Monday, July 6, 2009

Private Robert Laws killed in Afghanistan

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.

Private Robert Laws, 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment

Private Robert Laws, aged 18, joined 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) during Op HERRICK 10. His basic training started at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, which prepares young men for the rigours of the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. After completing the Combat Infantryman's Course in March of this year he passed off the square at Catterick and deployed to Helmand Province to join B Company.

Known to friends as Robbie, Private Laws was killed alongside his mates in B Company while they were operating under command of the Light Dragoons Battlegroup during Operation PANCHAI PALANG.

Private Laws, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, was a popular member of his platoon during training and achieved 'Best Shot' on the Light Machine Gun. When Robbie arrived at 2 MERCIAN he quickly became known for his mischievous sense of humour and a cheeky wit which endeared him well to his Platoon Sergeant.

To undertake basic training and be on the frontline in Afghanistan within a year is a tremendous undertaking, especially for someone who is 18 years old. Private Laws rose to this challenge by embracing all the best qualities of being a soldier: ability to adapt and learn; strength of character; determination.

Private Laws' family issued the following statement:

"The parents and close family are immensely proud of their popular and loving son. They would like to thank all their friends for their loving support at this very difficult time."

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Banton, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), said:

"Robbie only joined 2 MERCIAN (Worcesters and Foresters) a very short time ago but had already begun to make his mark. He was excited and eager to deploy to Afghanistan and this only a few days after his 18th birthday.

"He was a warm and cheerful young man who mucked in when there was work to be done and quickly made friends. Robbie's falling has taken a good soldier from us; a man who was not afraid to move forward, endure hardship and he had the courage to fight the enemy alongside his brothers.

"Robbie died alongside his mates in B Company, 2 MERCIAN, and his death has rocked them - they will hold him in their hearts as they fight on. The entire Regiment's prayers are with Robbie's family who are devastated by his loss."


  1. I am very sadden that this young life was snuffed out my someones mindless action. My son is serving at Camp Dwyer as a Corpsman with US Marines. He is closed mouthed about his experiemces but he has changed to very serious young man. My son does say he has good relations with his British peers on base. I guess my point is that they are all at risk together in this endeavor. God Bless you and your grieving family Robert Laws


  3. this lad was a true friend to everyone and always made us laugh there was never a sad moment when ever you was there. rest in peace rob we will never forget you

  4. I've known Robbie Laws (lillty) for about 8-9 years and hes made a massive impact on everyone's lives that he was part of.

    R.I.P. Robbie Laws

  5. Rob was such an amazing friend to me. he was always there for me wenever i was down and ALWAYS new how 2 cheer me up. i cant beleive this has happend and i am truley heartbroken... but im so proud of him 4 achieving all his goals in life and doing what he loved. love you loads Robbie imn gunna miss u! R.I.P matey and say hi 2 zennah 4 me xxx

  6. Robbie your life was all too brief but what a life! You made such an impact on all you met in the best possible way. Many blessed with a longer life never earn the love and respect you have. You sacrificed your life for us. You are an inspiration to all. Rest in Peace.

  7. He was a best friend of mine, im so proud of him, all he wanted to do was be in the army, he loved it, i will miss him everyday. Lifes so hard to carry on with out him. R.I.P rob, love you x

  8. Thank you Robbie - you made my daughter laugh so much, and for that I thank you. Some of us could live a lifetime and not make as many people laugh as you did. Rest well Robbie. xx

  9. I met your commanding office on a train when he was going to your funeral. Thank you for doing the most incredible and brave things out there for the benefit of the rest of us. We are very proud of you

  10. robbie
    what can we say !
    you are the most amazing lad we know.
    you made us all laugh and you kept us all happy when we saw your smile. that gorgeous smile.
    your in our thoughts every minute of every day.
    you are a true hero and as simon says a legend mate.
    my sons have lost their brother xx best mate xx
    we will love you forever.
    until we meet again xxxxxxxx
    love sharon , jason, simon, shane and bouncer xx

  11. Rob, even now after a month it is still so difficult to understand and believe that you are not coming are always in our thoughts and we miss you so much xxxxxxxx
    I take comfort in the things that Rach tells me ....knowing that you are still taking care of her xxxxxxx
    Love you loads The Sharp family xxxxx

  12. Rob was such an amazing person and a brilliant friend to everyone, he was always smiling a cracking jokes. Id only known him for 3 years but i can safely say i would trust him with anything just like so many people would.
    He always cheered me up and would snap me out of my 'hissy fits' as he used to call them, not a day goes by when i dont think about him.
    I hope your ok up there, love you always. X