Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey, both from 25 Field Squadron, 38 Engineer Regiment, were killed in an attack at Massareene Barracks in Antrim. They were outside the barracks collecting a pizza delivery when two Real IRA gunmen opened fire from a nearby vehicle. The pizza deliverymen (shot but not fatally injured) were targeted as the killers stated they were collaborators. Two men were arrested, one acquitted and the other convicted, however that conviction was overturned four years later as it was deemed to be a miscarriage of justice.
Sapper Azimkar had joined the Royal Engineers in 2005; after basic training and the combat engineer course, he attended artisan training as a carpenter and joiner. Remembered as an easy-going friendly young man, he was looking forward to his first deployment to Afghanistan and then the potential of JNCO training.
Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis said: “Sapper Pat Azimkar exemplified the characteristics of a highly motivated young soldier. He was dedicated, ambitious and full of energy. Always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done he never ceased to amaze me with his cheerful approach regardless of the conditions. During training for our deployment to Afghanistan, Sapper Azimkar showed his true grit and determination, making absolutely certain that he was fully prepared for the exacting and demanding conditions to come. It was his performance during this training, and in particular his commitment to supporting his mates, that showed his full potential for training as a Non-Commissioned Officer. The regiment and I have been shocked and stunned by the death of this very promising young soldier.”
Patrick, from London, was 21 years old.
Sapper Quinsey is remembered as a charismatic and affable young soldier – mature, reliable and capable with unlimited potential. He had joined the Army when he was nineteen, and following basic training he attended the combat engineer course and then went on to qualify as an electrician at the Royal School of Military Engineering.
Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis said: “Sapper Quinsey was an outwardly calm, resolute and motivated young soldier. A social live wire and hugely popular across the regiment, he was rarely away from the centre of the action. Professionally his approach reflected his infectious enthusiasm for life. As one of the few soldiers within my regiment to have completed the demanding class 1 electricians’ course his trade skills were invaluable. He was hugely passionate about his trade and eager to put his new qualifications to good use in Afghanistan. We were expecting him to play a vital role maintaining the living and working conditions of British soldiers serving in southern Afghanistan. Tragically he has been denied this opportunity. This has been a traumatic time and the regiment and I are devastated to have lost such a fine and promising soldier. “
Mark, from Birmingham, was 23 years old.