Military

John Drinkwater Bethune (Army Officer) 1762-1844

Born 9 Jun 1762
Died 16 Jan 1844
Aged 81

Source: John Drinkwater (1905). A History of the Siege of Gibraltar, 1779-1783 Now in the public domain.

Colonel John Drinkwater Bethune, born John Drinkwater, at Latchford in Warrington, was an English army officer, administrator and military historian, known for his account of the Great Siege of Gibraltar that came out in 1785.

He was the eldest son of John Drinkwater (1740–1797), a surgeon in the Royal Navy, and his first wife Elizabeth Andrews.

Career

At the age of fifteen he joined the 72nd Regiment of Foot (Royal Manchester Volunteers) as an ensign and was almost immediately posted to Gibraltar. From June 1779 to February 1783 this small British possession was under siege from French and Spanish forces, during which time he kept a careful record of events. When peace came, he had become a captain but his regiment was sent back to Britain and disbanded. From his notes he wrote A history of the late siege of Gibraltar, 1779–1783, with a description and account of that garrison from the earliest period, published in 1785, which was widely read and frequently reprinted. As a soldier, Drinkwater was more interested in the military than in the civil aspects, yet his account does give some glimpses of the sufferings of the civilians.

In 1787 he rejoined the British Army in the 2nd Battalion of the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot and returned to Gibraltar. There he was publicly thanked by the military commander, General Eliott, for his book and was given funds to establish the Gibraltar Garrison Library. The regiment was then sent to defend Toulon against the French, where he acted as military secretary until the British had to evacuate in December 1793. From there, he served under the viceroy, Sir Gilbert Eliott, as military secretary and deputy judge-advocate of the Kingdom of Corsica until the French captured the island in October 1796.

He returned to England with Sir Gilbert in the captured French frigate HMS Minerve. Under Captain George Cockburn, it carried the flag of Commodore Horatio Nelson, whom Drinkwater had made friends with in Corsica. On the way they encountered a Spanish fleet off Cape St Vincent and were involved in the ensuing battle. Drinkwater thought that the achievements of Nelson, who was not mentioned in the published dispatches, had been underestimated and he published anonymously A Narrative of the Battle of St Vincent to do justice to his friend.

His next post was again administrative, to sort out the complicated finances of the British occupations of Toulon and Corsica. Between 1794 and 1796 he became first a major and then a lieutenant-colonel, after which he was placed on half-pay with the rank of colonel. In 1799 he married, and was also appointed commissary general of the British forces in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland, where he served until evacuation in November 1799. In 1801 he was appointed to the household of the King’s brother, the Duke of Kent, who became a close friend.

In 1805 he was nominated a member of the parliamentary commission of military inquiry, becoming its chairman later. His experience there led to the offer of a ministerial post in 1807, to serve under William Windham as Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, but he declined. In 1811 he was appointed comptroller of army accounts, and held the office for 25 years until it was abolished in 1835. As well as his administrative duties, he was a director of the Regent’s Canal Company, earning respect for handling the company’s financial crises until the canal opened in 1820.

His last years were spent at Thorncroft Manor, just outside Leatherhead, where although almost totally blind he carried on his literary work. Dying there on 16 January 1844, he was buried at the Church of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Maria Hill (Daughter of the Regiment) 1791-1881

Born 1791
Died 11 Sep 1881
Aged 90

Picture of family marker for Maria Taylor (nee Woods, Hill), Andrew Hill & Andrew Taylor at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa on Malloch plot. Author: Ian Furst. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Maria Hill a contemporary of Laura Secord, was a heroine of several battles in the Anglo-American War of 1812 including the Battle of Queenston Heights, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and the Battle of Chippawa serving as a surgeon’s assistant, while her husband fought in the war. After the war, she became an early settler to Ottawa, Ontario and attended to the Governor General of Canada, Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond when he died in her village of Richmond, Ontario.

Early years

Little is known of her early years, but it is thought that she was born Maria Woods in Winwick, near Warrington, to Dr. & Mrs Woods in 1791. Maria’s father died between 1791 and 1799. Her mother remarried to Mr. Greenhall, a recruiter for the British Army. In 1799, her mother then died in Tuam, Ireland. Mr. Greenhall brought Maria to Canada in 1803. She was referred to as a “Daughter of the Regiment” because of her stepfathers’ service to the British Army and her upbringing in the Niagara region British Army forts.

Arrival in Canada and the War of 1812

After arriving in Canada, Maria was living in Amherstberg, Ontario (likely at Fort Malden). On 5 May 1811, at the age of 20 she was married under the name Maria Woods to Andrew Hill of the 100th Regiment of Foot by curate Richard Pollard at St. John’s Anglican Church, Sandwich in the presence of Edna Lee Croft and George Ironside (store keeper). Shortly thereafter, hostilities broke out at the Detroit/Sandwich border and the 100th Regiment of Foot was called to arms.

In the book, “Faith of our Fathers, the story of the [Anglican] diocese of Ottawa”, the story of Maria’s wartime service was reported by a longtime Canon of Maria’s local church,

As a lass from Lancashire, Miss Maria Glennon Anderson came to Upper Canada about 1810, married Sgt. Andrew Hill of the 100th Regiment, and outwitted government regulations by donning a soldier’s uniform and accompanying her husband on the Niagara Campaign of 1812. You see in those days women were considered a nuisance in wartime. (it was 40 years before Florence Nightingale) –and even today the clergy allow only two women in the Synod. Mrs. Hill just snapped her fingers and carried on as a medical orderly, in disguise, at the battles of Chippewa and Queenston. Then she was run over by an ammunition wagon and, her disguise being discovered, she was hastily sent back home, probably to Kingston.

This account, however, was reported by a Canon who served in the church 40 years after Maria had died. It likely represents a misogynistic view of 19th century women in battle rather than fact. Certainly, the 1881 interview listed below, gives no indication that Maria made any attempt to hide her identity. In fact, she appears to consider herself equally a woman, wife and soldier. Given that she served in the barracks as a child prior to marriage (earning 5p per day for doing laundry) and was married a year before hostilities broke out to a sergeant of the 100th, it seems impossible that she could disguise herself from other soldiers. It is now well established that women (mostly wives and children) were allowed to travel with the Regiment and afforded rations depending on rank. It seems much more likely that she served under her own identity as a mother and wife in the rearguard but assisting as a surgeon’s aide when needed, such as in the Battles of Lundy’s Lane and Chippawa.

Post war years

After the war, in 1818, Maria and her husband, Andrew Hill, were reportedly boarding a ship to return to England when they were offered land and a years’ provisions to create a settlement for veterans of the 100th Regiment of Foot. Sgt. Andrew Hill supervised the cutting of a road (later named Richmond Road (Ontario) one of the oldest roads in Ottawa) from Richmond Landing to settle Richmond, Ontario. The original road, followed the old Chaudière portage trail and the course of the present Richmond Road.

Maria and Andrew later opened an inn and tavern in Richmond, Ontario at 3607 McBean S where a smokehouse still stands and the foundations of the tavern underlie the existing house. It was there that Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond and Governor General of Canada, spent his last morning, having a breakfast prepared by Mrs. Hill and complaining to her of an odd feeling in his throat, before dying of rabies from a fox bite two months previously. After passing away at the house of Dr. Collis, a former surgeon to the regiment, the Duke’s body was brought back to the tavern where Maria prepared the Duke for his final trip to Quebec City for burial using the Duke’s own quilted bed covering as a shroud. After the visit, the Hill’s tavern name was changed from the ‘Masonic Arms’ to the ‘Duke of Richmond Arms’ in honour of the visit.

Andrew Hill & Maria had two children, Jessie & Margaret Lindsey Hill. Andrew Hill died in 1830. Maria remarried Andrew Taylor, a Sergeant from the 100th Foot. They lived the remainder of their lives in Richmond, Ontario. Andrew Taylor died 29 March 1879, aged 79 years and Maria died 11 September 1881, aged 90 years. She left her estate to the St. John’s Anglican Church in Richmond for a new church spire. Maria and both husbands were eventually interred at the National Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa in the family plot of Edward Malloch II her son-in-law.

William Norman (Military Hero) 1832-1896

Born 1832
Died 13 Mar 1896
Aged 63 or 64

Image created by Jean-Charles Langlois (1789-1870) and now in the public domain due to it being out of copyright.

William Norman VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was born in Warrington and enlisted as a private in the 7th Regiment of Foot (later the Royal Fusiliers) of the British Army on 15 May 1854. During the Crimean War the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 19 December 1854 at Sebastopol, in the Crimea, Private Norman was placed on single sentry duty some distance in front of the advanced sentries of an outlying picquet in the White Horse Ravine, a post of much danger and requiring great vigilance. The Russian picquet was posted about 300 yards in front of him, and three Russians came reconnoitring under cover of the brushwood. Private Norman single-handedly took two of them prisoner without alarming the Russian picquet. He was decorated by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park on 26 June 1857.

He later served in the Umbeyla Campaign on the North-West Frontier in 1863 and achieved the rank of corporal. He left the Army in 1865.

He died on 13 March 1896 in Salford, Lancashire and is buried in a common grave at Weaste Cemetery, Salford. He was married with three children. His Victoria Cross and other medals are displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London, England.

The second image shows Grave of William Norman, VC, Weaste cemetery. The author of the work is Plucas58 who has released it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Guy Wilbraham Wareing  (Fighter Pilot) 1899-1918

Born 23 Jul 1899
Died 27 Oct 1918
Aged 19

The grave of Captain Wareing.
Author: Wernervc. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Captain Guy Wilbraham Wareing DFC was a British World War I flying ace credited with nine aerial victories.

Wareing was born in Latchford, Warrington, Lancashire, the son of Frederick William Wareing, an engineer, and his wife Jessie Mary.

On 30 August 1917 he was commissioned from cadet to temporary second lieutenant (on probation) on the General List to serve in the Royal Flying Corps, being confirmed in his rank and appointed a flying officer on 14 February 1918.

Wareing was posted to No. 29 Squadron RAF in June 1918 to fly the S.E.5a single-seat fighter. He gained his first victory on 12 August, destroying a Pfalz D.III fighter over Ploegsteert, Belgium. After destroying two reconnaissance aircraft and driving another down out of control, Wareing became both an ace and a balloon buster by destroying an observation balloon over Gheluvelt on 7 September 1918. He then sent a Fokker D.VII down in flames, and destroyed three more balloons, two of them on two separate sorties on 29 September. He was appointed a temporary captain on 7 October 1918.

On 27 October 1918 Wareing was killed when he was shot down by a Fokker D.VII flown by Leutnant Josef Raesch of Jasta 43. He is buried in the churchyard of Église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Rumillies, Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium, where his is the only Commonwealth War Grave.

Wareing’s award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was gazetted posthumously on 3 December 1918. His citation read:

Lieutenant Guy Wilbraham Wareing.

“A bold and courageous airman who has destroyed four enemy aeroplanes and shot down in flames a hostile balloon. He is conspicuous for zeal and devotion to duty.”

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

Alfred Sephton (Navy Officer) 1911-1941

Born 19 Apr 1911
Died 19 May 1941
Aged 30

Alfred Edward Sephton VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Sephton was born in Latchford, Warrington

He was 30 years old, and a petty officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 18 May 1941 in the Mediterranean, south of Crete, Petty Officer Sephton was a director layer on HMS Coventry when she went to the assistance of a hospital ship which was being attacked by German dive-bombers. When the enemy engaged Coventry, strafing her with machine-gun fire, Petty Officer Sephton was mortally wounded, a bullet actually passing through his body and injuring an able seaman beside him. Although in great pain and partially blinded, nevertheless he stuck to his instruments and carried out his duties until the attack was over. He died of his injuries next day.

Sephton’s Victoria Cross was stolen from Coventry Cathedral in 1990. How sad.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

John Bridge (Bomb Disposal Expert) 1915-2006

Born 5 Feb 1915
Died 14 Dec 2006
Aged 91

Studio photograph of John Bridge GC, GM & bar.
Image out of copyright.

Lieutenant-Commander John Bridge, GC, GM & Bar was a British bomb disposal expert of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War and a recipient of the George Cross. He was the first person to be awarded a Bar to the George Medal.

John Bridge was born in Culcheth, near Warrington. He attended Leigh Grammar School, and read physics at the University of London He then completed a fourth year of study training to be a teacher at Westminster Training College, before taking up a post at Firth Park Secondary School in Sheffield. He volunteered for the Navy in 1940.

Second World War

Bridge led a squad which defused a bomb with a delayed action fuse in September 1940, for which he received the George Medal. In March 1941, he defused 15 bombs, including a bomb which had fallen in the Naval dockyard at HMNB Devonport, for which he received a King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct. In October 1941 he was awarded a bar to his George Medal after defusing a bomb in the docks in Falmouth.

In 1943, Bridge cleared mines and depth charges from Messina harbour in Sicily, preparing the way for the Allied invasion of Italy. He made 28 dives to defuse groups of booby trapped depth charges and rendered safe another 207 mines and depth charges, tethered at or below the waterline. His longest dive during the action lasted twenty hours.

He served as a naval bomb safety officer during the Normandy landings of June 1944, defusing many bombs, mines, and shells. He cleared mines in the river Scheldt and various harbour basins in September of that year. He was then posted back to England and promoted to lieutenant commander.

For his work in Messina harbour, Bridge was awarded the George Cross in June 1944, although the investiture did not take place until March 1945, the citation for his George Cross read:For the most conspicuous and prolonged bravery and contempt of death in clearing Messina Harbour of depth charges. The recommending officer stated that he had never before had the fortune to be associated with such cool and sustained bravery as Lieutenant Bridge displayed during the 10 days of the operation.

Bridge received the medal from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 16 March 1945.

Post-war and later life

After his military service Bridge returned to his previous profession of teaching in 1946. He became director of education for Sunderland borough council in 1963 and retired in 1976. He wrote a volume of wartime memoirs entitled Trip to Nijmegen.

The headquarters of the Fleet Diving Squadron of the Royal Navy is named the Bridge building after John Bridge. John Bridge died on 14 December 2006, aged 91, just before the official renaming ceremony. The Guard of Honour at his funeral was formed of Royal Navy Clearance Divers and he is considered one of the fathers of the branch.

Information retrieved from Wikipedia.

William Green (Kingsman) 1985-2007

Born 7 Feb 1985
Died 13 Jan 2007
Aged 21

Kingsman Alexander William Green lived in Warrington and joined the Army at the age of 19. He leaves behind a son, Bradley, who was two years of age at the time.

On 25 October 2004, Kingsman Alex Green began his Army career at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. On completing the Combat Infantryman’s Course in April 2005 he joined his Regiment, 1st Battalion The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, serving in Germany.

Volunteering for the deployment to Iraq, he joined 1st Battalion The King’s Regiment, prior to the Regiments’ amalgamation into The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on 1 July 2006.

He had already been identified by his colleagues and commanders as a professional soldier with real leadership and command potential. Mad about the Army he was extremely dedicated to his job and took great pride in being a soldier. This was reflected in the high standard of his soldiering, personal presentation and the maintenance of his equipment and weapon, particularly his Light Machine Gun.

He was an immensely proud and devoted father who liked nothing more than to spend time with his son, Bradley. In particular, he enjoyed taking him to the park in Warrington and playing Pink Floyd songs to him on a guitar.

A full time Arsenal fan he took much delight in lively conversation with his friends in Chindit Company for supporting teams from Liverpool and Manchester, especially after Arsenal’s recent successes against them.

His colleagues in Chindit Company spoke of him as someone they could share problems with and get honest friendly advice from. He spoke his mind and was respected for it. Off duty his comrades were enjoying slowly corrupting him from his clean cut military image.

Hugely popular and very talented he will be remembered as a father, friend, comrade and a thoroughly professional soldier. He will be greatly missed and his loss will hugely affect those who were fortunate enough to know him.

The family of Kingsman Alex Green, added:

Alex loved the Army and the services. It was all he had wanted to do. He had been a Marine Cadet and wanted to join the Marines but an injury prevented that, so he joined the Army.

He was living his dream. He was proud of being in the Army and doing his duty.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hutchinson MBE (CO 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment), said:

Kingsman Alex Green was one of our most promising young soldiers. He loved what he did, and everyone respected how he did it.

His determination, friendly nature and enthusiasm were a real inspiration. If you could capture in one man all that a Kingsman could hope to be, you would struggle to come closer to the mark than him.

Kingsman Alex Green, aged 21, from 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, died as a result of injuries sustained earlier in the morning when shot by small arms fire whilst on a task in the Hayy Al Muhandisn District of Basra City in southern Iraq.

Kingsman Alex Green was serving with Chindit Company, based at the Old State Building in the centre of the City. He was part of a patrol that had been escorting a convoy out of the City and they were returning from their task when the incident happened.

Information retrieved from Gov.uk and used under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Simon Annis (Fusilier) 1987-2009

Born 1987
Died 16 Aug 2009
Aged 22

Born in Salford, Fusilier Simon Annis attended Culcheth High School, Warrington, until he had completed his GCSEs. After leaving school his desire to test himself saw him pursue a challenging and varied career when he joined his local infantry regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, aged just 19.

In 2006, he completed the physically demanding infantry training course at ITC Catterick ready to embrace the varied lifestyle on offer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Having completed training he was to move to Cyprus to join the regiment in a demanding training year where he deployed to Jordan on a tough six-week training exercise.

From the outset Fusilier Annis was to experience the full range of activities on offer to a young man in the infantry. In his short time in the Army, Fusilier Annis served in Cyprus, Jordan and latterly Afghanistan. It was in Jordan that Fusilier Annis developed his taste for scuba diving. He was able to deploy to Egypt in 2007 and Belize in 2008 to further his diving skills and love of the sport.

Having experienced a plethora of activities he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London, as part of a battalion move. Here Fusilier Annis stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the battalion’s public duties commitment. In February 2009 Fusilier Annis married his beloved Caroline just one month before he was called upon to deploy to Sangin, Afghanistan. Fusilier Annis approached his first operational tour as he did everything else in his life, with good humour and a professional attitude.

Whilst in Sangin, Fusilier Annis was an integral part of 3 Platoon, serving as a Light Machine Gunner. Fusilier Annis’ sense of humour and positive attitude helped to inspire the men of 3 Platoon through some dark days, including the death of his friend and colleague Corporal Joey Etchells. Fusilier Annis was tragically killed on 16 August 2009 whilst evacuating his Section Commander; it is fitting that Fusilier Annis was there for his friends right up to the end.

Caroline, his wife, said:

Simon was the perfect husband, son and brother. He will be sorely missed by all of us. He was a true hero who made all of us so very proud and he will always have a place in our hearts. We will love and miss him always.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, 2 RRF, said:

Fusilier Simon Annis was a larger than life character, and a dedicated soldier. Always at the heart of whatever was going on, it was no surprise to me that he died whilst trying to save his mortally wounded Section Commander. He should be seen as a shining example to the nation of what selfless commitment really means. The heartfelt condolences of every Fusilier in Afghanistan go to Caroline, his wife of only a few months.

Some information retrieved from Gov.uk [scroll down that page to read his report] and used under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Thomas Sephton (Private) 1988-2010

Born 1988
Died 5 Jul 2010
Aged 20

Pte Thomas Sephton was 20 years old and from Great Sankey, Warrington. He enlisted into the Army in July 2008 and joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) [1 MERCIAN] in January 2009 following the Combat Infantryman’s Course in Catterick. He joined Mortar Platoon and served in the United Kingdom, The Falkland Islands and Kenya, and on operations in Afghanistan.

On the morning of the Sunday 4 July 2010, operating in a Rifle Platoon, Pte Sephton deployed from Patrol Base Malvern tasked with providing flank protection to an IED clearance operation. Whilst clearing a route for his section he was caught in an IED blast and seriously wounded. Pte Sephton was extracted by helicopter to Bastion Role 3 Hospital and then flown to the UK. On the afternoon of the 5 July 2010, with his family present, the decision was taken to switch off his life support machine and he died of his wounds.

The family of Pte Thomas Sephton have made the following statement:

Tom meant the world to everyone who knew him. We are so very proud of our brave soldier. He will be with us forever in our hearts.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1 MERCIAN, said:

Private Tom Sephton joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) in January 2009, choosing to serve with the Mortar Platoon from the outset.

He had been enthused by the nature of the Platoon, and he fitted in well from the very start, training with them in the Falkland Islands and Kenya, before deploying to Afghanistan.

He was a hardworking man, always ready to volunteer for additional work or responsibility in order to improve the lot of others.

He is remembered by his friends as a man who never complained, who just got on with the job, however difficult or unpleasant it was. This is probably the reason that he was often to be found at the head of patrols, searching for IEDs that would threaten them.

He was courageous and selfless to the last, placing himself in harm’s way to save others. When he was mortally injured he was alongside his best friend Private Charlie Emina, and amongst his mates whom he did so much to help.

Tom Sephton was not a particularly big man in terms of size, but he had a big heart, and was full of fun and energy. He was a keen rugby player and enjoyed playing on the wing for his Company, where his fitness and speed were more than a match for most.

He punched above his weight in every way, whether militarily, in sporting activities or by just being a great friend and comrade. His obvious ability had been spotted, and he was due to attend a promotion course on return from Afghanistan.

If any man lived the motto, ‘Stand Firm Strike Hard’, it was Tom Sephton. He will be missed deeply by the Mortar Platoon, and by the men of C Company to whom he was attached. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Battalion are with his family and friends at this most difficult of times.

Some information retrieved from Gov.uk and used under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Stephen James Birdsall (Marine) 1989-2007

Born 6 Oct 1989
Died 14 Jun 2010
Aged 20

Marine Steven James Birdsall lived in Great Sankey, Warrington, with his parents and younger sister, Melissa. In December 2007 he joined the Royal Marines, aged 18, passing for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on the 7 November 2008.

On completion of training he attended the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield where he gained his full range of driving licences, including his HGV driver qualification. He joined 40 Commando Royal Marines in January 2009.

Shortly after, he deployed with Delta Company on Exercise TAURUS; a large scale amphibious deployment, taking him through the Mediterranean to the Far East and culminating in a jungle warfare package in Brunei.

In September 2009 he moved to Bravo Company and conducted six months of Mission Specific Training for this operational tour with 40 Commando to Afghanistan. He deployed to Helmand in April 2010 and was based at Patrol Base EZERAY, in northern Sangin.

Bravo Company has conducted numerous joint operations with the Afghan National Security Forces aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary Afghans by improving security and increasing their freedom of movement.

Marine Birdsall’s family have made the following statement:

There are no words that could ever express the heartache of losing our beautiful son, Steven, who was always so selfless, brave and fearless. Loving brother to Melissa, grandson to Grandma, Granny and Granddad and a much loved nephew and cousin.

Steven had so many friends back home in Warrington and in 40 Commando Royal Marines, and we are forever thankful to the lads who were with him when he needed them most. See you later mate, we are so very proud of you, love Mum and Dad.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said:

Marine Steven Birdsall was a brilliant young marine whose gallantry, selflessness and determination impressed all who knew him. He was strong, brave, full of spirit and full of character.

A talented footballer, he played for 40 Commando immediately on joining the Unit and quickly proved to be a fit motivated marine who inspired others. He possessed a sharp mind and a big and generous heart – he loved his family, his friends and his fellow marines; and they adored him in return.

He was a consummate professional; forever focused, very proud and utterly dependable; yet always cheerful and magnanimous. He was the perfect marine. He sadly died on patrol in northern Sangin, doing the job he loved; protecting the people.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, his sister, his family and his friends. He will be sadly missed by all in 40 Commando. Marine Steven Birdsall was, and always will be, a Royal Marine Commando.

Some information retrieved from Gov.uk and used under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Daniel Wade (Private) 1991-2007

Born 1991
Died 6 Mar 2012
Aged 20

Private Daniel Wade, 20, was from Latchford, Warrington. He joined the Army in January 2011 and arrived in the Battalion in July 2011. He was immediately placed onto a Warrior driving cadre, which he passed with flying colours. It did not take him long to establish himself as one of the best drivers in the Company. Furthermore, Private Wade was an excellent shot and he proved himself, in a very short time, to be an excellent soldier.

Private Wade was very popular within the Platoon and the Company at large. He committed himself fully to everything and always delivered what was asked of him. He will be remembered as a family man who was devoted to his fiancée Emma, with whom he is expecting a baby girl called Lexie. He will be sorely missed.

He leaves behind his mother Lisa, his sister Stacey, his beloved fiancée Emma and unborn baby, Lexie. The thoughts and prayers of all those in his Battalion and Combined Force Lashkar Gah are very much with them at this most difficult time.

Private Wade’s family have paid the following tribute:

On behalf of all our family, we would like to say Daniel was a loving son, fiancé, brother, nephew, grandson, cousin and friend to many. He would have made a fantastic father to his baby girl Lexie who is due on June 12. We are all devastated to have lost such a wonderful caring, brave man.

Daniel will always remain our hero, he lived for the Army, doing the job he loved so much and it is a testament to Daniel that he lost his life whilst helping rebuild a country torn apart by war. We ask you all to please respect our family’s privacy at this difficult and very sad time.

Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said:

Private Daniel Wade was a new young soldier in this family Battalion. A Cheshire lad in a Yorkshire regiment, Dan arrived keen and energetic and in only a very short period of time had made a real mark within Corunna Company.

Quiet and unassuming, he was very committed in all that he did. It is to his credit that he completed his Warrior Driver course so successfully early in his career. His passion for motocross and Superbikes marked him out as a man who loved speed.

We have lost today a young man who had so much to give in his life, both as a son, brother and as a soldier. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Private Wade, a member of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s), was killed alongside five other colleagues in southern Afghanistan on 6 March 2012. Private Wade’s family was presented with the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll in April 2012. His five colleague’s families also received the same commemorative medal and scroll.

Some information retrieved from Gov.uk [scroll down that page to read his report] and used under the Open Government Licence v3.0.