Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lance Corporal Tom Keogh killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Tom Keogh from 4th Battalion The Rifles (4 RIFLES), part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 7 March 2010.

Lance Corporal Keogh was killed by a gunshot wound during a small arms engagement in Sangin, Helmand province. He was in Patrol Base Bariolai when he was killed.

Lance Corporal Tom Keogh

Lance Corporal Keogh originally enlisted in 2003, serving until 2008, including a tour in Iraq on Operation TELIC 10. After a year's break, he rejoined in 2009. Immediately upon rejoining, he was posted to the Recconnaissance Platoon, 4 RIFLES.

Very soon thereafter, he started pre-deployment training for Afghanistan with R Company, Fire Support Group, who were due to deploy as part of the Election Support Force. He was injured in an accident just before deployment, and remained in the UK to recover, before training for and completing a potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) cadre with 5 RIFLES.

He gained the coveted top student award on the course before deploying to Afghanistan with A Company, 4 RIFLES, on Operation HERRICK 11.

Lance Corporal Keogh was born on 25 August 1985. He was from Paddington in London and leaves behind his parents and two brothers.

His parents, Lawrence and Marion Keogh, have made the following statement:

"Tom was our eldest son and we all loved and admired him greatly. He loved the Army life and lived his life to the full. He brought laughter and happiness to our home and all who knew him.

"Our family has been left devastated by Tom's tragic death, but not a day will pass without us remembering the happiness and pride he gave us. We love you Tom."

Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones, Commanding Officer, 4 RIFLES, said:

"It is sometimes tempting to get carried away in extolling the virtues of the fallen, but with Lance Corporal Tom Keogh there is no danger of drifting towards exaggeration. He was quite simply one of the very best soldiers in the battalion and proves yet again the sad adage that it is the best that die young.

"The Reconnaissance Platoon is a haven for the best and most motivated Riflemen, as they are always very keen to tell us. Lance Corporal Keogh was totally at home there and was one of their real stars - a natural soldier who just got it. Highly fit, dynamic, and extremely professional, but always there for those less capable and experienced than him.

"The younger lads were drawn to him by his example and kindness. He was a genuine role model to them and they aspired to his standards.

"Devastated to see his Recce mates deploy without him last June after he was injured, his moment came recently when he joined A Company as a battle casualty replacement. In the meantime he came top of 130 Riflemen on his Junior NCO promotion cadre; a particularly difficult accolade to secure coming as it did when he was a guest on a course being held by one of our sister Rifles battalions.

"Those who have gone before him as top student have fast-tracked up the promotion ladder. Like them, his trajectory was set and his future very bright.

"He is the third to fall in A Company in ten days and his loss will be felt deeply. Likewise, back in Bulford, his great many friends will mourn the loss of a loyal brother Rifleman, an exceptionally decent man and one of our finest warriors. His family are in our thoughts and prayers.

"They have so much to be proud of in what he achieved. His sacrifice is the tragic price being paid for the deliberate but concrete progress being made in Helmand to improve the lives of the Afghan people. Those that were touched by him will never forget him. His memory will only give us all yet more determination to deliver improved security as a fitting and enduring legacy."


  1. May he now R.I.P: Prayers and thoughts are with his family friends and colleagues. May God Bless you All. x


  3. R.I.P tom you will be missed you are a true hero from your 2nd cousin

  4. rip mate you were a great mate and a great idle for me and every one in recce, u were fit, strategicaly clever, kind, loyal and one of the most funniest lads i ever had met. no one could dislike u if u tried. every one will miss ya from recce and the battallion, cheers mate, it was a pleasure to of known you.