Sunday, January 24, 2010
Rifleman Peter Aldridge of 4 RIFLES killed in Afghanistan
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Rifleman Peter Aldridge of 4th Battalion The Rifles, in Afghanistan on Friday 22 January 2010.
Rifleman Aldridge, 4th Battalion The Rifles
Rifleman Aldridge, a soldier from A Company 4 RIFLES, serving as part of 3 RIFLES Battle Group, was killed by an explosion near Sangin in Helmand Province. He was on a foot patrol, part of a larger operation to provide security for the local population in Sangin, when the explosion happened.
Rifleman Aldridge’s family made this statement:
"Our Son died a hero, he lost his life doing what he believed in. Peter said, "If I'm going to die I want to die a Soldier." Our son joined the Army as a Rifleman in the Royal Green Jackets and he didn’t want to be anything else. He was determined to get his first tour of duty under his belt. He believed in the Army and was proud of his job and we are so proud of you Peter.
"We would like to thank our family, friends and the Army for being there to support us in our time of need.
"Peter leaves behind his Girlfriend, Jem, and his Brother, Matthew, who he loved with all his heart.
"We love you sweet pea. Swift and Bold Forever."
Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones, Commanding Officer 4 RIFLES, said
"Rifleman Peter Aldridge was just 19 – still very much a young man, but having gone to the Army’s Foundation College in 2006, he had a great deal of experience despite his young age. Indeed he was one of the longer serving Riflemen in his platoon having joined their band almost 2 years ago.
"He made a mark from the outset and was already one of the natural leaders in his platoon. The less experienced Riflemen respected and looked up to him as a role model. He was genuinely dedicated to being a Rifleman and took great pride from it. Looking the part was important to him and he spent plenty of money on making sure that he did.
"He fully embraced The Rifles mantra to be a Thinking Rifleman and was never backward in asking 'why'. Indeed, he will be remembered affectionately for having something to say about most things. He was always in the thick of events and being such a central character in the platoon, he was a regular subject for their jokes. This only encouraged him more as he was a man with a great sense of humour and an infectious ability to laugh at himself.
"It was clear from when he first arrived in the Battalion that he was more comfortable in the field than in barracks and in Afghanistan his character really came to the fore. Early in the tour he was his Platoon Serjeant’s wingman as the 60mm mortarman, but later took over as a section lead man. There is no lonelier task and it demands real depth of courage and selflessness. Rifleman Aldridge had plenty of both. Deeply loyal to his brother Riflemen and with maturity beyond his years, he volunteered for the task after his predecessor was killed.
"Rifleman Aldridge's section has had a particularly tough tour and his loss is a cruel blow to them, but also to all who knew him. The most fitting testimony that can be paid to him is that we all continue the task on which he died – he would want nothing less. All his brother Riflemen in 4 RIFLES salute him.
"His loss will be a devastating blow to his family and loved ones; our thoughts are with them. The last thing Rifleman Aldridge said to the medic treating him at the scene was to tell his mother that he loved her."