soon changed as he led his men from the front through countless incidents in Gereshk in support of the Afghan National Police. He worked hard and played hard; in fact he played extremely hard and was known and loved for being a bit of a ‘social hand grenade’. He will leave a gap in the lives of those who had the privilege to know him. He often talked of his own mortality; the only solace that I can draw from this tragedy is that he died doing the job he loved amongst the many friends that he held so dear.”

Martyn, from Runcorn, was 34 years old.

Lance Corporal Ramsden joined the Army in 2002; he served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq as well as Afghanistan. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2005, then left the army two years later but re-joined in 2010 as a Regular Reservist. He deployed to Afghanistan in April of 2010, joining the Police Advisory Team.

Captain Ben Stephens said: “Lance Corporal Ramsden possessed a quiet and sincere disposition. He executed his duties with a consideration for others not always seen in soldiers. As a reservist volunteer for operations in Afghanistan I had the utmost respect for him and his dedication to the cause. He was highly committed to his job and hoped to re-enlist back into the Regular Army to continue his career. It was for these reasons he was such a popular figure amongst his peers. His passing will not be forgotten amongst those who served with him. Stand Firm and Strike Hard ‘Lizard’ Ramsden, your memory lives on.”

David, from Leeds, was 26 years old.

Private Douglas Halliday joined the army in 2008, and served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland before deploying to Afghanistan. He undertook extensive Mission Specific Training in both the UK and Kenya, and was then assigned to the Police Advisory Team in Gereshk, Helmand Province.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield said: “Dougie Halliday was a highly capable and competent soldier who thrived on the challenge and camaraderie that Army life brought. A spirited man with a big heart he was totally committed to this difficult and often dangerous mission and interacted extremely well with both the police and the civilian community. He was a fit and strong soldier and was willing to shoulder any burden to assist the team’s performance. He was positive in his approach to service in Afghanistan and to his chosen profession. He had a bright future ahead of him. His loss will be deeply felt and he will never be forgotten. He was a true Mercian Warrior.”

Douglas, from Wallasey, Merseyside, was 20 years old.

Private Alex Isaac joined the army in 2008. He served in Kenya and on operations in Afghanistan, and following Mission Specific Training in readiness for deployment on Operation HERRICK 12, he moved from C Company to B (Malta) Company.

Major Chris Wood said: “Alex was a great personality to have in the Company; a big, gregarious man who always wore a ready smile. He was the sort of soldier who, despite his relative inexperience, could be relied upon to always get the job done. He had a great future ahead of him and would have achieved anything he set his mind to. His loss is keenly felt across the Company and our lives will be poorer without him.”

Alex, from the Wirral, was 20 years old.

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