Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, the Light Dragoons, and Corporal Stephen Bolger, 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, (both serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force), were killed by a landmine as they were travelling in a Land Rover near the village of Chadi, near Musa Qala in Helmand province.
Lance Corporal Moffett had joined the army in 2003 and went on to serve in Iraq that year and two years later, as well as in Afghanistan in 2006. Known as an enthusiastic soldier, he was fierce, relentless and always ready for a challenge. He was a physical training instructor and proved his natural leadership, physical and mental fitness, and outstanding capabilities.
Major Neil Grant said of him: “As strong as an ox, LCpl Moffett was an exceptionally physically fit and robust soldier. He had many other attributes. He was charming and funny, with a natural Irish wit, which both helped him and got him into trouble, in equal measure. He was courageous under fire, and showed a streak of tenacity of which we in the BRF are immensely proud. A committed professional with burning ambition, he was hoping to attempt Special Forces Selection next summer after this tour. He would have acquitted himself well. Today, the BRF have lost a brave soldier and brother-in-arms. LCpl Moffett’s sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Nigel, from Holywood, Belfast, was 28 years old.
Corporal Bolger, who was a mentor for the Afghan National Army, was found alive ten metres from the site of the explosion, he was airlifted to the hospital at Camp Bastion, but died during the journey. He was known to be a dedicated, courageous and cheerful young man, with a passion for the work that he did.
His Commanding Officer said of him: “Stephen was, quite simply, an extraordinary man doing an extraordinary job. He embodied a life based on service to others, duty and self-sacrifice - the life of a soldier. He chose this life and lived it with a passion; he died prematurely, but he died doing what he loved. He gave his all for his friends, for The Parachute Regiment and for the difficult task he faced. How privileged we are to have known this courageous and talented soldier and every member of the unit is very proud and deeply honoured to have served alongside him.”
Stephen, from Motherwell in Scotland, was 30 years old.