Saturday, February 20, 2010
It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lieutenant Douglas Dalzell of 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 18 February 2010.Lieutenant Dalzell was serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) (formerly known as Battle Group (Babaji)), and was operating as part of Operation MOSHTARAK.
He died from wounds received as a result of an explosion in the Babaji area of Nahr-e-Saraj in Central Helmand.
Lieutenant Douglas Dalzell
Lieutenant Douglas "Dougie" Dalzell joined the Army in 2007, commissioning into the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in December of that year. After passing the Platoon Commanders' Battle Course in April 2008 he arrived in the Battalion, which had just returned from Operation HERRICK 7. He took over his first Platoon in Number 3 Company and quickly established himself as an extremely capable young officer.
As a Platoon Commander based in Windsor, life is busy with the full spectrum of State Ceremonial occasions and Public Duties. Lieutenant Dalzell rose to the task with a commendably positive attitude; his leadership and drive kept his Platoon motivated and focused on the challenges of the tour in Afghanistan.
He engaged fully in preparing for the multifaceted demands an operational deployment to Afghanistan generates. It was this that really gripped his imagination. With an eye for detail unusual of one so junior, he created training opportunities for his soldiers that stood them all in good stead. To fit this around his duties in London was impressive.
In early 2009 Lieutenant Dalzell moved into Number 1 Company to take command of Number 2 Platoon and it was with them that he deployed to Afghanistan in October 2009. He was devoted to this Platoon and those in it, to him. The rapport and trust quickly gained between him and his men was hugely significant in building a team of professional soldiers eager to deploy to Afghanistan and prove themselves.
Lieutenant Dalzell didn't take his task lightly. He was a professional of the highest standards; a role model for his generation of officers. He led by example and from the front, never asking a soldier to do a job that he hadn't previously done himself.
His Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant Amer, was killed on 30 November 2009 and he carried the burden of losing not only a critical professional colleague, but also a close friend, in the most unselfish way. His courage and leadership over the past four months have been nothing short of astonishing and all those around him have been infected by it. To be praised by those that are so notoriously difficult to please is so fitting, for he was liked, trusted and respected by everyone.
Lieutenant Dalzell was killed on his birthday doing a job he loved and commanding a Platoon of which he was hugely fond and to which he was utterly committed. His colleagues have lost the most remarkable and inspiring officer.
Those who worked most closely with him say he was undoubtedly destined for great things in the Army; he just had the aura of a success story. However behind this brilliance was the most charming, polite and charismatic young man who was loved by all. To a man the Battle Group is devastated by his loss however that can never compare to what is felt by his family and closest friends, to whom he was so devoted.
Lt Dalzell came from Hamstead Marshall, near Newbury, in Berkshire. He was unmarried. He leaves his parents Anthony and Colette, brother Angus and sister Olivia.
Lieutenant Dalzell's family paid the following tribute:
"Our darling son and brother to Olivia and Angus, you touched the hearts of so many. You are our world and we love you with all our hearts. You only ever looked for the good in people and kept strong and happy in all you did. You are a true hero and we will miss you forever."