Tuesday, 30 May 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     |     
British Army

Bravo Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines

Marine Steven James Birdsall was born on the 6 October 1989. He lived in Warrington with his parents and younger sister, Melissa. In December 2007 he joined the Royal Marines, aged 18, passing for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on the 7 November 2008.

On completion of training he attended the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield where he gained his full range of driving licences, including his HGV driver qualification. He joined 40 Commando Royal Marines in January 2009.

Shortly after, he deployed with Delta Company on Exercise TAURUS; a large scale amphibious deployment, taking him through the Mediterranean to the Far East and culminating in a jungle warfare package in Brunei.

In September 2009 he moved to Bravo Company and conducted six months of Mission Specific Training for this operational tour with 40 Commando to Afghanistan. He deployed to Helmand in April 2010 and was based at Patrol Base EZERAY, in northern Sangin.

Bravo Company has conducted numerous joint operations with the Afghan National Security Forces aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary Afghans by improving security and increasing their freedom of movement.

Read more...  

1st BATTALION, THE DUKE OF LANCASTER'S REGIMENT

COMBINED FORCE NAD-E ALI

Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce was born in Nausori, in Fiji, on 24 November 1980. He joined the Army in March 2005, initially serving with the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Border Regiment before its amalgamation on 01 July 2006. Throughout his time in the Army, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce served with distinction, including several operational deployments to Iraq. He was an exceptional soldier, one who thrived in any environment and who was professional to his very core. Experienced, with real dedication to duty and with strong moral values, he was the epitome of a Kingsman - ready to do his duty, to set the best of examples, to put others before himself and with a smile never far from his lips.

Kingsman Tagitaginimoce had only been in the Reconnaissance Platoon for a short period of time, but he had already quickly established himself as an integral, and highly popular, member of the Platoon. His professional skills and tactical knowledge were second to none and he enjoyed the challenges that life in the Battalion's most respected, and physically, demanding role brought. A quiet and thoughtful soldier, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce was an immensely loyal and honourable individual. He was a man whose family and friends meant everything to him. He was a highly accomplished and very talented rugby player; his love and passion for the game well known by all. An outstanding soldier, a gifted sportsman who was at his happiest when with his family.

Read more...  

1st BATTALION, THE DUKE OF LANCASTER'S REGIMENT

COMBINED FORCE NAD-E ALI

Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai, known to all as 'Rocco', was born in Nausori, in Fiji, on 23 January 1978. He joined the Army in July 2000, initially serving with the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Border Regiment before its amalgamation on 01 July 2006. Throughout his time in the Army he served with distinction, on numerous operations including Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a highly experienced and dedicated Junior Non Commissioned Officer - one who excelled when in command.

He had a tough yet compassionate style and was destined to do well in an environment that he loved. Just before deploying to Afghanistan, he attended and achieved a strong pass on the Platoon Sergeant's Battle Course and he was on course to promote to Sergeant in the near future Corporal Rogoiruwai relished being in the Army. He possessed loyalty 'in spades' and he had an absolute dedication to the Regiment, to the Battalion, to his Company and to the men he served with. He was quietly confident - a man who did not speak unless he had something important to say. He had a ready smile, a wonderful sense of humour and a grin that reached from one side of his face to other. He was well known and respected across the Battalion as a soldier and as a friend. He was a  wife, Olivia and his young son, Maciu. He loved them dearly. He was also an accomplished and talented sportsman, representing British Army Cyprus at his beloved rugby and the Battalion on numerous occasions at Bobsleigh.

Read more...  

THE ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS

VIKING GROUP, D (THE GREEN HORSE) SQUADRON

Trooper Ashley Smith was 21 years old. Born and raised in York, he enlisted into the Army on 17 March 2008 and attended Phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment (Winchester) before moving to the Armour Centre in Dorset to train as a Challenger 2 Gunner. He passed out from Phase 2 training in November 2008 and moved straight to Catterick to join The Royal Dragoon Guards. He was posted to D (The Green Horse) Squadron, equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

He participated in low level exercises around Catterick and then deployed to Canada as part of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards Battle Group on Exercise Medicine Man 2, where he was employed as the Troop Leader's Gunner. On return from Canada, Trooper Smith's Squadron was selected to become the Viking Group for Operation HERRICK 12.

Read more...  

BRAVO COMPANY, 40 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES

Marine Richard Hollington was 23-years-old, he lived near Petersfield, Hampshire, with his parents and younger brothers Nick and Charlie. Prior to joining the Royal Marines he played semi professional football for Fareham Town Football Club.

Completing Royal Marines training in September 2008, he attended the Defence School of Transport, Leconfield, gaining his full range of driving licences. Joining Delta Company 40 Commando Royal Marines in December 2008, he deployed in the New Year on Exercise Taurus; the largest Royal Naval deployment in over ten years. Serving both afloat and ashore he participated in a number of multinational exercises in Cyprus and Turkey.

The exercise culminated in the Far East, where he experienced the rigours of a jungle warfare training package in Brunei. On return to the UK he joined Bravo Company prior to beginning Mission Specific Training for Op HERRICK 12. He deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in April 2010, where he was based at Patrol Base Ezeray.

Read more...  

CHARLIE COMPANY, 40 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES

Marine Paul Warren was born in Preston and lived with his family in Leyland, Lancashire. He was 23 years old.

He joined the Royal Marines on 22 May 2006, and on completion of recruit training was drafted to 45 Commando Royal Marines, based in Arbroath, Scotland, joining on 26 June 2007.

In January 2008 he deployed with 45 Commando to northern Norway for two months of cold weather warfare training.

Later that year he completed Mission Specific Training in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 9 in September 2008. He served with Whiskey Company, 45 Commando, in Sangin, at Forward Operating Base JACKSON and Patrol Base TANGIERS.

Read more...  

CHARLIE COMPANY, 40 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES

Lance Corporal Michael Taylor was 30 years old and lived in Rhyl with his partner Sonia and their three children; Ethan, Wesley and Charlton. A former British Army soldier, he joined the Royal Marines on the 26 April 2004. After passing for duty as a Royal Marines Commando he joined 45 Commando, based in Arbroath, Scotland.

During his first draft he took the opportunity to serve with Naval Party Iraq as part of the Operation TELIC Force Protection Team before returning to 45 Commando in January 2007. A second draft saw him remain in Scotland while he served with Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines until January 2009. On completion of this draft he specialised within the Anti-Tank Branch qualifying as a Heavy Weapons (Class 3) Marine. Returning to 45 Commando he subsequently deployed on Operation HERRICK 9 serving in Kajaki with Victor Company.

From 45 Commando he joined Charlie Company 40 Commando Royal Marines in November 2009, and immediately began Mission Specific Training for Operation HERRICK 12. Quickly promoting to Lance Corporal he deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in March 2010, where he was based. Charlie Company has been responsible for the security around the Sangin area and has conducted dozens of patrols in support of the local nationals.

Read more...  

40 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES

Sergeant Steven William 'Darbs' Darbyshire was 35 years old. He was born in Wigan, and it was there that he lived with his partner Kate and their two young sons Ryan and Callum.

He was a great fan of sports, particularly football and golf, but especially rugby: earlier in his career he represented the Corps as a rugby league player.

Joining the Royal Marines in 1996, he was drafted to 40 Commando Royal Marines on completion of his commando training.

This first draft saw him serve an operational tour in Northern Ireland before choosing to specialise in the Heavy Weapons (Air Defence) branch.

Serving with Air Defence Troop he deployed to Iraq in 2002 on Operation TELIC. He was selected for promotion, passing his Junior Command Course in 2003 and subsequently promoted to corporal.

Read more...  

1ST BATTALION, THE MERCIAN REGIMENT

POLICE ADVISORY TEAM

Private Alex Isaac was 20 years old and from the Wirral. Following training at the Army Training Regiment in Bassingbourn and the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick he joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) on 12 May 2008.

He served in the United Kingdom and Kenya and on operations in Afghanistan.

Following Mission Specific Training in readiness for deployment on Operation HERRICK 12, he moved from C Company to B (Malta) Company.

Soon after deployment he formed part of a team tasked with advising the Afghan National Police in Gereshk City, Helmand Province. The Police Advisory Team has been providing assistance to the Afghan Police in order to enhance their effectiveness and promote local security, economic development and the rule of law.

On 23 June 2010, following an incident at a Police Check Point near Gereshk, Private Isaac's team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force in support of their Afghan colleagues.

The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal. At approximately 2208hrs local, Private Alex Isaac died in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team - Colour Sergeant Horton, Lance Corporal David Ramsden and Private Douglas Halliday.

Read more...  

1ST BATTALION THE YORKSHIRE REGIMENT

SERVING WITH 1ST BATTALION THE MERCIAN REGIMENT (CHESHIRE)

POLICE DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY AND TRAINING TEAM

Lance Corporal David Ramsden was 26 years old and from Leeds. He joined the Army in January 2002 and, following attendance at the Army Training Regiment Glencorse and the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, he joined the 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in July 2002. He served in the United Kingdom and Belize and on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and finally Afghanistan. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 2005 and left the Army in 2007 to pursue a career in civilian street.

Following mobilisation as a Regular Reservist, Lance Corporal Ramsden joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) in January 2010 and completed Mission Specific Training in readiness for a six month deployment to Afghanistan. He deployed to central Helmand in April 2010 and joined the Police Advisory Team, working from the Afghan National Police Headquarters in Gereshk, Southern Afghanistan. His team has been advising the Afghan Police in the area in order to ensure that they are better able to deliver more effective security to the city, whilst reinforcing Afghan rule of law and creating the conditions for economic development.

On 23 June 2010, following an incident at a nearby Police Check Point, Lance Corporal Ramsden's Police Advisory Team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force in support of their Afghan colleagues. The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal. At approximately 2208hrs local, Lance Corporal Ramsden was killed in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team - Colour Sergeant Horton, Private Douglas Halliday and Private Alex Isaac.

Read more...  

1ST BATTALION THE MERCIAN REGIMENT (CHESHIRE)

POLICE DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY AND TRAINING TEAM

Colour Sergeant Martyn Horton was 34 years old and from Runcorn. He enlisted into the Army in 1992 and joined the 1st Battalion The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment. He has served in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, The Falkland Islands, Belize and Kenya, and on operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Promoted to Colour Sergeant in June 2009 he assumed the role of Reconnaissance Platoon Second-in-Command.

Moving from Support Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) he served with B (Malta) Company during the preparations for, and initial deployment on Operation HERRICK 12 in Afghanistan. He was then selected to command a team to train, advise and mentor the Afghan National Police in Gereshk, Helmand Province in order to further develop their capabilities and promote security and rule of law.

On 23 June 2010, following an attack on a Police Check Point near Gereshk, Colour Sergeant Horton's team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force to support. The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal. At approximately 2208hrs local, Colour Sergeant Horton died in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team Lance Corporal David Ramsden, Private Douglas Halliday and Private Alex Isaac.

Read more...  

1ST BATTALION THE MERCIAN REGIMENT (CHESHIRE)

POLICE DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY AND TRAINING TEAM

Private Douglas Halliday was 20 years old and from Wallasey, Merseyside. He joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) on 28 January 2008 following basic training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. He started his career in B Company and then moved to C Company. He served in Northern Ireland, Kenya and on operations in Afghanistan.

He undertook extensive Mission Specific Training in both the UK and Kenya in preparation for the deployment on Operation HERRICK 12. He moved back to B (Malta) Company and was assigned to the Police Advisory Team in Gereshk, Helmand Province. His team has been advising the Afghan National Police in order to further develop their capabilities and promote security, governance and the rule of law.

On 23 June 2010, following an attack on a nearby Police Check Point, Private Halliday's team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force in support of their colleagues. The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal. At approximately 2208hrs local, Private Douglas Halliday died in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team - Colour Sergeant Horton, Lance Corporal David Ramsden, and Private Alex Isaac.

Read more...  

4TH REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY

Bombardier Stephen Gilbert was 36 years old and joined the Army in August 1999.

He enlisted into the Royal Artillery and was posted to 6/36 Battery, 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners) based in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

Bombardier Gilbert started his career in the gun group before re-roling to become an Observation Post Assistant, working on the front line in a Fire Support Team and deploying to Kosovo in 2001. He then deployed to Iraq in 2003 and again in March 2005 as part of an infantry ground holding multiple.
His vigour, professionalism and dedication shone through and he was selected to become an instructor at the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. Bombardier Gilbert typified the ideal instructor; dynamic, proficient and with an infectious sense of humour which motivated the young recruits.

If ever there was a role model for young soldiers to emulate it was him.

Read more...  

101 ENGINEER REGIMENT (EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL)

Corporal Jamie Kirkpatrick was 32 years of age. He was born in Edinburgh but lived Llanelli in South Wales.
He enlisted in the Corps of Royal Engineers in September 1997 and following training as a Combat Engineer and trade training as a Plant Operator Mechanic, he was posted to 28 Engineer Regiment in Hameln, Germany.

Over the next six years in Germany he qualified as a Class 1 Plant Operator Mechanic, promoted to Lance Corporal and deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC as a Plant Section Second-in-Command.

After a spell at the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster he was promoted to Corporal in 2006.

A tour as a Corporal instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham quickly followed and in 2009 he was posted to 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) where he successfully gained his Intermediate Explosive Ordnance Disposal qualification.

Read more...  

TrooperJamesAnthonyLeverettD (THE GREEN HORSE) SQUADRON, THE VIKING GROUP, THE ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS

Trooper James Anthony Leverett, 'Lev' or 'Levy' to his mates, was 20 years old. He was born in Great Yarmouth and grew up in Sheffield and Rotherham. Having worked as a plasterer's labourer after leaving school, he joined the Army at 18 in May 2008, attending the Army Training Regiment, Winchester.

On completion of his time at Winchester, he attended the Armour Centre in Dorset where he qualified as a Challenger 2 tank driver. He joined D (The Green Horse) Squadron, The Royal Dragoon Guards, in January 2009.

Tpr Leverett deployed on Exercise Medicine Man 2 in 2009 with D (The Green Horse) Squadron. On return from a successful exercise in Canada, he was selected as a member of the Viking Group for Op HERRICK 12.

He completed Mission Specific Training for HERRICK 12, qualifying as a Viking crewman with 1st Troop. He deployed to Afghanistan in early June 2010.

Read more...  

thomassephton1ST BATTALION, THE MERCIAN REGIMENT

Pte Thomas Sephton was 20 years old and from Warrington. He enlisted into the Army in July 2008 and joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) [1 MERCIAN] in January 2009 following the Combat Infantryman's Course in Catterick. He joined Mortar Platoon and served in the United Kingdom, The Falkland Islands and Kenya, and on operations in Afghanistan.

On the morning of the Sunday 4 July 2010, operating in a Rifle Platoon, Pte Sephton deployed from Patrol Base Malvern tasked with providing flank protection to an IED clearance operation. Whilst clearing a route for his section he was caught in an IED blast and seriously wounded. Pte Sephton was extracted by helicopter to Bastion Role 3 Hospital and then flown to the UK. On the afternoon of the 5 July 2010, with his family present, the decision was taken to switch off his life support machine and he died of his wounds.

Read more...  

samrobinsonBombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, serving in support of Combined Force Sangin, was killed in an explosion while on footpatrol in the Sangin District of Afghanistan on Thursday 8 July 2010.

Bombardier Sam Robinson, 31 years old from Carmarthen, joined the Army on 23 November 1999 aged 20. He transferred from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in 2006 as a parachute trained corporal, and joined 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery.

In March 2008, after successfully passing the Patrol Course he was selected as a Royal Artillery Special Observer.

Bombardier Robinson was deployed on his fourth operational tour in Afghanistan. On a previous deployment he had been a member of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and played an active part in Op PANCHAI PALANG in June 2009.

Read more...  

DavidHart40 COMMANDO ROYAL MARINES

Marine David Charles Hart from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 8 July 2010.

He was serving as part of Combined Force Sangin and was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand Province.

Marine David Charles Hart was born in York, North Yorkshire and was 23 years old and lived with his family in Upper Poppleton.

He joined recruit training in February 2009, and stood out as one of the top recruits and in recognition of this was awarded his Diamond.

He passed out for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on 16 October 2009, when he was awarded The Commando Medal.

The Commando Medal is awarded to the man who, throughout training, shows, to an outstanding degree, the qualities of the Commando Spirit. These are defined as: Determination, Courage, Cheerfulness and Unselfishness.

Read more...  

CorporalArjunPurjaPun1ST BATTALION THE ROYAL GHURKA RIFLES

Corporal Arjun Purja Pun was 33 years old and was raised and recruited from Khibang village in the Magdi District in Nepal.

He passed the notoriously gruelling Gurkha selection process and was enlisted into the British Army on 30 January 1995. His career was varied and successful and he was a hugely popular soldier wherever he served.

In 1998-99 he was a member of the Gurkha Reinforcement Company attached to B Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

Most recently, he was posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he supported the training of future Officers for the British Army and other national forces.

Cpl Arjun was in 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles based in Brunei at the time when they deployed on Op HERRICK 7 as the Reserve Battlegroup as part of Regional Command South based in Kandahar.

Read more...  

LieutenantNealTurkington1ST BATTALION THE ROYAL GHURKA RIFLES

Lieutenant Neal Turkington was born in Craigavon in Northern Ireland and was soon to celebrate his 27th birthday.

After graduating from Imperial College London he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from 2007.

He commissioned into 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in August 2008 and went on to successfully complete the Platoon Commanders' Battle Course in Brecon, South Wales.

His first appointment at regimental duty took him to the jungles of Brunei where he quickly settled in at the helm of 2 Platoon within A (Delhi) Company.

Having settled in to regimental life in Brunei, Lieutenant Turkington continued his Gurkha education by attending the mandatory three months of language study in Pokhara, Western Nepal. A keen adventurer and traveller he found many similarities between the foothills of the Himalaya and the other parts of the world which he travelled to so frequently, notably South America.

Read more...  
 

Latest from the Ministry of Defence

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.