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inmemoriam

Rifleman Daniel Simpson
2 Rifles

Rifleman Simpson, 20, from Croydon, joined the Army in August 2007. He undertook the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire. On completing his training, he was posted to 2 RIFLES in Ballykinler, Northern Ireland. He was sent to C Company and subsequently to 9 Platoon. Soon after joining, he was deployed to Kosovo on Op VALERO where he was employed as a Rifleman within a section. After returning to Ballykinler the Battalion's focus switched to its future deployment to Afghanistan. During the pre-deployment training he showed an aptitude for all things

communications and was subsequently employed as the Platoon Signaller, a pivotal role. During one of the pre-deployment exercises he demonstrated potential beyond his experience and showed his Platoon Staff that he had the metal to earn a place on the next Potential Junior NCOs Cadre. His style would also have suited life in the Battalion's Close Reconnaissance Platoon. Rifleman Simpson was killed in action by an improvised explosive device in Sangin on the 10th July 2009.

Rifleman Simpson's passions in life were his family, boxing, football, Karaoke and his mates.

Rifleman Simpson leaves behind his 8 month old son Alfie, his mother Debrah, his father Robert and his two brothers, Lee and Jimmy.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battle Group:

"One of my South London geezers, Rifleman Simpson was a classic Rifleman - hardy, determined and full of fun. He had been in the Battalion since February 2008 and had already been to Kosovo on our 'disciplined summer holiday' last year. Good enough to have flirted with professional football, he was surprisingly fit for a man with such a large capacity for food (we could not keep up) and drink. In Afghanistan, he had made a real difference here in Sangin and he dealt with the arduousness of this place without breaking step. His first inclination was always to look out for others. His sense of fun permeated all that he did and his stated intent was to be Regimental Serjeant Major one day. It was a wholly appropriate dream. He leaves a desperately big hole in our lives but our first thoughts are for his adored parents, his two brothers, Lee and Jimmy and his adored son Alfie, named after his much loved grandfather."

Major Alistair Field, Officer Commanding C Company 2 RIFLES:

"Rifleman Simpson was my big, hard, 'bouncer-lookalike' Rifleman. He had been doing such an amazing job in the most difficult of circumstances. He loved the close knit brotherhood of 9 Platoon and was liked and respected by all. He had the mark of a potential JNCO written all over him; he had the presence, common sense and robustness to go far."

Captain Edward Poynter Operations Officer C Company 2 RIFLES:

"Rifleman Simpson was the epitome of a great Rifleman; scruffy, loud and confident to the extreme. He said exactly what he thought and always called it how he saw it. A big man, he was always ready to help his fellow Riflemen. He could carry the weight of ten men and often did. Rifleman Simpson was the lynch-pin of 9 Platoon and was as steady as a rock. He had bags of potential and was full of high octane character. He would have gone a long way in the future. He was a devoted father and family man and the whole Company's thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Colour Serjeant Paul Conville, Former 9 Platoon Serjeant :

"Rifleman 'Simo' Simpson was the loudest man in the Company - he was a one in a million character. When he arrived in C Company, it was evident that he was not just a big lad but had an even larger character. When times were hard and things were not going well, he would always pipe up with a smart remark, whether he meant it or not. He put a ray of light on any miserable situation. There was never silence in the Company whilst he was around, his distinctive accent could always be heard. Simo was a talented individual who played junior football for West Ham and was quite handy as a junior Boxer. On completion of training he became a talented shot on the ranges which earned him a place on the Company Shooting Team.

"The most important things in his life were his family, his son Alfie and his grandfather Alfie.

" 'Simo' will be missed by all who knew him but especially his fellow Riflemen in 9 Platoon who he fought and died alongside."

Rifleman Sherlock, Fellow Rifleman:

"I first met Rifleman Danny Simpson in August 2007 at ITC Catterick. On the first day it was clear he was a confident, cocky 'cockney wannabe' lad that loved life and lived it to the full. Anytime you felt down, Simo would soon sort that out, as it was impossible to feel miserable around such a bloke with his quick wit and cheeky smile. He was a bundle of joy, a barrel of laughs and the 9 Platoon morale maker. He loved his job and being with the lads and was intensely proud of his Battalion. He was the best mate anyone could ask for, a rock in my life. He will be sorely missed by many, never forgotten and loved always."

Rifleman Obeng and Rifleman Thompson, Fellow Riflemen:

"Rifleman Danny 'Simo' Simpson was one of a kind; a joker who always put a smile on your face when you were down. Simo always took his job seriously, was always on top of his game and was very proud to serve his country. Simo always cheered us up with his dance moves when we'd be out having a good time. He will always be remembered for the laughter he spread across the Platoon. We have lost a great friend and he will be forever remembered.

"Rest in peace Simo."

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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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