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in memorium

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the names of the fourteen British personnel killed following the crash of a Nimrod MR2 aircraft in Afghanistan on Saturday 2 September 2006.

They are:

Flt Lt Steven Johnson
Flt Lt Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore
Flt Lt Gareth Rodney Nicholas
Flt Lt Allan James Squires
Flt Lt Steven Swarbrick

FS Gary Wayne Andrews
FS Stephen Beattie
FS Gerard Martin Bell
FS Adrian Davies

Sgt Benjamin James Knight
Sgt John Joseph Langton
Sgt Gary Paul Quilliam

Cpl Oliver Simon Dicketts, Parachute Regiment
Mne Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines

The Nimrod MR2 was based at RAF Kinloss in Scotland.

On hearing of the incident, Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne, said:

"This is dreadful and shocking news. I know that the people of Britain will join me in sending our deep condolences to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives, and to the British military as it deals with the loss of friends and comrades.

"This is not the time for speculation, as the operation to secure the crash site is ongoing. We will provide further information as soon as there is more to say.

"Everyone will understand that our first priority is to inform and support the families of those on board.

"I can say, however, at this stage all the indications are that this was a terrible accident and not the result of hostile action.

"This tragic incident should serve to remind us all of the risks the British military shoulder on all our behalf across the world every day."

Britain's most senior Royal Air Force officer, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, added:

"The loss of the Nimrod MR2 over Afghanistan earlier today is desperately sad and tragic news. Our thoughts are very much with the families and loved ones of the brave and committed aircrew who lost their lives today, and our priority is to provide them all with the support they require at this extremely difficult time.

"As the Secretary of State has said, at the moment there is no reason to believe that the aircraft was lost as a result of hostile action. A Board of Inquiry has been convened to determine the cause of this tragic loss."


Defence Viewpoints posts references to obituaries for former military personnel here on Viewpoints.

In addition to such public prominence, over recent years there has a steady (and, some would argue, long overdue) trickle of honours awarded to British heroes who have previously not been granted the recognition they richly deserve. Without the courage of many of these individuals, Britain could not have emerged victorious from World War Two, or played a strong role abroad in the years after.

The introduction of Veterans' Badges in 2004 provided a platform for granting recognition to those whose deeds may otherwise have slipped from memory. Initially reserved to veterans of UK armed forces of the First and Second World Wars, the scheme has since been extended, and now includes all those who have served in UK armed forces to date, with about 550,000 having been issued so far. (Declaration of interest : the Editor's mother has one!)

Read more...  

Rigorous MoD planner, thinktank analyst and Liberal Democrat defence spokesman - and Patron of the UK Defence Forum

Jonathan Fryer The Guardian, Tuesday 14 August 2007 Article history

Defence analysts are rarely gifted with the ability to expound their views in terms accessible to the general public, but Tim Garden, who has died from cancer at the age of 63, was a notable exception. Following the US-led invasion of Iraq, he became the pundit of preference for a number of TV and radio stations at home and abroad, as well as a regular commentator both in newspapers and online.Charles Kennedy, then leading the Liberal Democrats and coming under heavy fire from both Labour and Conservative MPs for his opposition to the launching of the Iraq war, shrewdly nominated Tim for the House of Lords, where he took his seat as Baron Garden of Hampstead in 2004. The party thus gained a significant voice which was listened to with respect and attention.

Read more...  

All pictures copyright Great North News Services


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