Sunray down

Tez3

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It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence can confirm that Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, and Trooper Joshua Hammond of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment were killed yesterday, Wednesday 1 July 2009, in Afghanistan.


Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, and Trooper Joshua Hammond of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment


They were killed by an explosion whilst on convoy along the Shamalan Canal, near Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
On 1 July 2009 Lt Col Thorneloe left the Battle Group Headquarters on a resupply convoy so that he could visit his men, because they were conducting a major operation in hostile territory.
He was travelling in a Viking armoured vehicle, but at 1520hrs local time an improvised explosive device was detonated under this vehicle. Lt Col Thorneloe and Tpr Hammond were killed by the blast.
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said:
"The deaths of Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe MBE and Tpr Joshua Hammond during Operation Panchai Palang in Helmand province is a devastating blow to the Welsh Guards Battle Group and to the Army as a whole.
"Tpr Hammond was a first class tank crewman who epitomised the spirited and determined approach to operations expected of Royal Armoured Corps soldiers.
"Lt Col Thorneloe was an outstanding Commanding Officer and a born leader, who I knew well. His courageous, thoughtful stewardship of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards since October last year has seen them superbly prepared for the demands of Afghanistan, both in terms of their professional capability and their unbreakable spirit as a team.
"At the leading edge of his generation, his loss will be felt deeply not only by his family but also by his soldiers and others, who like me, had the privilege to serve with him.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of both these highly capable and popular soldiers - as well as with the entire Battle Group, for whom the loss of their Commanding Officer will have been a particularly bitter blow.
"However, this tragic incident has only served to strengthen our resolve and commitment to succeed in bringing stability and prosperity to Helmand province. We will remember them both."
 

Carol

Crazy like a...
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:asian:



Tez, its thanks to you that I learned of Hedd Wyn's poem Y Blotyn Du. Hope you don't mind I repost it.



Y Blotyn Du

Nid oes gennym hawl ar y s礙r,
Na’r lleuad hiraethus chwaith,
Na’r cwmwl o aur a ymylch
Yng nghanol y glesni maith.


Nid oes gennym hawl ar ddim byd
Ond ar yr hen ddaear wyw;
A honno sy’n anrhefn i gyd
Yng nghanol gogoniant Duw.




The Black Spot

We have no right to the stars
Nor the homesick moon,
Nor the golden-edged clouds
In the center of endless blue.


We have no right to anything
But the old and withered earth;
That is all in chaos
In the midst of the glory of God.
 
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Tez3

Tez3

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The Guards are known to many of you as the 'funny' people with the bearskin hats who are outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and who are seen every year Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade in front of the Queen. Tourists love them in their red jackets and there must be hundreds of thousands of photos all around the world of them standing still while one after another tourist has their photo snapped with them.
They also serve on the frontline and the Welsh guards can boast two winners of the VC, in the Falklands they lost 32 soldiers with many others notably Simon Weston being horribly injured when they were bombed by the Argentinians as they waited to board their landingcraft. They've served with the UN in Cyprus and in both engagements in Iraq.
In this current tour of Afghanistan they have now lost four soldiers. As with all British regiments they are a close family, literally with many being related to each other by blood and marriage and morale is reported as still being high, they will fight on and grieve when they return.

The Welsh guards motto.. Cymru Byth (Wales Forever). May they return safely home.
 

Sukerkin

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I bow my head in memory and respect for those that fall in service of their country.
 

FieldDiscipline

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"On his return from Canada, Trooper Hammond volunteered to change squadron in order to deploy to Afghanistan. He threw himself into life in his new squadron, the pre-deployment training, and his conversion to the Viking vehicle that he would be operating in theatre.

"He deployed with his squadron to Afghanistan exactly a month ago. In the month he had in theatre, he proved himself to be a superb soldier. Fit, courageous, and robust, he was the first to volunteer, the first to muck in, and the first to offer help to others. But he was so much more than that.

"For he was at the heart of everything that was going on. He was full of laughter, was always ready to listen and he cared deeply about his mates.

"Known regimentally as Josh, Trooper Hammond died on patrol doing the job he loved, amongst his friends, the week before his 19th birthday.

"He was proud to be a Tankie, and we are proud to have served with him. His tragic death has left a vast hole in our hearts - both those in his squadron in Afghanistan and those of us left behind in the UK.

"Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends, but most particularly with his parents and his fianc矇e."

Fear Naught.

You will both be remembered.
 
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