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inmemoriam

Kingsman David Robert Shaw from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Wednesday 16 January 2013 from wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

Kingsman Shaw sustained a gunshot wound when his checkpoint came under attack from insurgents in the Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province on 14 January 2013. A full eulogy is on the next page.

Kingsman David Shaw, from Barrow-in-Furness, was born on the 13th of October 1989 and joined the Army in February 2008. He successfully completed the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and was posted to 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. Following this, Kingsman Shaw deployed to British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada, in the summer of 2009 with Corunna Company where he was employed as a rifleman in a mechanised platoon. He then conducted pre-deployment training for Operation HERRICK 12 and deployed with Corunna Company in March 2010 to Nad-e Ali District in Southern Helmand. Kingsman Shaw performed strongly with 10 Platoon working out of Patrol Base SILAB. Upon return to the UK, Kingsman Shaw remained with Corunna Company and successfully qualified as an Assault Pioneer.

 

As the Battalion prepared to deploy back to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 17 in October 2012, Kingsman Shaw was the voice of experience for the junior soldiers, deploying not only as an Assault Pioneer, but also as a qualified Sharpshooter. All new soldiers in Corunna Company looked up to Kingsman Shaw and followed the excellent example that he set. This was demonstrated when he was involved in an incident on Op HERRICK where four local children had fallen into a canal following a vehicle accident. The children were taken by local nationals to the nearest Security Forces checkpoint, where Kingsman Shaw did not hesitate to administer first aid to the children. His swift actions and assistance to the medics were of the highest calibre.

 

Faultless in his motivation and resolve, Kingsman Shaw was usually at the centre of any outbreak of morale and could be guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any Kingsman.

 

The family of Kingsman Shaw said: "David was a much-loved son and brother who was proud to have served his country in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. He loved his family and friends and would always make time for a hug for everybody. He enjoyed playing football, running and was an Arsenal fan. He also followed his local team, Barrow AFC. He has touched many lives. He will be missed and never forgotten."

 

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"The death of Kingsman David Shaw is a devastating tragedy. The loss of our fallen comrade, who has fought so bravely and fiercely for three months, is deeply felt by all in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

 

"David was a true Cumbrian and Kingsman: physically and mentally tough,

a warrior through and through, utterly loyal to those he worked with and

possessing a sense of humour that touched us all. Known throughout the

Battalion as 'Doctor S' he was the most popular of individuals. His

joking and light heartedness would lift the gloomiest of situations and

have us all laughing. He was someone we all wanted to be with and have

around.

 

"Highly experienced in operating in Afghanistan, he was conducting his

second tour having previously served here in 2010. Both times he

deployed regularly into some of the most dangerous parts of the country

but was unflinching in his bravery and courage. Displaying nothing but

professionalism and focus on the task, his ability to inspire those

about him marked him out as a future leader. Everyone wanted to be next

to David on patrol as they knew he would be there for them. As one of

the more senior Kingsmen in his platoon he took pride in helping those

junior to him through challenging times, and there were plenty. Such

unselfishness was something that we all aspire to.

 

"The loss of David has left a gaping hole in the Battalion and in our

lives. Our memories of him will make us laugh and cry and renew our

resolve to succeed with the mission - his sacrifice will not have been

in vain. Yet it is to David's family that I wish to express our deepest

sympathies. I hope that knowing David was the best of Kingsmen, a true

warrior and friend, who died doing what he loved, may offer them some

comfort."

 

Major Mark McLellan, Officer Commanding, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"I knew Kingsman Shaw very well. When I first arrived in Corunna

Company, dressed in civilian attire, he accosted me in the corridor

outside the Company Sergeant Major's office. After 10 minutes of idle

banter he asked who I was and was not fazed in the slightest; 'I should

probably call you 'Sir' then' he said as he left.

 

"During my time in the Company, Kingsman Shaw has always been at the

forefront of everything we have done; whether that was leading a section

attack on exercise in Canada and successfully destroying a tank, or

leading the charge to the bar on a Company night out.

 

"An incredibly engaging individual, he would often chat with me at

length about events within the Company and the disasters that had

befallen other members of Corunna! As a senior soldier who had already

deployed to Afghanistan, he could often be found dispensing advice or

guidance to one of the many junior Kingsman in the Company. He always

underplayed this however, and probably did not realise the full extent

of the effect he had on these young men. It was for this and many other

reasons that Kingsman Shaw had been selected to attend a Potential

Junior NCOs cadre where I am convinced he would have done very well.

 

"Kingsman Shaw had been through some of the fiercest fighting we have

seen as a Company and always came out the other side smiling and

cracking jokes. He had the ability to raise morale just by being in the

room and his loss is keenly felt across the whole Battalion as there are

few people who did not know him.

 

 "Within Corunna Company, we are left hollow and saddened by the loss of

our friend and comrade. However, we know that any sense of loss that we

feel, as painful as it is, will only be a shadow of what his family must

be feeling and the thoughts of everyone in the Company are with them."

 

Captain Ken Neilson, Company Second in Command, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"Kingsman Shaw was one the most genuine and kind-natured soldiers I have

had the pleasure of serving with. His steadfast resoluteness, even in

the face of adversity, set an outstanding example to the remainder of

the Company.

 

"Kingsman Shaw was always at the centre of any morale to be had; 'Doctor

S' knew everyone in Corunna Company and the wider Battalion. He was just

as at home chatting away to his mates as he was to the Commanding

Officer, always polite and well-mannered but confident in expressing

himself. Kingsman Shaw was a solid and dependable operator who could be

trusted to get the job done. He showed this during the Company's

deployment to British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada, last year

where he stepped up as a section second-in-command. Kingsman Shaw rose

to the challenge with enthusiasm, dedication and performed well, even

when out of his comfort zone.

 

"During the Mission Specific Training for Operation HERRICK 17 'Shawy'

qualified as an Assault Pioneer and as a Sharpshooter, a vital role for

a senior Kingsman. As one of the most senior Kingsmen in the Company he

was a guiding hand for new soldiers and was looked to for help, a role

which he took seriously and performed well.

 

"Corunna Company mourns the loss of one its longest serving and best

soldiers, our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He genuinely was

the epitome of the professional Infanteer."

 

Lieutenant Michael Borup, Officer Commanding 2 Platoon, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"It has been a privilege to have been Kingsman Shaw's Platoon Commander

these last few months. His professionalism and commitment to the task at

hand was a shining example to all others around him. His kindness

towards the junior Kingsmen was humbling and it has been a pleasure to

have had someone with his strength of character in the Platoon. He could

always be relied on no matter how difficult the task, how great the risk

and, through his actions, to inspire those around him. Kingsman Shaw

always committed his all to everything he did; he was respected by his

commanders and was an example to the soldiers who looked up to him. He

would have made a worthy Junior Non-commissioned Officer.

 

"I have seen no other soldier show so much courage in adversity,

generosity to people he did not know, and loyalty to his friends, his

Company and those that he loved. Kingsman Shaw strived for the

opportunity to make a difference. His contribution has been invaluable.

I could not have wished for a better senior soldier and he will be

sorely missed."

 

Warrant Officer (Class 2) Carl Fleming, Company Sergeant Major, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"Kingsman Shaw was one of the senior Kingsmen in Corunna Company. He was

known throughout the Company as 'Doctor S', due to one of his plethora

of interesting tattoos. A valued member of his Section, Platoon and

Company, he was a qualified Sharpshooter and Assault Pioneer and these

skills were put to good use during the tour. Having been his Platoon

Sergeant throughout training it was rewarding to return as his Company

Sergeant Major and see how he had matured and grown through experience

and further training. Kingsman Shaw will be sorely missed by all ranks

of Corunna Company and our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones

back in the UK."

 

Acting Sergeant Mark Stevens, 2 Platoon Sergeant, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"To Kingsman Shaw, a missed brother-in-arms, you were an inspiration who

helped me guide the rest of the Platoon through adversity and danger.

You showed true courage, exceptional bravery and demonstrated genuine

leadership, even when it was clear your own life was in danger. The rest

of the Platoon responded well because of your actions. Thank you for

being such a pleasure to be around and work with; my assessment that you

were ready to move forward and become a junior commander was bang on.

You would have made one hell of a Non-commissioned Officer. Rest easy,

we will keep fighting, and remember you forever."

 

Corporal Daniel Royle, 2 Platoon Section Commander, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"Since I have known Kingsman Shaw, 'Shawy' or 'Doctor S' as he was known

to most of us, it has been a privilege to not only serve with him but to

have commanded such a willing and enthusiastic soldier. He was without

doubt one of the most capable soldiers I have commanded. Since we have

been in Afghanistan, Kingsman Shaw seemed to be living on cans of

'Monster' while everyone else was drinking water, much to the amusement

of the Platoon. During the tour, Kingsman Shaw excelled and was due to

be placed on the Potential Junior Non-commissioned Officer Cadre on

returning to the UK to get his first stripe, the one that he always

wanted. Kingsman Shaw was the senior soldier in my Section who the other

lads looked up to. He died doing the job he loved and always dreamt of

doing. Kingsman Shaw will always be remembered not only in the Platoon,

but the Battalion, and the gap that has been left will never be filled.

I give my sincere condolences to his family, friends and all people who

knew him. Rest in Peace."

 

Kingsman Matthew Bond, Foxhound Operator, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"I remember David when he first joined the Battalion. I remember that he

was a very quiet lad. He joined 11 Platoon in Corunna Company and was

given a bed space in the same room as me; we lived together for two

years. David and I have deployed twice to overseas exercises in Canada

together and this was our second tour of Afghanistan together. The whole

time I knew David he was a bright, funny and a hard-working young man.

He was well liked and respected by the whole Company. David's death was

heart-breaking to hear about and my thoughts are with his friends and

family."

 

Kingsman Sam Wilson, Rifleman, Corunna Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

 

"I remember the first day I ever met Dave; we were only kids, playing on

a building site where Tesco Metro is now. We were just playing about

throwing stones at JCBs as you do. It wasn't until the first day at the

Battalion when the Company got back from Canada, he walked into my room

and we both just looked at each other and it took a few minutes before

it clicked and he came over, shook my hand and told me not to worry it

would be fine once I had settled in. It was a good feeling to know that

I was with a fellow Barrovian and someone that I knew. Over the months

we became mates, always taking time to have a crack and a drink when we

bumped into each other around Cornwallis Street. When we moved to 2

Platoon together it was a good feeling to know that I was going on tour

with a friend and someone I could trust, someone with experience. My

last memory will be of him smiling and laughing and taking photos while

I was trying to get some sleep, which, thinking back is a happy memory

that will stay with me for the rest of my life."

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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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