Most Senior Officer Since Faulklands is Killed in Helmand
The South of Afghanistan still has gound fighting which in many ways is like trench warfare, except without Trenches. The British have held a stronghold for a long time, but during the summer months particularly land is fought over, won and lost between Allied Forces and the Taliban Militia.
Today we received news that a High Senior Ranking Military Official was killed in an area called Lashkar Gah :sad:
Prince Charles has spoken about the death of his friend - the most senior soldier to die in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, is the highest ranking Army officer to be killed in action since the Falklands War.
The Prince of Wales, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards and knew Lt Col Thorneloe very well, was 'deeply saddened' by his death, a Clarence House spokesman said.
Lt Col Thorneloe, of Kirtlington, near Oxford, was killed alongside 18-year-old Trooper Joshua Hammond, of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, said the commanding officer was at the 'leading edge of his generation' while his wife Sally said the 39-year-old father-of-two would be 'sorely missed'.
He had left the Battle Group Headquarters and was in a resupply convoy in order to visit his men who were conducting a major operation in hostile territory, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
An improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated under his Viking armoured vehicle, taking the number of UK servicemen and women who have died in Afghanistan since operations began in October 2001 to 171.
A MoD spokesman said he was not aware of any specific investigation into why Lt Col Thorneloe was travelling in a Viking vehicle, but said all deaths in Afghanistan were investigated.
The Viking was introduced into Afghanistan three years ago but last year the MoD admitted it had reached the limit of how much it could be armoured following a series of deaths involving Taliban IEDs. It is due to be replaced by the new Warthog vehicle next year.
Lt Col Thorneloe's wife Sally said he was her 'very best friend' and added: 'Our daughters Hannah and Sophie will have to grow up without their beloved Daddy, although I will see a part of him in them every day.'
Trooper Hammond, 18, who had been in the Regiment for a little over a year after enlisting for training at the age of 16, volunteered to change squadron in order to deploy to Afghanistan.
In a statement released by the MoD, his family, from Plymouth, said: 'Joshua was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved.
'We are devastated by the loss of Joshua, who was a loving son. We are proud of the fact that Joshua was prepared to do his duty, helping the people of Afghanistan.'
Lt Col Marcus Simson, Commanding Officer 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said: 'He threw himself into life in his new squadron.
'In the month he had in theatre, he proved himself to be a superb soldier.'
Lt Col Thorneloe is one of only eight army commanding officers who have died on operations in command of their units since 1948, and the first since Lt Col Herbert 'H' Jones VC OBE was killed at Goose Green in the Falklands War on May 28, 1982.
The last UK commanding officer across all services to be killed on operations was Wing Commander Thomas Nigel Elsdon, of 27 Squadron RAF on January 17, 1991.
Lt Col Thorneloe was in charge of more than 1,000 soldiers and assumed command of the 1st Battalion on October 28 last year after previously serving on operations in Northern Ireland and Iraq.
May he rest in peace and God have mercy on him. I am personally grateful for his sacrifice.:sad:
"The Lord Givest and The Lord hath Taken away, blessed be The name of The Lord"
The Lord be with him, and with His Spirit, Let us Bless the Lord, Thanks be to GOD, May the Souls of All the Faithful Departed, through the tender mercy and compassion of the Lord, Rest in peace, and Rise in Glory. At the time of their Visitation they shall shine forth and run like sparks through the Stubble
"They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the Setting of the Sun and in the Morning, We shall remember them"
Lest We Forget...
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