Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2003, Corporal Ian Plank, Royal Marines, serving with the Special Boat Service, was killed during a coalition operation in Iraq, near Mosul and outside the British area of responsibility.
Members of the SAS and SBS, along with U.S. special forces, were involved in fierce fighting with supporters of Saddam Hussein. Up to ten Iraqis were killed and a number of foreign fighters were captured. Four British soldiers were wounded.
Colonel Jerry Heal paid this tribute: "Corporal Plank was an extremely popular and greatly admired member of the Royal Marines, widely respected for his professional excellence, commitment and determination. He was particularly well known for his resilience and robustness under pressure, when his leadership, example and sense of humour were especially valued. He embodied all the personal and professional qualities associated with the Royal Marines and he enriched the lives of those who knew him, both socially and in the work place. His positive outlook, bright disposition and zest for life will be remembered with deep pride and affection by all who knew him, and most of all by his family and those members of the Royal Marines and others with whom he served around the world."
Ian, from Poole in Dorset, was 31 years old.