Monday, July 6, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal David Dennis from The Light Dragoons and Private Robert Laws from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment were killed in Afghanistan on 4 July 2009.
Both soldiers died in separate incidents, while taking part in Operation PANCHAI PALANG, an operation involving around 3,000 soldiers, to improve security in the area north of Lashkar Gah, clear the Babaji and Malgir areas of insurgents and restore government control before the National elections.
Lance Corporal Dennis was killed by a contact explosion from an Improvised Explosive Device whilst on foot. Private Laws was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
Lance Corporal David Dennis, The Light Dragoons
Lance Corporal David 'Duke' Dennis was serving with The Light Dragoons Battle Group, which had begun a clearance operation the day previously, at the time of his death. He had deployed as part of The Light Dragoons' Command Troop and was responsible for ensuring radio communications for the Commanding Officer's tactical headquarters, both on foot and on vehicles.
Having just helped to secure a Helicopter Landing Site for the extraction of casualties from an earlier incident Lance Corporal Dennis was amongst a group hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, and sustained fatal injuries.
Lance Corporal Dennis was born on 16 May 1980. He joined the Army on the 14 Feb 2003 as a gunner in the Royal Artillery before joining King's Troop. Having served with the Gunners for just over two years, he was attached to the Light Dragoons for a six month tour in Iraq in 2005. Having struck up strong friendships over the six months he applied to transfer and joined the Regiment in February 2006. Lance Corporal Dennis was on his second tour of Afghanistan. He leaves behind his mother Adele, of Llanelli, as well as his twin brother Gareth and his fiancée Lisa.
Lance Corporal Dennis was a quietly spoken and popular soldier; fiercely loyal to his friends. He was known throughout the Regiment simply as 'Duke' - a nickname of which he was hugely. He believed wholehearted in what he was doing and would always back himself to the hilt.
Lance Corporal Dennis loved the banter that typifies Army life, and he could give as good as he got, though he had the character to laugh at himself as well. He loved the gym, and would jokingly show off his muscles at any opportunity. He took great pride in mentoring and looking after the junior members of his Troop, and he would be one of the first they would turn to for advice and guidance.
Ambitious and determined, Lance Corporal Dennis wanted to pursue the dismounted side of Formation Reconnaissance, and had volunteered to attend Junior Brecon on his return and wanted to serve in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in the future.
Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair DSO, Commanding Officer The Light Dragoons Battle Group, said:
"Lance Corporal Dennis was one of a hugely talented generation of Light Dragoons. With tours of Afghanistan and Iraq behind him, he was experienced beyond his relatively junior years. Duke loved being in the Regiment, and the Regiment celebrated this popular, genuine and heartfelt soldier.
"If there is any consolation it is that he is re-united with his close friend Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, whose death earlier in the tour had affected Lance Corporal Dennis greatly. My sincerest condolences go out to his mother Adele, his brother Gareth and his fiancée Lisa. We will remember Lance Corporal Dennis; we will be worthy of his memory; we will continue to take the fight to the enemy that has taken him from us."