Wednesday, 22 November 2017
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The Ministry of Defence has confirmed thenames of the five service personnel who lost their lives following thecrash of a Lynx helicopter in Southern Afghanistan on 26 April 2014.

They are: Captain Thomas Clarke Army Air Corps; Flight Lieutenant RakeshChauhan Royal Air Force; Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner ArmyAir Corps; Corporal James Walters Army Air Corps and Lance CorporalOliver Thomas Intelligence Corps.

Group Captain Richard Maddison, Station Commander RAF Odiham said:

"I am extremely saddened to hear of the loss of Captain Thomas Clarke,Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner andCorporal James Walters, all who served at Royal Air Force Odiham. Mydeepest sympathies are with their families and friends at this mostdifficult time, and also with the family of Lance Corporal OliverThomas, who was not from Royal Air Force Odiham but who was also on theLynx aircraft.

It was only a week before the accident that I visited their unit inAfghanistan, and flew in a Lynx with Captain Clarke, Warrant OfficerFaulkner and Corporal Walters. It was an absolute pleasure to fly withthem and to discuss their work; it was also incredibly reassuring tomeet such professional and enthusiastic members of their Unit. While onthe ground at their base I also spent time with Flight LieutenantChauhan, who was the same consummate professional that so many of us atRAF Odiham had come to know. As with all losses of personnel in
Afghanistan, we mourn the loss of our most capable and dedicatedpersonnel, who served without complaint and in full understanding of therisks associated with their roles. They were fine ambassadors for theirUnit and for Defence as a whole, and we shall not forget them".

As is our policy, individual eulogies for each person kill follow.

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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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