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inmemoriam

LANCE CORPORAL RICHARD SCANLON

1ST TROOP B (FORMATION RECONNAISSANCE) SQUADRON COMBINED FORCE NAHR-E-SARAJ (NORTH) 1ST THE QUEEN'S DRAGOON GUARDS

Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon served with B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. He deployed to Afghanistan on 18 October, 2011 as part of Task Force Helmand's Formation Reconnaissance Squadron. After completing his in-theatre training, he moved forward to the Combined Force Nahr-e-Saraj (North) (CF NES(N)) Main Operating Base PRICE, from where his Troop was one of those tasked with securing vital routes passing through the district, as well as supporting ground holding companies north of Helmand's second city, Gereshk. On the morning of Thursday 17 November, 2011, Lance Corporal Scanlon's vehicle was struck by a powerful Improvised Explosive Device, which killed both him and Lieutenant David Boyce.

Lance Corporal Scanlon, from Rhymney, Gwent, was born on 14 November 1980. He joined the Army in November 1998. He passed out of training in October 1999 and joined his Regiment, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards in Catterick. He was known for his fantastic sense of humour; he had the ability to make anyone smile, whatever the circumstances. Lance Corporal Scanlon deployed to Bosnia in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and 2005 before deciding to leave the Army in July 2006. After being dissatisfied in a number of civilian jobs he rejoined the Army and the Regiment in September 2009 and was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 2010.

He was a genuine regimental character and will be hugely missed by all who knew him. He leaves behind his mother Cherry, step-father Robert, father Raymond and sisters Lisa and Emma.

Lance Corporal Scanlon's family have paid the following tribute: "Richard was a fun loving young man who enjoyed life to the full. He had a great love for his family - always helping them out whenever he could when needed.

"Richard was a great character and he will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him. There will never be anyone else like our Richard."

Lieutenant Colonel Jasper de Quincey Adams, Commanding Officer, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon was one of life's great characters, always with an infectious smile and a tangible love of life. An experienced soldier, calm under pressure, he was hand picked as the Troop Leader's gunner on a demanding operational tour. He was a fighting soldier, cracking in the field or on operations, and in camp,
his flamboyant character meant he could find fun in any situation. His appetite for the finer things in life was prodigious and had earned him one of the more memorable nicknames - nothing was ever half hearted for Lance Corporal Scanlon!

"We will miss him terribly, barracks life will have lost some of its sheen, but our tragic loss is insignificant compared to that of his family; his mother, stepfather, father and sisters Lisa and Emma, all of whom he loved so much. Lance Corporal Scanlon will never be forgotten and our memories of him will forever be cherished."


Major Paddy Bond, Officer Commanding B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon was a seasoned Junior Non Commissioned Officer
whose length of regimental service, personality and professionalism
meant he was part of the very fabric of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.
He was promoted in October 2010 in recognition of his skill and junior
leadership before and during a demanding exercise season in Canada. It
was no surprise when his promotion was accompanied by genuine applause
and celebration across the ranks - for 'Shag', as he was known
affectionately, was a man whose cheerful and hard-working devotion to
work and play epitomised the spirit of the Regiment. As an experienced
operator he was a natural choice for the responsibility of Troop
Leader's operator. Not only did he form an integral part of the
close-knit team that is a Scimitar turret crew, but he constantly looked
out for the welfare of his younger peers. He will be sorely missed, yet
his legacy endures in the character of the young soldiers he helped
train. Our condolences go to his family and his close friends both in
the Regiment and at home."

Captain Simon Mildinhall, Squadron Second-in-Command, B Squadron, 1st
The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Individuals who possess an aura like that of Lance Corporal Scanlon are
rare. Without a doubt the Squadron and wider regimental family has lost
one of its most vibrant and individual characters. It was a pleasure to
have known and served with a soldier who was as buoyant and full of life
as he. His name will be forever etched into the memory of those who
knew him. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this time."

Captain Jon Whelan, Second in Command, A Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, or 'Shag' as he was affectionately known, was a
relatively senior trooper when I met him in 2002 in B Squadron. He was
renowned for always keeping the Sergeant Major on his toes and it was
easy to be drawn to his easy smile and open personality. We moved
across to C Squadron in 2003 and deployed together to Kuwait to serve in
Iraq. Both in Guided Weapons Troop, the Non Commissioned Officers and I
had the honour to watch him change and grow as a soldier through the
most challenging of tests as we fought our way up the Al Faw peninsula
and into Basra. No matter what was thrown at him (literally!), he
always had a smile on his face and an ability to lift spirits. One of
the best shots with anti-tank weapons I have ever seen, his skills as a
Squadron barman were also legendary. Our thoughts are with his family
and friends, both in and out of the Regiment, at this time."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Robert Mansel, Squadron Sergeant Major, B
Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon was a first class Junior Non-Commissioned
Officer who was extremely well respected by his chain of command and
subordinates alike. Always the first to offer help or lend a guiding
hand to the boys who worked with him, he was extremely experienced in
the job he loved. His calm nature meant he was the one the younger boys
came to if they needed help or a problem solved. He approached every
task with a smile on his face and that is how I will remember him.

"Back at regimental duty in Germany, Richard was the lead at any social
event, always accompanied by his trademark smile and distinctive strut.
He gave up his spare time running the Corporals' Mess bar not only for
normal events but also welfare and charity events the mess would host.
If I wanted something done in the Squadron he was the man I could rely
on and trust to get the job done to its fullest in a professional
manner.

"Lance Corporal Scanlon was like an older brother in our family
Regiment. All who have had the privilege of working alongside him will
be deeply saddened by his death. His ultimate sacrifice was not in vain
and he will never be forgotten by his regimental family. Our deepest
sympathies are with his family, especially his nephew of whom I know he
was especially proud."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Russel Kimsey, Squadron Sergeant Major, A
Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, Shag to all of those who knew him, was in his
own league as a soldier and an individual. I had the pleasure of having
him as part of my team whilst in the post of SQMS after he re-joined the
regiment after a brief spell in civilian street. Shag was not a
storeman at heart and would take it upon himself to sit down and get to
grips with any task that was given to him which at times could take the
best part of the day. You knew though that it had been done correctly
when he would reappear with a wide grin on his face as he would strut
back into the office. He did, however, have the uncanny knack of being
able to misplace and lose just about anything left in his charge,
especially keys which would turn up weeks later in the most random of
places.

"Shag was probably best known as B Squadron barman, a job he jumped at
when offered, and he was responsible for some disgusting concoctions. I
will always remember him for his infectious laugh and his bubbly
personality which would have us all in tears of laughter whilst telling
the tale of what he had got up to over the weekend. I am proud to say
that I knew him and will miss his "Got a light, Sir?" every morning.
Rest in peace mate."

Sergeant Gareth Ananins, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon was a true friend for over 10 years.
Whenever morale was down you could count on him to bring it back up
again. Be it in camp, on exercise or on tour, he was always at the
centre of a good joke and will be remembered for his quick witty banter
and giving as good as he got. Richard always had a smile on his face
and was an inspiration to his peers and the boys in 1st Troop.

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, known to us all as Shag, worked hard and he
would always aim to get the task done and endeavour to do that little
bit more. As the senior Lance Corporal in the Troop he had the trust
and respect of us all and nothing would get him down. We have lost a
true friend.

"I have lost a good friend but will never forget you. Rest in peace
mate."

Corporal Gareth Davies, Squadron Headquarters, B Squadron, 1st The
Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon - my friend.

"Lance Corporal 'Shag' Scanlon was a big part of my regimental life.
Like part of the furniture it seems, he's been with us for that long!
Always ready to offer his services if he could help someone out,
chatting over a brew, staying late to get work done - he was never
scared to get stuck in or get his hands dirty and was always there if
you needed him. If you were to ask him about a tour or exercise you'd
been on you could bet he had been there too. You'd be hard pushed to
replace such a good friend, such a character - I don't think there is
anyone else quite like him. He was one in a million.

"I'm going to miss you mate, and I'll never forget you.

"Rest in peace."

Corporal Etika Navunisaravi, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon was always bringing morale, not only to the
troop but to the Regiment as a whole. Well known for the job he does
and the funny things he comes up with.

"I know right now all the angels up in heaven must be laughing at the
things you come up with. OK my brother, rest in peace and keep us
laughing.

"We'll never forget you, R.I.P Shag."

Corporal Rhys Lang, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Richard (Shag) Scanlon was one of the best. Ten years ago he was guard
of honour at my wedding. After the wedding party Shag and the lads went
out in uniform, but little did he know it was Mardi Gras that weekend!
Needless to say they had quite the reception. Shag's response was
'Cardiff is awesome, everyone's so friendly here', oblivious to the fact
he was getting hit on! It was pure comedy. Everyone that has ever known
Shag has a story to tell, he was an honest, genuine bloke with a love
for life and he lived it to the full.

"Sorely missed but never forgotten.

"Sleep well mate!"

Corporal Dan Morris, 2nd Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Richard, also known as Shag, you have been one of my longest friends in
this Regiment ever since we joined in 1999. Not only have you been a
friend to me but also an adopted family member into mine and Kaylee's
lives. You have brought joy and happiness to all our lives and you will
be sorely missed. There will be a void in this Regiment now you have
gone, and I think it will be a hard one to fill, especially in the mess.
I think your name will be talked about for years to come as one of the
great legends and one the greatest people to be in this Regiment. You
will never be forgotten in my family and also that of the wider
Regiment. Dear friend, never forgotten.

"RIP mate."

Lance Corporal James Petre, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, also known as Shag, to those who knew him, will
be remembered as a good friend to everyone and always at the heart of
any joke or banter. I will remember all the good memories and fun times
we have had together, my thoughts go out to your friends and family.
Missing you already mate.

"Rest In Peace Shag."

Lance Corporal Paul 'Trig' Trudgill, 2nd Troop, B Squadron, 1st The
Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Richard, also known as Shag, not only were you a best friend of mine,
you were a friend to my wife Laura and were always there for my son
Jack. You would always look after Laura during Squadron functions, so
much so that people even started to think you where married to her! I
have so many good memories of us together; I will never forget you
singing along to 'Lips' and power ballads on the X Box - all the time
you were a legend. You always had a smile on your face no matter how
bad things got. Things will never be the same again; not going into to
your room for a beer and a fag and a game of FIFA (Norwich vs Cardiff).
You were a very proud Welshman and very proud of your family especially
your nephew, always telling me what he's up to and the stories of him
wearing your gas mask around the house. You were like an older brother
to me and I am proud to have known you and to have served beside you.
You will never be forgotten in my family or the Regiment and you have a
special place in my heart, sleep well dearest friend. P.S - Sorry I
couldn't find a Welsh flag for you."

Lance Corporal Adam Priddle, 3rd Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, otherwise known as 'Shag', to myself and a lot
of the boys you are and will always be remembered as a close friend. I
have known you now for around six years and you are one of the ones that
took me under your wing when I first got to the Regiment. I know I will
miss the good times. I hope you now rest in peace and always look out
for us and your friends as you always have done.

Goodbye mate. You might have gone but you will never be forgotten by
your good friend."

Trooper Norman Moore, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon (Shag) will always be remembered. He was a well
liked individual in 1st Troop, always brought morale to the boys on a
bad day and kept guys smiling and laughing alongside him. I've had many
good times with you Shag and the memories will always be here with me.
Missing you already, you will never be forgotten. Look after yourself up
there, see you again some time."

Trooper Dan Morris, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, you will be remembered as you lived, without
worry and to the full and will truly be missed. You were one of the
first people I got to know in B Squadron when I first arrived and made
me feel welcome. You are a huge loss to me and everyone else who has
ever known you. RIP mate, your friend, Dan."

Trooper Andrew Williams, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Lance Corporal Scanlon, known to the boys as Shag - he will be
remembered to me as a legend in my eyes. He loved a joke. To me he was
my 'grand-dad'. He will be dearly missed; my thoughts are with his
friends and family. RIP Shag."

Trooper Adam Beacock, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards

"Lance Corporal Scanlon or Shag, was more than a mate to us; he was like
family. He was always there to make you smile when you were down and was
always at the heart of the fun. Shag would always be there if you
needed help and would go out of his way to help you out. Shag was the
life and soul of the week-end and you could always count on him to have
a good night out.

"I will truly miss you Shag, life will not be the same with out you but
I know that you're up there in heaven, in a bar looking down on us.
Rest in peace mate."

Trooper Scott Halpin, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Richard was my flat senior back in Germany and we were in the same
Troop. I have been friends with him since he joined back up. He was an
amazing mate and I can't believe he has gone. He loved an occasional
drink and was fun to be around and so much morale. He hated that I used
to beat him on 'Singstar' especially as he thought he was a pro. He was
a mate and like family, he is going to be missed so much.

I am so proud to have served with you in 1st Troop. It is like a sheep
has been taken out of the flock. R.I.P Shag (a true Welsh man)."

Trooper Lucas Crofton, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards said:

"Shag...What can I say that his friends and family don't already know
about this awesome guy. It was an honour to have known and to have
worked alongside him. He will be missed.... Gone but not forgotten."

Trooper David Lawley, Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant Department, B
Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:

"Richard was a very good friend of mine, even though I have only known
him for about a year I knew that we would be life long mates! Richard
was always smiling and always up for a laugh, even when things were not
going his way he still tried to keep morale up. I can't put into words
how much we will all miss him; he was a top bloke and a very good
friend. There will always be a beer waiting for you at the bar.

"RIP Shag, A true 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards legend."

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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.

 

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