hughesyardie - Sat 17 Mar 2012 21:19 GMT
Taff Minton - Tue 28 Feb 2012 23:27 GMT
hughesyardie - Mon 27 Feb 2012 17:52 GMT
june - Wed 08 Feb 2012 08:22 GMT
jenna55us - Mon 06 Feb 2012 00:51 GMT
vanessa - Mon 30 Jan 2012 20:57 GMT
shef64 - Mon 23 Jan 2012 17:42 GMT
Tenerife Marine - Sat 21 Jan 2012 11:00 GMT
jim - Thu 29 Dec 2011 18:25 GMT
FoxnWolf - Thu 29 Dec 2011 00:18 GMT
Sunday, September 11
by FoxnWolf on Sun 11 Sep 2011 12:01 BST
Lieutenant-Colonel 'Pug' Davis
Lieutenant-Colonel "Pug" Davis, who has died aged 87, was the founding father of the Special Boat Service, and won a DSC for a daring wartime rescue.
In the summer of 1944, Davis was off the Dalmatian coast in command of a flotilla of Landing Craft (Assault), or LCAs, based on the island of Vis. Several commando raids had been mounted on the coast of Yugoslavia in support of local partisans and, in early June, Davis landed a large raiding force on the mountainous and heavily defended island of Brac, which the Germans considered pivotal to their defence of the mainland.
In addition to a large number of Tito's partisans, the force included men from 43 Commando Royal Marines (RM) and 40 Commando RM. After four days of heavy fighting and numerous casualties, including the death of their commanding officer, the main body of commandos was forced to withdraw.
On June 5 Davis landed reinforcements, but the next day these were ambushed and only 12 men returned to the shore. Davis, waiting in his LCA, seized the initiative and organised the first five men to reach the beach into a search party, arming them with rifles.
He recovered the force's heavy weapons, which had run out of ammunition, and sent them back to Vis. Then, without waiting for any more commandos or their officers, he set off to the village where the ambush had been staged. After a two-hour climb he found a wounded officer, who had been left for dead, and evacuated him safely back to the beach. He was awarded a DSC for his initiative and courage far beyond the call of duty.
Peter George Davis was born in Paddington, west London, on December 9 1923, the son of Solly Davis, who had won an MC in the First World War. At Highgate School Peter was a member of the cadet force, and one of the masters, a retired Royal Marine, inspired him to enlist in the Corps in 1942.
After training at Chatham and in the use of landing craft, Davis was sent to command RM Flotilla 561 in the Adriatic. He soon acquired the nickname "Pug", though it was unclear whether this derived from his initials, his stocky build, his prowess at boxing or his tenacious leadership.
Postwar, several "private armies" of Royal Marines – including the innocuous-sounding Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment (of which Davis was commanding officer) – were rationalised into the Combined Operations Beach and Boat Section, or COBBS.
COBBS inherited a hoard of weaponry from the war but, at least initially, consisted of only a handful of men commanded by Davis, and was restricted to giving demonstrations of its potential. Davis, however, had higher ambitions, and in 1951 (by which time COBBS had been renamed Small Raids Wing) he and six men successfully held up an Army "advance" through southern England, when they paddled undetected up the Thames and painted a sign on a bridge at Pangbourne: "Wot no bridge?" This showed, the umpires decreed, that for exercise purposes the bridge had been blown up and could not be used.
Davis was sent to Germany to set up the RM Demolition Unit of the Rhine Flotilla, intended to deny the Russians any means of crossing the Rhine, and to become a stay-behind force in the event of a Soviet invasion. On Davis's suggestion his team was renamed the 2nd Special Boat Section (2SBS), while 1SBS remained in England. Later several sections were formed – each comprising an officer and a dozen or so men, some of which operated behind enemy lines in Korea.
Davis was sent to Malta from 1952 to 1954 to create a Special Boat Section to support 42 Commando Royal Marines, and this became 6SBS, which operated in the eastern Mediterranean.
The headquarters of the SBS moved to Poole in late 1954, when it was retitled the SB Wing. Meanwhile Davis became, from 1957 to 1959, senior Royal Marines officer in the carrier Eagle. When he took command of the SB Wing (1959-61) it had expanded to the size of a rifle company and was called the Special Boat Company, under the operational command of the Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre (JSWAC).
In 1962-63, during the Confrontation (when Indonesia threatened the newly formed Federation of Malaysia), Davis was a company commander in 40 Commando RM. Deployed from the carrier Albion, he landed by helicopter deep in the jungle with "Pugforce", a amalgam of Royal Marines, Ghurkhas, Sarawak Rangers and Iban trackers. On his first operation, Davis set up an ambush near Miri in northern Sarawak, without result; the next day he captured a number of rebels.
Davis served at HQ Plymouth Group RM in 1964-65 and then returned to Albion as Amphibious Operations Officer (1965-67).
In 1968 he went back to Poole as the second-in-command of JSWAC, and on his rapid promotion he moved to the Joint Warfare Establishment at Old Sarum to teach amphibious warfare doctrine. He retired in 1971.
While with the US Navy Underwater Demolition Team in 1961, Davis was invited to parachute from a helicopter. Previously he had jumped from an aircraft only with a static line, but to show willing and to give his American hosts the impression that he was game for anything, Davis accepted. However, he misunderstood the pre-flight briefing that he should pull his ripcord before passing 3,000ft and, as he plunged towards earth, did not hear the frenzied cries of: "Pull the cord, you son of a bitch!"
At the last moment his parachute opened and he floated to the ground, unaware of the commotion he had caused. The jumpmaster rushed to greet Davis, asking: "Are you all right, sir? We all thought you'd bought it, as you hadn't pulled by a thousand." Unharmed, Davis answered serenely: "Oh no, that's perfectly all right, we Royal Marines never pull above a thousand feet."
In retirement Pug Davis was a vice-chairman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen, an active supporter of the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, and a chairman of the Royal Marines' Association.
He died on August 18, and is survived by his wife, Janet, and their two sons.
I never met him at all but he is one of those Men you wish you had.
PMPT & Semper Fi.......
Tuesday, June 21
by FoxnWolf on Tue 21 Jun 2011 14:23 BST
FUNERAL OF LCPL MARTIN JOSEPH GILL RM
MONDAY 27 JUNE 2011
1. LCpl Gill of K Coy 42 Cdo RM was killed whilst on patrol in the Nahr-e-Saraj (South) district of Helmand on Sun 5 Jun 11. The aim of the patrol was to assess the atmospherics, meet and talk with local nationals, and disrupt insurgent activity in the area, in preparation for future operations. The Multiple was an hour into it’s patrol when it was engaged by small-arms fire from a nearby compound. LCpl Gill was hit and fatally wounded, and, despite being administered immediate first aid, tragically died of his wounds.
2. LCpl Gill was born on 14 August 1988, and grew up in Nottingham, where he lived with his partner Lauren, brother, John-Daniel (17), and his sister, Rebecca (18). LCpl Gill leaves behind a very close family, who were just coming to terms with the death of their mother Susan to cancer just prior to his deployment. On their mother’s death, LCpl Gill became the legal guardian to his brother and sister. The family are devastated by these 2 loses, but under the circumstances are bearing up incredibly well.
3. LCpl Gill joined the Royal Marines in April 2008 and passed fit for duty in May 2009. On completion of training, he was appointed to the Fleet Protection Group, Royal Marines. Within a year, he was promoted to Lance Corporal and took responsibility for a four-man team, guarding the UK's nuclear deterrent. He subsequently moved to Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines in September 2010, where he assumed the role of Section Second in Command. During his tenure, he regularly stepped up to take on the role of Section Commander and his professionalism and enthusiasm were visible for all to see. He was a keen individual who had a real passion for life. He was extremely physically fit and swam for his County before joining the Royal Marines. His passion for swimming continued within the Corps, swimming for the 42 Commando Unit Team at every opportunity.
The funeral of LCpl Gill will take place at the Church of the Good Shephers (RC), 3 Thackery's Lane, Woodthorpe, Nottingham, NG5 4HT at 1400 on Monday 27 June 2011. This will be a full military funeral minus the firing party due to the location of the church and the families wishes. All are welcome to attend but be aware that it is likely to be very well supported so you may wish to arrive early.
There will then be a private family cremation at Mansfield Crematorium. the Corps will be represented at this by CGRM and CO 42Cdo.
On completion of the committal there will be refreshments available at the ELWES ARMS, Oakdale Rd, Carlton Notts, NG4 1DH and all are welcome.
Family flowers only but donations can be made to the RMCTF via the funeral directors. Co-Op funeral care, Carlton, 69 Gedley Rd, Carlton, Notts, NG4 3FG 0115 987 9008.
Yours in Sorrow.......Richie Puttock
Royal Marines Association
Monday, June 13
by FoxnWolf on Mon 13 Jun 2011 06:24 BST
by FoxnWolf on Mon 13 Jun 2011 06:01 BST
FUNERAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE
LT OLIVER RICHARD AUGUSTIN RM
The funeral service for the late Lt Oliver Richard Augustin RM will take place at St Martin’s of Tours Church, Station Road, Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0EH at 1400hrs Thursday 16 June 11. You are all invited.
The Reverend Tim Wilkinson RN will officiate. On completion refreshments will be held at the Riverside Social Club, Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0AE all are welcome.
Official bearers and firing party will come from 42 Cdo RM who will also provide the union flag. A bugler will be provided by RM Band Portsmouth.
Family flowers only with donations made payable to the Royal British Legion or the Nakuru Orphanage Kenya fund are to be forwarded to the undertaker.Funeral Directors: Albin International, 83 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, LONDON, W2 4UL. Tel: 020 73136920.
Wednesday, June 8
by FoxnWolf on Wed 08 Jun 2011 00:10 BST
MoD Names British Marine
Killed On Sunday 5th June
A Royal Marine shot dead in southern Afghanistan yesterday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Lance Corporal Martin Gill, 22, of 42 Commando.
Lance Corporal Gill was undertaking stability and security operations in Afghanistan
He was killed while on a joint patrol with Afghan forces in the Nahr-e-Sarah district of Helmand province.
The Marine of 42 Commando - pronounced "Four Two" - was fatally wounded by small arms fire during a morning skirmish during the patrol designed to meet local people and disrupt insurgent activity.
LCpl Gill was hit by gunfire coming from a compound and despite being administered immediate first aid died of his wounds.
It has since emerged that LCpl Gill, a keen swimmer who grew up in Nottingham, had lost his mother weeks before he deployed on operations.
Royal Marines have provided an important element of ISAF forces
His company commander said the young marine became the "bedrock" for his younger brother and sister after their mother's death a month before the start of his Afghanistan tour.
LCpl Gill's brother, John-Daniel, sister, Rebecca, and girlfriend, Lauren, said: "Martin Joseph Gill was proud to be a Royal Marine. He was always up for a challenge, and unfortunately died doing what he had always wanted to do.
"He was the life and soul of every party, beloved and cherished by everyone. Martin will be deeply loved and missed forever. Rebecca, John-Daniel, and Lauren xxxxxx"
Colour Sergeant Scott Ferguson, Company Quartermaster, Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said: "Lance Corporal Gill, 'Fish', embodied the finest attributes of a Royal Marine Commando.
"He displayed selflessness, courage and loyalty throughout his time within Kilo Company. 'Fish' was a true family man who had endured so much over the last few months. He was always willing others to smile with his cheeky grin."
Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said he was "greatly saddened" to hear of the death of Lance Corporal Gill.
"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time," he said.
Tuesday, June 7
Wednesday, June 1
Sunday, May 29
Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC killed in Afghanistan
by FoxnWolf on Sun 29 May 2011 17:50 BST
Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC killed in Afghanistan
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC, both from Juliet Company 42 Commando Royal Marines, were killed in Afghanistan on Friday 27 May 2011.
Lieutenant Augustin and Marine Alexander were killed by an Improvised Explosive Device whilst on patrol in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e Ali district in Helmand province.
The patrol, which was led by Lieutenant Augustin, was tasked to disrupt insurgent activity in their perceived rear area and provide depth to the Clear, Hold, Build Operation occurring to the North in Loy Mandeh Kalay further to expand the influence of the Government of Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin
Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was born in Kent on 16 March 1988. He attended Dartford Grammar School before leaving aged 18 to spend a year travelling.
During this time he spent 2 months volunteering at a school in Kenya before travelling down to South Africa through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. He then flew on to Australia where he spent 6 months working, before concluding his travels in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.
On return, whilst undergoing the application procedure to join the Royal Marines as a Commissioned Officer, he studied at Bexley College and was employed as a fitter and plasterer.
Lieutenant Augustin Royal Marines began Officer Training in September 2009, passing fit for duty in December 2010. His first appointment was in Command of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.
He leaves behind his father Sean, his mother Jane and his sister Sarah.
Lieutenant Augustin's mum and dad, Jane and Sean, said:
Lieutenant Augustin's sister, Sarah, said:
Lieutenant Augustin's grandfather Dick, said:
Lieutenant Augustin's Aunty Alison, said:
Lieutenant Augustin's Uncle Adam, said:
Lieutenant Augustin's cousin, Mark, said:
Viks, a family friend, said:
"Ollie Augustin was a one in a million friend who will be missed by all that knew him. His ability to make all around him smile, even in the most adverse circumstances, meant that he was always someone you could turn to if you needed cheering up."
Lieutenant Lloyd Fallesen Royal Marines
Lieutenant Augustin's best friends from home, said:
Captain Rob Garside Royal Marines, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Lieutenant Lloyd Fallesen Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Lieutenant Tom Phillips Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Sergeant Rob Driscoll, Multiple Commander 3, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:
Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:
Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC
Marine Sam Alexander MC was born on 16 June 1982 in Hammersmith, London, where he grew up with his mother, Serena, father Stuart and sister, Sophie. He was married to Claire in November 2009 and their son Leo was born in July 2010.
He joined the Royal Marines in July 2006 and passed fit for duty in
October 2007. On completion of training, Marine Alexander MC was
appointed to the Fire Support Group in Mike Company, 42 Commando Royal
Claire, Marine Alexander's wife, said:
Stuart, Marine Alexander's father, said:
Serena, Marine Alexander's mother, said:
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE, Commanding Officer 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad-e Ali (North), said:
Major Steven McCulley, Officer Commanding, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Captain Rob Garside, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Warrant Officer Class 2 Andy Place, Company Sergeant Major, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
"Sam, the most inspirational Marine I have met. You will be missed by all. Rest in Peace."
Marine Sam Magowan
Corporal Phillip Willis, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Lance Corporal Christopher Watson, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Lance Corporal Adam Perkins, 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Leading Medical Assistant Chris Jones, Juliet Company Medic, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Ross McIlduff & Marine Joshua Best, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Matthew Smith, Headquarters, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Owen Blake & Marine Dale Monk, Recce Troop, Command Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
The entire 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Defence Secreatry, Dr Liam Fox, said:
"As a holder of the Military Cross for gallantry, Marine Alexander demonstrated some of the finest attributes of a Royal Marine Commando and was clearly held in high regard by his colleagues. The ultimate sacrifice that he has made for the safety of others will not be forgotten. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."
Tuesday, April 26
by FoxnWolf on Tue 26 Apr 2011 10:50 BST
This is to confirm that the Standards will be required and that the Exhortation, together with the Last Post and Reveille will delivered
It is with regret I have to inform you that Roger Tyack, former RSM in the Corps passed away at 05:50 hours on Friday 15th April 2011.
The funeral of the late Roger Tyack is on Tuesday 3rd May 2011 at 10:00 hours at;
Canterbury Road (A260)
Tel; 01227 831 351
Fax; 01227 830 258
Thursday, March 24
by FoxnWolf on Thu 24 Mar 2011 18:56 GMT
Robert "Bobby" Cattrall
Published in the Plymouth Herald on 3rd August 2004
(Distributed in Plymouth, Plympton)
25th July 2004
Passed away peacefully at home with his family on July 25th 2004 aged 63 years. The beloved husband of Dianne, father of Lar, Liz, Louise (deceased), Therese and Rob and beloved grandad of all his grandchildren.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumnal rain,
When you waken in the morning hush,
I am the soft uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night,
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
Old Bobby Cee, I remember him well. I was quite upset knowing that this character had passed away in 2004 and didnt even know. There are a handfull of us including me & Keith "Noddy" Dunn, Barry "Rocker" Holroyde, "Spike" Hughes and others who work the "Doors" (1969 to 1976) at his various nightclubs where he was either manager/owner. He was well known and great at what he did (with our help of course) £5 a night, free booze and a chicken supper included. We had to supplement our meagre MOD wages somehow.
A huge guy with a bad temper (worse than his bite) and a great sense of humor. It makes you realise that we are all getting older.......
Yes, I have placed in the "Crossed the Bar" section as he was a part of our lives whilst we served in the RM.......
RIP, Bobby Cee.......
PMPT & Semper Fi........
Tuesday, January 25
by FoxnWolf on Tue 25 Jan 2011 06:15 GMT
With sadness, Tom has passed on...
From ex Sigs` to Snr Sgt. Great guy, intelligent, smart, very helpful, good instructor and signaller. Finally, very friendly...
PMPT (Keith Talbot & Danny Shepherd)
Sunday, December 19
by FoxnWolf on Sun 19 Dec 2010 13:55 GMT
THE MEN OF PIKE
After the Mining Disaster
They came from near and far away
The men of Pike to work that day
The afternoon shift way down deep
Beneath the mountains oh so steep
A long way in but further out
The afternoon shift sets about
A job not flash but hard and trying
A job that holds the risk of dying
From seventeen to sixty two
They start their shift to see it through
For one his first, for all their last
How could they know there’d be a blast?
For all at once no siren whining
Suddenly the worst in mining
Dust and rubble fill the air
A loader driver thrown clear
Just one other finds the light
The rest are hidden from our sight
And so we learn as news is spread
The news that mining families dread
It’s up at Pike there’s an explosion
Faces drop and hearts are frozen
Who, how many, where and why ----
Will they make it ---- will they die
Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons
Coasters, Kiwis, Aussies, Poms
Mates and friends who we are seeking
Methane gas from coal seams leaking
Vents exploded, phones unheeded
Level heads and strength are needed
The world above unites as one
To bring the missing to the sun
Rescue teams are standing by
As holes are drilled and experts try
To find a way that’s safe and sound
To rescue those beneath the ground
Could robots work where men are mortal
To pierce the dangers of that portal
But alas all effort fails
The darkness of the mine prevails
A second blast of rock and thunder
Hope and prayers are rent asunder
A nation weeps and Coasters mourn
Pike falls silent, dark, forlorn
A hole remains within the ground
Devoid of joy, of life, of sound
Another hole within the heart
Of those forever set apart
From those they loved who went to toil
Digging coal beneath the soil
Those who gave their lives that day
To work a shift for honest pay
They wait at rest within their mine
The men of Pike, the Twenty Nine
Friday, December 17
by FoxnWolf on Fri 17 Dec 2010 13:26 GMT
Kranji War Memorial
Robert "Bob" Carr
(currently down under)
I thought I would send these 3 photos from Singapore during my visit to Kranji. I laid poppies where ever I came across an ex-Royal Marine's grave, and some on Johnny Ghurka's. It took quite a while and the heat was fierce. I certainly felt my age by the time I had gone round the whole area. It is a very beautiful spot and kept immaculate by local ground staff. I am staying with the grandson of the original caretaker who was appointed by Lord Mountbatten at the end of the Japanese occupation in recognition for his services to British and Commonwealth soldiers and POWs. This place is still visited by veterans from Britain and Australia and it is good to know that these old vets never forget old comrades.
Monday, August 23
by FoxnWolf on Mon 23 Aug 2010 10:21 BST
Scottish WWII piper Bill Millin dies in Devon hospital
The piper continued to play as enemy fire killed comrades coming ashore
"I didn't notice I was being shot at"
A Scottish bagpiper who played men into battle during World War II has died in Devon.
Bill Millin, who was 88, played his comrades ashore on Sword Beach during the D-Day Normandy landings.
The Glaswegian commando's actions were later immortalised in the film, "The Longest Day".
Mr Millin, who lived at a nursing home in Dawlish since suffering a major stroke seven years ago, died in Torbay Hospital.
A statement released by his family said: "This morning following a short illness piper Bill Millin, a great Scottish hero, passed peacefully away in Torbay hospital."
Mr Millin was serving with 1st Commando Brigade when he landed in France on 6 June, 1944.
His commanding officer, Lord Lovat, asked him to ignore instructions banning the playing of bagpipes in battle and requested he play to rally his comrades.Iconic part;
Despite being unarmed, Mr Millin marched up and down the shore at Sword Beach in his kilt piping "Highland Laddie".
He continued to play as his friends fell around him and later moved inland to pipe the troops to Pegasus Bridge.
His bagpipes, which were silenced four days later by a piece of shrapnel, were handed over to the National War Museum of Scotland in 2001, along with his kilt, commando beret and knife.
In 2006 when a song was written in his honour by Devon folk singer Sheelagh Allen, Mr Millin told BBC: "I enjoyed playing the pipes, but I didn't notice I was being shot at.
"When you're young you do things you wouldn't dream of doing when you're older."
For the past 66 years, Mr Millin returned to France on numerous occasions to pay his respects to his fallen comrades.
His family said he would always be remembered as an iconic part of all those who gave so much to free Europe from tyranny.
Mr Millin's funeral will be held privately, but a service of remembrance will be held at a later date.
Thursday, January 5
by FoxnWolf on Thu 05 Jan 2012 17:11 GMT
The Afghanistan hero who could bear the horrors of war no longer
Lance Sergeant Dan Collins lived for the Welsh Guards. He joined up at 16 and served for more than 13 years. He loved being a soldier - part of his email address was 'ArmyDan' - and he was immensely proud of his service in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Helmand in 2009, Collins should have died several times but miraculously
survived being shot in the back, his leg being grazed by a bullet and
being caught in two bomb blasts. He was a joker but also a leader. He
witnessed some things no human being should see but never wavered under
On New Year's Day, Collins telephoned the police from the Preseli Mountains just outside the village of Rosebush in Pembrokeshire in west Wales and told them he was going to hang himself. Helicopters were scrambled and a search was launched but it was several hours before his body was found at an old slate quarry in the mountains.
Lance Corporal Dane Elson (left) and Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in Afghanistan on the eve of Operation Panther's Claw in 2009
Dan Collins was 29 years old. A
native of Cardigan, he was a son, a brother and a father. He was a
Guardsman and a hero, though he would never have used the term to
describe himself. While his name is unlikely ever to be carved on a
memorial to the fallen his comrades will always remember him as a victim
of the war in Afghanistan even though the Taliban never quite managed
to kill him.
first met Collins in Aldershot a few months after he had returned from
Helmand. Although I had been with the Welsh Guards Battle Group during
their 2009 tour, researching what would become my book Dead Men Risen,
our paths had not crossed because he had been part of the 22-strong Fire
Support Group Three - FSG-3 - which had been detached from its parent
battalion and instead part of the Light Dragoons Battle Group.
he talked to me, it became clear that he was haunted by what he had
been through. When he first got back he was, as one friend described,
'full of beans' and tales of being in battle and eager to show hours of
'helmet cam' footage taken during firefights.
blast had badly wounded the company commander. The company sergeant
major had gone into battle shock - wide-eyed and falling over as he
barked out orders. It took more than five minutes for Collins to find
the lance corporal, who was lying in an irrigation ditch and had lost
both legs and an arm.
For nearly 15 minutes , Collins and others fought to save the lance corporal's life. Collins told me:
was unconscious but one thing that stuck in my mind and I'll never
forget it. As I was doing compressions, I looked at his face and I could
see his eyes opening. I don’t think he knew anything about what was
going on but it was like he was looking at me.'
The lance corporal was pronounced dead on the helicopter.
day later, Collins and his comrades had advanced further when there was
another large explosion as the Welsh Guards were about to clear the
track ahead. Collins screamed over the radio at the two soldiers he knew
were doing the clearing with metal detectors. One replied but the
other, Lance Corporal Dane Elson, a close friend, did not.
shouted: 'Dane! Dane Dane! Can you hear us? If you can hear, do
anything, just click and blow, just do anything.' But Elson had suffered
catastrophic injuries similar to those of the Light Dragoons lance
corporal the day before. Perhaps mercifully, he had been killed
Talking about it months later, Collins described this as 'one of the lowest moments of my life'.
'We just all sat there and we had our own little cry. Everyone had their own little moment. It was pretty hard to deal with. The next day we just picked it up and everything we'd done then was for Dane. We took the fight to the Taliban and we were fighting on for Dane.'
Earlier in the tour, Collins had been hit in the base of his body armour during a Taliban ambush. The impact, he told me, was 'like a full swing of hammer straight into your spine'. He could feel a burning sensation and excruciating pain but there was no blood - just severe bruising.
Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in February 2010
'After that, it was a bit of a mixed emotion. I went into a bit of shock then I started laughing because I'd been shot but I was sort of all right. I was in agony but was laughing. Then it went to crying because my partner was pregnant with my little girl. It was like 'I could have just died'.
daughter Scarlet was born in July 2009, shortly after Elson's death. By
that time, Collins had broken up with the mother but he was delighted
to be a father.
the day his body armour stopped the bullet in his back, Collins was
unshaven. After that, he never shaved before a patrol, adding that to
his superstitious ritual of listening to Linkin Park on his iPod before
going out. Underneath his body armour he wore a wooden cross, one of
those blessed in Bangor Cathedral and distributed by the chaplain before
was elated to have survived the bullet that should have killed him and
remarked to an Army press officer: 'If I ever meet the person who
designed our body armour, I'll buy them a pint.' True to his word, he
later met a representative of the firm NP Aerospace, which made the body
armour, at a pub in Cardiff.
laughed as he told me about the telephone call to his mother, while he
was still high on morphine and ketamine, after he had been shot in the
rung my Mum and I said, 'Mum, don't panic. I'm in the hospital. I've
been shot'. And she was like, 'What? What?!' I said, 'Look, I'm fine. I
obviously wouldn't be talking to you if I was in a bad way'. Mothers do
was carried to a helicopter and evacuated back to Camp Bastion a second
time after a bullet grazed his shin. Twice he was blown off his feet by
IED blasts. Of all the Welsh Guardsmen on that bloody tour, Collins had
probably come close to death more times than any of those who returned.
In Dead Men Risen, I wrote of how post-traumatic stress seemed to affect NCOs like Collins more than the ordinary guardsmen:
Helmand, they were the ones holding everyone else together and they
were often heavily involved in treating casualties. One NCO tried to
kill himself shortly after getting back but was saved when his wife
found him hanging in the kitchen and cut the rope. Lance Sergeant Dan
Collins, who was shot twice and survived two IED blasts, could not sleep
when he returned and had recurrent nightmares.
one, he kept seeing the face of the mortally wounded lance corporal .
His girlfriend would be woken up by his shouting ‘Medic!’ or ‘Man down!’
The death of Dane Elson continued to haunt him. Sometimes he would call
out ‘Dane!’ in his sleep. Collins first realised he needed help when he
heard a loud noise in Tesco and flung himself to the ground.
a number of his colleagues, Collins received counselling for Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was placed in the care of a
psychiatric nurse. He spent a period off sick at home but when he
returned to work he panicked during a live-firing exercise in Wiltshire.
There was more psychiatric treatment and there seemed to be an
improvement but he did not go back to the battalion.
was unable to see his daughter for long periods but told friends he was
looking forward to having custody and access arrangements worked out in
2012. On Christmas Day, he wrote on Facebook:
Xmas to u all gotta love the Xmas flu. to my gorgeous daughter daddy
loves u and hopefully will see u in the nr future wherever you are will
have lots of bday and Xmas presents for you xx'
to stop feeling sorry for my self shower and do something with the day
maybe a long walk over the mountains me thinks or a stroll down the
has been an outpouring of grief from comrades and friends of Dan
Collins. He is due to receive a full military funeral that will
doubtless match those of the Welsh Guardsmen killed in 2009 - Lance
Sergeant Tobie Fasfous (whose coffin Collins shouldered at his
repatriation service in Camp Bastion), Lieutenant Mark Evison, Major
Sean Birchall, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe and Lance Corporal
the coming months and years there will be many questions about why he
took his own life. Alas, there will probably be fewer answers.
soldiers back from Afghanistan find themselves in a very dark place.
Dan Collins, it seems, could not envision a way out of the darkness.
leaves behind his mother Deana, his younger sister Megan, his
girlfriend Vicky and his daughter Scarlet, two, as well as many, many
friends. Starting next month, the Welsh Guards will be returning to
Rest in Peace, Army Dan.
Friday, December 9
by FoxnWolf on Fri 09 Dec 2011 10:57 GMT
Charlie Brindley posted in Support Our Troops UK.
Friday, August 13
by FoxnWolf on Fri 13 Aug 2010 18:39 BST
FUNERAL FOR RM ADAM BROWN
WEDNESDAY 18 AUGUST 2010
MARINE ADAM BROWN
Mne Brown was Killed in
Action, whilst on foot patrol out of Patrol Base (PB) ALMAS, Afghanistan, on 1 Aug 10. The family
have opted for a Full Service Funeral which will take place in Hampshire in the
Marine Adam Brown joined the Royal Marines in
October 2004 and passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando in September 2005.
He was born in Frimley,
On completion of Commando
Training he was drafted to Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, and
immediately deployed to
Brown leaves behind a large close knit family who are devastated by his death.
The family consists of his wife Amy and his Mother and Father Jenny and Robert
who live in
The funeral service will take place at
SPECIAL RMA INSTRUCTIONS
family extend a very warm welcome to the RMA both members and standards. The National Standard will be on Parade. Car parking will be available at
The family also would like all donations to go to the RM Charitable Trust Fund and family flowers only. At their request there will be no RMA wreath. However they wish the RMA to bring their collecting buckets that they have seen over the local area outside supermarkets and take the collection for the RM CTF. It is perfectly legal to use the RMA buckets for this purpose.
Sharky Ward will coordinate the RMA and veteran participation at the funeral.
Steve Crawley, Windsor and Maidenhead Branch, will coordinate the collection on behalf of the family.
THE CELEBRATION AT THE ELY PUB
Please note that the family wishes you to attend and keep the collection buckets to the fore. However parking will be tight. Please try to fill cars up at the school and ferry members up. There is parking over the roundabout where people walk their dogs on Minley Common. But you will need to be aware that much patience will be required.
Due to the popularity of Mne Brown in his local community and local area support for the Services, it is anticipated that the attendance at the funeral will be significant. The family are immensely proud of his service to his country and are keen to honour Adam with a military funeral. It is imperative serving Royal Marines consider the feelings and wishes of the family throughout to ensure the day is conducted within the best traditions of the Royal Marines.
Yours in sorrow
Monday, August 9
Thursday, July 29
Wednesday, July 14
by FoxnWolf on Wed 14 Jul 2010 14:13 BST
Dave, May You Rest In Peace
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine David Charles Hart from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 8 July 2010
Marine Hart was serving as part of Combined Force Sangin and was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand Province.
Marine David Charles Hart was born in York, North Yorkshire and was 23 years old and lived with his family in Upper Poppleton.
He joined recruit training in February 2009, and stood out as one of the top recruits and in recognition of this was awarded his Diamond.
He passed out for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on 16 October 2009, when he was awarded The Commando Medal.
The Commando Medal is awarded to the man who, throughout training, shows, to an outstanding degree, the qualities of the Commando Spirit. These are defined as: Determination, Courage, Cheerfulness and Unselfishness.
On completion of recruit training he was drafted to 40 Commando Royal Marines, based in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton.
Joining Charlie Company in October 2009 he immediately conducted Mission Specific Training for an operational tour with 40 Commando in Afghanistan. Qualifying as a combat medic, and singled out as an impressive and mature individual, he was quickly selected to become part of the newly formed Police Mentoring Team.
In April 2010 he deployed to Afghanistan and was based at Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam and Patrol Base Sangin Tufann.
During the early evening of Thursday 08 July 2010, Charlie Company was conducting a joint reassurance patrol with the local Afghan Army. At 1825 hours local, west of patrol base Sangin Tufann, an explosion occurred, fatally wounding Marine Hart.
Dilys and Chris Hart, his parents said "David loved his family, his girlfriend and friends, many that he has known since early age.
"Throughout his life David showed the qualities of the Commando Spirit, he had a great personality and was a friend to everyone.
"His cheerfulness, his sense of humour and of course his smile will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. We are immensely proud, as he was, of his achievements."
Sarah Hart, his sister said "Dave was the best brother I could ever have wished for.
"He was caring, funny, had an infamous cheeky grin and would always be there for you.
"I am so proud to have been his sister, and of his chosen career as a Royal Marines Commando.
"He truly loved his job and relished the challenges he was facing on a daily basis.
"Dave, I will miss you so much. You were so brave and I will always remember you as a true hero."
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin said "Marine Dave Hart was magnificent; both in personality and in profession.
"Diligent, loyal, utterly dedicated and completely selfless, he was a perfect Commando.
"He had a resolute but compassionate manner that everyone admired; he thrived in adversity and inspired others to do the same.
"He was tragically killed on the eve of his 24th birthday, with a bright career ahead of him, but he died doing the job he loved and amongst friends who will love him forever. He took great pride in all that he did and was a man of great presence; in stature, in temperament, and in life.
" He was a young and deeply impressive marine who was fiercely courageous and always thinking of others before himself.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends.
"He was truly one of life's greats and he will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.
"Marine Dave Hart was, and always will be, a Royal Marine Commando."
Major Ed Moorhouse, Officer Commanding Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said "Marine Dave Hart was universally popular with everyone in Charlie Company; there was not an ounce of malice in Dave, he was always cheerful, always upbeat and a friend to everyone.
"He was a marine, no matter the circumstances and no matter the rank, who would always give you the time of day; and who would go out of his way to help you.
"This wholesome, compassionate and thoughtful man was fiercely proud of his profession, of his Corps, Charlie Company and the Band of Brothers who he fought alongside.
"Strong, dedicated and professional he epitomised what it is to be a Royal Marines Commando.
"In Dave Hart, I saw a marine with a career in the Corps ahead of him and a man hungry to prosecute that professional challenge that it presented.
"As his first Company Commander I took great pride in setting him on that path, and I am greatly saddened that a journey that had such rich and abundant potential has ended in such tragic suddenness.
"He was a man with the Corps at his feet.
"At this dark and very painful time our thoughts and prayers are with Dave's parents, sister and girlfriend and we hope that that the vitality and light that he gave us all returns to them as time heals their bereavement and tragic loss.
"Marine Dave Hart was a Charlie Company Spartan, a Royal Marines Commando and a loyal friend to us all and this is the legacy by which we will always remember this very fine man.
"Dave, may you Rest in Peace."
Friday, June 25
by FoxnWolf on Fri 25 Jun 2010 14:40 BST
It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire from 40 Commando Royal Marines, serving as part of Combined Force Sangin, was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 23 June 2010
Sergeant Darbyshire was killed by small arms fire during a firefight with insurgent forces whilst on a security patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province.
Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire
Sergeant Steven William 'Darbs' Darbyshire was 35 years old. He was born in Wigan, and it was there that he lived with his partner Kate and their two young sons Ryan and Callum.
He was a great fan of sports, particularly football and golf, but especially rugby; earlier in his career he represented the Corps as a rugby league player.
Joining the Royal Marines in 1996, he was drafted to 40 Commando on completion of his training. This first draft saw him serve on an operational tour in Northern Ireland before choosing to specialise in the Heavy Weapons (Air Defence) branch.
Serving with the Air Defence Troop he deployed to Iraq in 2002 on Operation TELIC. He was selected for promotion, passing his Junior Command Course in 2003, and subsequently promoted to Corporal.
In 2007 he deployed to Afghanistan with 45 Commando on Operation HERRICK 5. As an experienced Corporal, a Senior Command Course quickly followed his tour of Afghanistan and he was promoted to Sergeant in 2008.
Rejoining 40 Commando in September 2009 he was initially employed as the Provost Sergeant, before becoming a Rifle Troop Sergeant within Alpha Company. Completing Mission Specific Training for a further operational tour to Afghanistan, he deployed in April 2010 to Sangin with Alpha Company, where he was based at Patrol Base Almas.
Alpha Company has been conducting daily reassurance and security patrols with Afghan National Security Forces to protect the local Afghans around Patrol Base Almas in the Sangin district of Helmand province.
They have improved the lives of hundreds of ordinary Afghans by providing a security bubble which has increased their freedom of movement, led to wider governance in the area and has encouraged economic development
During a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army, on the morning of 23 June, Alpha Company was conducting a reassurance patrol for the local nationals in Sangin. At approximately 0734hrs local time, as the patrol was returning to Patrol Base Almas, they came under small arms fire attack from insurgent forces. Sergeant Darbyshire was struck during the firefight and was fatally wounded in the incident.
"Being a Royal Marine was Steven's life and growing up it was all he wanted to do."The family of Sergeant Darbyshire have made the following statement:
Sergeant Darbyshire's family
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said:
Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
"Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire was an outstanding Royal Marines Sergeant who it was a privilege to have worked with."Captain Dan Sawyers Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Captain Dan Sawyers Royal Marines
Captain Chris Moore, Officer Commanding Fire Support Group Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Warrant Officer Class 1 Marty Pelling, Regimental Sergeant Major, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
"It is and always will be an honour to have known and served with such an exceptional man and Royal Marine Commando. Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire, a Saint if there ever was one."Warrant Officer Class 2 'Bobby' Ball, Company Sergeant Major, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Warrant Officer Class 2 'Bobby' Ball
Sergeant Danny Pea, Troop Sergeant, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Sergeant Dinger Bell, Troop Sergeant, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Corporal Ash Morris, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
"During this difficult time on operations I could not have wished for a more professional Bootneck to look after our Troop."Corporal Daz Davis, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Marine Ryan Cherry
Lance Corporal Ratcliffe, Company Medic, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Marine Ryan Cherry, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox Said:
Wednesday, June 23
by FoxnWolf on Wed 23 Jun 2010 14:08 BST
Royal Marine Killed In Afghanistan Shooting
A Royal Marine from 40 Commando has been shot dead by Afghan insurgents - the fourth UK fatality in four days
All four marines to die in the last four days were from 40 Commando
The marine was on security patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand Province when he was hit by enemy fire.
Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "He was on a security patrol, helping to better the lives of ordinary Afghans, when he was killed by small arms fire from insurgent forces.
"His courage in the face of danger and his selfless commitment will not be forgotten. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. We will remember him."
His next of kin have been informed.
All four servicemen who died in the past four days were serving with 40 cdo
Marine Paul Warren, who became the 301st UK casualty of the war when he was killed in an explosion, was named earlier.
The 23-year-old from Leyland in Lancashire was described as being the "epitome of his profession".
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Group, said "He was one of life's greats and he will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.
"He was without doubt the epitome of his profession."
His family said in a statement: "A loving son, a brother and grandson who made us proud as a family. His cheeky smile will be missed by all who knew him."
A Royal Marine who died on Tuesday following a fire-fight in Sangin is expected to be named soon.
Tuesday, June 22
by FoxnWolf on Tue 22 Jun 2010 15:13 BST
The 300th British serviceman killed in Afghanistan has been named, as the MoD confirmed the death of another marine
Marine Hollington was transferred back to the UK on June 13
Marine Richard Hollington from Bravo Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, died of his injuries at the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Sunday.
He was wounded in a blast on June 12 while his company while on patrol to the south of the Helmand Patrol Base.
The 23-year-old's family said his death would leave a "huge numbing hole in the lives of his family, friends and Royal Marine colleagues".
"He chose to live his days as a lion and to us, and we believe his friends, he was the biggest, if softest, lion in the pride - how proud of him we all are," they said in a statement.
"It was typical of Richard, and a crumb of comfort to us, that even in death he donated his organs to help others in accordance with his wishes."
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup
Marine Hollington, who had played semi-professional football for Fareham Town Football Club prior to joining the Royal Marines, was described by his commanding officer as "one of the finest".
"He was bright, intrepid, determined and full of character; he was very much at the heart of 11 Troop," Lieutenant Colonel Paul James said.
"A very talented footballer and magnificent marine he had a lot to be proud of, yet I knew him to be an affable, generous, loyal and modest young man.
"It takes extraordinary courage to be at the front of every patrol but Marine Hollington did so with the professional pride that gave confidence to others."
Marine Hollington's death was followed on Tuesday by confirmation of another death from the 40 Commando Royal Marines.
The MoD said the marine, who had also been serving as part of Combined Force Sangin in Helmand, was killed in an explosion.
He was returning from a patrol in the area around the Patrol Base on Monday evening when the blast occurred.
The serviceman's next of kin have been told.
A spokesman for Task Force Helmand said the serviceman had been part of efforts to help improve the lives of local Afghans by protecting them from the insurgency.
"He died a marine. He will be greatly missed and his sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will always remember him," Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said.
His death is the 301st British military death since the start of the Afghanistan campaign in 2001.
Speaking after confirmation of the 300th death on Monday, the Chief of Defence Staff said the Armed Forces took enormous pride in their role in Afghanistan.
"We remember everyone who has given their life in the line of duty and honour the significant progress they have helped to deliver," Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup said.
Monday, June 21
by FoxnWolf on Mon 21 Jun 2010 11:40 BST
FUNERAL FOR MARINE ANTHONY HOTINE ROYAL MARINES
FUNERAL FOR MARINE STEVEN BIRDSALL ROYAL MARINES
Tuesday, June 15
by FoxnWolf on Tue 15 Jun 2010 11:10 BST
A British Marine has died from injuries sustained in a gun battle in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said
The serviceman, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, died in hospital in the UK following a fire-fight with insurgents in the Sangin District of Helmand Province on Sunday afternoon.
His next of kin have been informed.The attack took place while the Marine was on foot patrol in the region.
Following the incident, the wounded serviceman was transported to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
He died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries.
Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said: "He was part of a foot patrol that was providing local security whilst engineering improvements were being made to a patrol base in Sangin District when the incident happened.
"His courage and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."
The British death toll since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 296.
Monday, June 14
by FoxnWolf on Mon 14 Jun 2010 10:29 BST
A British serviceman killed in Afghanistan was "an accomplished soldier" who had wanted to be in the Army since he was five years old
A British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named as Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment
Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze served with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment
The 31-year-old from Manchester died while working to clear an area near a checkpoint in the Nahr e Saraj district of Helmand province.
L/Cpl Breeze's family have described him as an "excellent soldier" who would be "desperately missed".
They added: "We are very proud of a brave, loving and sincere son and brother. The Army was his life."
Known as Windy or Breezy to his friends, L/Cpl Breeze had served in Northern Ireland and Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
Army colleagues said he was "immensely popular" and that he would leave an "enormous gap".
Speaking on behalf of Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said: "Selfless to the end, he will be missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield went on to describe him as "a dedicated soldier and leader" who was a "stalwart of the battalion".
He continued: "Throughout his service he had been no stranger to danger, and approached his work with discipline and determination, but always with a ready smile.
"It is perhaps this smile that will stick most in our minds, that and his ability to always see the good in situations and people."
Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Strickland MBE said: "We have lost a fine man, and the tragedy of his death spreads far.
"L/Cpl Andy Breeze was the man that every company needs; experienced and approachable, he was there for everyone, always.
"Those who have been soldiers will know the effect of such a character, spreading calm reassurance in times of tension to those who are less certain.
"He died as he had lived, stepping forward to shoulder the burden of the task in hand, with a smile on his face."
His death takes the number of British service personnel who have lost their lives since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001 to 295.
Thursday, June 10
by FoxnWolf on Thu 10 Jun 2010 13:03 BST
A British soldier killed in a gun battle with insurgent forces in Afghanistan has been described as a "loyal and true professional"
LBdr Chandler's family said he was 'a lover of life'
Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler had been deployed in March supporting Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment in Nad-e Ali.
He died during a joint patrol with the Afghan National Security Forces, trying to stop the Taliban intimidating local villagers.
The 26-year-old was twice Army Luge Champion and had been an accomplished skier.
His family said: "Mark - a son and brother any parent would be proud of.
"A consummate soldier, a skier, a luger, an athlete and a lover of life.
"He will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends."
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Williams RHA, Commanding Officer 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery said: "Lance Bombardier Chandler, known to everybody as Chandler 'Bing' was a remarkably talented Junior Non Commissioned Officer who showed real grit for soldiering.
"Fit, committed, loyal and a true professional, he was a rising star within the Regiment and had a bright future ahead of him.
"The news of Lance Bombardier Chandler's death has rocked the Regiment as he was an immensely popular individual and a great friend to many."
Monday, June 7
by FoxnWolf on Mon 07 Jun 2010 13:32 BST
Tributes have been paid to two British soldiers who were killed in a firefight in Afghanistan
Corporal Webster pictured with his daughter Jess, and Lance Corporal Cochran
Corporal Terry Webster, 24, from Chester and Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, 23, from St Asaph, North Wales died during a gun battle with Taliban insurgents in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand on Friday.
Both men were serving with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment which was attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup.
Father-of-two Cpl Webster had previously served in Northern Ireland and Iraq. His mother, stepfather and sister said in a statement that he was a "true hero".
His wife Charlotte said: "Tez was passionate, loyal and determined. He enjoyed the role he had in the Mercians but he was a family man at heart. He was a fantastic Dad to Jess and Liam and he was the perfect soul mate to me.
"Although this is a very sad time, Tez would want us to be positive. Remember the good times, the happy times. A lot of people's lives will be deeply affected by Tez's all too early departure. Life will never be the same for us."
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield said Cpl Webster was fatally wounded while leading his men.
He said: "Terry was totally committed to his profession and he was forging a strong career path: when others played football, he would put on his combats, boots and webbing and pound out the miles, encouraging others to come along with him."
L/Cpl Cochran's mother Shirley and his family said: "Alan was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Alan who was a loving son, grandson and brother.
"We are proud of the fact that Alan was prepared to do his duty helping the people of Afghanistan."
His fiancee, Claire Brookshaw, said: "He has been a great part of my life and always will be. Sadly missed but never forgotten."
Lt Col Hadfield said he had recently been promoted to Lance Corporal and had willingly taken responsibility for the lives of his fellow men.
He said: "A committed career soldier, Alan loved the Army and his friends within it, and was probably the most selfless of men, always looking out for others and helping them to give their best.
Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "It is clear from all accounts that Cpl Webster was a brave, enthusiastic and professional soldier who inspired those around him.
"Similarly, L/Cpl Cochran was courageous, selfless, and a respected junior commander who led from the front.
"My thoughts are with the families of both these young men, whose sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Thursday, June 3
by FoxnWolf on Thu 03 Jun 2010 22:08 BST
A BRITISH Royal Marine killed in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan yesterday has been named
Corporal Stephen Walker of
A Company, 40
British soldiers under fire in Sangin Province
The fallen serviceman was named as Corporal Stephen Walker of A Company 40 Commando Royal Marines.
His wife Leona paid tribute to the 42-year-old Northern Irishman as a "fantastic dad" and a "perfect soul mate".
Cpl Walker was wounded near Patrol Base Almas, in Sangin, Helmand Province.
The MoD said he was conducting a joint foot patrol with the Afghan National Army at the time.
His duties were to "reassure and improve the security to the local population in the area", a Ministry statement continued.
"He died a marine, doing his duty alongside his British and Afghan comrades," Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand said.
"His actions will not be forgotten and we will always remember him."
The serviceman, from 40 Commando, died while on a foot patrol with Afghan soldiers in Sangin in Helmand Province. His family have been informed.
Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "He died in the course of his duty seeking to improve the lives of the people of Sangin.
"His courage in the face of danger will not be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and we will always remember him."
Sangin has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting UK troops have endured since the Second World War, leading to a high toll of personnel killed or injured.
Commanders have admitted it is "the most challenging area" in which British forces are operating in Afghanistan.
It is particularly dangerous because it contains a patchwork of rival tribes and is a major centre of the opium-growing industry.
The number of British troops who have died since the mission in
Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 290.
by FoxnWolf on Thu 03 Jun 2010 09:30 BST
The bodies of three servicemen killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan will return to Britain on Thursday.
(UKPA) – 5 hours ago
Gunner Zak Cusack, of 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, and Corporal Stephen Curley and Marine Scott Taylor, both of 40 Commando, Royal Marines, will be flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.
A private service will be held at the base's chapel before the cortege passes through nearby Wootton Bassett. Hundreds are expected to line the town's High Street in tribute, as has become custom.
Gunner Cusack, 20, from Stoke-on-Trent, was on a routine patrol when he was killed by small arms fire from insurgent forces in an area around Enezai Village. An only child, he leaves behind his mother Tracey, father Sean and step-dad Dave.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Squier, Commanding Officer, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said after his death on May 26: "Gunner Zak Cusack was a big man with the personality to go with it. Young, fit and with a healthy love of life, he was always close to, or at the heart of, the action. A Stoke City fan in the North East Gunners will always have his work cut out, but his combination of cheeky charm and buoyant character always won out."
Corporal Curley, 26, born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was killed on May 26 in an explosion while on a foot patrol through the southern Green Zone to reassure local nationals.
Cpl Curley lived in Exeter with wife Kirianne and their five-month-old son William.
Mrs Curley said: "It is impossible for me to express what my husband meant to me; daddy to our 18-week-old son, William, and my partner in crime, Stevie was my purpose, what makes me tick. A man of few but powerful words when it mattered, he lived by the motto 'If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room'. This will be forever imprinted on our hearts. Stevie was a perfectionist - he prided himself on being the best and the best he was. His professionalism was highly regarded by all who knew him but it was his quirky, un-PC one-liners that really caused a stir. Steve loved to make people laugh and laugh with them."
Marine Taylor, born in Buxton, Derbyshire, was killed on May 30 by an explosion while he was part of a foot patrol, again helping to reassure the local population and to increase security in the area around Sangin.
Lt Col Paul James, commanding officer of 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said of the 21-year-old: "Marine Scott Taylor was everything I needed in a Bootneck: proud but not arrogant, loyal but still independent, courageous but not foolhardy, he was an outstanding marine. Brave, strong, bright and physically very fit, he was an utterly selfless man, who was often unassuming, preferring instead to let his actions speak for him - and they spoke with power and tumult."
Tuesday, June 1
by FoxnWolf on Tue 01 Jun 2010 21:55 BST
A Royal Marine killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Scott Taylor, of Alpha Company, 40 Commando.
Marine Scott Taylor was killed in an explosion near Sangin on Sunday
The 21-year-old from Buxton, Derbyshire, was hit by a blast while on foot patrol near Sangin in northern Helmand.
He had joined the Royal Marines in 2007 after completing his A-levels and followed in the footsteps of his younger brother Liam when he passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando in 2008.
Marine Taylor's family paid tribute to him saying he was the "perfect son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend" who would leave a void in their lives "that can never be filled".
They continued: "He had a wicked sense of humour and was loyal, caring and brave, never showing pain."
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Group, honoured an "outstanding marine" describing Marine Taylor as: "Proud but not arrogant, loyal but still independent, courageous but not foolhardy."
He added: "Brave, strong, bright and physically very fit, he was an utterly selfless man, who was often unassuming, preferring instead to let his actions speak for him - and they spoke with power and tumult."
Known as Scotty to his friends, Marine Taylor was a popular figure in the company and had hoped one day to become a sniper and then a Regimental Sergeant Major.
Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, maintained that he could have achieved those goals and mourned a "glittering career" that had been cut short.
The number of British troops who have died in operations in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 now stands at 289.
Thursday, May 27
by FoxnWolf on Thu 27 May 2010 15:57 BST
A Gunner from 4th Regiment on foot patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province has been killed in an explosion as he worked to reassure local people about safety and conditions.
The family of Gunner Zak Cusack described him as courageous and compassionate
Tributes have been paid to a "friend in a million" killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.
Zak Cusack died of a gunshot wound after coming under fire in Helmand Province on Wednesday morning.
The gunner, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, was from Stoke on Trent, the Ministry of Defence said.
The family of Gunner Cusack, 20, released a statement which read: "Zak was a courageous, compassionate and charismatic young man.
"We are justly proud of not only the job that he did, but of the complete person we all knew and loved.
"For such a young man, Zak's infectious sense of humour, appetite for life and truly romantic heart inspired so many others.
"Zak's loss leaves a hole in our hearts, a chasm in our lives and many, many other broken hearts behind. He had a fire in his soul that will burn brightly in all our memories. He is our beautiful boy, loving son and best friend, in Zak's own words, 'he is a ledge' (Legend)."
His death follows that of a British Marine, also killed on Wednesday.
He died in an explosion while serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines, as part of Combined Forces Sangin, Helmand.
Gunner Cusack's death - the seventh this month - comes after a lull in fatalities during the British election period.
In March, 12 servicemen were killed in the line of duty, while in April this figure fell to three.
The number of British troops who have died in operations in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 is 288.
Leading the tributes from colleagues, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Squier RA, Commanding Officer 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Gunner Zak Cusack was a big man with the personality to go with it.
"Young, fit and with a healthy love of life, he was always close to, or at the heart of, the action.
"A Stoke City fan in the North East Gunners will always have his work cut out, but his combination of cheeky charm and buoyant character always won out."
His friend Gunner "Chappy" Chapman, Fire Support Team Assistant, 97 Battery Lawson's Company), 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Zak was a friend in a million, with so many stories that will remain with me forever, thinking of you all at this very difficult time."