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Sergeant Nigel Coupe was a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, who was attached to 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) as a Warrior Sergeant in 7 Platoon, Corunna Company. He was leading five otehr 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
Sergeant Coupe, 33, was from Lytham Saint Anne's, Lancashire. He joined the Army in January 1996 and was enlisted into The Queen's Lancashire Regiment which subsequently became 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. For a period he was attached to The Duke of Wellington's Regiment, which later became 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. He also completed a tour as an instructor at the Driving and Maintenance School in Bovington before deploying to Afghanistan with Corunna Company.
Sergeant Coupe was an integral part of both 7 Platoon and Corunna Company. His expertise was vital to ensuring the Company was fully prepared to deploy on operations. His kindness and devotion to the soldiers he led will leave an indelible mark on everyone who served with him. He will be sorely missed.
He leaves behind his beloved wife, Natalie and two children, Ella and Jasmine, mother Elaine, father Alan, sister Linda and grandfather Roy. The thoughts and prayers of all those in his Battalion and Combined Force Lashkar Gah are with them at this most difficult time.
The family of Sergeant Coupe have paid the following tribute:
"Nigel was a loving grandson, son, husband and daddy who doted on his two little princesses. He dedicated almost 17 years of his life to the Army and we are immensely proud of all that he achieved in his short life. He was loved by everyone and will be sorely missed. Words can't describe the loss we feel. We request that we are left alone to grieve in peace as a family."
Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Wood, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said;
"Sergeant Nigel Coupe was quite simply an outstanding soldier who epitomised all that a sergeant from The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment should be.
"Professional, courageous and utterly dedicated to his job, he was highly-regarded by all who worked with him. Those who had the pleasure to spend time with him whether in the back of his Warrior, in the mess, or out in the field, were touched by his humour, his kindness and his willingness to help others. Everyone who knew him wanted to be with him. He was completely selfless.
"Other than his family, his passion was being in the Army and being an Armoured Infantryman. He served for a number of years as a Warrior instructor and then as a vehicle commander with 3 YORKS and was excited about serving in Afghanistan in the role and conducting the job he loved.
"He was committed to assisting the Afghan National Security Forces with transition across Helmand and with defeating the insurgents. His loss is deeply felt within the Regiment and our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts go out to his wife and children. Sergeant Coupe will be sadly missed and he will leave a hole in all our lives that will be difficult to fill."
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning MBE, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Nigel Coupe was a polite, committed member of this family battalion. Throughout his distinguished career he provided loyal and dedicated service to those he led, whether that be in Kosovo, Iraq or Afghanistan. He was proud to be a Lancashire soldier in a Yorkshire battalion.
"Unassuming in nature but with real presence he was fiercely dedicated to his profession as an Armoured Infantryman. This dedication and potential marked him out amongst his peers and few, if any, could match his technical prowess on Armoured Vehicles. It is no surprise that he was one of the handful to be selected to be an Instructor at our prestigious Armoured Training Centre Bovington.
"Today we have lost one of our brothers who led, mentored and tutored those above and below him with true humility and compassion. Our thoughts and prayers in these difficult days rest with his family Natalie, Ella and Jasmine."
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 Sergeant Nigel Coupe. For those who knew him he was exceedingly professional, taking huge pride in everything he did, and was utterly committed to his job.
"As the Warrior Platoon Sergeant of 7 Platoon, he made a deep and lasting impression on the soldiers under his command, who respected him for his care and compassion. With an easy going manner, he was always there to help them.
"We have lost an outstanding soldier, a devoted family man, and a genuinely professional soldier. 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:
"I first met Sergeant Coupe when I was a Platoon Commander with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in 2001. He immediately struck me as a chirpy confident Lancashire lad with a love of armoured infantry and proud to be a Lancashire man in a Yorkshire Regiment. It was clear that he loved his job and was always keen to get his hands dirty on the vehicle park. When returning as Officer Commanding Corunna Company I was pleased to see the arrival of his familiar face and to welcome him into Corunna as a Warrior Sergeant.
"He fitted straight into the Company ethos, keen, enthusiastic and determined to get the very best out of his crews and his soldiers. His knowledge of all things Armoured Infantry, having spent time as an instructor at the Armour Centre in Bovington, was exceptional, and he added huge value to the training package designed to prepare the Company for Afghanistan. Thoroughly professional and dedicated, he demanded the best and never failed to live up to the standards he set.
"Sergeant Coupe went to great lengths to adapt our tactics, techniques and procedures for using Warrior Armoured Vehicles. He recognised the threat that we faced and went to great lengths to mitigate them. His work on this front will never be forgotten. His loss leaves both the Yorkshire Regiment and Duke of Lancaster's Regiment missing a true friend. Our condolences are with his family in these incredibly tough times."
Lieutenant Daniel Brennan, 7 Platoon Commander, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Coupe was selfless in his commitment to both his family and friends. His kindness and uncompromising professionalism will be missed by all who had the honour of knowing him."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Eric Whitehouse, Company Sergeant Major, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Coupe was one of the few men around with a natural ability to get things done with the minimum of fuss. He was a man who inspired his subordinates and a man who they wanted to follow. Through his natural command ability, soldiers wanted to work for him.
"His successful career included time in the Recce Platoon and as a Driving and Maintenance Schools Instructor. He excelled in soldiering. His knowledge and experience of Warrior knew no bounds. He had an exceptional instructional ability, and having taught many of his own platoon to drive Warriors, he had trained the best of the drivers in the company.
"He was, ultimately, a friend to all and will be missed."
Sergeant Stewart Watts, Platoon Sergeant, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Nige was a highly intelligent, family orientated man who was totally committed to his job and the soldiers he led. He was a dear friend to all who knew him and he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues. It was a pleasure and honour to have worked with him."
Sergeant Kirk Reid, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Nige, your professionalism will always be remembered, taking pride in everything you do, and putting others before yourself on every occasion. The perfect gentlemen with an amazing family that I'm sure will miss you always.
"My deepest sympathy and all the love and comfort I could give go to Nat and the kids. Take care mate. You will be missed but always remembered."
"NEC ASPERA TERRENT (Difficulties be Damned)"
Corporal Mark Leleavuno, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Coupe was a bloke given from God and taken away by God. He always helped his platoon and mates in all aspects of life.
"You were a well-respected person to work with, and may you rest in peace. May the Good Lord bring peace to your family and your two lovely kids. God Bless."
Lance Corporal Lee Marshall, Section Commander 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Coupe, from the moment I met you I knew we would get on. You were chilled out, laid back and a hard working Warrior Sergeant. You were an inspiration to others. You will have made your family proud as you made all of us proud. You will be loved, missed but never forgotten."
Lance Corporal Jonasa Sikivou, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Sergeant Coupe, you had a great personality and you were easy going. We always had your ear when we needed help. I heard your alarm go off this morning but you were not around to get up this time, for you were in a far better place.
"I will miss you but never forget you. You are always in our hearts."
Private Dean Dinsley, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"He was always there to help if you ever needed him for anything, no matter how small or stupid it was. When maintaining vehicles, if he had shown and told you how to do things a million times, he would still show you again. You will always be missed."
Private Luke Warriss, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
" 'Coupes' is going to be missed. He was a man with a heart of gold, someone who was caring and someone you could talk to. He would do anything for anyone. He will always be in our hearts and loved."
Private James Butler, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
" 'Coupes', you were an excellent instructor to have on my Warrior driving cadre. You were a fun and lovable person to be around and to drive for. My thoughts are with your wife and two children at this sad time. I will miss you taking the mickey out of my Birmingham accent and you will stay with me forever. God bless and may you rest in peace."