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  • Christina Drummond

Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD)

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), died from wounds received the previous day in Afghanistan. He had been caught up in an IED explosion while conducting a route search to clear devices in the vicinity of Patrol Base Sandford.

Corporal Marlton-Thomas had joined the army in 1998 and served in Northern Ireland and Iraq with Advanced Search Group. This would have been his last tour of duty in Afghanistan in which he had single-handedly defused 18 enemy bombs. He was regarded as one of the best 'bomb hunters' in the Army. On the day of his death a message from his commanding officer to abort his mission and return to base was not received by him. Radios were not being used by his patrol in case they triggered Taliban explosives. He became trapped in a mud-filled river bed and a hidden bomb exploded as he struggled to get free.

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex said: “Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a courageous soldier and a strong leader; his boys loved him. He epitomised the character and bravery required of a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander and his loss will be felt keenly across our close-knit community. His pride and dedication is an inspiration to us all. He knew more than anyone that his job was dangerous, but understood that his role was vital to the security of decent Afghans and his fellow soldiers.”

Loren, from Thornton Cleveleys in Lancashire, was 28 years old and married.

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