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Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, from Bradford, was one of six soldiers on a patrol to dominate the area and maintain freedom of movement in Lashkar Gah Durai region in an operational area on the border of Helmand and Kandahar provinces when their Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device . He joined the Battalion in September 2011 and was immediately put on a Warrior driving cadre. Private Kershaw thoroughly enjoyed working on the Warriors and his natural talent for the role became evident. Furthermore, Private Kershaw was an extremely effective Light Machine Gun gunner and was subsequently selected to fill this role on operations. He proved himself, in a very short time, to be an excellent soldier and a great friend to many in the Company.
Private Kershaw was a unique and likeable character who quickly made a name for himself in the company. He was devoted to his peers and always delivered what was asked of him. He will be sorely missed.
He leaves behind his parents, Brian and Monica, and sister, Sarah Louise. The thoughts and prayers of all those in his Battalion and Combined Force Lashkar Gah are very much with them at this most difficult time.
Private Kershaw's father Brian and his partner Sharon Wood paid the following tribute:
"Chris was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. He was a loving son, a great mate and someone who you could trust to be there for you."
Private Kershaw's mother Monica paid the following tribute:
"Chris - our hero. He loved anything to do with the Army from the age of 5 years old. He lived the dream until the end. God bless, Chris, love you loads, Mum."
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning MBE, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Christopher Kershaw was a fiercely fit young man who thrived on soldiering. His natural love of the outdoors shone through in his personal and professional life. Given this passion and his continuous desire to educate himself, he already stood out amongst his peers as a Corporal of the future. We have lost today a true Yorkshire Warrior. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mortimer, Commanding Officer, Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) said:
"We in Combined Force Lashkar Gah are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Private Chris Kershaw. For those who knew him he was a 'top lad'. In the short time he was with the Company he was known for being easy going. He never complained, always going that extra mile to help his mates. Popular, with a keen sense of humour and fun, he was hugely respected. Highly committed and professional he gave his all to 7 Platoon and the Company. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult and tragic time. We will remember him."
Major Edward Colver, Officer Commanding, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Kershaw joined Corunna Company straight out of training and was immediately trained as a Warrior driver. He showed immediate promise and regularly briefed me on his ambition to be a Section Commander and desire to complete a Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Cadre as soon as possible. This typified his approach to military life: outgoing and aspiring. I got the feeling he would have stopped at nothing to get where he wanted to be. Never shy of doing the hard yards and always willing to take on extra responsibility, he quickly became a valuable member of the team.
"Private Kershaw had made many friends in both the Company and Battalion. He quickly settled into Army life and thrived on being amongst friends both in camp and outside. My heartfelt thoughts and sympathy are with Private Kershaw's family and friends. The Yorkshire Regiment have lost a friend and comrade never to be forgotten."
Lieutenant Daniel Brennan, 7 Platoon Commander, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Kershaw was a very popular soldier who was always willing to get involved and a lend a hand to his friends. He will be greatly missed by all."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Eric Whitehouse, Company Sergeant Major, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Kershaw was a relatively junior soldier, but that didn't affect his ability to prove himself on every occasion. He quickly settled into battalion life, and had shown himself to be a diligent and caring soldier. A somewhat reserved, astute individual, he always worked hard and had a promising career ahead.
"He was mature beyond his years, and it was possible to see in him true leadership potential. He was an exceptional Warrior driver and an all-round quality soldier, who enjoyed what he did. He died doing what he loved and at which he excelled. He will be missed, but not forgotten."
Sergeant Stewart Watts, Platoon Sergeant, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Kersh settled in very quickly to life in 7 Platoon and quickly established himself as a 'good lad', always willing to help others. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."
Corporal Mark Leleavono, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's Regiment), said:
"He was a very hard-working soldier who was always first to volunteer. May you rest in peace my brother and God bring peace to your family."
Lance Corporal Lee Marshall, Section Commander 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"From the moment you arrived to our Platoon you were a hard-working and an easy-going lad. You were an outstanding friend with lots of potential of being a leader of men. You were loved and you will be missed, but never forgotten."
Lance Corporal Jonasa Sikivou, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Mate, you have left a hole in our hearts. You were quiet, resourceful, and easy to get along with. You were a brave man who never once backed down. Duke forever. Once a Blue Always a Blue."
Private Ryan Taylor, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's Regiment), said:
"He always wanted to do things the fun way. He always helped people, that was the kind of guy he was. He would do anything for his friends. He will be sadly missed."
Private Shaun Teale, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Fellow Bradford lad and Bradford Bulls fan, we use to chat about the weekend's game. Chris would never say no to you and would give you his last fiver if he was asked. He will be missed."
Private Ryan Mills & Private Luke Stones, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"We first met Kershaw on Day One of basic training. He was army mad and an encyclopaedia on all things useless. He never moaned about anything and just got on with life. Your useless knowledge on the journey up north will be missed. Take care."