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    Op Telic Casualties & Fatalities

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    Operation TELIC: British Casualties and Fatalities

    It is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm the following fatalities suffered during operations:


    An RAF C-130K Hercules crashed 30 kilometres north-west of Baghdad on 30 January 2005 at approximately 1635 local time. The aircraft was on a flight between Baghdad International Airport and Balad airbase. Ten UK Service personnel are missing believed killed; nine from the Royal Air Force and one from the Army. Their repatriation to RAF Lyneham commenced on the afternoon of 7 February, being flown out from Basrah with full honours.

    Squadron Leader Patrick Marshall, Headquarters Strike Command (updated 1105 on 10 February with new photo)

    Flight Lieutenant David Stead, 47 Squadron, RAF Lyneham (updated 1020 on 2 February with photo)

    Flight Lieutenant Andrew Smith, 47 Squadron, RAF Lyneham (updated 1710 on 5 February with photo)

    Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel, 47 Squadron, RAF Lyneham (updated 1815 on 2 February with photo)

    Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, 47 Squadron, RAF Lyneham (updated 1710 on 5 February with photo)

    Chief Technician Richard Brown, RAF Lyneham (updated 1900 on 1 February with photo)

    Flight Sergeant Mark Gibson, 47 Squadron, RAF Lyneham (updated 1900 on 1 February with photo)

    Sergeant Robert O'Connor, RAF Lyneham (updated 1815 on 2 February with photo)

    Corporal David Williams, RAF Lyneham (updated 1900 on 1 February with photo)

    Acting Lance Corporal Steven Jones, Royal Signals (updated 1715 on 1 February with photo)

    The Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, said on 31 January:

    "It is with great regret that I can confirm that nine Royal Air Force personnel and one soldier are missing believed killed in yesterday's crash of an RAF C-130 Hercules in Iraq. On behalf of the Ministry of Defence and all the Armed Forces, I should like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of these servicemen.

    "The aircraft was on a flight between Baghdad International Airport and Balad airbase when it crashed. UK and US forces have secured the crash site, and are now recovering the bodies, and attempting to ascertain the cause of the crash. We are aware of reports that the aircraft may have been shot down, but we are not in a position to come to any conclusions until the investigation is complete.

    "The deaths of these Servicemen are especially poignant on a day when Iraqis were able to enjoy the freedom of democratic elections for the first time in many years.

    "I can only echo the sentiment of the Prime Minister in recognising the sacrifice of these Servicemen."

    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lyneham, paid a private visit to the station on 1 February to express her condolences to members of 47 Squadron and the Engineering Wing, and speak with personnel who are providing support to the bereaved families.


    A British soldier was found dead from a gunshot wound at Shaibah Logistic Base on 26 December 2004. Hostile action is not thought to be responsible. The Royal Military Police investigation continues, but initial inquiries do not suggest suspicious circumstances.

    Sergeant Paul Connolly, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers


    A Royal Navy senior rate died, apparently from natural causes, aboard HMS Chatham on 17 December 2004 whilst on patrol in the Gulf. It should be noted that HMS Chatham was not assigned to Operation Telic at this time, although she was deployed on operational duty in the Gulf.

    Acting Chief Petty Officer Simon Roger Owen


    At 1830 local on 8 November 2004, a Warrior armoured vehicle from the Black Watch Battle Group was hit by a roadside bomb north of Camp Dogwood. The Warrior left the road, its wheels destroyed on one side, and one soldier was killed and two others injured - neither seriously. The injured men were taken by a US helicopter medevac team to a military hospital in Baghdad; and the damaged Warrior was subsequently recovered to Camp Dogwood.

    Private Pita Tukutukuwaqa, The Black Watch


    Three British soldiers were killed, and others injured, in a suicide car-bomb attack on a vehicle check-point within the Black Watch area of operations on 4 November 2004. An Iraqi interpreter was also killed, and eight soldiers were wounded.

    Sergeant Stuart Gray, The Black Watch (updated 1445 on 5 November)

    Private Paul Lowe, The Black Watch (updated 1220 on 8 November)

    Private Scott McArdle, The Black Watch (updated 1445 on 5 November)

    Lieutenant-Colonel James Cowan, commanding the 1st Battalion The Black Watch, said at Camp Dogwood on 5 November:

    "It is my sad duty to report the death of three of my soldiers. At 1300 on 4 November, a patrol from D Company, the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) was conducting a Vehicle Check Point in an area east of the Euphrates. At this time, a suicide bomber drove his vehicle at the soldiers, detonating the device. The troops then came under sustained mortar fire. Three soldiers and one civilian interpreter were killed, and eight soldiers wounded. Sergeant Stuart Gray, Private Paul Lowe, and Private Scott McArdle were all killed instantly, as was the patrol's interpreter, whose name cannot be released for security reasons.

    "For a close-knit family such as the Black Watch, this is indeed a painful blow. All three of the soldiers were our friends, but as we mourn their deaths, so we remember their lives and give thanks to their contribution to the life of our Regiment. The interpreter had been with the Black Watch since our arrival in Iraq, and had become a friend to the soldiers. He had volunteered to come north with us, and had delayed his wedding, which was to have taken place on the day of his death. Stuart Gray was a Sergeant of great experience in the Mortar Platoon; Paul Lowe was a talented drummer in the Pipes and Drums; and Scott McArdle was a rifleman in the elite Reconnaissance Platoon. We will miss them as brothers-in-arms, and extend our sympathy and love to their families. The whole of the Black Watch is saddened by this loss. But while we fell this blow most keenly, we will not be deterred from seeing our task through to a successful conclusion."

    Major Lindsay MacDuff, the Officer Commanding the Battalion's Rear Party at Warminster, said on 5 November:

    "The Black Watch has always been a close-knit family, and the news that three of our soldiers were tragically killed while serving in Iraq is keenly felt by all ranks and their families. All are left saddened by the news that we have lost three friends.

    "The men of the Black Watch are determined to continue with their operational tasks in Iraq. In the words from a key passage of the Regimental Collect, "We of the Black Watch will stand fast in the faith and be strong" at this time, both here with the families, and with the men on operations.

    "The Army and the Black Watch have a robust and coordinated welfare structure that is designed to meet the needs of those affected by the incident yesterday. We would ask the media to keep their distance and give us a chance to grieve and come to terms with our loss at what is a difficult time."


    A British soldier was found dead at a military base in Basrah on the morning of 31 October 2004. The investigation into the death is ongoing, but it is not believed to be the result of any hostile act.

    Staff Sergeant Denise Michelle Rose, Royal Military Police (updated at 1420 on 2 November)


    A soldier from The Black Watch died, and a further three suffered minor injuries and shock, in a road traffic accident in North Babil province on 29 October 2004.

    Private Kevin McHale, The Black Watch (updated at 1800 on 1 November)


    Two British soldiers died following the ambush of a military convoy south-west of Basrah on 28 September 2004. An armoured Land Rover was badly damaged, and as troops sought to extract the casualties, they came under small arms fire.

    Corporal Marc Taylor, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (updated at 1820 on 29 September)

    Gunner David Lawrence, Royal Artillery (updated at 1130 on 30 September)


    A British soldier died in a road traffic accident near Al Amarah on 10 September 2004.

    Fusilier Stephen Jones, The Royal Welch Fusiliers


    A British soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with insurgents in Basrah on 17 August 2004.

    Lance Corporal Paul Thomas, The Light Infantry (updated at 1610 on 18 August)


    A British soldier was killed and another seriously injured by an improvised explosive device attack in Basrah on 12 August 2004.

    Private Marc Ferns, The Black Watch


    A soldier was killed, and several others were injured, in an attack on British vehicles in Basrah on 9 August 2004.

    Private Lee O'Callaghan, Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment (updated at 0730 on 11 August)


    A British soldier was killed in an accident at Al Amarah on 4 August 2004.

    Private Christopher Rayment, Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment


    A British airman was killed when an RAF Puma helicopter suffered an accident at Basrah International Airport on 19 July 2004.

    Flight Lieutenant Kristian Gover, 33 Squadron RAF (updated 1450 on 20 July)


    A British soldier was killed, and two injured, in an improvised explosive device attack on British vehicles in Basrah on the morning of 28 June 2004.

    Fusilier Gordon Gentle, Royal Highland Fusiliers


    A British soldier was fatally injured in a vehicle accident at Shaibah Logistics Base on the morning of 12 February 2004.

    Corporal Richard Ivell, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers


    A soldier died in a tragic accident in Basrah on 31 January 2004.

    Sapper Robert Thomson, Royal Engineers (updated at 1730 on 2 February)


    A British soldier was killed, and another injured, in a road traffic accident at Al Amarah on 21 January 2004.

    Rifleman Vincent Windsor, Royal Green Jackets (updated with photograph at 1545 on 23 January)


    A British Serviceman died following a tragic incident on a training range near Basrah on the morning of 7 January 2004.

    Lance Corporal Andrew Craw, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders


    Two British soldiers were killed in a road traffic accident in Baghdad early on 1 January 2004.

    Major James Stenner, Welsh Guards

    Sergeant Norman Patterson, Cheshire Regiment (updated 1310 on 8 January)


    A British Serviceman was killed in a road traffic accident in Basrah on 6 November.

    Private Ryan Thomas, Royal Regiment of Wales (updated with photograph at 1525 on 10 November)


    A Royal Marines NCO was killed by hostile fire during an operation on 31 October.

    Corporal Ian Plank, Royal Marines


    A Territorial Army soldier died in a tragic incident on 23 September whilst serving at Shaibah near Basrah.

    Sergeant John Nightingale, 217 Transport Squadron (updated 1715 on 25 September)


    A British soldier was killed and another wounded in an incident in Ali As Sharqi in southern Iraq on 27 August 2003.

    Fusilier Russell Beeston, 52nd Lowland Regiment (updated 0810 on 1 September 2003)


    Three soldiers from the Royal Military Police were killed, and one seriously wounded, during an incident in central Basrah on the morning of 23 August.

    Major Matthew Titchener, 150 Provost Company (updated 1800 on 29 August 2003)

    Company Sergeant Major Colin Wall, 150 Provost Company (updated 1300 on 25 August 2003)

    Corporal Dewi Pritchard, 116 Provost Company (updated 0810 on 1 September 2003)

    The senior RMP officer serving in Basrah, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Warren, said:

    "I am deeply saddened by this tragic event. My thoughts, and those of the men and women of the Royal Military Police, are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. I hope that they will be given the space to grieve.

    "These soldiers have been a credit to the RMP and have made a significant contribution to the rebuilding of the local police force in the region. This incident will not deter us from our mission and we will continue to work closely with our Iraqi colleagues to seek out those responsible for this criminal act and bring them to justice."

    Brigadier Maurice Nugent, the Provost Marshal for the British Army and professional head of the Royal Military Police, said on 24 August:

    "The impact of yesterday's tragedy in Basrah, where three men of the Royal Military Police were killed, is only now beginning to be felt. The thoughts of all past and present members of the Royal Military Police are with the families. All three soldiers had young families and we will be there for them over the coming days and weeks. The RMP are one of the key players in the efforts to reform and resurrect the civil police in Iraq, and I am proud of the role played in this by Corporal Dewi Pritchard, from 116 Provost Company, West Bromwich, and Warrant Officer Colin Wall and Major Matthew Titchener, who were both from 150 Provost Company in Catterick. This essential work will continue beyond this tragedy."


    A British serviceman was killed, and two wounded, during a bomb attack on a military ambulance in Basrah on 14 August.

    Captain David Jones, Queen's Lancashire Regiment (updated 1610 on 19 August)


    A Territorial Army soldier died on 13 August in southern Iraq. The cause of his death is under investigation but was not the result of hostile action.

    Private Jason Smith, 52nd Lowland Regiment (updated 1840 on 14 August)


    An Army officer collapsed and died on 18 July in southern Iraq.

    Captain James Linton, 40 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (updated 1630 on 23 July)


    Six Royal Military Policemen were killed in an incident at Al Majar Al Kabir on 24 June. The Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon MP, updated the House of Commons on 2 July on the information available concerning this incident, and another in the same area which resulted in Service personnel sustaining wounds.

    The six Royal Military Policemen who died were:

    Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, from Chessington (updated 0715 on 22 July)

    Corporal Russell Aston, from Swadlincote (updated 1830 on 25 June)

    Corporal Paul Long, from Colchester (updated 1515 on 4 July)

    Corporal Simon Miller, from Washington, Tyne & Wear (updated 0030 on 29 June)

    Lance-Corporal Benjamin Hyde, from Northallerton (updated 1715 on 25 June)

    Lance-Corporal Thomas Keys, from Bala (updated 1540 on 7 July)

    The commanding officer of 156 Provost Company, Major Bryn Parry-Jones, said:

    The loss of six soldiers from such a small, tight-knit unit as 156 Provost Company clearly comes as a dreadful shock to us all, not only the friends and families of those killed, but also all those in the Royal Military Police who knew and worked with them.

    All these men were highly professional Soldiers and Policemen. Their deaths in action underlines the challenging and difficult operations that the RMP are asked to undertake both in peace and times of conflict.

    From the oldest, aged 41, to the youngest, aged 20, these soldiers had between them a wealth of operational experience and distinguished service. You will understand that the circumstances surrounding this dreadful incident are still being investigated. At this time, our priority is giving all the support we can to the families and friends who are having to cope with the loss of loved ones.

    We ask our men and women to risk the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country, and it is the sad truth that sometimes that sacrifice comes to pass.

    All six soldiers were extremely popular and well liked within the unit and they will be sadly missed by all of us.


    A civilian member of the Defence Fire Service died in hospital in the UK on 22 May, having fallen ill in the Gulf.

    Mr Leonard Harvey


    An RAF Policeman died in Kuwait on 19 May, believed to be from natural causes.

    Corporal David Shepherd


    An RAF Regiment Gunner died in hospital in the UK on 8 May, following injuries sustained in a traffic accident in Iraq.

    Gunner Duncan Pritchard


    A soldier from 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, died in an accident in Iraq on 6 May.

    Private Andrew Kelly, from Tavistock


    A British soldier was killed in an explosion in southern Iraq on 30 April.

    Lance Corporal James McCue, 7 Air Assault Battalion, REME


    A soldier was killed in action in Basrah on 6 April.

    Fusilier Kelan Turrington, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    In a separate incident, two other soldiers were killed in action in Basrah later the same day.

    Lance Corporal Ian Malone

    Piper Christopher Muzvuru


    A soldier was killed in an accident involving a light armoured vehicle on 1 April. An officer died in hospital in the UK on 22 April from injuries sustained in the accident.

    Lance Corporal Karl Shearer, Household Cavalry Regiment

    Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie, Household Cavalry Regiment


    A soldier was killed in southern Iraq on 31 March during an explosive ordnance disposal operation.

    Staff Sergeant Chris Muir, Army School of Ammunition, Royal Logistic Corps


    A soldier was killed in a road traffic accident in Kuwait on 30 March.

    Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, 212 Signal Squadron, 1 (UK) Armoured Division HQ & Signal Regiment, based in Herford, Germany


    A Royal Marine was killed in action during fighting in the area of Basrah on 30 March.

    Marine Christopher Maddison, 9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines


    On 30 March, a Royal Marine officer died of natural causes.

    Major Steve Ballard, 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines


    A British soldier was killed in an incident involving light armoured vehicles of D Squadron, The Blues & Royals, on 28 March. Four others were injured. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.

    The soldier killed was:

    Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, Household Cavalry Regiment


    On 25 March, two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers were killed when their Challenger 2 tank was accidentally hit by another Challenger 2 during a period of multiple engagements with Iraqi enemy forces. The two men have been named as:

    Corporal Stephen Allbutt, from Stoke-on-Trent

    Trooper David Clarke, from Littleworth, Staffordshire


    On 24 March, a soldier from 1st Battalion The Black Watch was killed in action near Al Zubayr.

    Lance Corporal Barry Stephen, from Perth


    A soldier was killed in action near Az Zubayr near Basrah on 24 March.

    Sergeant Steven Roberts, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, from Bradford


    Two British soldiers were reported missing, later confirmed as killed, after an attack on British military vehicles in southern Iraq on 23 March.

    Sapper Luke Allsopp, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), from North London

    Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), from Essex


    On 23 March, an RAF GR4 Tornado aircraft from RAF Marham, which was returning from an operational mission, was engaged near the Kuwaiti border by a Patriot missile battery. Both aircrew were killed.

    Flight Lieutenant Kevin Barry Main, Pilot, IX (B) Squadron

    Flight Lieutenant David Rhys Williams, Navigator, IX (B) Squadron

    The Military Aircraft Accident Summary reporting the investigation of this fatal incident was published on 14 May 2004. Click here for a direct link to the MAAS report.


    At around 0130 GMT on 22 March, two Royal Navy Sea King Mk 7 Airborne Early Warning helicopters collided over the northern Arabian Gulf. There were no survivors from the six British and one US crew members aboard. The incident was not the result of enemy action.

    Lieutenant Philip Green RN, 849 Squadron

    Lieutenant Antony King RN, 849 Squadron, from Helston, Cornwall

    Lieutenant Marc Lawrence RN, 849 Squadron

    Lieutenant Philip West RN, 849 Squadron, from Budock Water, Cornwall

    Lieutenant James Williams RN, 849 Squadron, from Falmouth, Cornwall

    Lieutenant Andrew Wilson RN, 849 Squadron

    The Commanding Officer of 849 Squadron asked for this letter to be published in response to all the messages of condolence received:

    The early hours of 22 March 2003 marked a sad day in the proud history of 849 Naval Air Squadron. Two Sea King Mk 7 helicopters of 849 A Flight collided over the North Arabian Gulf, whilst conducting missions in support of coalition forces, with the loss of all seven crewmembers. As one can imagine, this tragic event has shocked and devastated everyone, not only the friends and loved ones of those involved but also of those associated in anyway with 849 Naval Air Squadron, the wider Fleet Air Arm community, and beyond.

    Messages of condolence, support and sympathy began arriving early Saturday morning. Since then, Culdrose and 849 Squadron have been overwhelmed by the flow of tributes that continue to arrive. These have come from all quarters and include those close to fallen comrades, fellow aviators, members of the armed forces and from the general public. The strength and understanding that these messages convey cannot be underestimated; they have been, and continue to be, of enormous support not only to the friends and family of those involved, but to those still serving on A Flight and the 849 community as a whole. It will take time to respond personally to all the tributes, but be assured that all those associated with 849 Naval Air Squadron are eternally grateful and will draw great strength from them in the coming weeks and months.

    Despite such horrendous losses, 849 A Flight remain in theatre and continue to execute vital missions in support of Gulf operations. The 'Eyes of the Fleet' may have dimmed briefly but they remain open, alert and ever vigilant. Finally, to our fallen comrades from 849 A Flight we say: Rest in peace in the knowledge that your professionalism, dedication and ultimate sacrifice will never go unrecognised or be forgotten.


    At around midnight GMT on 21 March, a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border with US and UK personnel aboard; there were no survivors. Eight personnel from 3 Commando Brigade died in the accident, along with four US aircrew.

    Colour Sergeant John Cecil, Royal Marines, from Plymouth

    Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, from Llandudno

    Captain Philip Stuart Guy, Royal Marines

    Marine Sholto Hedenskog, Royal Marines

    Sergeant Les Hehir, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

    Operator Mechanic (Communications) Second Class Ian Seymour RN, 148 Commando Battery Royal Artillery

    Warrant Officer Second Class Mark Stratford, Royal Marines

    Major Jason Ward, Royal Marines

    Edited by bigjarofwasps
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    • 4 weeks later...

    It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that Private Mark Stephen Dobson of B (Green Howards) Company, The Tyne-Tees Regiment, was found dead in his accommodation at Basrah Air Station on 28 March 2005. The incident is being investigated but is not thought to have been the result of hostile action. Private Dobson was 41 years old and came from County Durham.

    Private Dobson joined the Territorial Army in July 1996. He deployed to Iraq on 10 November 2004, and was attached to the Force Protection Unit providing security for personnel working out of the Multi National Division (South East) Headquarters at Basrah Air Station.

    Lieutenant Colonel Ian McFarlane TD, CO The Tyne-Tees Regiment, said:

    "Private Dobson was mobilised in September 2004 as part of a 34 man group from The Tyne-Tees Regiment who joined the East and West Riding Regiment's "Normandy Company" for their deployment on Force Protection duties in Iraq. He had great support from his parents and two younger sisters all of whom live in the area. They were very proud of his achievements.

    "Private Dobson was an enthusiastic and popular member of B (Green Howards) Company of The Tyne-Tees Regiment based in Middlesborough. He transferred into the Infantry three years ago from another local unit, in search of further challenge and to satisfy his thirst for adventure and passion for soldiering.

    "Private Dobson always had a valuable contribution to make. He was a tremendously effective team member and could always be relied upon to give a full 100% in anything he was tasked to do. He had recently qualified as a Physical Training Instructor, gaining a course award considerably better than others who were many years younger than him. He was a regular attender at weekend and annual training camps, and had served since 1996 throughout the UK and in Cyprus.

    "Private Dobson's death has come as a great shock to the many people that knew him, and he will be sadly missed."

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    • 2 weeks later...

    It is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm that Squadron Leader Patrick Brian Marshall, Royal Air Force, is missing believed killed following the loss of an RAF C-130K Hercules aircraft over Iraq on 30 January 2005. Aged 39 and divorced, he was a staff officer serving with Headquarters Strike Command, High Wycombe, and was on temporary detachment to Iraq as a liaison officer.

    Patrick joined the Royal Air Force in June 1990 as a pilot, serving 11 operational tours on the Tornado GR. He was awarded a General Service Medal for Air operations in Iraq, an Operational Service Medal for Operation Telic and the NATO Medal for operations in the former Yugoslavia. His last job was as a Staff Officer at Headquarters Strike Command, Royal Air Force High Wycombe, where he was part of a team responsible for coordinating Royal Air Force support operations.

    Although he thoroughly enjoyed his staff tours, he was eagerly looking forward to returning to his greatest passion: flying. He was a highly regarded and talented operational pilot. During his time at Royal Air Force High Wycombe he lived in the local area and had recently announced that he was engaged to be married. Patrick was a well liked and spirited officer with many friends throughout the headquarters and the wider military community. He will be sorely missed by all those that knew him.

    The media are asked to respect the family's privacy at this very difficult time.

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    Fury as dead soldier's war medals stolen


    THE mother of a Lothians soldier who was killed in Iraq spoke of her anger today after a thief sneaked into her home and stole her late son’s war medals.

    Sapper Robert Thomson died in the southern city of Basra in January last year in what was described by Ministry of Defence officials as a "tragic" engineering accident.

    The 22-year-old, from Whitburn, West Lothian, was posthumously honoured for his work in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq during the second Gulf War with the 35 Engineer Regiment.

    But a thief slipped into mum Margaret Thomson’s home in Gardener Crescent, Whitburn, and snatched the medals. Mrs Thomson said she has been left devastated at the theft. The thieves targeted Mrs Thomson’s home while she was upstairs, sneaked inside and lifted her handbag from a downstairs room.

    The handbag contained the Iraq campaign medal, a set of wings presented by the RAF and a prayer written for the family by a padre, or military chaplain.

    A necklace with the initial "M" which was a present to Mrs Thomson from soldiers who had served with her son was also stolen.

    Mrs Thomson said she carried the medals and other gifts with her everywhere she went. She has now offered a reward of ?200 for information which will lead to them being returned.

    She said: "These things can never be replaced. I am not bothered about bank cards or anything like that, I just want these things back. I am so angry that somebody just walked into my house and took my bag and I don’t think they understand what they have done and how important these things are.

    "I always like to have these things close to me, but you just don’t think somebody is going to come into your home and steal your bag. My mobile phone was also taken which had a lot of important numbers in it which I need because the inquiry into Robert’s death is still on-going."

    The stolen campaign medal has the dead soldier’s name inscribed on it and "Iraq 2004" written on the back. It was attached to a yellow, black and gold ribbon.

    Around 90 people gathered in Whitburn to mark Sapper Thomson’s death last year with a series of remembrance events.

    A special chair commissioned by Sapper Thomson’s former colleagues was unveiled at a site near his grave in Whitburn Cemetery. It was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Whitburn War Memorial and a presentation of the sapper’s medals to his parents in the town’s Royal British Legion Club.

    The MoD’s casualty visiting officer Captain Jim Rattray was in charge of co-ordinating the events. He described Sapper Thomson as a "very brave and impressive young man".

    Sapper Thomson went straight into the Army after leaving Whitburn Academy in 1998.

    A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police appealed for information which would help find the medals and catch the thieves.

    He said: "What was taken from the Thomson family had huge sentimental value and needs to be returned to them. The stolen items are also very recognisable.

    "If anyone saw someone hanging around or looking suspicious around the time of the burglary we need them to get in touch with Whitburn Police."

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    • 2 weeks later...

    It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm the death in Iraq of Guardsman Anthony John Wakefield during the early hours of 2 May 2005.

    Guardsman Wakefield, a married father of three from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, died as a result of wounds sustained during a routine patrol in Al Amarah, Iraq. He was 24. His Company of the 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards is currently serving alongside 1 Staffords (Staffordshire Regt.) in Maysan Province, Iraq.

    The Commanding Officer of 1 Staffords, Lt Col Andrew Williams has paid tribute to Gdsm Wakefield?s professionalism:

    "May I start by expressing my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gdsm Wakefield.

    "Gdsm Wakefield died in the early hours of 2 May 2005 as a result of wounds sustained during a patrol in the town of Al Amarah, Southern Iraq.

    "He was acting as the top cover sentry in the second of a two vehicle patrol when what appears to have been an Improvised Explosive Device detonated, disabling the vehicle and injuring another soldier.

    "Despite receiving first aid at the scene and in the helicopter that evacuated him, he sadly died of wounds shortly after being attended by the doctor at the Battlegroup?s base just outside the town.

    "Gdsm Wakefield was a supremely fit and popular soldier who died doing his duty and amongst his friends. A proud Coldstream Guardsman, he was attached to the Staffords Battlegroup and had made many friends during his time with us.

    "To all those who were lucky enough to know him, it was clear that he loved his duty and had a very bright future ahead of him. He was already a qualified Physical Training Instructor and had been selected to attend a course for promotion at the end of the 6 month tour.

    "Gdsm Wakefield will be sorely missed by a great many people and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

    Edited by bigjarofwasps
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    • 3 weeks later...

    A British soldier killed in an attack on a convoy in southern Iraq at the weekend was named yesterday as Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury.

    Cpl Brackenbury, 21, from the East Riding of Yorkshire, died when a roadside bomb exploded near Amara, in the Maysan region, as troops travelled to a meeting with Iraqi security officials.

    Cpl Brackenbury was serving with the King's Royal Hussars. His father, Stephen, said the family - mother Janet, brother David and sister Faye - were "immensely proud" that he was a soldier.

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    Monday May 30, 2005

    Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury. Photograph: MoD/PA

    The British soldier killed in an attack on a convoy in southern Iraq yesterday was Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury from East Riding, Yorkshire.

    The Ministry of Defence released L/Cpl Brackenbury's name today, as Iraq continued to be rocked by insurgency attacks.

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    • 4 weeks later...

    Death of British Serviceman in Iraq - Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury

    Published Sunday 29th May 2005

    Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury of The King's Royal Hussars.It is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury of The King's Royal Hussars, in the early hours of Sunday 29 May 2005, during an incident to the South of Al Amarah, Iraq.

    LCpl Brackenbury was serving with A Squadron, part of the 1 STAFFORDS battlegroup in Iraq. Aged 21, LCpl Brackenbury was from East Riding, Yorkshire. He joined the Army in 2000 and was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2005.

    Alan is survived by his father Stephen, mother Janet, brother David, and sister Faye. His father said:

    "Alan loved being in the army - it was all he had ever wanted to do. He was immensely proud to be a soldier and we were immensely proud that he was a soldier. It is some comfort to us, as we grieve for Alan, that he died doing what he loved so much."

    The family has asked not to be contacted by the media. Commanding Officer of the King's Royal Hussars Lieutentant Colonel Toby Bridge said:

    "Cpl Brackenbury's death is a desperate loss to his family, and his girlfriend, and a tragic blow to his friends.

    "Cpl Brackenbury died instantly when his patrol was attacked by a roadside bomb as it drove to a meeting with the Iraqi Border Police. He was in the first of three land-rovers in the patrol when it was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. The explosion killed Cpl Brackenbury and injured four other soldiers - all of whom were rapidly evacuated by helicopter and are now in a stable condition. Cpl Brackenbury was declared dead on his arrival at the medical facility in the nearby British Camp.

    "Cpl Brackenbury lived life to the full. He had a passion for racing, football and fishing. Above all we will remember his tremendous sense of humour, and fun, and his willingness to try something new. I was utterly delighted in March when Cpl Brackenbury was promoted from Trooper at the early age of 20. He was definitely a man of the future.

    "Cpl Brackenbury was hugely popular and a real contributor to whatever he undertook. His death will be felt by all those who have been privileged to serve alongside him."

    "On behalf of all his comrades in the Regiment and the STAFFORDS Battlegroup I want to offer our condolences to his family and girlfriend and to say that you are all in our thoughts and prayers."

    Edited by bigjarofwasps
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    • 2 weeks later...

    Death of British Serviceman in Iraq - Signaller Paul William Didsbury, 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

    Published Friday 1st July 2005

    Signaller Paul William Didsbury, 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support) It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that on the morning of Wednesday 29 June 2005, Signaller Paul William Didsbury, a soldier with 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support), died in a tragic accident at Basra. He was serving on a roulement tour with the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq).

    Signaller Didsbury, aged 18, was single and served with the Royal Signals. He was born in Blackpool.

    Lt Col Olly Halstead, Commanding Officer, paid tribute to Signaller Didsbury:

    "Signaller Didsbury was known as 'Dids' to all within my Regiment. He was an outgoing and irrepressibly cheerful soldier who was very well known and hugely popular throughout the Regiment. Always keen to try new things, he seized every opportunity to broaden his horizons and relished the challenges that operations in Iraq offered. Fit, bright and a capable operator, what set Signaller Didsbury apart was his enthusiasm and zest for life.

    "Signaller Didsbury's death is a tragic blow to everyone and I offer my most sincere condolences, along with those of all in my Regiment, to his family ? with whom our thoughts and prayers lie right now. His death will be felt by all those who have been privileged to serve alongside him."

    The family have asked that the media respect their privacy at this very difficult time.

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    • 3 weeks later...

    Deaths of British Soldiers in Iraq - 2Lt Richard Shearer, Pte Leon Spicer and Pte Phillip Hewett

    Published Sunday 17th July 2005

    Private Leon Spicer, 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment

    Private Phillip Hewett, 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment

    Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, 1st Battalion Staffordshire RegimentIt is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the names of three soldiers from Task Force Maysan, who died from injuries sustained in hostile action on 16 July 2005, in Maysan province, Iraq.

    A patrol of three armoured Snatch Land-Rovers, in Al Amarah, was engaged by an Improvised Explosive Device in the early hours of Saturday morning. Three soldiers from C Company, The 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment were killed.

    The patrol commander Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer and his top cover sentry Private Leon Spicer were killed instantly. The driver, Private Phillip Hewett, died of his wounds at the scene whilst receiving first aid from members of the patrol.

    In a statement, Commanding Officer of the Staffordshire Regiment, Lt Col Andrew Williams, said:

    "The Regiment has always been a family to the soldiers that serve in it, and never more so than when deployed on complex and challenging operations such as these. The loss of 2Lt Rich Shearer, Pte Leon Spicer and Pte Phillip Hewett will be felt very deeply by all the soldiers of the Staffordshire Regiment and indeed the soldiers of Task Force Maysan.

    "Second Lieutenant Shearer, 26 and from Nuneaton, was a bold Platoon Commander and certainly no stranger to either danger or excitement. He was commissioned into his county regiment only a year ago, having already served in the French Foreign Legion. He had quickly established himself as a true soldier and a leader of men. His passion for soldiering was infectious and he was highly respected by everyone. A true accolade: his men loved him and regarded him as much more than their Platoon Commander. One of the very best of his peers, and an inspiration, Second Lieutenant Shearer had only just been selected to run the next cadre for soldiers wishing to become Junior Non-commissioned Officers. In the Officers' Mess, Rich was a popular friend to all, fun to be around and with a mischievous sense of humour.

    "Private Hewett, aged 21, from Tamworth, was Second Lieutenant Shearer's driver - a respected position of enormous responsibility only given to the best of senior soldiers. He was skilled as a driver of both Land-Rovers and Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles and had been with the platoon since arriving in the 1st Battalion three years ago. A cheerful and intelligent young man with a natural air of confidence, Phillip had worked with the Platoon throughout the build-up to the deployment to Iraq and was a well established member of a very close team. His lively nature ensured he was always popular and despite just returning to Iraq from leave in England he was full of good humour and stories. Private Hewett had marked himself as having a sound future in the army and had been selected to attend a promotional course in the winter. Exceptionally fit, he was also short-listed to become a Physical Training Instructor.

    "Private Spicer, 26, was also a Tamworth soldier. After sustaining a serious injury his leg last year, he had worked against the odds to become fully fit again. He had shown tremendous grit and determination to rejoin 7 Platoon, and to be with his friends in Iraq. Always larger than life, Leon got along extremely well with all those he worked with, and was a strong young man who enjoyed his soldiering.

    "To lose any member of a team is a severe blow to those that are left behind, those that they had trained with, played with and fought alongside. The loss of three such popular and professional men is simply devastating. Second Lieutenant Shearer, Private Hewett and Private Spicer will be sorely missed by all those serving in The Staffordshire Regiment and in Task Force Maysan. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families through this tragic time."

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    • 2 weeks later...

    Blast kills two Britons in Iraq

    The bomb exploded on the outskirts of Basra

    Two British security guards have been killed in an attack on a convoy in Basra, southern Iraq.

    A bomb blew up near a convoy of British Embassy four-wheel drive vehicles south-west of the city on Saturday, UK officials said.

    The Foreign Office said the attack, using a home-made bomb, had happened at 0630 BST on the outskirts of Basra.

    The pair worked for Control Risks Group, which provides security for the consulate in Iraq.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said: "A British Embassy convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device. Two security contractors have been killed."

    A spokeswoman for Control Risks Group, which employs about 500 people in Iraq, said the company could not comment further on the guards' identity until next of kin had been informed.

    Troops secured the area following the blast

    One contractor working for the company was killed in an attack in Iraq about 15 months ago, she added.

    Britain has about 8,500 troops in Iraq, mostly based in the south of the country.

    At least 21 British civilians have been killed in Iraq since March 2004, according to the Foreign Office website.

    It says: "The security situation is dangerous. The threat to British nationals remains high."

    Basra is home to the British military headquarters and also the consulate general's office, which has about 20 employees.

    BBC world affairs editor John Simpson said the convoy was heading through the south western edge of Basra when a roadside bomb went off in which two contractors, essentially bodyguards, were killed outright.

    "We are told local people rushed out to help, including a couple of children who we are told were injured," he said.

    Caroline Hawley, BBC News correspondent in Baghdad, said a second explosion, five minutes after the first, seriously injured two Iraqi boys. They were part of a crowd that had gathered around the scene of the blast.

    She said the Foreign Office do not believe anyone else in the convoy was injured, but they would not comment on its role in the area.

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    Wounded soldier to be flown home

    Two military vehicles were hit by a suspected roadside bomb

    A British soldier critically injured by a roadside bomb in Basra is to be flown home for more treatment, the Army said.

    He suffered upper body injuries and remained "very seriously ill", after Saturday's explosion in the Gzeiza area, an Army spokesman in Iraq said.

    "We can confirm it was an improvised explosive device, or roadside bomb, and there were no other injuries," he said.

    Three British troops and two British security guards have died in attacks in Basra since mid-July.

    The injured soldier had emergency surgery in Iraq on Saturday, and would be returned to the UK in the next couple of days for further treatment, the Army spokesman said.

    The investigation into the incident is continuing.

    BRIT TROOPS HIT BY BOMB (Sky News 06/08/05)

    Up to three British soldiers have been wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, according to Iraqi police.

    The blast hit near a British military convoy north of Basra.

    Witnesses reported three soldiers were injured and airlifted from the scene.

    The British military confirmed "an incident" occurred but gave no details.

    The attack took place in the Gzeiza area on the northern outskirts of Iraq's second largest city, said Iraqi Lieutenant Colonel Karma al-Zaidi.

    Some 8,500 British troops are deployed in southern Iraq.

    The region has been mostly calm since US and British forces invaded more than two years ago.

    But today's attack is the third in the last three weeks.

    On July 30, two British security contractors were killed when a roadside bomb exploded alongside a British consulate convoy in Basra.

    On July 16, a roadside bomb in Amarah, 100 miles north of Basra, killed three British soldiers and wounded two others.

    Mike Wooldridge, BBC world affairs correspondent, said the incident came in a "difficult period" in the south of Iraq, which was generally regarded as much calmer than the north.

    Security guards

    Britain has about 8,500 troops in Iraq, mostly based in the south of the country.

    Saturday's attack is the third in the region in three weeks.

    Three British troops died in a roadside bomb attack in Amarah, north of Basra on 16 July, taking the total number killed in action to 92.

    On 31 July, two civilian security guards were killed in attack on a British Embassy convoy on a road near Basra.

    At least 21 British civilians have been killed in Iraq since March 2004, according to the Foreign Office website.

    The Iraqi Defence Ministry says an estimated 2,700 Iraqis, around half of them civilians, have been killed in insurgency-related incidents since April.

    Edited by bigjarofwasps
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    I appreciate, that technically, given the fact that this couple where not British, and that I have not been listing all the fatalities suffered by the Iraqi people and other Coalition forces serving in Iraq, that maybe I shouldn`t been posting these details on this thread, however, given the fact that this incident occurred in the British Area of Operations, I feel that it merits being added to this thread. However, if anyone feels that it is not appropriate, to list it here, then I will move it.

    US journalist shot dead in Iraq

    Vincent reported that Shia militants had infiltrated Basra police

    A US freelance reporter, Steven Vincent, has been shot dead by unknown gunmen in Basra, southern Iraq, police have said.

    Mr Vincent was abducted with his female Iraqi translator at gun point by men in a police car on Tuesday.

    His bullet-riddled body was found on the side of a highway south of the city a few hours later.

    He had been writing a book about the city, where insurgents have recently stepped up their attacks.

    Bundled into car

    The pair were kidnapped by five gunmen in a police car as they left a currency exchange shop, Lt Col Karim al-Zaidi said.

    "Both were later shot, but Vincent was killed, while the girl [translator] is alive," said Mr Zaidi.

    Mr Vincent was shot several times in the head and body, said Mr Zaidi. The translator, Nour Weidi, was seriously wounded.

    Mr Vincent's relatives have been informed and US officials are working with the UK military and Iraqi authorities to identify the killers.

    "I can confirm to you that officials in Basra have recovered the body of journalist Steven Vincent," said embassy spokesman Pete Mitchell. "Our condolences go out to the family."

    Mr Vincent had been in Basra in recent months working for the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times.

    In a recent New York Times article, Mr Vincent wrote that Basra's police force had been infiltrated by Shia militants.

    He quoted a senior Iraqi police lieutenant saying some officers were behind many of the killings of former Baath party members in Basra.

    Mr Vincent also criticised the UK forces, who are responsible for security in Basra, for ignoring abuses of power by Shia extremists.

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    • 4 weeks later...

    Iraq bomb kills two UK soldiers

    94 British soldiers have died in Iraq since March 2003

    Two British soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb as they travelled in a convoy in southern Iraq.

    The blast took place about five miles east of the Shaibah airbase, in British-patrolled Basra province.

    The dead soldiers were from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers which is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Defence said.

    The MoD said it would not release details of the troops' identities until their next of kin had been informed.

    They were based in the Multinational Division South-East area, which comprises a large part of southern Iraq where coalition troops operate under British command.

    'Deeply tragic'

    Defence Secretary John Reid offered his sympathy and condolences to the families of those who died.

    He said: "It is deeply tragic that they have been killed whilst carrying out their duty."

    Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is in Beijing for an EU-China summit, was being informed of the deaths.

    His official spokesman said: "We will watch developments with sadness as when ever attacks like this occur in Iraq."

    The Shaibah base, about 10 miles south-west of Basra, is the British logistics headquarters in Iraq.

    The deaths bring the British military death toll in Iraq to 94 since the outbreak of hostilities in March 2003.

    The deaths of two British soldiers on 5 September in Basra province brought the toll of UK troops killed during the current action in Iraq to 94.

    The first UK fatalities occurred at around 2400 GMT on 21 March 2003 - the day after the start of the war - when a US Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border, killing all eight British and four US personnel on board.

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    UK soldiers killed in Iraq named

    Both soldiers had volunteered to go to Iraq for six months

    Two British soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Monday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

    They were Fusilier Donal Anthony Meade, 20, from Plumstead in south east London, and Fusilier Stephen Robert Manning, 22, from Erith in Kent.

    The men were from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

    They were in a convoy east of the Shaibah airbase, in Basra province, southern Iraq, when the blast hit.

    The Officer Commanding C Company, Major Matthew Thorp said both soldiers would be "sorely missed".

    He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job that he loved

    Manning family statement

    Major Thorp said Fusilier Manning had volunteered to be with C Company for six months and would have then rejoined D Company "for a bright future and life with the Battalion in Cyprus".

    "Above all, his many friends in the Company and across the Regiment remember his generosity of spirit, and his cheerfulness."

    Fusilier Manning's family said in a statement: "Stephen was a loving son and grandson who will be deeply missed.

    "He was proud to be a soldier and died doing the job that he loved."

    Major Thorp said Fusilier Meade had joined the Fusiliers in 2002.

    The family are tremendously proud of Donal and couldn't ask for a better son

    Meade family statement

    "Those who knew him best and closest were most aware of his fantastic sense of humour, his ability to laugh or crack a joke in any situation.

    "He knew the importance of the work he was doing in Iraq, and approached it with dedication and professionalism."

    Fusilier Meade was also due to be deployed to Cyprus after six months.

    His family said: "The family are tremendously proud of Donal and couldn't ask for a better son.

    "Donal will be deeply missed, but we take comfort in that he died doing a job he loved."

    'Deeply tragic'

    The Belfast-based Commanding Officer of 2nd Regiment Royal Fusiliers, Lt Col John Whitwam MBE, also offered his condolences.

    "The whole of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers mourns the tragic loss of these two fine young men.

    "They understood the dangers but were proud to be soldiers and recognised that they were doing a difficult, occasionally thankless but always worthwhile job."

    Defence Secretary John Reid on Monday offered his sympathy to the families of the two men.

    He said: "It is deeply tragic that they have been killed whilst carrying out their duty."

    The Shaibah base, about 10 miles south-west of Basra, is the British logistics headquarters in Iraq.

    The deaths bring the British military death toll in Iraq to 94 since the outbreak of hostilities in March 2003.

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    Basra bomb 'kills contractors'

    7 Sep, 11:53 AM

    British forces in the southern Iraqi city of Basra were investigating a roadside bombing which is believed to have killed several security contractors.

    Iraqi police chief Lieutenant Colonel Karim al-Zaidi said the bomb hit a convoy of "security contractors, killing three of them and wounding one". Earlier reports said four people died.

    He said the nationalities of the victims were not known, although reports on the ground suggested they were Americans.

    In London, the Foreign Office said those affected were not British.

    The FCO also dismissed initial reports which suggested the bomb had targeted a British diplomatic convoy.

    A spokesman stressed: "It was not a UK diplomatic convoy."

    Local British spokesman Darren Moss confirmed the bombing, but said no military forces were involved.

    He added that "the casualties have been evacuated to a medical centre", but gave no further details.

    At the Ministry of Defence in London, a spokesman said: "An investigation to establish the exact circumstances of the incident is now under way. We can confirm that no British forces, or multinational forces' troops, were involved.

    "British forces are now on the ground and have cordoned the area. The incident is ongoing. Details will be released as they become known."

    Robert Pole

    Robert McCoy www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3824037

    Ronald Hyatt

    Ryan Young

    Edited by bigjarofwasps
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    Car bomb blast rocks Basra city

    At least 12 people have been killed when a car bomb exploded in the centre of southern Iraqi city of Basra, police and witnesses say.

    The blast occurred at about 2100 local time (1700 GMT) outside a restaurant popular with members of Iraqi security forces, the AFP news agency says.

    At least 10 other people were injured in the explosion.

    Earlier on Wednesday, four US security agents were killed when a convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in Basra.

    Their deaths were announced in a statement by the US embassy.

    The mainly Shia city - Iraq's second largest - has been relatively calm compared to Sunni-populated regions further north.

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