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  • Christina Drummond

Corporal Gordon Pritchard, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006 Corporal Gordon Pritchard, serving with C Squadron, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, as part of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’) Battlegroup, was killed in Iraq. His vehicle struck a roadside bomb while on a routine rations-and-water run; he was killed instantly and three other soldiers were injured.

At the age of sixteen Corporal Pritchard joined the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps at Bovington. He was first posted to A Squadron as a gunner on Chieftain tanks, and later to 6th Battalion, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, after gaining his Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) qualifications. He then served in Bosnia and Kosovo before becoming an instructor at the Army Training Regiment, Winchester, where he was officially recognised as the best instructor there at the time. He worked hard to gain many qualifications, and it was noted that he excelled on every course he took, usually earning the title of “best student”. He is remembered for his easy smile and dry sense of humour, his ability to remain calm under pressure - and how he led by example, adapting well in any environment and being highly proficient in all aspects of his job.

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Edwards said: “Corporal Pritchard was one of my finest Junior Non-Commissioned Officers. He had in abundance the qualities of intelligence, professionalism, compassion and humour that are required to make it to the very highest levels. He was a soldier with very great potential and had been identified in the last year as one for whom the Regiment had high hopes. He was chosen to attend his Challenger 2 Tank Commander’s course. Throughout the course his energy and enthusiasm kept him ahead of his peers as they mastered the complexities of commanding such a vehicle in demanding situations. He emerged as one of the best students to have completed the course in recent memory. Corporal Pritchard demonstrated leadership qualities above and beyond those expected of a JNCO. As a result he was appointed as second-in-command of a Troop for our tour of Iraq, a post usually held by a Sergeant. His dedication and easy interaction was noted by all those who he worked with. The regiment has lost a fine soldier and a good friend.”

Gordon, born in Germany where his father was serving with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, was 31 years old and married with three children.

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