Thursday, 23 March 2017
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

inmemoriam

Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas
33 Engineer Regiment

Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 15 November 2009. He was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device whilst conducting a route search to clear devices in the vicinity of Patrol Base Sandford, in the Gereshk area of Helmand province.

Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, aged 28, and known as 'Loz' to his comrades, deployed on Operation HERRICK 11 as a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander within the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group; part of the Counter-IED Task Force responsible for minimising the threat posed to ISAF, ANSF and the people of Afghanistan.


The cornerstone of 4 Troop, 49 Field Squadron RE (EOD), 33 Engineer Regiment RE (EOD) in Wimbish, Essex, he deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 as an Acting Corporal. In the relatively short time that he had been in theatre he had proved himself more than worthy of the rank and responsibilities of a Section Commander.

Cpl Marlton-Thomas made the decision to serve his country by joining the Army in 1998. He had his mind set on a life full of challenge, excitement and adventure.

He initially considered a life in the Parachute Regiment; however he quickly found that his talents were better suited to life in the Royal Engineers. In typical 'Sapper' style he was a man of many talents, a first rate soldier, an extremely competent combat engineer and accomplished blacksmith. Not one for barracks routine he really came to the fore and flourished in the operational environment.

Prior to embarking on his career in EOD, 'Loz' served in a number of units including: 35 Engineer Regiment in Paderborn, 21 Engineer Regiment in Osnabruck and in 25 Engineer Regiment in Northern Ireland.

His military experience led him to complete operational tours of Northern Ireland on Op BANNER and Iraq on Op TELIC 11. On both tours he served in the Advanced Search Troop giving him a wealth of search experience which translated into him being an exceptional Team Commander.

Corporal Marlton-Thomas epitomised the men of courage and nerve that he led; Advanced Search (AS) teams, the 'improvised explosive device hunters', are a unique breed who stalk their concealed quarry along the tracks and wadis of Helmand.

He was extremely proud of this life saving and critical role that his team performs and demonstrated his true merit as a leader of men in this role.

Lt Col David Southall MBE RE, Commanding Officer of 33 Engr Regt (EOD), said:

"Cpl Loren Marlton-Thomas was a man of great courage and commitment, a gifted Junior NCO who was truly passionate about his profession.

"He revelled in his Search Team Commander role, with skills honed on operations in both Northern Ireland and Iraq. 'Loz' was one of life's optimists who always led from the front; whatever the challenge, you would always find him right in the thick of it.

"His role, in leading teams to find IEDs, was undeniably amongst the toughest in Helmand Province. Despite this, Loz was one of the most irrepressible and positive Junior Commanders I have met. With a smile on his face, his natural charm, confidence and soldiering skill meant men followed him instinctively.

"Loz made the ultimate sacrifice whilst striving to rid Afghanistan of IEDs and make the country a safer place, for both our troops and the Afghan people. Our thoughts are with his wife, Nicola, and family; we share their grief. Loz will not be forgotten."

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex RLC, Commanding Officer Counter IED Task Force, said:

"Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a courageous soldier and a strong leader; his boys loved him. He epitomised the character and bravery required of a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander and his loss will be felt keenly across our close knit community.

"Chatting together in Camp Bastion recently as we both surveyed a starlit Helmand sky, I was impressed by his enthusiasm and immediately taken by his intelligent and thoughtful nature. Immensely proud of his role he waxed lyrical on the jobs he and the boys had done so far.

"His pride and dedication is an inspiration to us all, and we will not let his death be in vain. He knew more than anyone that his job was dangerous, but understood that his role was vital to the security of decent Afghans and his fellow soldiers."

Major Tim Gould QGM, RLC Officer Commanding, Joint Force EOD Group, said:

"Corporal Marlton-Thomas made an immediate and lasting impression with me and clearly stood proud of his peers. An intelligent, articulate and focused individual he was emerging to be a most capable leader of men; the highest accolade you can afford a professional soldier.

"He was passionate for those in his charge and for the vital contribution that they are making here in Afghanistan. Highly revered by all within the Group, men of his distinction are few and far between and he will be gravely missed."

Captain Gareth Bateman RE, Second-in-Command Joint Force EOD Group, said:

"In the short time that I have known Corporal Marlton-Thomas, it was clear that he was highly-respected amongst all in the Squadron. His determination to lead his team from the front on operations was demonstrated by the way in which he fought to overcome an injury and be fit to deploy.

"He was the embodiment of the consummate Royal Engineer Soldier; I am proud to say that I served with him."

Lieutenant Fran Rizzuti RE, Troop Commander Joint Force EOD Group, said:

"Corporal Marlton-Thomas had a beaming smile and it was a feature that conveyed his immense enthusiasm for a job that he truly loved. Although we had only worked together for a short period, it was obvious to me that as a Search Team Commander he was second-to-none. He spoke of his wife, Nicola, often and it was clear that he was a proud and devoted husband.

"Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a fountain of knowledge, a man of many talents, who had a genuine aptitude for soldiering. I am honored and proud to have known him as both a colleague and indeed a friend. My only regret is that our paths did not cross sooner."

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Latest from icasualties.org

  • KP- Prominent religious cleric killed in East of Afghanistan
    A prominent religious cleric and former member of the provincial council of eastern Laghman province succumbed to his injuries he sustained during an attack by gunmen. The provincial government in Nangarhar said Qari Rohullah was shifted to Nangarhar for the treatment after he was critically injured in the attack.
  • AP- Aid group says millions of Afghan children are not in school
    An aid group says nearly a third of all children in war-torn Afghanistan are unable to attend school, leaving them at increased risk of child labor, recruitment by armed groups, early marriage and other forms of exploitation. Save the Children says more than 400,000 Afghan children, over 1,100 per day, are expected to drop out of school this year due to growing instability and the forcible return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, adding to the 3.7 million already out of school.
  • KP- 6 militants killed while planting bomb on a roadside in Helmand
    At least six militants were killed while planting an explosive device on a roadside in the restive Helmand in South of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants ere blown up as they were fixing the homemade Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Loy Bagh area located in Nad-e-Ali district.
  • AP- Pakistani troops clash with militants near Afghan border
    Pakistan's military says troops have clashed with militants during a raid in a tribal region near the Afghan border, with two soldiers and five "terrorists" killed. It says a local Pakistani Taliban commander was among those killed in Wednesday's raid in the Orakzai tribal region.
  • BNA- Mine Blast Wounds 4 Kids in Urozgan
    four children were injured due to a mine blast in Urozgan province this morning. The event occurred in Khas district, Urozgan province while the children playing in the site. A local police commander of Urozgan province told BNA, in the event four children have been injured.
  • VOA- US Forces Vow to Defeat Islamic State in Afghanistan This Year
    U.S. forces in Afghanistan are upping the fight against an expanding Islamic State offshoot based near the Afghan-Pakistan border and are determined to defeat the extremist group in the country this year, U.S. military officials tell VOA. "Our goal in 2017 is to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan," U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, the spokesperson and director of public affairs for Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, told VOA's Afghan service.
  • ToloNews- US Delivers 4 Super Tucano Attack Aircraft to Afghan Forces
    U.S officials delivered four Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft to the Afghan defense ministry this week in an effort to help embattled Afghan security forces carry out their counter-insurgency missions in the volatile country.
  • AP- Afghanistan wants more US help in fight against Taliban, IS
    Afghanistan wants the United States to send more forces to help meet shortfalls in the battle against the Taliban and the Islamic State group, the nation's top diplomat said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani welcomed a recent call by U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan, for a few thousand more troops from the U.S. or other coalition partners to help break the stalemate in the war-torn country.
  • Bostonglobe- 6 killed as suicide bomber rams Afghan militia base
    At least six members of a militia belonging to the Afghan intelligence agency were killed in a suicide car bombing at their base in the southern province of Helmand, Afghan officials said Tuesday. The attack late Monday was in Gereshk District, just outside the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, which has been largely besieged by Taliban forces for more than a year.
  • VOA- Conditions in Afghanistan Deteriorating, Kids at Great Risk
    The United Nations reports humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan are deteriorating, with children at great risk of dying at an early age from lack of health care and proper nutrition. The United Nations reports 9.3 million people in Afghanistan will need humanitarian assistance this year. The world body has appealed for $550 million to support 5.6 million of the most vulnerable people.

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.

 

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.