Sunday, 23 April 2017
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inmemoriam

LANCE CORPORAL OLIVER MATTHEW THOMAS, 3 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BATTALION, INTELLIGENCE CORPS

Lance Corporal Thomas, killed in the Lynx helicopter crash in Afghanistan, joined the Army Reserve in June 2011, and after moving to London he joined 3 Military Intelligence Battalion in July 2012. He volunteered to be mobilised from the Army Reserves for deployment to Afghanistan and arrived on 11 December 2013 to be part of the United Kingdom's contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Commanding Officer, 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, said:

"The news of the death of Lance Corporal Oliver Matthew Thomas is
devastating to his friends and companions in 3 Military Intelligence
Battalion. This tragic incident has taken a young, enthusiastic and
highly capable Intelligence Corps soldier away from us and his loss is
deeply felt by all members of the Unit and the Intelligence Corps as a
whole. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, particularly his
parents, at this most difficult time".

His Officer Commanding said:

"Lance Corporal Oli Thomas was the embodiment of his generation:
bright, gifted with an enquiring mind and laser focussed on the task
in-hand. The bonus for us was that he was also blessed with a natural
flair and the happy-knack of always being able to raise a smile with his
keen sense of wit. The future and uncertainty did not disturb him. He
only saw opportunity ahead and, ultimately, it was his irresistible
addiction to the life-force that took him away. It is with regret and
to my loss that I did not know Oli for longer - but in only a short time
he made an immediate and lasting impression. His absence has left an
enormous gap in a close-knit team. We will remember him".

His family paid the following tribute:

"Oliver was a truly amazing person, living his life to the full, while
fulfilling some of his many dreams and adventures. He was very much
loved and will be greatly missed by his grieving family and friends".

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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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