Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Second Lieutenant Joanna Yorke Dyer and Kingsman Adam James Smith of 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, and Private Eleanor Dlugosz and Corporal Kris O'Neill of the Royal Army Medical Corps, died in Iraq. They were killed when an IED exploded beneath the vehicle they were travelling in during a patrol west of Basra City.
Second Lieutenant Dyer attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst after obtaining a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. She commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in December of 2006, and was attached to the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, in order to gain operational experience in Iraq before completing her Young Officer Training. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Kenyon MBE said of her: “From a very early stage it was evident that Jo was a talented and energetic officer who was determined to make the most of her deployment to Iraq. Her enthusiasm was boundless and her contribution to our operations, even within a few short weeks, was invaluable. We very quickly came to think of her as one of us”. Joanna, from Yeovil in Somerset, was 24 years old.
Kingsman Smith joined the Army in April of 2004, and on completion of his combat infantryman training he joined the 1st Battalion, the King’s Regiment. Two years later he was selected to join the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, and deployed to Iraq in November of 2006. He had graduated from Rifleman to the Gunner’s seat and put his recent training to good use. He is remembered as being dependable, courageous, cool under pressure, and with considerable potential. Captain Mike Peel said of him: “Kingsman Smith was a soldier with an irrepressible sense of humour. He was thoroughly popular throughout the Battalion and especially in the Reconnaissance Platoon, where his cheerful nature marked him out as a constant source of morale and strength in times of difficulty. He will be sorely missed by all who had the honour to serve alongside him”. Adam, born on the Isle of Man but raised in Liverpool, was 19 years old.
Private Dlugosz had deployed to Iraq in November of 2006, at first providing primary healthcare at Shaibah Logistic Base. She took her Class 1 Medics Course and on her return to Iraq in March of 2017 she was tasked with accompany patrols into Basra, providing integral medical support. She is remembered as shy, bright, determined and courageous. Her future plans included training as a medical laboratory technician. Second Lieutenant Vinny Ramshaw said of her: “Private Dlugosz was a strong and morally courageous young woman, who was an example to many older and more experienced soldiers. Supremely dedicated to her work, she thoroughly enjoyed her soldiering and was keen to use her life-saving skills as a medic to help others”. Eleanor, from Southampton, was 19 years old.
Corporal O’Neill deployed to Iraq in January of 2007 to serve with the Close Support Medical Squadron at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra. He is described as an experienced and confident medic, unflappable and trustworthy. Well-liked and dependable, he was known to work long hours when off-duty, to ensure that his soldiers had everything they needed. He thrived on helping and mentoring others. Lieutenant Colonel Martin Toney said of him: “Corporal O’Neill was a reflective and utterly dependable soldier who used his maturity and common sense to great effect, becoming the squadron’s “safe pair of hands”. He would turn his hand to all sorts of things, including helping to rebuild Iraq by training the police service, and was a key player in the unit”. Kris, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, was 27 years old and married with three-year-old twin sons.