Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) was killed in Afghanistan.
Corporal Marlton-Thomas was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) on Sunday 15 November 2009 whilst conducting a route search to clear devices in the vicinity of Patrol Base Sandford, in the Gereshk area of Helmand province. He died of his wounds on Monday 16 November 2009.
Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas
Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, aged 28, and known as 'Loz' to his comrades, deployed on Operation HERRICK 11 as a Royal Engineer Search Team Commander within the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group; part of the Counter-IED Task Force responsible for minimising the threat posed to ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) and the people of Afghanistan.
The cornerstone of 4 Troop, 49 Field Squadron (EOD), 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), in Wimbish, Essex, he deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 as an Acting Corporal. In the relatively short time that he had been in theatre he had proved himself more than worthy of the rank and responsibilities of a Section Commander.
Cpl Marlton-Thomas made the decision to serve his country by joining the Army in 1998. He had his mind set on a life full of challenge, excitement and adventure.
He initially considered a life in the Parachute Regiment; however, he quickly found that his talents were better suited to life in the Royal Engineers. In typical Sapper-style he was a man of many talents, a first rate soldier, an extremely competent combat engineer and accomplished blacksmith. Not one for barracks routine he really came to the fore and flourished in the operational environment.
Prior to embarking on his career in EOD, 'Loz' served in a number of units including 35 Engineer Regiment in Paderborn, 21 Engineer Regiment in Osnabruck and 25 Engineer Regiment in Northern Ireland.
His military experience led him to complete operational tours of Northern Ireland on Op BANNER and Iraq on Op TELIC 11. On both tours he served in the Advanced Search Troop giving him a wealth of search experience which translated into him being an exceptional Team Commander.
Corporal Marlton-Thomas epitomised the men of courage and nerve that he led; Advanced Search teams, the 'improvised explosive device hunters', are a unique breed who stalk their concealed quarry along the tracks and wadis of Helmand.
He was extremely proud of this life-saving and critical role that his team performs and demonstrated his true merit as a leader of men in this role.
Cpl Marlton-Thomas's wife, Mrs Nicola Marlton-Thomas, paid the following tribute:
"Loren was Army-barmy right back to being a Cadet. He did the job he loved and paid the ultimate price for his friends, comrades and country. We are proud to say we knew and loved him. A true hero in our eyes - you may be gone but you will never ever be forgotten."