Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Lance Sergeant Chris Casey and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath, 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards, were killed in Iraq when their Snatch Armoured Land Rover was hit by an IED to the west of Basra.
Lance Sergeant Casey had joined the army in 1998, and served in Kosovo and Northern Ireland, as well as on a previous tour of Iraq. He was due to return to England to take up a post as an instructor at a training establishment. He is remembered for his commitment, humour, spirit, and passion for his work. Lance Sergeant Casey had also been a member of the Pipes and Drums for ten years, and was considered to be an outstanding drummer.
Captain Stephen Wolseley said of him: “It is so difficult to write about Lance Sergeant Chris Casey at this time of great sadness as in my mind he was the most jovial and up-beat person I knew, the one person I could rely on to raise a smile or a laugh from the Platoon at a difficult time; his laugh and banter were totally infectious. Since we arrived in theatre, Lance Sergeant Casey has been commanding a section of the Pipes Platoon whose role has been instructing Iraqi Army soldiers…not only with patience and professionalism but also with a lot of heart and with a big smile… teaching others came naturally to him. A lasting memory, which was thankfully captured on video, was of Chris and some Iraqi soldiers having a celebratory ‘dance-off’ at the end of a lesson. He was a dear friend to many, a proud and highly capable Irish Guardsman.”
Chris, from London, was 27 years old and married with two children.
Lance Corporal Redpath had joined the army in 2003, and had been in Iraq for three months as a member of the Battalion’s Intelligence Cell. He was also considered to be outstanding, both as a professional soldier and as a drummer with the Pipes and Drums.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE said of him: “Lance Corporal Redpath was a larger than life character, well known for his slightly cheeky approach and his cheerful disposition. He was a delight to have working in Battle Group Headquarters. Not only did he bring valuable insights as an intelligence analyst working hard to get inside the head of the numerous factions involved in the current conflict in southern Iraq, but he also brightened up the place; he always had a joke to tell or an anecdote to recount. Only the day before he was so tragically killed he was visiting all the offices in the Headquarters handing out sweets asking after other people’s welfare. He was a very kind, gentle and generous man who genuinely wanted to make a difference for the population of Basra. On the night he died he was accompanying a patrol escorting a convoy from Kuwait. Notwithstanding the fact that he worked in the Intelligence Cell he knew that in order to learn the ground truth and to maintain the credibility of his briefings he needed to take part in patrols himself. He had done so on many occasions and his intelligence work was noticeably better for it; but he was also an accomplished soldier and an asset to any team lucky enough to be able to count him among their number. He was the perfect role model to every Irish Guardsman. There are many of us that will never live up to his standards but that will not stop us trying - we will never forget him. “
Kirk, from Romford, was 22 years old.