Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Lance Bombardier Ross Clark and Lance Bombardier Liam McLaughlin, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, died in Afghanistan. They were killed when Taliban militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade on a tower they were manning in Helmand Province.
Lance Bombardier Clark joined the British Army in 2002. After specialist military training, he volunteered for service with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and served on operations on the Al Faw Peninsula in Iraq. An accomplished triathlete of noted determination and professionalism, he is remembered as being a gifted soldier who was dedicated to mentoring others and having a generous spirit. He deployed to Afghanistan in September of 2006.
Lieutenant Colonel Neil Wilson RA said of him: “Ross was a determined, intelligent and motivated young man who epitomised the standards of professionalism against which we measure ourselves. He was extremely popular within the Regiment and had already begun a rapid progression through the ranks. It is particularly poignant that his Battery should lose two of its members on the day that it celebrates its battle honour, and the entire Regiment is profoundly saddened by his loss.” Ross, from Zimbabwe, was 25 years old.
Lance Bombardier McLaughlin, known as Paddy, enlisted in the British Army in 2002 and joined 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery a year later – he passed the All Arms Commando Course at his first attempt and gain his Military Parachute Wings. Described as having an “indomitable spirit and boundless energy”, he is remembered for his fierce loyalty, sense of humour and selflessness.
Lieutenant Colonel Neil Wilson RA said of him: “Paddy was a real character, that rare combination of natural verve and determined professionalism that is an absolute pleasure to be around. He was an extremely popular young soldier, and undoubtedly had a bright future ahead of him. He leaves a void that will be felt by the entire Regiment, who are deeply shocked to a man. That he should be lost alongside his fellow team-member and friend, Lance Bombardier Ross Clark, is particularly saddening.” Liam, from Lancashire, was 21 years old.