Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It is with deepest regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman from 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in southern Afghanistan on 13 September 2009.
Kingsman Dunn-Bridgeman, aged 20, died after his platoon became locked in an exchange of fire with the enemy during a foot patrol in the Babaji district of Helmand province. He received a gunshot wound to the neck and, despite every endeavour made by those around him to save his life, died of his wounds.
Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment
Born on 6 December 1988 in Liverpool, Kingsman Dunn-Bridgeman joined Arnhem Company, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (the 'Lions of England'), in May 2008 after attending the Infantry Training School in Catterick. Despite breaking his leg during training, he made a full recovery and completed the demanding course with merit.
Having achieved the rank of Army Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major in his youth, he very quickly settled into the routine of being a soldier in barracks in the UK before moving with his battalion to Episkopi in Cyprus in August 2008.
Being part of the Resident Infantry Battalion based in the west of Cyprus, he took part in a number of challenging exercises as well as carrying out essential security duties on the island. By the spring he had begun his pre-deployment training in earnest, in preparation for the Lions' new role as Theatre Reserve Battalion - essentially a rapid reaction force which could be called forward at any time.
Following an intense period of training conducted both in the arid conditions of Cyprus and in new facilities in the UK, Kgn Dunn-Bridgeman volunteered to move across to Blenheim Company, who were the spearhead force for any possible deployment. He put himself forward, knowing well that he would be amongst the first to deploy to Afghanistan should the need arise. Just hours after he had moved his personal effects across, Blenheim Company were deployed to Helmand province to bolster The Light Dragoons Battle Group in the area of Babaji.
Kgn Dunn-Bridgeman, known almost universally as 'Dunny', was described by friends and colleagues as popular, friendly, quick-witted and selfless. He loved life and lived for new experiences, as reflected by his passionate interest in adventure training.
Whilst in Cyprus he attended courses in both parachuting and paragliding, taking as naturally to the sky as he did to the slopes of Bavaria when he was selected for the battalion skiing team. Such was his verve for outdoor pursuits he talked often of being an adventure training or skiing instructor when he eventually left the Army.
His passion for adventure fuelled his professionalism as a soldier, which rapidly earned him the respect of his peers and his superiors.
Deploying to Afghanistan with Blenheim Company, Kgn Dunn-Bridgeman quickly found himself on a pivotal mission into the heart of Babaji, an area which experienced some of the most fearsome fighting during the summer's Operation PANCHAI PALANG offensive.
Kgn Dunn-Bridgeman's principal role within his platoon was as a member of the four-man clearance team at the forefront of every patrol. These men, using mine-detecting equipment and specialist drills, regularly put themselves in harm's way in order to find insurgent-laid improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It is a measure of the calibre of Kingsman Dunn-Bridgeman that he was selected to do this demanding job.
When there was fighting to be done as well, he was also at the fore. Between operations he raised spirits with his banter and easy humour. He fought the same way he approached life, with verve and fearlessness.
A dedicated soldier and loyal friend, Kingsman Dunn-Bridgeman will be sorely missed, not least by his mother Tracey, who has lost a treasured son.
Lieutenant Colonel Robbie Boyd, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:
"Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman was an immensely popular member of Arnhem Company who had volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan early to serve with Blenheim Company. He latterly demonstrated courage under fire several times with Blenheim Company.
"A real character who was extremely popular, he will be sadly missed by his friends who are about to deploy from Cyprus and also by his comrades whom he fought alongside in Afghanistan. England - as well as the Battalion - has lost a lion."