Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Lieutenant Tom Mildinhall and Lance Corporal Paul Farrelly, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry), were killed in Iraq. They were on patrol in the Al Jezaizah district of northwest Basra when their Land Rover was caught up in the explosion of a roadside bomb.
The son of a retired army officer, Lieutenant Mildinhall attended Monkton Combe School in Bath, studied Artificial Intelligence & Computer Sciences at Durham University, and went on to attend the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 2004. He served in Iraq that year, and had returned there only a month before his death.
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Pittman said of him: “He was intelligent, determined and utterly loyal to both his own command and his superiors. He led by example and his soldiers responded positively, safe in the knowledge he had their best interests at heart. It was typical of his command style to insist he physically led the more dangerous patrols, as he was doing last night when his Troop came under attack and he suffered a fatal injury. He was calm under pressure and I could rely upon him to deliver results in the complex operational environment of Iraq. His love of life, sharp wit and ability to laugh at himself coupled with his enduring commitment to the team were qualities that endeared him to us all. With his passing, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards has lost a truly promising officer.”
Tom, from Battersea, was 26 years old.
Lance Corporal Farrelly had joined the army in 2002, and completed basic training as Top Recruit. He was on his third tour of Iraq at the time of his death, having served there previously in 2003 and 2005. Described as jovial yet tough, he was considered to embody what was best about British Army soldiers: “selfless, determined, humorous and steadfast in the face of adversity.”
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Pittman said of him: “Lance Corporal Farrelly was widely acknowledged as one of the most competent Lance Corporals in the Regiment. He was knowledgeable, quick-thinking…he stood out amongst his peers as a natural leader; level-headed and utterly dependable. His wealth of experience, combined with his ability to identify quickly the critical path meant his contribution was way beyond that commensurate with his rank. He was marked out for early promotion. He set and demanded the highest standards, but he also knew it was his responsibility to encourage and coach those less able. Lance Corporal Farrelly was an outstanding soldier who will be sorely missed by all those who have had the privilege to serve with him.”
Paul, from Rhyl but raised in Runcorn, was 27 years old and married with three small children.