Remembrance: The fallen of Iraq

They died for us, and on this day we remember them, the men and women who gave their lives for Britain. Today, the Independent recognises the contribution of those who have given their lives in our most recent conflict as we pay tribute to the 97 Britons killed in Iraq
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The Independent Online

QUEEN'S ROYAL LANCERS

DIED 25 MARCH 2003

On one day, two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers were killed by "friendly fire" when their Challenger 2 main battle tank was accidentally hit by another Challenger 2 during a battle with Iraqi forces on the outskirts of Basra. One was David Clark, the other was Stephen Allbutt.

Stephen joined the 16th/5th the Queen's Royal Lancers in 1989 and saw action on Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He also served in Bosnia. His commanding officer described him as an "immensely dedicated and competent NCO" who was a strong candidate for promotion. Aged 35, he camed from Stoke-on-Trent and was married with two sons: Joshua, now 16, and Connor, 11. He and his wife Debi would have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in September 2003.

"The Army was Steve's life," says Debi today. "He had wanted to join since he was a little boy. Although he was quiet, he had a brilliant sense of humour and was a loyal and devoted friend. He was also very romantic. Just before he left for the Gulf he planted some daffodil bulbs in our garden as a surprise, so they'd come up while he was away. They came up just before he died. I hadn't noticed them, and it was in one of the last phone calls I got from him that he said: 'Have you noticed anything in the garden?' And I looked out, and said: 'Oh yes! Thank you!' He was just a quiet family man really. He loved his boys, and his life, he said, was his three loves: Stoke City FC, and the Army, and me and the kids. He used to laugh and say that Stoke came first, but obviously I didn't believe him. We loved each other deeply and words cannot express how much I'll miss him. He was my true love."

Trooper David Clarke

QUEEN'S ROYAL LANCERS

DIED: 25 MARCH 2003

Nineteen years old, David, from Littleworth, Staffordshire, was a keen sportsman who played for Stafford Rugby Club when he was on leave. He had joined the Army aged 16, straight from school, and had volunteered for service in Iraq.

"He had wanted to join up ever since he was a little boy - he had no interest whatsoever in doing anything else," recalls his mother, Beverley. His commanding officer described him as a "diligent and popular soldier, [with] a promising career ahead of him". On his next leave, he was due to get engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Rachel.

His mother says he was as much a friend as a son to her: he loved going clubbing, and used to take her with him. "The last time he came home on leave I was at work at our local Co-op," she recalls, "and he came running into the store, picked me up and gave me a great big kiss in front of everybody. He wasn't frightened about letting anybody see how he felt. He was my best friend: I didn't just lose my eldest son, I lost my best friend. He lived life to the full. And I'm so proud of him."

Corporal Dewi Pritchard

ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 23 AUGUST 2003

Born in the Rhondda, Dewi was one of three military policemen killed when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in central Basra. A member of the Territorial Army, he had joined the Royal Military Police in 1996, while managing an assembly line at the Bosch factory in Miskin for his day job. As a corporal in 116 Provost Company (Volunteers), he was described as "an outstanding junior non-commissioned officer".

After six days' leave at home in Wales with his wife Tracey, daughter Kira (then six) and son Ethan (one), he had been back in Basra for one day when he was killed. He was 35.

"He'd been out in Iraq for 10 weeks, and then he surprised us - he just turned up on the doorstep," says Tracey. "He had to leave to go back the following Thursday, which was Kira's birthday, and then he was killed on the Saturday morning. We were fortunate and blessed to have that week together."

She says he loved golf and karate, and was a very fair and honourable person. "If he was your friend, he'd be your friend for life," she recalls. "There was nothing he wouldn't do for anybody. And he always had a twinkle in his eye - with his wicked sense of humour you never knew what he was going to do or say next. He was an adventurous man, and a kind and compassionate husband and father. To sum Dewi up in one word it would have to be 'love'. We've been left devastated by his death, but feel proud, blessed and privileged to have had the honour of sharing his life."

Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley

212 SIGNAL SQUADRON

DIED: 30 MARCH 2003

Shaun, from West Yorkshire, was killed in a road accident in Kuwait. A radio systems operator with 1(UK) Armoured Division HQ & Signal Regiment, he was described by his commanding officer as a "highly regarded member of the squadron". Aged 28, he had been based in Germany for four years and was the father of a three-year-old son with his German girlfriend Birgitte.

His father Peter fondly remembers a "big, noisy lad", who looked tough and aggressive - but wasn't. "He was really in your face, but he wouldn't have harmed anybody. He was the gentle-giant type," says Peter. At his grammar school he would protect younger children from bullies, and as a teenager he often intervened to try to stop fights.

He never hid his opinions; but although "he looked and sounded aggressive, but he wasn't at all, and he had that knack of talking to people. He was an intelligent lad".

Fusilier Donal Meade

2ND BATTALION, ROYAL REGIMENT OF FUSILIERS

DIED: 5 SEPTEMBER 2005

Killed in the same incident as Fusilier Stephen Manning (see below), Donal was 20. He was born on the island of Montserrat but came to Britain when he was 10 following the volcanic eruption of 1995. He lived in Plumstead, London, and enlisted in the Army when he was 17. He joined the fusiliers in 2002 and - like Stephen Manning - volunteered to serve in Iraq. His family said: "[We] 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."

The commandingoOfficer of 2nd Regiment Royal Fusiliers, Lt Col John Whitwam MBE, said: "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."

Corporal Marc Taylor

ROYAL ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

DIED: 28 SEPTEMBER 2004

Marc "Spud" Taylor, from Ellesmere Port, was one of two British soldiers who died when their military convoy was ambushed south-west of Basra. Aged 27, he was married with a daughter. His wife Olivia was expecting their second child when he was killed.

In Iraq he commanded a four-man team with B Battery Royal Horse Artillery and provided escort teams to a group coordinating reconstruction projects in Basra province. He was killed while escorting a visit to a new housing project. He was described as a calm, confident leader, and a first class team commander.

"He was an Army man through and through," said his wife. "He was always very positive about his time in Iraq, and serving his country. He enjoyed the particular job he was doing, helping the Iraqi people rebuild their lives. All of his family are proud that he died doing the job he wanted to do. He was a hero to all of us."

Captain Philip Guy

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

A 29-year-old husband and father, Philip came from Skipton, North Yorkshire. He was killed just hours after the attack on Iraq began, in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven other men from 3 Commando Brigade (all remembered below). Captain Guy died two weeks before his wife Helen was due to give birth to their second child. She described him as "the most brave, courageous man you could ever imagine" and a "perfect, loving, special husband". He had joined the Royal Marines after graduating from Salford university in 1995, and had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. He had been in the Gulf for six weeks. A keen sportsman, he represented his Corps in long-distance running. His fellow officers had nominated him for a Marine medal for courage and selflessness.

Major Jason Ward

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Described as "an exceptional leader" by his colleagues, Jason, aged 34, had been a UN peacekeeper in Cambodia and had served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

His childhood ambition was to be a Royal Marine, and he served in the corps for 15 years. He was renowned for always being among the first to volunteer for any task, and for boldly leading his men into battle from the front.

Very close to his family - his mother Jaqueline, his father George, a retired businessman, and his younger brother Elliot - he wrote to his parents a week before he died: "I am genuinely very well. I really want you both to know that. I am not putting up a brave face. All is good out here... Obviously I have no idea how long we are going to stay, but I guess I'll be back mid-May, hopefully the 5th, because I will stand to win nearly 50 bottles of champagne. The quartermaster and I are running a book on it."

Colour Sergeant John Cecil

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Aged 35, and from Newcastle upon Tyne, John was "proud to be a Royal Marine, proud to be British and proud to represent his country", according to his family. "John leaves behind a great many friends and relatives," said a statement issued at the time, "and our thoughts and prayers go out to Wendy Cecil, his children Nicholas and Jodie, his beloved daughter Paige, and his brother David."

Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans

29 COMMANDO REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Nicknamed "Welly", Llywelyn was 24 and came from Llandudno. He had been in the army since 1996 and had served in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. He was engaged to Miss Rebecca Williams. His father, Gordon Evans, said: "On behalf of my whole family, I wish to say that we are all devastated by the loss of our son. Whilst we are deeply saddened, we are, and always will be, proud of him."

Marine Sholto Hedenskog

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

A university graduate from Cape Town, South Africa, Sholto had abandoned further study to realise a lifelong ambition to serve with the Marines, whom he joined in 2000 and with whom he served in Afghanistan in the search for al-Qa'ida fighters in the caves of Tora Bora. Nicknamed "Sonic" by his colleagues - because his name sounded vaguely like "hedgehog" - he had last been home in December 2002, on leave after his tour of duty in Afghanistan. His cousin, Sean, said: "He was totally dedicated. After becoming a marine, he became so strong and confident. He loved it. He knew the dangers involved."

He was due to be best man at the July 2003 wedding of Craig Garnett, his best friend in 3 Commando Brigade. They had joined up together and were due to leave the marines the following year. He is survived by his mother and two sisters, Megan and Eva, who live in Cape Town. He was 26.

Sergeant Les Hehir

29 COMMANDO REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Les, from Poole, Dorset, was 34. He and his wife Sharon had two sons: Oliver (then five) and William (then three). Mrs Hehir said Les's death was "the worst blow imaginable". She added: "In addition to being an outstanding and highly regarded soldier, Les was an extremely loving and devoted husband, father and son. The loss we feel is really too much to bear. We lived for each other and our two wonderful boys."

Operator Mechanic Ian Seymour RN

148 COMMANDO BATTERY, ROYAL ARTILLERY

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Also from Poole, Operator Mechanic (Communications) Second Class Ian Seymour RN was 28 years old. Married to Lianne, 27, and with a young son, Beck (then aged three), he was the first British victim of the war to be buried. The funeral, on April 9, followed a service at St Michael's Church, Hamworthy, Poole, and was conducted with full military honours.

Among the flowers and tributes left at the Plymouth headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade was one from his wife and son. The note, pinned to a photo of them, read: "For my Daddy. I love you loads. So does Mummy. We will miss you always. God bless you. Lots of love from your Baby Bear and Tinkerbell."

Warrant Officer Mark Stratford

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 21 MARCH 2003

Aged 39, and from Plymouth, Warrant Officer Second Class Mark Stratford completes the list of victims of that first helicopter crash. His family said: "The Royal Marines were Mark's life and he was dedicated to the regiment. He served in many areas of the world and we know that he thoroughly enjoyed his 20 years with the corps. He had a wonderful life."

Lieutenant Marc Lawrence

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Aged 26, Marc was one of six British victims of a second tragic crash, between two Royal Navy Sea King helicopters over the northern Arabian Gulf. The others are remembered below.

Marc grew up in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, the son of George and Ann. From an early age he loved the sea and was a keen sailor, diver and windsurfer. After officer training at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, he trained as a Sea King Observer at Culdrose, gained his wings in 2002, and joined 849 Squadron. That same year, he also became engaged: to Elaine Cleaver, also from Kent. They had planned to marry in 2004 and make their home in Cornwall.

An accomplished musician, Marc played in the ship's band on board HMS Ark Royal. His sister Jayne described her brother as a "happy man with a ready smile". "He stole our hearts," said his fiancée Elaine.

Lieutenant Philip West

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Aged 32, Philip was 6ft 4in tall and was known throughout 849 Squadron as "Stretch". He was brought up in Carlisle but moved with his family to Hoylake on the Wirral when he was 10. In later life he lived in Budock Water, Cornwall, with his fiancée, Nicky.

According to his parents, Philip always wanted to fly. After Salford university he did officer training at Dartmouth, and he gained his wings in 1994. His parents said that his decision to join the service made them immensely proud. During the Balkan conflict he served in HMS Invincible in the Adriatic and was awarded the campaign medal.

He and Nicky - a nurse whom he had met when he was serving at Culdrose Air Station - were converting a barn together, and were looking forward to their wedding. They were due to be married in August 2003.

Lieutenant Andrew Wilson

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Aged 36, Andrew was married and came from Exeter. His wife Sarah said that she was devastated and saddened by her tragic loss, but intensely proud of her husband's commitment to the Royal Navy. She described Andrew as an extremely kind and outgoing person who would be greatly missed by his family, his squadron colleagues and by the wider naval aviation community.

Fellow aircrew on 849 Squadron - in which Andrew had served for the past three years - said that he had been a powerful personality within the squadron and an outstanding pilot.

Lieutenant Philip Green

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Born in North Walsham, Norfolk, Philip learnt to fly with Oxford University Air Squadron while studying geology at Oxford Brookes University. He joined the Navy in April 1996, and by early 2000 he had completed Anti-Submarine Warfare training on Sea King helicopters. He joined 849 Squadron in May 2002. His flying skills had won him "green rated" status - the highest possible.

Aged 30 at the time of his death, he was from Frieston, Lincolnshire. His family - his parents, Richard and Karen, and his sisters, Juliet and Catherine - say they miss Philip terribly, and remember his gentle, easy manner and dry sense of humour. Philip also loved spending time in Scotland with his girlfriend Louise Cameron and her family in Ayrshire.

Philip loved the outdoors, keeping fit and walking on Caythorpe heath with his greatest and most devoted admirer, the family's springer spaniel, Sam. Every year, in memory of Philip, a shield is presented by North West English Springer Spaniel Rescue to a rescued dog that has shown extreme bravery in the face of life's adversities.

Lieutenant Antony King

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Brought up in North Somerset, Antony joined the Royal Navy in 1987 at the age of 19. At the time of his death - aged 35 - he had recently been selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Described as a "committed family man" who valued his family and close friends above all else, he lived in Helston, Cornwall, with his wife Sarah and children David (then five) and Molly (then four).

His family described him as a "larger than life" character with a "tremendous presence". He had a passion for rugby and had played for Stithians RFC. He was awarded a posthumous mention in dispatches in recognition of the vital work he had done in bringing into service a new battlefield communications system.

Lieutenant James Williams

ROYAL NAVY

DIED: 22 MARCH 2003

Aged 28 at the time of his death, James was the son of Vernon and Liz Williams. He grew up in Winchester with his older sister Caroline and was fascinated by aircraft from boyhood. While a student at Liverpool University he met his fiancée Sarah, with whom he later moved to Falmouth. He joined the Royal Navy in January 1999 and 849 Squadron's A Flight in 2003. The Iraq campaign was his first operational tour of duty.

A popular character in the squadron, he joined the Navy in fulfilment of an ambition to fly, and to serve his country. His parents recalled how proud he was to wear his uniform, and said that he died doing the job he loved most.

Flight Lieutenant Kevin Main & Flight Lieutenant David Williams

IX (B) SQUADRON (RAF)

DIED: 23 MARCH 2003

On Sunday 23 March 2003 at 2.48am local time, an RAF GR4 Tornado was returning from a mission over Iraq when it was hit near the Kuwaiti border by a Patriot missile at 18,000ft after its "friend or foe" identification system had failed - unknown to the two crewmen. The US battery's electronics thus mis-identified the aircraft as an incoming Iraqi missile. Kevin - the pilot - and David - the navigator - were both killed instantly when the Patriot struck. The families of both men requested that no further details should be released.

Sapper Luke Allsopp

33 ENGINEER REGIMENT (EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL)

DIED: 23 MARCH 2003

Luke, a 24-year-old from north London, was one of two soldiers killed in an attack on British military vehicles in southern Iraq. "Luke Allsopp was a very capable individual who was well liked within the squadron, and a valued team member," said Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Troulan, his commanding officer. "He had served in bomb disposal in Cyprus and Kenya. He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend, Katy."

Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth

33 ENGINEER REGIMENT (EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL)

DIED: 23 MARCH 2003

Simon, who died in the same incident as Sapper Allsopp, was from Essex. He was 36. His commanding officer described him as "an extremely experienced soldier who was in line for promotion and whose dedication to duty and professionalism won him the respect of everyone he served with."

"This was his third tour of duty with the regiment," continued Lieutenant Colonel Troulan; "he had already served as a bomb disposal officer in the Balkans and Afghanistan. He leaves behind his wife Allison and two young sons aged eight and three."

Sergeant Steven Roberts

2ND ROYAL TANK REGIMENT

DIED: 24 MARCH 2003

Aged 33, Steven - known as "TC" in his regiment - was killed in action near Az Zubayr, south west of Basra. Brought up in Cornwall, he later lived in Bradford. He joined the Army in 1986 and quickly gained promotion, serving in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Canada. His commanding officer described him as "an all-round professional soldier" and a "first-class tank commander, a strong and effective leader with great depth of character who excelled under pressure". Keen on sport, he had also represented both the 2nd and 3rd Tank Regiments in rugby and squash.

His wife Samantha said in a statement: "Steve's whole future lay with the Army; it was his life and he was very proud of his job. He was adamant that he was doing the right thing and said that he was doing it for the people back home and the Iraqi people. He was a unique man, who was very outgoing and sociable. We loved each other deeply - he is totally irreplaceable."

His mother, Mrs Marion Chapman, said: "Steve loved Cornwall - and he always took a Cornish flag with him everywhere. He was the best son anyone could have. He made us laugh, he was the most perfect son ever."

Lance Corporal Barry Stephen

1ST BATTALION, THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 24 MARCH 2003

A 31-year-old from Perth, Barry "Baz" Stephen was awarded a posthumous mention in dispatches for the gallantry he displayed during the action in which he fell, near Al Zubayr. He joined the battalion in 1997, and served in Northern Ireland, Germany, and in the UK with the regimental recruiting team. He was then called back to his regiment in Fallingbostel, Germany, to rejoin the mortar platoon.

In a statement issued on behalf of his family, his close friend Sergeant Mark Hudson said: "I know I speak for Barry's family and all of his many friends when I say that we are absolutely devastated to learn of his death. He was a wonderful husband and son as well as a great friend. I know he was very proud to be a soldier and to wear the red hackle. He loved the army, and both his family and I take some comfort from knowing that he died a hero, doing the job he loved. We will miss him dreadfully."

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull

HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY

DIED: 28 MARCH 2003

Matty, 25, from Salisbury, served with the Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment. He was killed in a suspected "friendly fire" incident in southern Iraq. His wife, Susan Hull, said in a statement: "He is, without doubt, the most exceptional man I have ever met; a loving and supportive husband and son, a dedicated soldier and a great friend to so many. He had rightly earned the utmost respect from everyone he worked with, and this makes it that much harder to accept this accidental death. It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that someone who was so full of life has had his so cruelly cut short, just three days before his 26th birthday, but come to terms with it we must. It is what he would want. Matty always strived for a challenge, and Iraq has proved his ultimate test. His aim in life was to be the best he could be, and there was certainly no better husband, son or brother on this earth."

Major Stephen Ballard

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 30 MARCH 2003

Stephen, 33, from Swindon, was in 3 Commando Brigade. He died of natural causes while in Iraq. His family said in a statement: "Stephen joined the Royal Marines in 1994 and was promoted to the rank of major in 2001. He was passionate about his life in the Royal Marines and proud to be a marine. One of four sons, he loved his family. Stephen and Lucy had been married for 18 months and were thrilled at the prospect of the arrival of their first child. Stephen's family, colleagues and wide circle of friends are devastated by his death."

Marine Christopher Maddison

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 30 MARCH 2003

Christopher, of 9 Assault Squadron, was killed in action near Basra. Aged 24, he came from Scarborough. In a statement, his parents said: "Christopher Maddison was loved and respected by everybody who knew him. He was a man of character, honour and principles who always fought for those less able. As he lived, he died, with strength and courage. He died in a war that will be won in his name alongside all the other brave souls who selflessly gave themselves for the freedom of all our nations. God bless him and all his brothers and sisters."

Staff Sergeant Chris Muir

ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS

DIED: 31 MARCH 2003

A staff sergeant with the Army School of Ammunition, Chris, from Romsey, Hampshire, was killed in southern Iraq during a bomb disposal operation. Aged 32, he was qualified in bomb disposal at the highest level and had travelled widely with the Royal Logistics Corps. Shortly before his death, he had been selected for promotion to warrant officer. "It is a particularly sad fact that we will not see him wearing the new rank he so richly deserved," said his commanding officer, recalling his wit, and his love of sport and motorcycling. "He was a very strong character, an outstanding technician, and a highly effective leader. Most of all, however, Chris was a gentleman through and through."

His wife Gillian said in a statement: "Chris was the sort of person that could light up a room just by being in it. I know that [he] was very proud to wear the badge of an ammunition technician, and I take small comfort from the knowledge that he died doing the job he loved. He has left me and our families with the most fantastic of memories, the greatest one being our son, Ben, who can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hardworking soldier, who died trying to do the right thing."

Lance Corporal Karl Shearer

HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY

DIED: 1 APRIL 2003

Karl, from Irvine in Ayrshire, was killed when a Scimitar armoured vehicle overturned. He was 24. His wife Suzie described him as "a very loving, supportive husband and father. He was a wonderful son and brother. He was loved very much and will be missed terribly." His commanding officer said: "Karl was a popular and very able soldier whom I had recently promoted. He demonstrated the very best of what it is to be a soldier of the Household Cavalry and will be greatly missed."

Lieutenant Alexander Tweedie

HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY

DIED: 22 APRIL 2003

Lieutenant Tweedie died in hospital from injuries sustained in the same incident that killed Lance Corporal Shearer (see above). He was 25. He had served for two and a half years in D Squadron, The Blues & Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment.

His family said in a statement: "He was a wonderful, loving son who brightened the lives of everyone who knew him. We are proud of Alexander and will remember him in our hearts forever."

His commanding officer said: "Alexander was an excellent officer. Popular with all, he matched very positive leadership from the front with a deep care for his men. He led his troop in battle with skill, determination and great coolness under fire."

Fusilier Kelan Turrington

ROYAL REGIMENT OF FUSILIERS

DIED: 6 APRIL 2003

Eighteen-year-old Kelan, from Haslingfield, near Cambridge, was the youngest serviceman to lose his life in the Iraq campaign so far. He was killed in an assault on an enemy trench in Basra. He was awarded a posthumous mention in dispatches in recognition of the gallantry he displayed during the action which cost him his life. His mother said that he had wanted to be a soldier since the age of four.

Lance Corporal Ian Malone

1ST BATTALION, IRISH GUARDS

DIED: 6 APRIL 2003

Ian, from Dublin, was killed in action in Basra. He was 28. He had enlisted in 1997, was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2000 and had served in Kosovo, Poland, Canada, Oman and Germany. He was also a valued member of the pipe band.

His family said in a statement: "Ian was a wonderful son, full of life and vitality, fun and wit. His family and girlfriend are devastated to learn of his death. He had so many friends and so much to live for. He loved the Army and lived for the excitement and challenges that being a soldier brought. He was proud to be an Irishman and proud to serve in the Irish Guards. His family takes some comfort from knowing that he died doing the job he loved."

Piper Christopher Muzvuru

1ST BATTALION, IRISH GUARDS

DIED: 6 APRIL 2003

Christopher, 21, was from Zimbabwe and was his regiment's first black piper. He died in the same incident as Lance Corporal Malone. He had enlisted in February 2001, and after training joined his battalion in October that year. In April 2002 he completed a piper's course at the piping school in Edinburgh and was a valued member of the battalion's pipe band.

Lance Corporal James McCue

ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

DIED: 30 APRIL 2003

James, from Paisley, was a lance corporal with 7 Air Assault Battalion, REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). Aged 27, he was killed in an explosion in southern Iraq. Keen on rugby and running - he had represented Scotland as a junior sprinter - he was also his unit's physical training instructor. His commanding officer said: "He was a popular soldier who forged a large number of friendships within the unit and enjoyed a lively social life as a result. He was a strong character who displayed a great sense of pride in everything he did. He was a credit to his corps and will be sadly missed."

His mother Mary said he was a "wonderful son", with a lively sense of humour. "Words cannot express the depth of our grief, but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride in the knowledge that he died a soldier while serving his country. He will be remembered by all that knew him forever."

Private Andrew Kelly

PARACHUTE REGIMENT

DIED: 6 MAY 2003

Andrew, from Tavistock, was in Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. He died in an accident. His mother, Helen Yallop, said in a statement: "Andrew's loss is deeply felt by all the family. We are devastated. He was a wonderful, fearless and confident son, always well-mannered, and who, even as a young boy, desired only to be a Para. He turned 18 on 9 March this year [2003], and within days was on his way to the Gulf.

"Even at school in Tavistock, he was single-minded about an Army career, knowing it would fulfil his ambitions for travel and sport. He loved swimming, roller-blading and skiing, and had enjoyed many family trips abroad. In his last call to me just days ago, he said, 'Don't worry about me mum; Paras always go to heaven.' Andrew remains alive in our thoughts and memories; it will always be so."

Describing him as polite and "quiet but confident and likeable", his commanding officer said he was a "full of energy and life with a long career in The Parachute Regiment ahead of him... [he] proved himself to be fit, mentally agile, professional, and highly determined."

Gunner Duncan Pritchard

RAF REGIMENT

DIED: 8 MAY 2003

Duncan died in hospital in the UK following a traffic accident in Iraq. He was serving with 16 Squadron RAF Regiment, home-based at RAF Honington in Suffolk. He was 22.

Corporal David Shepherd

ROYAL AIRFORCE POLICE

DIED: 19 MAY 2003

David died from natural causes in Kuwait. He was 34.

Len Harvey

DEFENCE FIRE SERVICE

DIED: 22 MAY 2003

A civilian member of the Defence Fire Service, Leonard died in hospital after falling ill while serving in the Gulf.

He had worked in the Defence Fire Service for 33 years, was normally based at Wattisham in Suffolk, and had twice served in Bosnia. As a civilian firefighter, he had volunteered to go to the Gulf, which was his third overseas deployment. The father of three daughters, he was popular with his colleagues and had a great passion for football. He had regularly played in goal in his youth, and was a lifetime supporter of Ipswich Town.

Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

Simon was one of six royal military policemen who were killed when an armed mob stormed an Iraqi police station where they had sought refuge at Al Majar Al Kabir. They had been helping to re-establish the local police. Simon, from Chessington, was 41. Known to his friends as "HJ", he joined the Army in August 1988, and had previously been in the Territorial Army (from 1979). He had served in Germany and the UK, and on operations in Northern Ireland, Sarajevo and Sudan. As well as being a trained military parachutist, he practised martial arts and loved motorcycling, hiking and climbing. His mother, Teresa, and brother, Tony, described him as "keen to help anybody", and "a fearless man" who was dedicated to the Army, his regiment, his unit and to his comrades. "He gave 20 years of service defending others, in so many locations, and was a selfless man to the last. For a soldier never afraid to do his duty - we love and miss you. God bless."

Corporal Russell Aston

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

Killed in the same incident as Sergeant Hamilton-Jewell, Russell, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, was 30 years old. Married, with one daughter, he had joined the Army in 1993 and had served with the Grenadier Guards. Parachute trained, he had served in Macedonia and Northern Ireland and on operations in Kenya. He was also the company's physical training instructor.

His wife, Anna, and parents, Glenice and Mike, said in a statement: "Russ was a very handsome man, and was such a kind and special person with a smashing sense of humour that he could get on with anyone he met. He was a doting father who had lots and lots of friends. When he walked into a room he filled it with his height and presence. He loved his life in the Army. He was very fit and sporty. He recently ran 31 miles to raise funds for Gresley Rovers, a local junior football team... He loved animals, was a caring person and, although he looked tough, had a heart of gold and was loving and sensitive."

Corporal Paul Long

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

Born in Portsmouth, Paul Long was educated in Aldershot and South Shields and later lived in Colchester. He joined the Army in 1999 after serving two years with the TA, and was posted to 156 Provost Company in March 2000. A member of the Parachute Provost Platoon, he was a qualified radio operator. He was 24 when he died. This was his first operational deployment.

His mother, Patricia Long, supported by her other two children and other family members, said that "the Army was his life". He and his wife Gemma had a baby son, Benjamin, who was 11 months old when he died.

Corporal Simon Miller

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

A talented sportsman who won his black belt in karate aged just 12, Simon, from Washington, Tyne & Wear, also showed promise as a professional footballer: he had trials for Cambridge United. A qualified radio operator, he had served with 1 Para on a deployment to Kenya. He played football for his unit, and for the Royal Military Police team. He also loved motorcycling. He was 21 when he died.

His parents, John and Marilyn Miller said: "Simon had a real zest for life and was a keen sportsman. He loved the Army and was 100 per cent committed to his job. He had great courage and was not afraid to stand his ground.

"Simon was promoted to Corporal just before he left for Iraq and we were all really proud of him. He was due to finish his tour in July and planned to marry when he returned home. He was our life - he was a lovely lad and very close to his family and fiancée. Words can't describe how much we all love him and miss him."

Lance-Corporal Benjamin Hyde

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

A qualified radio operator, from Northallerton, Yorkshire, Benjamin, who was 23, had joined the Army in June 2001. This was his first operational tour. His father John said in a statement: "Ben was an extremely charismatic person who lightened the mood whenever he walked into a room. All he ever wanted was to become a military policeman, and he worked very hard to become one. He was very career-minded, with bags of potential, and had been recommended for promotion early.

"The red beret was all he ever wanted. It was his life, so he gave his life doing the job he loved most. He was also a loving son who will be sorely missed."

Lance-Corporal Thomas Keys

156 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 24 JUNE 2003

Thomas, from Llanuwchllyn, Wales, joined the Army in August 1998, initially serving with 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. He transferred to the RMP and joined 156 Provost Company in January 2002. He had served on operations in Sierra Leone and Northern Ireland. A popular soldier, Thomas, 20, was a fully trained paratrooper and physical training instructor who played football for the company. His father Reg Keys stood against Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency at the 2005 election.

Captain James Linton

ROYAL ARTILLERY

DIED: 18 JULY 2003

Forty-three-year-old Captain Linton collapsed and died following a training run at a British base in Az Zubayr in souther Iraq. From Warminster, he was married with three children, and served with 40 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Private Jason Smith

52ND LOWLAND REGIMENT

DIED: 13 AUGUST 2003

Jason, from Hawick, died in southern Iraq, apparently not as a result of hostile action. Aged 32, he had served with the Territorial Army since 1992. A soldier in the 52nd Lowland Regiment, he was serving in Iraq attached to the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers. His commanding officer said: "He genuinely loved being a member of the TA and was thoroughly excited at being mobilised. He saw it as his chance to do his job for real and to contribute to the restoration of Iraq. He will be sadly missed by all his friends and colleagues in the Regiment."

Captain David Jones

1ST BATTALION, QUEEN'S LANCASHIRE REGIMENT

DIED: 14 AUGUST 2003

David, from Louth, Lincolnshire, was killed in a bomb attack on a military ambulance in Basra. Aged 29, he had volunteered in January 2003 to serve in Iraq as a civil-military liaison officer. He had been working on civil-military cooperation projects in Basra to reconstruct the city, and his duties including overseeing the distribution of humanitarian aid, improving local infrastructure and helping the Iraqi communities establish local councils.

Described as a "professional, enthusiastic and outgoing officer who cared deeply about the soldiers he commanded", he was a talented sportsman, excelling at rugby union, and also playing in the battalion's rugby league team. During his career he had served in Botswana, Kenya, the United States, Canada, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.

His commanding officer said that he was a "courageous, warm-hearted and a very popular officer". His wife Isobel said: "I am extremely proud of Dai. He was a wonderful husband who served his country with great courage." They had been married for 13 months.

Major Matthew Titchener

150 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 23 AUGUST 2003

Matthew was one of three military policemen killed when their vehicle was attacked by gunmen in central Basra. From Southport, Merseyside, he was 32 years old.

The commanding officer of 150 Provost Company, he was described as "an officer of the very highest calibre" and an "intelligent, highly motivated and dedicated leader" who set the highest of standards.

His main passions outside Army life were his family and football. He was a talented football player, a qualified referee and manager of the RMP football team. He was also an ardent Liverpool fan. He and his wife Raqual had been married for almost six years and were expecting their second child in December 2003. Raqual said: "Matt was a perfect husband and a brilliant dad. He was delighted at the thought of being a dad again. He died doing a job he was proud of and was professional to the very end."

Company Sergeant Major Colin Wall

150 PROVOST COMPANY, ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 23 AUGUST 2003

Colin, from Crawleyside, County Durham, had served in Belize, Germany, Canada, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, since enlisting in 1985. Aged 34, he was described as a "highly focused and professional soldier" whose first priority was always the morale and motivation of the men and women in his care.

His passions outside Army life were his family, walking his dogs, and "tinkering" with and restoring cars. He and his wife Trish had been married for almost eight years. Their son Alexander was 11 months old when Colin died. Colin also had two children from a previous marriage: Lauren, then 12, and Robert, then 10. His parents, Barry and Joan, said: "Colin was a loving son and we are very proud of him."

Fusilier Russell Beeston

52nd LOWLAND REGIMENT

DIED: 27 AUGUST 2003

Killed in action in an incident in Ali As Sharqi in southern Iraq, Russell was a Territorial Army soldier in 52nd Lowland Regiment (Volunteers), serving on attachment to the 1st Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers. Aged 26, he came from Govan, Glasgow. He was descibed as a "well-liked and respected soldier, highly regarded by his peers". His family said in a statement: "[We are] totally devastated. Russell was a soldier doing his duty in Iraq and will be sadly missed by his family and friends."

Sergeant John Nightingale

217 TRANSPORT SQUADRON

DIED: 23 SEPTEMBER 2003

A veteran of three tours of duty on peace-keeping operations in the Balkans, John was a Territorial Army soldier who died serving at Shaibah Logistic Base, near Basra. Aged 32, he came from Leeds and worked in the electronics industry. His family remember him as a passionate rugby player, who had played prop forward for the First XV at Otley RFU. His other interests included cars and motorbikes. He was engaged to Lucy, a non-commissioned officer in the RAF. His commanding officer described him as "a good man, a strong character and excellent senior non-commissioned officer... He will be missed by all of us".

Corporal Ian Plank

ROYAL MARINES

DIED: 31 OCTOBER 2003

Ian, from Poole, Dorset, was 31 when he was killed by hostile fire. Colonel Jerry Heal, the director of Royal Marines, said: "Ian Plank was an extremely popular and greatly admired member of the Royal Marines, widely respected for his professional excellence, commitment and determination. He was particularly well known for his resilience and robustness under pressure, when his leadership, example and sense of humour were especially valued."

Private Ryan Thomas

ROYAL REGIMENT OF WALES

DIED: 6 NOVEMBER 2003

Ryan was killed in a road accident in Basra. Aged 18, he came from Resolven, Glamorgan, and had opted for the Army straight from school. He joined the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th /41st Foot) three months before his death. A keen sportsman, he had already made an impact on the battalion sports field, and was described as "enormously popular and charismatic". He was particularly proud of his Welsh roots, and had been passionately following Wales's progress in that year's Rugby World Cup.

A battalion spokesman said: "Private Thomas... carried out his duties in this unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous environment with a pride and maturity beyond that expected of such a junior soldier. The tragic loss of such an unique character is sorely felt by colleagues who valued his professionalism and sense of fun."

Major James Stenner

WELSH GUARDS

DIED: 1 JANUARY 2004

A 30-year-old from Monmouthshire, Major Stenner died in a road accident in Baghdad early on 1 January 2004, along with Sergeant Norman Patterson of the Cheshire Regiment (see below), when their vehicle apparently hit a concrete barrier which was part of a security chicane. There has been speculation that both men was serving with the SAS, which has been neither confirmed nor denied by the MoD. No further details have been released.

Sergeant Norman Patterson

CHESHIRE REGIMENT

DIED: 1 JANUARY 2004

Killed in the same incident as Major Stenner, Norman was 28 and came from Staffordshire. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel John Donnelly, said: "Sergeant Patterson was a greatly respected and extremely popular member of the Cheshire Regiment, admired not only for his professional excellence but also for his great humility... His constant drive for perfection and his calmness under pressure, coupled with his quietly confident manner, endeared him to all with whom he worked."

Lance Corporal Andrew Craw

ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS

DIED: 7 JANUARY 2004

Described by his commanding officer as a "bright and promising soldier who will be sorely missed by all in the regiment", Andrew died following "a tragic incident on a training range near Basra". He was 21. He came from Clackmannanshire and had been in the Army since 1999. He was described as "an outstanding soldier who demonstrated exceptional talent from the outset". A capable sportsman, he was a keen boxer who had represented the battalion on a number of occasions.

Rifleman Vincent Windsor

ROYAL GREEN JACKETS

DIED: 21 JANUARY 2004

Killed in a road accident at Al Amarah, Vincent came from Oxfordshire and, at 23, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He had also served in Germany and Bosnia.

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Emck, the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Green Jackets, said: "Vincent was enormously popular and likeable, very down to earth, and with a great sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all his colleagues and comrades."

Sapper Robert Thomson

ROYAL ENGINEERS

DIED: 31 JANUARY 2004

Known as Rab, Sapper Thomson came from West Lothian. He was serving with 35 Engineer Regiment, normally based in Paderborn, Germany. He was 22 when he died in an accident in Basra. His parents, Robert and Margaret Thomson, said: "He was a wonderful son who lived life to the full, and was an ardent follower of Motherwell Football Club.

"He is sorely missed by all the family - all of whom were extremely proud of him being a soldier, and he was much looked-up-to by his younger brother Stewie... At this time words cannot express the depth of our grief, but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride in the knowledge that he died while serving his country."

Corporal Richard Ivell

ROYAL ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

DIED: 12 FEBRUARY 2004

A vehicle mechanic from South Yorkshire, Richard was serving with 2 Close Support Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps, when he was fatally injured in a vehicle accident at Shaibah Logistics Base. Aged 29, he was married with three children.

Fusilier Gordon Gentle

ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIERS

DIED: 28 JUNE 2004

Gordon, from Glasgow, was 19 when he was killed in a roadside bomb attack on British vehicles in Basra. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Cartwright, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers, said: "His name says it all. As a new member of the battalion, he settled in with ease, happy in the team environment and always willing to help others. His enthusiasm for his job immediately caught the eye of his peers and superiors alike."

His mother, Rose, has subsequently waged a fierce campaign against the presence of UK troops in Iraq since his death, standing in the last general election against Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram in the constituency of East Kilbride Strathaven & Lesmahagow, where she polled 3 per cent of the vote.

Her son had only recently completed his training at Catterick when he was posted to Iraq. The day before he left, he texted his best friend, Gary Scott: "Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. Love Gento." Some four weeks later he was dead.

Flight Lieutenant Kristian Gover

33 SQUADRON, RAF

DIED: 19 JULY 2004

A 30-year-old Puma helicopter pilot, Kristian was killed in a helicopter accident at Basra Airport. At RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, where 33 Squadron is based, he was described as "a very professional and well-respected pilot".

"Kris's death has hit everyone at Basra very hard," said the RAF commander at Basra Airport.

Private Christopher Rayment

PRINCESS OF WALES' ROYAL REGIMENT

DIED: 4 AUGUST 2004

Single, and from London, Christopher was usually known as "Ray". He was 22 when he was killed in an accident at Al Amarah. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Maer, said: "He enriched the lives of all around him with his irrepressible vigour, boisterous humour and his infectious optimism. Ray had the inability to see anything but good in any situation and would find an excuse to laugh, at often the most inappropriate times. He was immensely popular amongst all ranks of my battalion and his presence was normally obvious before he was even seen. He was also a tremendously committed and zealous soldier, who had shown considerable courage, self-discipline and the highest standards of professionalism over an exceptionally testing and hazardous period... The loss of Ray has left a void among his friends and comrades in my battalion and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, whom he has left behind."

Private Lee O'Callaghan

PRINCESS OF WALES ROYAL REGIMENT

DIED: 9 AUGUST 2004

A 20-year-old from Bermondsey, south London, Lee was an avid footballer and football fan. He supported Millwall and was also a midfield player who, according to his commanding officer, "took every opportunity he could to play". He was killed in an attack by insurgents on British vehicles in Basra.

His commanding officer said: "He was highly regarded and known as a hard working, diligent member of the team who could be trusted to finish any task with characteristic good humour... [He] showed the highest standards of professionalism and courage."

Private Marc Ferns

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 12 AUGUST 2004

A 21-year-old from Glenrothes, Fife, Marc had already served in Iraq with the Black Watch during the initial period of major combat operations in the spring of 2003. This time, he was killed by an insurgents' bomb in Basra. His commanding officer said: "Private Ferns had loyally served the Black Watch for three years and had a bright future ahead of him. He was an experienced, committed, professional and very popular soldier who will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

Lance Corporal Paul Thomas

THE LIGHT INFANTRY

DIED: 17 AUGUST 2004

Killed in a firefight in Basra, Paul, 29, from Welshpool, was attached to the 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. Known as "Taff", he was described by his platoon commander as "a proud Welshman who had a passion for all sports."

"He was a keen rugby supporter," continued Lieutenant Will Follett, "as well as following his local football club, Shrewsbury Town. He was an immensely popular member of the platoon, widely regarded as its backbone, through his diligence, professionalism and unfaltering enthusiasm to the job and the soldiers under his command. His death has shocked the platoon, especially those soldiers who were with him when he died. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones."

Fusilier Stephen Jones

ROYAL WELCH FUSILIERS

DIED: 10 SEPTEMBER 2004

Serving with A Company of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Stephen was killed when the Land-Rover he was driving left the road and overturned south of Al Amarah while returning from a night mission - which had proved unsuccessful - to detain an insurgent bomb-maker. From Llanrhaeadr, Denbighshire, he was 22.

Stephen and his wife Zoe, 20, had been married only weeks before his posting to Iraq in April last year. He was a keen footballer, and his regiment plans to hold an annual challenge match in his memory.

Gunner David Lawrence

ROYAL ARTILLERY

DIED: 28 SEPTEMBER 2004

Known as "Loz", David, from Walsall, joined the Royal Artillery in 2001 and served in Bosnia in 2002. With Marc Taylor he had been helping train the Basra Police Serious Crimes Unit, and was killed in an ambush while escorting a visit to a new housing project. A keen footballer, he was described by his colleagues as a "cheerful soldier who always had a cheeky grin on his face" and as a "good loyal friend" who would be sorely missed. He was 25.

Private Kevin McHale

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 29 OCTOBER 2004

Kevin, from Lochgelly, Fife, had served five years with the 1st Battalion, the Black Watch, as a Warrior armoured vehicle driver. This was his second operational tour with the Black Watch in Iraq, having served there during combat operations in the spring of 2003. He had also served in Kosovo. He died in a road accident in North Babil province, aged 27.

His commanding officer described him as "a great character", and said: "We will miss him deeply."

Staff Sergeant Denise Rose

ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 31 OCTOBER 2004

A 34-year-old member of the Royal Military Police's Special Investigation Branch, Denise, from Liverpool, had joined the RMP in 1989, and had conducted investigations into serious incidents in the military in the UK and Cyprus. She died of a gunshot wound at a military base in Basra. She had volunteered to serve in Iraq a month before her death, and was part of small team helping to train the Iraqi police force. The Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Branch (Germany), based at Rheindahlen, said: "This is a terrible shock for all her many comrades in the unit. She was doing so well in the Army, and had a bright future in front of her. Even more importantly, Denise had a multitude of friends, being universally popular, intelligent and ever cheerful. Her death is a tragic loss."

Her family said in a statement: "[We] are struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss of Denise. We will always remember her as a fun-loving girl who was the life and soul of the party... She will be missed terribly and will always remain in our hearts and thoughts."

Sergeant Stuart Gray

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 4 NOVEMBER 2004

Married with two children, Stuart, 31, had served 12 years in the Army. As a sergeant in the mortar platoon of the 1st Battalion, the Black Watch, he was one of three British soldiers killed in a suicide car-bomb attack on a vehicle checkpoint. He came from Dumfermline, Fife.

A statement from his family on behalf of his mother, Mrs Mary Gray, said: "She is obviously deeply shocked by the news of the death of her son, yet that sadness is tinged with her pride in a much-loved son who was a member of his local regiment. He was an experienced and professional soldier, a loving husband, father, son and brother, and a proud member of the Black Watch. Her thoughts are also with the families of privates Lowe and McArdle [see below], and the other Black Watch soldiers injured in the same incident; as well as her daughter-in-law, Wendy, her family, and two gorgeous grand-children: Kirstin aged 12, and Darren, 10."

Private Paul Lowe

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 4 NOVEMBER 2004

A victim of the same incident, Paul, from Fife, was just 19. Described as "a keen and admirable young soldier", he had been in the Army for three years (and had wanted to join the Black Watch since he was seven). He had been a talented drummer at school - at Kelty in Fife - and he later gained an instructor qualification in drumming and became a member of the regiment's pipe band. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

His brother Craig, then 18 and also serving in the Black Watch, said: "My family and all of Paul's friends were shocked and saddened to hear of his death while serving his country... Words cannot express the depth of grief that my mother Helen, brothers Stuart (16), Shaun (13), Jordan (10) and myself feel."

Private Scott McArdle

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 4 NOVEMBER 2004

A rifleman in the elite reconnaissance platoon of the 1st Battalion, the Black Watch, Scott, who came from Glenrothes, had served in the Army for six years. He was 22 when he died in the same suicide attack that killed Sergeant Gray and Private Lowe. The day after the incident, their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel James Cowan, said: "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... We will miss them as brothers-in-arms, and extend our sympathy and love to their families."

Private Pita Tukutukuwaqa

THE BLACK WATCH

DIED: 8 NOVEMBER 2004

An outstanding sportsman and a trained sniper, Pita came from Fiji. He had joined the Black Watch in March 2001 and served with the battalion in Kosovo and in Iraq in 2003. Twenty-seven years old, and married, he was killed when a Warrior armoured vehicle from the Black Watch battle group was hit by a roadside bomb north of Camp Dogwood. "He will be dearly missed by his regiment and his friends," said his commanding officer.

Sergeant Paul Connolly

ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

DIED: 26 DECEMBER 2004

Aged 33, Paul came from Crawley, West Sussex, and was separated, with three children. He died of a gunshot wound in Shaibah Logistic Base.

He joined the REME in 1989 and, after military training, became a metalsmith. He progressed to become a master welder, responsible for fabricating a wide range of military equipment. He was posted to Iraq in October 2004 in support of 21 Engineer Regiment, helping to rebuild infrastructure in southern Iraq.

His commanding officer described his death as "a real tragedy and a terrible shock for his many comrades both in the regiment and in the wider family of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was a highly capable soldier and a hugely popular character who was widely respected and admired. He will be sorely missed."

Squadron Leader Patrick Marshall

RAF HEADQUARTERS STRIKE COMMAND

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Aged 39, Patrick had joined the RAF in June 1990 as a pilot, and had served 11 operational tours flying Tornados. On temporary detachment to Iraq as a liaison officer, he was killed, along with nine other UK service personnel (remembered below), when an RAF C-130K Hercules crashed 30km north-west of Baghdad, on a flight between Baghdad International Airport and Balad airbase.

Described as a "highly regarded and talented operational pilot" he was looking forward to returning to his greatest passion - flying - after his tour of duty as staff officer. Divorced, he was engaged to be married again.

Flight Lieutenant David Stead

47 SQUADRON, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

"Steady" was regarded as one of the most capable captains in the Hercules fleet. He had been involved in many operations around the globe, notably in Afghanistan, where he showed his skill and courage by taking his Hercules through "appalling flying conditions where no other fixed-wing aircraft would fly" to rescue seriously wounded combat casualties and injured children. An RAF testimonial noted that "on this occasion his exceptional skill, judgement and physical bravery were directly responsible for saving lives". Brought up in West Yorkshire and a keen fell-runner in his youth, he had worked for a short time in a quantity surveying practice before joining the RAF. He was awarded his pilot's wings in 1993. Aged 35, he was described as a "typically straight-talking Yorkshireman with a devilish sense of humour and a fine wit". He leaves a wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Holly and Amelia.

Flight Lieutenant Andrew Smith

47 SQUADRON, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Known as "Smudge" to his colleagues, Andrew was born in Doncaster and had graduated with honours in environmental management at Lancaster University before joining the RAF. He was awarded his pilot's wings in 2002 and joined the Hercules fleet the following year. Though he was at the beginning of his flying career - and this was his first spell on active duty - he had recently turned in one of the best ever performances on a tactical air transport training course.

A passionate - and fast - motorcyclist, he was also described as "an active officers' mess member who keenly supported all social functions, and his colourful character was reflected in his array of fancy dress costumes. Popular amongst his peers, his one-liners and witty comebacks will be sorely missed by all." He was 25.

Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel

47 SQUADRON, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Paul was 35, and had joined the RAF in 2002 after 14 years as a navigator and instructor with the Royal Australian Air Force. Renowned as calm and unflappable, he had served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, for which he was awarded Operational Service medals. A testimonial noted that "he enjoyed the banter of being the only Australian in the squadron, and remained a good sport - despite a Rugby World Cup final loss..." He leaves a wife, Kellie, and a young family - Jordie, Jackson and India - who were "the centre of his world".

Master Engineer Gary Nicholson

47 SQUADRON, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Aged 42, and divorced with two sons, "Gary Nic" had seen action many times during his 23 years' service - including in the first Gulf war in 1991. Described as "a giant of a man, with a giant heart and ebullient nature", he had joined the RAF aged 20. A tribute to him stated that he was "the embodiment of a master air engineer and, in the finest traditions of the service, he always put the interests of his subordinates before himself."

Chief Technician Richard Brown

ENGINEERING WING, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

An avionics specialist, Richard served with the Engineering Wing at RAF Lyneham, the home-base for all RAF Hercules. Aged 40 and divorced, he had joined the RAF in 1983. He is remembered for his total dedication to his work, his love of sport, and his committment to charity work, for which he was awarded a commendation while stationed at RAF Kinloss.

Flight Sergeant Mark Gibson

47 SQUADRON, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Born in York, Mark joined the RAF at 17 and had accrued more than 7,000 flying hours. An air load master, he had operational medals for service in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. While in Afghanistan he devised a new ad-hoc loading scheme which directly led to the success of a major operation during the conflict there.

Remembered for his intelligent approach to his work and his ebullient enthusiasm, he was also a fierce opponent on the golf course - and something of an entertainer, who would play music to parachutists as they jumped.

Aged 34, he had been married, to Sheila, since 1992; their daughter, Poppy, is now nearly eight. He was delighted that Poppy had shown an interest in his passion - golf - and had already started taking lessons.

Sergeant Robert O'Connor

ENGINEERING WING, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

Aged 38 and single, Robert had joined the RAF as an apprentice in 1985. An engineering technician, he spent most of his service career with the Engineering Wing at RAF Lyneham. An RAF tribute said that "he was held in the highest esteem and regard by his work colleagues and superiors for his knowledge, dedication and professionalism".

Corporal David Williams

ENGINEERING WING, RAF LYNEHAM

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

A survival equipment fitter, David was 37 and the proud father of three young children. He is remembered by his colleagues for his happy-go-lucky nature and dry sense of humour. A member of the RAF for 17 years, he was described as "totally dedicated, and epitomising professionalism".

Acting Lance Corporal Steven Jones

ROYAL SIGNALS

DIED: 30 JANUARY 2005

"Steve worked hard, played hard and lived life to the max," said his family in a statement, "whether it be sky diving or bungee jumping. Words will never be able to express the loss that we feel today. He was always adventurous, fun loving and had a wicked sense of humour. Steve will forever be in the hearts of those that knew him best." Aged 25 and single, he came from Fareham.

Private Mark Dobson

TYNE-TEES REGIMENT

DIED: 28 MARCH 2005

Mark had joined the Territorial Army in July 1996, and was posted to Iraq on 10 November 2004, attached to the Force Protection Unit providing security for personnel working out of the Multi National Division (South East) Headquarters at Basra Air Station. He had recently qualified as a physical training instructor. Aged 41 and from County Durham, he was found dead in his accommodation at Basra Air Station. His commanding officer described him as "enthusiastic and popular" and spoke of "his thirst for adventure and passion for soldiering".

Guardsman Anthony Wakefield

1st BATTALION, THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS

DIED: 2 MAY 2005

Fatally wounded by a roadside bomb during a routine patrol in Al Amarah, Anthony was 24, came from Newcastle and was married with three children. He was described as a "supremely fit and popular soldier, who died doing his duty and among his friends... He loved his duty and had a very bright future ahead of him."

Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury

KING'S ROYAL HUSSARS

DIED: 29 MAY 2005

Alan was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Al Amarah. Aged 21, and from East Riding, Yorkshire, he had joined the Army in 2000 and was promoted to lance corporal in 2005. He 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."

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Toby Bridge, said that he: "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."

Signaller Paul Didsbury

21st SIGNAL REGIMENT (AIR SUPPORT)

DIED: 29 JUNE 2005

Paul - known as "Dids" - was two weeks short of his 19th birthday when he died from a suspected "negligent discharge incident" at Basra Air Station. He was serving as part of the Joint Helicopter Force Iraq, having joined the Army in August 2002. His commanding officer said of him: "He was an outgoing and irrepressibly cheerful soldier who was very well known and hugely popular... Always keen to try new things, he siezed 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."

Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer

1ST BATTALION, STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT

DIED: 16 JULY 2005

Richard, from Nuneaton, was 26. He was one of three soldiers from C Company, The 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment, who were killed by a roadside bomb in Al Amarah. He had already served in the French Foreign Legion, and had only been commissioned into the regiment the previous year. He was described as a "bold platoon commander and certainly no stranger to either danger or excitement". His commanding officer said of him: "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..."

Private Phillip Hewett

1ST BATTALION, STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT

DIED: 16 JULY 2005

Although he was only 21, Phillip was Second Lieutenant Shearer's driver - a position of great responsibility in combat situations. He had been with the platoon since arriving in the 1st Battalion three years ago. From Tamworth, he was described as a "cheerful and intelligent young man with a natural air of confidence" who had a sound future in the Army. He had been selected to attend a promotional course this winter and was also short-listed to become a physical training instructor.

Private Leon Spicer

1ST BATTALION, STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT

DIED: 16 JULY 2005

The third victim of the incident that killed Richard Shearer and Phillip Hewett, Leon - also from Tamworth - was 26 when he died. His commanding officer said: "After sustaining a serious injury to 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."

Fusilier Stephen Manning

2ND BATTALION, ROYAL REGIMENT OF FUSILIERS

DIED: 5 SEPTEMBER 2005

Killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol near Az Zubayr, Stephen was 22 and came from Erith, Kent. His commanding officer said: "In the two years with the Fusiliers in both Belfast and Iraq, Fusilier Manning had made many friends... he will be sorely missed by them all... Above all, his many friends in the Company and across the Regiment remember his generosity of spirit, and his cheerfulness."

Major Matthew Bacon

INTELLIGENCE CORPS

DIED: 11 SEPTEMBER 2005

"Our son was a hero," said a statement from Matthew's parents, "invincible we thought, having served in conflict zones including Northern Ireland, the Gulf, Former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as well as enjoying high-risk sports like sky-diving. We have always understood the risks attached to Matthew's career but never imagined that anything could or would happen to our son. We are immensely proud of Matthew, of the leader he became, the lives of people he touched directly and indirectly and the good work he did throughout his career."

Thirty-four years old, single, and from the London area, Matthew had joined the Army in 1988 and served with the Intelligence Corps. At the time of his death, he was serving as a staff officer with the Headquarters of Multi-National Division (South East). He was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra.

His commanding officer described his death as "a desperate loss to his family, and his girlfriend, and a tragic blow to his friends and colleagues."

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Barrow continued: "[He] did not waste a moment of his life. He loved soldiering, had a passion for physical exercise, and in his spare time was studying for a law degree."

Captain Ken Masters

ROYAL MILITARY POLICE

DIED: 15 OCTOBER 2005

As commanding officer of 61 Section, Special Investigation Branch, Ken had been responsible for the investigation of all "in-theatre" serious incidents and investigations conducted by the General Police Duties section of the Theatre Investigation Group. Aged 40, he was married with two children and had served with the Royal Military Police since 1981. He was commissioned from the ranks in 2001 and served most of his career with the Special Investigation Branch.

His body was discovered in his accommodation in Waterloo Lines, Basra.

Sergeant Chris Hickey

1ST BATTALION, THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS

DIED: 18 OCTOBER 2005

A popular 30-year-old from East Brierley, near Bradford, Chris had joined the Coldstream Guards in 1993 and was seen as potential officer material. He was killed by a roadside bomb while reconnoitring a route for the late-night patrol he was leading. Friends in East Brierley remembered him as "the life and soul" and "a hell of a good mate"; his wife of two years, Gemma, was too upset to talk about his death. The commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards battle group, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Henderson, described Chris as "a capable and reliable individual... He set a fine example to those of all ranks who served with him; it is significant that at the time of his death he was, as ever, leading his men from the front. A bright future in the Army beckoned and he would undoubtedly have gone far in the profession that he had chosen and that he loved. He was the epitome of a professional soldier.

"Chris was more than just this. He was a fun-loving and warm-hearted character who always displayed an irrepressible cheerfulness; however bad things were Chris could always raise a smile... [and] lighten any situation. To him things were always good, or, as he would put it, 'canny'.

"We are also keenly aware that Chris was not just a comrade and friend to those of us who were fortunate enough to serve alongside him; he was also a loving husband and son. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, parents, family and friends at this tragic time."

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