Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2004, Lance Corporal Paul Thomas, 2nd Battalion, the Light Infantry, attached to 1st Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, was killed in Iraq. He was part of a patrol which was ambushed in Basra by approximately fifty militiamen who were armed with rocket-propelled grenades. A number of the insurgents were killed during the ensuing exchange, and another British soldier was injured but fortunately survived.
Lance Corporal Thomas has joined the army ten years earlier, and had served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia and the Gulf, as well as on a previous tour in Iraq. He had been making plans to leave the army in the near future and pursue a different career.
Lieutenant Will Follett said of him: “Taff was a proud Welshman who had a passion for all sports. He was a keen rugby supporter as well as following his local football club, Shrewsbury Town, He was an immensely popular member of the platoon, widely regarded as its backbone, through his diligence, professionalism and unfaltering enthusiasm to the job and the soldiers under his command. His death has shocked the platoon, especially those soldiers who were with him when he died. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones at this time.”
Paul, from Welshpool, was 29 years old.