Sunday, 26 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

Lance Corporal Dane Elson
1st Battalion Welsh Guards

Lance Corporal Elson was born on 28 September 1986 in Harare, Zimbabwe. His family now lives in Bridgend in Wales. Having joined the Army, he completed his training in Guards Training Company, Catterick, in 2004 and joined the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards when they were based at RAF St Athan, near Cardiff.

He served in Iraq in 2004/05, and in Bosnia in 2006/07. He passed a promotion course and was promoted to Lance Corporal during the pre-deployment training for Afghanistan.


Lance Corporal Elson was a keen rugby player and he lived for the mates he had around him in the Welsh Guards. He had a very bright future ahead of him, and stood out as a Guardsman destined for the higher ranks of the battalion.

Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, Commanding Officer, The Light Dragoons Battle Group, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was part of a small band of Welsh Guards attached to the Battle Group. Despite being small in number, they have made a huge impact with their professionalism, drive and determination to take the fight to the enemy. Lance Corporal Elson was one of the best of these. It is typical of the man that he died while providing cover to the rest of his platoon. Though Lance Corporal Elson is no longer with us, his fellow Welsh Guardsmen, and the Battle Group, will remember this talented and popular soldier."

His Battalion Second-in-Command, Major Andrew Speed MBE, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was a dedicated and loyal Welsh Guardsman who had been with the battalion for five years. He was promoted shortly before his deployment to Afghanistan and was looking forward to an undoubtedly bright future.

"Lance Corporal Elson was a Javelin operator with one of the fire support groups, a job he relished. He was extremely fit and was mentally very tough. Prior to deployment, Lance Corporal Elson broke his wrist while learning to drive a quad bike. This meant that his deployment would be delayed. So keen was he to deploy with his fellow Welsh Guardsmen that he suggested to his Section Commander that he should cut off his plaster and pretend that his wrist was fine. To his disappointment, he was forced to wait for his wrist to heal.

"With Lance Corporal Elson's belated deployment came his characteristic energy and enthusiasm, which made an immediate impact on his friends and fellow Welsh Guardsmen serving in the small contingent of Guardsmen attached to The Light Dragoons. He was soon in his element, and could not have been a more effective Team Commander on operations - he galvanised his team and was the fully rounded article. It was so typical of Lance Corporal Elson to have been providing cover and looking out for his mates when he died, he lived his life with a very selfless ethos which inspired others.

"Outside of the Army he was a man whose company others would seek. His friends describe him as being as sociable as a young Guardsman can be; he was universally regarded as being reliably good for morale. For Lance Corporal Elson's friends, no night out was complete without his presence.

"In the same manner that we have dealt with our previous tragic losses, the Welsh Guards will bear this loss with fortitude and determination. In the knowledge that our fallen will have wanted nothing more than for us to continue with even greater determination and stoicism, we will continue undaunted by our losses."

His Company Commander from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, Major Austen Salusbury, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was a first class soldier who crammed a lot into the five years he spent with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. He had shone as a Guardsman and had been recently promoted before deploying to Afghanistan, a deployment he relished and which caused him to be so disappointed when he could not deploy at the same time as the rest of his Fire Support Group due to an injury.

"When he did deploy, he proved as expected to be a very strong Team Commander in the demanding operational environment of Afghanistan. His belated deployment from the UK brought significant impact; his characteristic drive and determination were an example to his comrades in the small and tightly-knit band of Guardsmen serving with The Light Dragoons Battle Group.

"Lance Corporal Elson's unassuming character belied a quiet determination and confidence which was reassuring to all. With a diligence in all that he did, his Platoon Commander could not have asked for a better man to command one of his fire support group teams.

"Extremely sociable and universally popular, his loss will be felt by all of the friends he had in the Anti-Tank Platoon and his Fire Support Group, in Support Company as a whole, and by the wider Welsh Guards family."

His Platoon Commander, Captain Phil Durham, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was recently promoted because he embodied all the qualities of the most promising of junior leaders: outstanding fitness, calmness under pressure and an intense reliability. He was immensely popular and had a great sense of humour. No matter the size of the task ahead of him, he would take it in his stride with the same wry grin. All this made him an outstanding Welsh Guardsman and Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. His passing has left a void in the platoon which cannot be filled."

Sergeant Grant Lewis, his Platoon Sergeant, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was an awesome leader. He was always first to volunteer, no matter what the job. He loved soldiering and was a constant inspiration to those around him. Our platoon was attached to B Company, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, and he was immediately a highly respected and well-liked member of the Company Group."

Lance Sergeant Dan Collins, another member of the platoon, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was a true friend and comrade. He always had a smile on his face. He was a cracking soldier and will not be forgotten."

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Latest from icasualties.org

  • KP- Afghan forces arrest mine planter in Nangarhar province
    The Afghan security forces have arrested a mine planter from a restive district of eastern Nangarhar province. According to the local security officials, the detained militant has been identified as Zahidullah and was arrested from the vicinity of Pacher Agam district.
  • rferl- Afghan Security Forces Kill Seven Militants In Operation
    Afghan security forces have killed seven militants in the latest military operation in Logar Province, where Taliban insurgents have a strong presence, a local police chief has said. Esmatullah Alizai said that government forces also seized weapons from the militants during the operation in Logar's volatile Charkh district on March 24.
  • KP- Afghan intelligence arrest 6 involved in major terrorist activities in Herat
    The Afghan Intelligence operatives have arrested a group of six militants involved in major terrorist activities in western Herat province of Afghanistan. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said the militants were arrested during an operation conducted by the Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence.
  • BNA- Taliban Rebels Killed In Jawzjan Operation
    Eight Taliban insurgents were killed and 4 others were injured in a clearing operation conducted by security troops in Jawzjan province yesterday. A security source of Jawzjan province told BNA
  • BNA- Taliban And Daesh Loyalists Sustained Casualties In Nangarhar Strikes
    Taliban and Daesh fighters sustained heavy casualties in air and ground raids conducted by security forces in Nangarhar province. The raids carried out in the last 24 hours on hideouts of Taliban and Daesh in Kot , Khogyani and Achen districts of Nangarhar province, in the attacks 40 armed oppositions were killed while terrorist and destructive activities.
  • APP- Fencing at Pak-Afghan border commences
    Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that fencing on Pakistan-Afghanistan border had commenced and border areas in Bajaur and Mohmand agencies, being high threat zones, were first priority for that.
  • KP- ISIS leaders among 22 killed in airstrikes in East of Afghanistan
    At least twenty two militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in a series of airstrikes conducted in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces in Eastern Afghanistan said the airstrikes were carried out on Friday in the vicinity of Nazian district.
  • Reuters- Violence, corruption threaten Afghan progress in getting kids to school
    Afghanistan's progress in educating its children is under threat, as growing insecurity and corruption shut more schools and reduced international funding undermines a system struggling to cope. Rising school attendance, up from fewer than a million when the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 to more than seven million today, has been held up as a major success in efforts to rebuild Afghanistan from decades of war.
  • KP- Defense Ministry and Local Govt rejects fall of Sangin to Taliban
    The Ministry of Defense and the Local Government in Helmand have rejected the control of Sangin district has fallen to Taliban. According to a statement by MoD, the Taliban claims regarding the capture of a military base in Sangin and fall of the district are baseless
  • rferl- Save The Children Says 400,000 Afghans Will Drop Out Of School This Year
    An international advocacy group says more than 400,000 children in Afghanistan will likely drop out of school during the current school year because of growing instability and an influx of forced refugee returns from neighboring Pakistan. U.S.-based Save the Children on March 23 said one-third of all Afghan children – some 3.7 million – are unable to go to school -- making them susceptible to recruitment by armed groups, trafficking, child labor, early marriage, and other forms of exploitation.

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.