Thursday, June 4, 2009
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher from 2nd Battalion The Rifles was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 2 June 2009.
Rifleman Thatcher died as a result of an explosion whilst he was on a patrol near Gereshk in Helmand province.
Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher
Rifleman Thatcher, aged 19, joined 2nd Battalion The Rifles in December 2007 and deployed almost immediately to Salisbury Plain on a Battle Group Exercise with 10 Platoon, C Company.
Even as a new and junior Rifleman, he showed great promise from the outset. He won a Battalion award for valour at the end of the testing exercise for preventing a counter-attack during a particularly tricky operation clearing a wood block.
His all-round qualities were confirmed when Rifleman Thatcher was selected to go to the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick as a mentor to new recruits. He was an exemplary role-model. In summer 2008 he deployed on his first operational tour to Kosovo on Operation VALERO, where he thrived. On return, he threw himself into pre-deployment training as his Company prepared for Afghanistan.
Life was full-on and he was involved in every turn of the training wheel. He performed brilliantly on the Battle Group's final exercise before deployment. At a particularly difficult moment on the confirmatory exercise, he stood up as a Section Commander, leading his fellow Riflemen through a wood clearance with great confidence and skill.
He deployed in April 2009 to Afghanistan as a General Purpose Machine Gunner, a testament to his strength and fitness. He had already been identified as a potential Section Second in Command. He had set his heart on promotion or joining the Sniper Platoon after Afghanistan; he would have excelled whichever path he took for, quite simply, Rifleman Thatcher was a Rifleman of immense promise.
Rifleman Thatcher came from Caversham in Reading. His passions were Manchester United, all things football and spending time with his two brothers and his parents.