Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Signaller Wayne Bland, 6 Signal Regiment, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan. He had been providing top-cover while in a patrol convoy when they were attacked by a suicide bomber who rammed them with his vehicle before detonating the bomb. Two other soldiers were injured and were taken with Signaller Bland to hospital, where they survived but sadly he did not.
Signaller Bland, an avid footballer who represented his regiment many times, had joined the regiment two years earlier, after having qualified as a driver lineman. He worked in the Motor Transport Troop as part of the Kabul Support Unit for six months, responsible for delivering personnel and vital stores safely. He trained as a driver of several key vehicles and had also taken the team medic course.
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Hodges said of him: “Signaller Wayne Bland was a superb soldier, full of character and a highly popular member of 16 Signal Regiment. He instantly fitted in, as only a ‘Liney’ knows how; with a laugh and huge sense of fun. It was abundantly clear to everyone who met Wayne that his strength and personality marked him out for a bright future in the Army. Wayne’s death is a huge tragedy, but he was a committed soldier who understood the risks and the importance of his work, as do his friends and every soldier in the Regiment. This cheerful and vibrant young man will be sorely missed by his friends. His loss is all the more poignant for his family who were expecting him home on leave in the next few weeks. Wayne was in the last week of his tour and as the Regiment returns to barracks we will mourn his loss. We will also remember him with pride both as a friend and as a professional Royal Signals soldier.”
Wayne, from Leeds, was 21 years old.