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inmemoriam

Corporal Nicholas Charles Webster-Smith
Royal Military Police

Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, known as Nic or W-S to his family, friends and colleagues, was 24, when he was killed in action whilst carrying out his duties at Blue 25, an ANP checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 3 November 2009.

Corporal Webster-Smith was born on 2nd May 1985 in Glangwilli Hospital, West Wales. He attended Llangunnor Primary School and Queen Elizabeth Cambria Secondary School in Carmarthen before moving to Tenby, West Wales where he completed his education at Greenhill School, Tenby. He lived latterly in Brackley, Northamptonshire.


Following his Phase 1 training, Corporal Webster-Smith enlisted into the Corps of Royal Military Police in February 2005 and upon successful completion of his training was posted to 160 Provost Company, Aldershot in November 2005.

During his time at 160 Provost Company, as well as conducting Garrison Policing he completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 5, a deployment in Kosovo, and a Joint Service Policing tour of the Falkland Islands, where he contributed to the Joint Service Provost and Security Unit, for which he was awarded a Commander British Forces Falkland Islands Commendation.

Corporal Webster-Smith was the eldest son of his proud parents Richard and Jacqueline and a loved brother of Christopher, Samuel and Hannah. Corporal Webster-Smith leaves behind his much loved partner and soul-mate Emma Robinson, along with a loving and proud family.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Debbie Poneskis (Commanding Officer 4th Battalion Royal Military Police), said:

"Corporal Webster-Smith was a real character amongst the Regiment and the Company. A professional and determined soldier, Corporal Webster-Smith was always the first to volunteer and the last to give up.

"A spirited Non-Commissioned Officer with a keen sense of humour, Corporal Webster-Smith was at his most comfortable in the midst of fellow soldiers, either guiding and mentoring them, or having a laugh and a joke with them.

"During his short military career he undertook operational tours to Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as volunteering for a six month deployment to the Falkland Islands before deploying again to Afghanistan this year.

"His continual deployments are testament to Corporal Webster-Smith's desire to be a soldier first, alongside his mates. He was very much a part of every aspect of Company life and could normally be found in the thick of it with a cheeky smile on his face.

"The Regiment is currently overwhelmed at the sad loss of Corporal Webster-Smith; it is a much poorer place without him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his girlfriend at this difficult time; we share in their grief."

His Company Commander, Major Phil Hacker, said:

"Corporal Webster-Smith's death is a tragedy to us all, especially so early on in the tour. Corporal Webster-Smith loved Army life and he also knew and accepted the dangers that faced him during this tour of Afghanistan.

"He cared deeply for his fellow soldiers and this was reciprocated by all who served with him. He was a very popular soldier within 160 Provost Company and touched all of our lives with his humour, laughter and great professionalism.

"He set the best example of what it is to be a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer within the Royal Military Police, accepting difficult and demanding tasks with great pride. Serving with Corporal Webster-Smith has inspired and humbled us all. He exemplifies the Royal Military Police Corps motto, Exemplo Ducemus; By Example we Lead."

The Operations Officer for 160 Provost Company, Captain Karen Tait, said:

"W-S was a true soldier and Military Policeman. His pride at wearing his beret and working alongside his colleagues was evident.

"He had a fantastic sense of humour that he brought out when we all needed it, always at the centre of activity. His professionalism and courage is what stood him out amongst his peers. He demonstrated his 'wilco' approach to life until the end.

"A sociable character who always made time for his friends and loved ones. The loss of W-S has left a void in the Company."

2nd Lieutenant Richard Evans said:

"Corporal Webster-Smith was a respected, fun and well liked Military Policeman. He was a key member of the Corporals' Mess and Regimental sports teams.

"He was always at the heart of any social function and part of a close knit circle of friends. He was a fantastic example to those he served with - knowledgeable, confident and open.

"He was an asset not only to his Company but to those he served with. Corporal Webster-Smith had a keen, dry sense of humour which he often shared with those around him. A sure source of morale, and a reliable individual, he was selected for his role in theatre because of his robustness, clarity of thought, and professionalism.

"Corporal Webster-Smith was an exemplary Royal Military Police Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. He would soldier on regardless of the situation, he knew his job, and was adaptable. He will be sorely missed."

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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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