Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Trooper Christopher Whiteside, the Light Infantry, was killed in an explosion in Gereshk, Afghanistan.
He had joined the Army in 2005 and served in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment for a year, but after suffering a severe injury he was discharged. When completely recovered he rejoined and served with the Light Infantry which he considered “living the dream”. Trooper Whiteside was skilled at fencing and so his other dream was to make the army team and then reach the Olympics. One of his friends described him as a quiet and gentle soul and a “brilliant mate”, others remember his courage, determination, likeability, and how he would go out of his way to help anyone.
Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair said of him: “Trooper “Norm” Whiteside had only been in the regiment for a short time, but had established a reputation as an excellent soldier. Fit, robust and determined, he had all the qualities that mark out a soldier of considerable promise, and he was at the top of his peers. Norm had been tested in some of the most intense fighting ever experienced in Afghanistan for four days prior to his death and had never been found wanting. As part of the Fire Support Group, he had led 3rd Platoon from the front all day during fighting in the heat and demanding terrain. He will be remembered as a soldier at the top of his profession, who gave his all for his friends, and who has been cruelly taken from us.”
Christopher, from Blackpool, was 20 years old.