Thursday, July 9, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Trooper Christopher Whiteside of The Light Dragoons was killed in Afghanistan on 7 July 2009.
Trooper Whiteside was killed in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device near Gereshk in Helmand province.
He had been taking part in Operation PANCHAI PALANG, a task force operation to clear Babaji and Malgir of insurgents and restore government control before the national elections in August.
Trooper Whiteside was serving in The Light Dragoons Battle Group, which began its clearance operation on 3 July.
Trooper Christopher Whiteside
Trooper Christopher Whiteside, or 'Norm' to his friends, was deployed as part of Emsdorf Troop, a Light Dragoons' Troop operating in the dismounted role as a Fire Support Group for A Company, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN).
Trooper Whiteside was born on 22 August 1988 in Blackpool. He joined the Army in July 2005 as an Infanteer in The Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR). Having served with the QLR for just over one year, he was discharged after suffering a serious knee injury. But still determined to serve his country, he joined up again when fully fit as a formation reconnaissance soldier in The Light Dragoons in March 2008.
Trooper Whiteside, initially quiet on arriving at regimental duty in November 2008, thrived in Afghanistan. His hardworking nature, concern for others and selflessness endeared him to all who worked alongside him.
As a small group of Light Dragoons attached to an infantry company, his troop had a very different challenge to the rest of the regiment, which brought them closer still.
Trooper Whiteside was on his first tour of Afghanistan. He leaves behind his mother Diane and her partner Malcolm, as well as younger brother Dan.