Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lance Corporal Dane Elson killed in Afghanistan

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Dane Elson from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards was killed in Afghanistan on 5 July 2009.

Lance Corporal Elson was killed while on patrol in Babaji as part of Operation PANCHAI PALANG in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was part of a Fire Support Group from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, attached to the Light Dragoons Battle Group.

On 5 July Lance Corporal Elson was a team commander in his Fire Support Group. Attached to B Company, 2 MERCIAN, their mission was to clear the enemy from positions South of Malgir. Having provided Fire Support for an attack onto an enemy held compound, the Fire Support Group began to move off. As they did so an Improvised Explosive Device exploded, killing Lance Corporal Elson instantly.

Lance Corporal Dane Elson

Lance Corporal Elson was born on 28 September 1986 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having joined the Army, he completed his training in Guards Training Company, Catterick, in 2004 and joined 1st Battalion Welsh Guards when they were based at RAF St Athan, near Cardiff.

He served in Iraq in 2004-2005, and in Bosnia in 2006-2007. He passed a promotion course and was promoted to Lance Corporal during the pre-deployment training for Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Elson was a keen rugby player and he lived for the mates he had around him in the Welsh Guards. He had a very bright future ahead of him, and stood out as a Guardsman destined for the higher ranks of the Battalion.

Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, Commanding Officer the Light Dragoons Battle Group, said:

"Lance Corporal Elson was part of a small band of Welsh Guards attached to the Battle Group. Despite being small in number, they have made a huge impact with their professionalism, drive and determination to take the fight to the enemy. Lance Corporal Elson was one of the best of these. It is typical of the man that he died while providing cover to the rest of his platoon. Though Lance Corporal Elson is no longer with us, his fellow Welsh Guardsmen, and the Battle Group, will remember this talented and popular soldier."

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