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  • Christina Drummond

Private Michael Tench, 2nd Battalion, The Light Infantry

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Private Michael Tench, 2nd Battalion, the Light Infantry, was killed in southern Iraq after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

He had enlisted in the British Army early in 2005, and after training his company deployed throughout the UK supporting training for other units, as well as spending a week at Garelochead in Scotland for more demanding training. He also spent time as a ceremonial guard at Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. After training for deployment, he went to Iraq in September of 2006, initially based at Shaibah Logistics Base near Basra, and later in the new year with the 1st, Battalion of the Staffordshire Regiment’s Battlegroup at the Shaat Al Arab Hotel, a British Army base in the north of the city.

On the day of his death he was part of a Warrior patrol that had set out from the hotel and which came under attack near the districts of Al Hadi and Al Jezaizah. Four other soldiers were injured in the attack. One of his comrades commented on how much he would be missed, he was popular and always cheerful, talked often about his family and said he was happy that he had joined the army and made something of himself. He is remembered as “a great friend” who would do anything to help a mate,

Major Andrew Ward said: “Private Michael Tench arrived in A Company in December 2005, coming straight from training at Catterick. A proud Sunderland man, he quickly integrated with the Company, establishing himself as a competent and reliable Light Infantryman. He had the exemplary character that we have come to expect from the British Infantryman: he was tough, resilient, liked a laugh, cheeky, but above all a professional. What struck me most about Michael was that he was ‘up for it’ and there was no job too tough. When his platoon was informed that they would be attached to 1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment in Basra, there was no-one more chuffed than Michael, determined as he was to take the fight to the enemy. On return to Edinburgh after the Iraq tour, he was due to transfer to the Sniper Platoon and join the Battalion’s boxing team. It is a tragedy that we have lost a young man with so much promise. We will miss Michael as a friend and as a fellow Light Infantryman.”

Michael, from Sunderland, was 18 years old.

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