Friday, September 4, 2009

Lance Corporal Richard James Brandon killed in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Richard James Brandon of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was killed in Afghanistan on 2 September 2009.

LCpl Brandon was killed south of Gereshk in Helmand province. He was the driver of a Samson repair and recovery vehicle within the A Squadron Fitter Section of The Light Dragoons.

LCpl Brandon's vehicle was carrying out an essential resupply task when it hit an improvised explosive device. The force of the explosion killed LCpl Brandon instantly.

LCpl Brandon was born on 28 November 1984 and was from Kidderminster. He enlisted into the Army on 18 December 2001. After completing his training at the Army Technical Foundation College, he was posted to 215 Signal Squadron where he spent two years as a vehicle mechanic. From there, he was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment. During this posting, he deployed on his first operational tour to Iraq. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2006. He went on to complete his Class 1 qualification before being posted to The Light Dragoons in September 2008.

LCpl Brandon leaves behind his parents Anna and Geoff, fiancée Emma-Jayne Webster, his beloved daughter Kaitlin and stepsons Liam and Martyn.

Emma-Jayne, his fiancée, paid the following tribute:

"Richie was a wonderful fiancée and father/stepfather to Martyn, Liam and our daughter Kaitlin. We couldn't have asked for more. He will be very sadly missed by all that knew him. He loved his job. I feel privileged to have spent four-and-a-half years of my life with him. He was one-in-a-million."

Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, Commanding Officer of The Light Dragoons, said:

"LCpl Brandon was deployed as a vehicle mechanic supporting a Reconnaissance Troop. Through a very tough and demanding period of fighting, he worked relentlessly to keep the troop's vehicles fully operational and battle-worthy. He had proved his worth as a professional and dedicated soldier and craftsman in the true spirit of his Corps.

"A quiet and intelligent individual, LCpl Brandon could always be relied upon when given a task to complete it without fuss or complaint; he also had an uncanny ability to always be covered in dust and oil which epitomised his work ethic. He was a devoted individual, always steadfast in the face of adversity, and whose modesty and decorum earned him the respect of the troop which he supported.

"LCpl Brandon had already shown potential as an Artificer in the making with his knowledge, skill, determination and drive. I have no doubt he would have succeeded, such was the quality of the man. His tragic and untimely death will have a profound effect on all who had the privilege to know and work alongside him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time and we share deeply in their grief."

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