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Private Lewis Hendry was born in Norwich on 12 February 1990 and educated at Northgate High School, Dereham. He joined the Army in May 2008, conducting his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick.
On completion of his training he was posted to 3 PARA. Originally serving in A Company, his performance marked him out from his peers and he was nominated for service in the prestigious Patrols Platoon, moving across in January 2010.
An extremely fit, popular and committed soldier, he fitted in well in this highly motivated and specialist team. In Afghanistan Private Hendry was employed as an intelligence specialist. His role required him to build relationships with the Afghan locals in the area, using his considerable charm and sense of humour to gather information in order to protect the population and his comrades.
However, Private Hendry was still a man with a hard edge. Regularly under fire in one of the most dangerous checkpoints in the area of operations, he demonstrated the same fearlessness in the face of the enemy as he had when boxing at the Battalion.
A laid back but highly social individual, he was due to turn 21 in the next few days. He enjoyed football but his true passion was the Parachute Regiment and his fellow Paratroopers. He intended to make a career within the Regiment or the Special Forces, realistic aspirations given his dedication and natural talent.
The family of Private Hendry have made the following statement:
"Lewis lived life to the full - and more! Words can't describe how much he will be missed. He was not only a soldier, a son, brother and grandson, but a friend to all. He was proud to be a member of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. Loved by so many and will never be forgotten."
Pte Hendry's Mum and Dad said:
"So proud of him! His smile lit up every room he walked into. A true heart of gold and such a lovely boy to be around! "
Pte Hendry's brother, Jamie, said:
"He was not only a brother but my best friend. Our childhood memories will never be forgotten".
Pte Hendry's sister, Stacey, said:
"You are my rock. You were always there to protect me. We have so many memories that will never be forgotten. I love you so much "
Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, Commanding Officer, 3 PARA, said:
"Private Lewis Hendry died on 9 February during an operation to secure an area of Nad 'Ali District in Helmand. As a member of 3 PARA's Patrols Platoon, Private Hendry had a real aptitude for soldiering and his military career would have taken him far. Everyone who met him was struck by his good nature and his consummate professionalism; he always made an impact.
"I last saw him several days before he died and he was thriving on the operational challenges in his patrol base. Held in high regard, he was always calm and collected, despite the constant threats in the area of operations. His courage was undisputed and his superb sense of humour made a real difference to everyday life in his patrol base. He has made a lasting contribution to his Company's task in Helmand and leaves behind a huge gap.
"However, as he would have wished, his comrades are continuing his task undaunted and will ensure that his contribution to their success is never forgotten. He will remain part of the 3 PARA family and will always be remembered. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. Utrinque Paratus."
Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Richard Hames, Regimental Sergeant Major, 3 PARA, said:
"Private Hendry is 'The' Paratrooper; professional, motivated, with bags of confidence and a core of steel. He was a soldier who could be relied upon to get the job done, however big the call was. Working on the ground under continuous daily contacts Private Hendry never let his section down.
"He had a genuine care for his fellow Paratroopers, witty, bright and very fit Private Hendry will never be forgotten. His fellow Paratroopers that are left behind will continue to drive forward and hunt down the enemy relentlessly with the knowledge that Private Hendry would be standing tall at the front doing what he always did best: Being a 'Paratrooper'."
"Fellow Airborne Brother rest in peace. All our thoughts and prayers are now with his parents."
Major Richard Todd, Officer Commanding A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Private Lewis Hendry, known to all as Lewy, had been selected to be a Patrols Platoon soldier for exactly the same qualities which he had shown daily in spades right up to the very point he was killed: bravery, selflessness, intense professionalism and a deep love of soldiering and his fellow soldiers.
"At the heart of company life, always full of energy and fun and just short of his 21st birthday Lewy had a full life ahead of him as a Paratrooper and as a man. Lewy died alongside his friend Private Conrad Lewis whilst taking the fight forward to the enemy.
"Lewy's loss is bitterly felt by the company and he will always remain in our hearts. At this difficult time we continue with greater determination in our mission but we will never be able to forget Lewy. We send our love and deepest sympathy to his family."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Danny Leitch, Company Sergeant Major A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Private Lewis Hendry was typical of a Patrols Platoon soldier: Professional, determined and calm. On his return to A Company he not only brought these qualities with him, but passed them onto his fellow soldiers.
"He had known the dangers surrounding him yet never faltered in his resolve. He was a great team player and he died doing the job he loved and with the men he respected
"The men of A and D company will miss him dearly.
"A true 'Son of the Sky'."
Captain Ollie Mikulskis, Officer Commanding Patrols Platoon, 3 PARA, said:
"I was first privileged to serve alongside Private Hendry just prior to deploying on an overseas exercise to Kenya in January of 2010 – new to the Patrols Platoon at the time, he came with a strong reputation from A Company. A fresh faced Paratrooper, full of enthusiasm.
"Private Hendry quickly established himself, taking time to get along with everyone and learn from his fellow Patrols Platoon members. I have vivid memories of a navigation lesson at night with him heading the patrol as lead scout.
"The pitch black, moonless Kenyan night was all around, eyes looking at us from every bush and the noise of big cats in the immediate vicinity. As others got nervous, he confidently got up, walked on his bearing and led the patrol. This will be my enduring memory of this Paratrooper – confident, steadfast, fit and fearless. He will not be forgotten.
"Lewis was the epitome of why this brotherhood of Paratroopers is so strong, the epitome of all that is best about The Parachute Regiment. Forever young, a Paratrooper who I am supremely proud to have commanded. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him – always."
"Lewis our valued friend, our younger, better-looking brother. Not only an excellent Paratrooper but also a person that everyone loved."
Corporal Danny Atkinson
Sergeant Hugh Kier, Operations Sergeant, A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"I had the good fortune of receiving Lewis Hendry into my platoon in 3 PARA once he had completed his training. His physical robustness, motivation and attention to detail were immediately evident to me, marking him as a promising young Paratrooper.
"He was subsequently selected for a place in the Battalion's experienced Patrols Platoon prior to Operation HERRICK 13. His skills as a Paratrooper combined with his dry humour and quick wit made him a popular member amongst his peers and commanders alike.
"When he came to my location for a brief spell in November 2010 the banter was good, his spirits were as usual high, and his professionalism faultless – just a few of the qualities that made Private Lewis Hendry a pleasure to work with and a true asset to have had in my platoon. Rest in Peace Airborne, you shall be sorely missed."
Private Scott Young, Signals Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis was one of my closest friends in and out of work. For the short couple of years that I have known him I'm privileged to have been one of his best friends. Throughout our time in A Coy and D Coy we were inseparable, either at work, on holidays or out on the town. I will miss him dearly and feel sick every time I think of his loss.
"Lewis was always number one with both girlfriends and mates, and he was constantly the centre of attention and had everything you would ever want! He was always the best looking bloke and would always have a good chat up line or a crazy story.
"Lewis would have gone far in life and was pretty much good at everything he set his mind to. I'm deeply sorry for his family and for my other friends who are sharing in this tragedy. Lewis mate, I'm never going to forget you and I'll always remember those nights! To a best friend, fellow Paratrooper and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Love you mate and you'll be close to me until the day I die."
Private Sean Merrion, 1 Platoon, A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"This is just a short sentence on how I would describe Lewis Hendry. True friend, a fellow Paratrooper, a best friend. He was always there when called upon and always listened to others. I know he will be missed by other people but he has gone to another life now and one day we will meet again. Rest in peace. Airborne."
Private Jack Marshman, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"One of the best blokes I have ever worked with in 3 PARA. He loved the Reg and everyone in the Reg. I loved him, he was a mega bloke and I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace."
Private Aaron Wheeldon, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis was a top bloke, always boosting morale. He was always putting smiles on people's faces in the time I've known him. He was an all round mega bloke and he will be dearly missed. Rest in peace."
Private David Ashton, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:
"A truly remarkable Paratrooper and an awesome bloke. A massive loss to me and to the Reg. I'll make sure the beers are on you in Thailand. Gone but not forgotten, love you mate. Take care up there buddy."
Private Ollie Smith, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:
"You will never be forgotten and are a massive loss to the Reg as a soldier and a friend. See you again some day."
Private Shaun Nicholls, Fire Support Group 3, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:
"From first meeting Lewis Hendry at depot, we became close mates. Lewis was an older brother to me, always looking out for others. He loved his job as a Paratrooper and was very proud, always looking out for the blokes. Lewis was as dedicated to his job just as much as he was to going out to town with the lads. He will be truly missed and never forgotten. Rest in peace Brother."
Lance Corporal Aaron Parker, Patrols Platoon, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis, our dearest friend and Airborne brother, was the most good looking bloke I have ever met. He was an outgoing and enthusiastic person in and out work. He was the typical Paratrooper, great at his job and even better at gobbing off.
"He epitomised being a paratrooper out on the town too, captivating whoever he met and making friends wherever he went. Everyone in the platoon loved him just because he was Lewis.
"Lewis my friend, there isn't going to be one day that I don't think about you. You were a true friend to me and others and shall always be in my heart until I see you again. I shall truly miss you my airborne brother - Rest in peace.
Corporal Danny Atkinson, Lance Corporal James Allan, Lance Corporal Ben Pilgrim, Lance Corporal Duncan Armstrong, Private Mick Watson, Private David Pope, Patrols Section, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis our valued friend, our younger, better-looking brother. Not only an excellent Paratrooper but also a person that everyone loved. He had a big impact on everybody's life in the Patrols Platoon and wherever in 3 PARA he had been. On this day we feel great sorrow, there are not enough words to describe how much he will be missed by all of us that knew and loved him.
"The memory of Lewis will remain strong in the hearts of all his friends and peers. Lewis was a unique person who had many qualities which made him stand out as a mega bloke. His sense of humour was legendary and he had many tales of the capers he used to get up to which made us all laugh.
"He was an awesome person to be around and always had something funny to say when times were dull. It is a great shame for all of his friends and the many young ladies who will forever miss him and always think of him.
"He had many ambitions and aspirations in life I am sure he would have fulfilled. Always someone to rely on, you could count on his help when needed. One of his greatest qualities was loyalty, which he gave to his friends and his comrades unconditionally. Lewis was a true Paratrooper who was loved and thought highly of by all who knew him. He always knew how to make you smile, an excellent soldier and an even better friend."
Corporal Sean Robb, Private Gavin Lovett, Private Toby Shears, Private Daryn Fritchley, Private Simon Hanks and Private Chris Hitchens, 2 Platoon, A Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis was with A Company for some time before he moved to the Patrols Platoon. In this time he served as an excellent Paratrooper and a fantastic bloke. He was a real character both in and out of work and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him. May he rest in peace."
Sergeant Perran Berry, Lance Corporal Scott White, Lance Corporal Andrew Lanaghan, Lance Corporal Jack Palmer, and Private Michael Connolly, C Company, 3 PARA, said:
"Lewis, it was a privilege to work with you as a Platoon member and even more to know you as a good friend. Your loss has been felt by us all and you will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with your family."
Private Paul Blair and Private Joseph Szypitka, Patrols Platoon and 9 Platoon, C Company, 3 PARA, said:
"The death of Lewis Hendry is a devastating loss to the Battalion and his family, whom he always talked about. He was a keen and vigorous fellow Paratrooper both inside and out of work: well loved by everyone. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.