Thursday, June 17, 2010

Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai and Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai and Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (1 LANCS), serving as part of Combined Force Nad'Ali, were killed in seperate incidents in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday 15 June 2010.

Corporal Rogoiruwai was killed in action during a fire-fight with insurgent forces on 15 June 2010 whilst carrying out a patrol to improve security and increase the freedom of movement for local people in Northern Nad-e Ali, Helmand Province.

As part of a Battlegroup operation to improve security in an area in the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province known for a high level of insurgent activity on 15 June 2010, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce was killed in action during an exchange of fire with insurgents whilst trying to better the lives of ordinary Afghans.

Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai

Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai, known to all as'Rocco', was born in Nausori, in Fiji, on 23 January 1978. He joined the Army in July 2000, initially serving with the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Border Regiment before its amalgamation on 01 July 2006.

Throughout his time in the Army he served with distinction, on numerous operations including Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a highly experienced and dedicated Junior Non Commissioned Officer - one who excelled when in command.

He had a tough yet compassionate style and was destined to do well in an environment that he loved. Just before deploying to Afghanistan, he attended and achieved a strong pass on the Platoon Sergeant's Battle Course and he was on course to promote to Sergeant in the near future

Corporal Rogoiruwai relished being in the Army. He possessed loyalty'in spades' and he had an absolute dedication to the Regiment, to the Battalion, to his Company and to the men he served with. He was quietly confident – a man who did not speak unless he had something important to say.

He had a ready smile, a wonderful sense of humour and a grin that reached from one side of his face to other. He was well known and respected across the Battalion as a soldier and as a friend.

He was a strong family man, proud of his heritage and fiercely protective of his wife, Olivia and his young son, Maciu. He loved them dearly. He was also an accomplished and talented sportsman, representing British Army Cyprus at his beloved rugby and the Battalion on numerous occasions at Bobsleigh.

Corporal Rogoiruwai deployed to Afghanistan as a Section Commander with 1 Platoon, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in March 2010.

The soldiers of Anzio Company have undoubtedly improved the lives of hundreds of local Afghans during their 3 months in Nad-e Ali by conducting frequent joint security and reassurance patrols with their Afghan National Army colleagues.

Tragically killed doing the job that he loved, and excelled at, he will leave a huge hole which will be very difficult to fill. He will be sorely missed by all members of the Battalion as a comrade and as a much loved friend.

The family of Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai have made the following statement:

"Dan was such a loving husband who dedicated his life to his work and especially his family. He will be sorely missed by his friends, workmates and especially by his wife and 3 year old son, Matthew.

"You will always be remembered in our hearts, Daddy. Rest in peace Dan Rogoiruwai."

Lieutenant Colonel Frazer Lawrence OBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment said:

"I am greatly saddened by the death of Corporal'Rocco' Rogoiruwai. He was an outstanding soldier and a very talented Junior Non Commissioned Officer – tough and stoic, but with an infectious smile and a mischievous sense of humour.

"His performance in Afghanistan was outstanding. He led from the front, set the best of examples for others to follow and he put everyone before himself. He loved the Army, his Regiment and his fellow soldiers. But, most of all he loved his wife and his young son.

"Rocco was one of life's leaders – a natural commander – who gave confidence to those around him. He was decent, honest and loyal – a real character.

"A man who saw black and white, who knew right from wrong and who possessed selfless commitment. He was a soldier who could always be trusted. He is a friend who will be sorely missed by me and all members of the Battalion. He was a'Lion' of a man – a'Lion of England' and he will not be forgotten.

"We mourn the loss of Corporal Rocco and we offer our deepest condolences to Olivia and to all of Rocco's family – our thoughts are with them."

Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce

Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce was born in Nausori, in Fiji, on 24 November 1980. He joined the Army in March 2005, initially serving with the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Border Regiment before its amalgamation on 01 July 2006. Throughout his time in the Army, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce served with distinction, including several operational deployments to Iraq.

He was an exceptional soldier, one who thrived in any environment and who was professional to his very core. Experienced, with real dedication to duty and with strong moral values, he was the epitome of a Kingsman - ready to do his duty, to set the best of examples, to put others before himself and with a smile never far from his lips.

Kingsman Tagitaginimoce had only been in the Reconnaissance Platoon for a short period of time, but he had already quickly established himself as an integral, and highly popular, member of the Platoon. His professional skills and tactical knowledge were second to none and he enjoyed the challenges that life in the Battalion's most respected, and physically, demanding role brought.

A quiet and thoughtful soldier, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce was an immensely loyal and honourable individual. He was a man whose family and friends meant everything to him. He was a highly accomplished and very talented rugby player; his love and passion for the game well known by all. An outstanding soldier, a gifted sportsman who was at his happiest when with his family.

Kingsman Tagitaginimoce deployed to Afghanistan in March 2010 with the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. In the 3 months since arriving in Helmand, the Platoon has undertaken numerous joint security operations with the Afghan National Security Forces in support of the local nationals of Nad-e Ali.

Tragically killed doing the job that he loved, Kingsman Tagitaginimoce will be sorely missed by all within the Battalion – there are few like him.

The Wife of Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce, made the following statement:

"A loving husband and a wonderful father who will be deeply missed. Love always, Laisani."

Lieutenant Colonel Frazer Lawrence OBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment said:

"Kingsman'Tagi' Tagitaginimoce was an outstanding soldier and a great friend to many within the Battalion. He died during an attempt to aid one of his comrades. This comes as no surprise as he was an exceptional soldier whose first thought was always for those around him, never himself.

"He epitomised the qualities of a Fijian Kingsman – strong yet gentle, compassionate, principled and honourable, and with a real sense of right and wrong.

"Tagi's performance as a member of the Reconnaissance Platoon in Afghanistan was exemplary – he worked tirelessly for the good of his platoon, the first to volunteer for tasks and always the first to help others.

"Tagi was softly spoken, unassuming and utterly reliable. His sheer presence calmed those around him and made light any dark period – his good cheer was infectious.

"Tagi's death leaves a huge hole in the Battlegroup - the cost is high and painful to all who knew him. He will be long remembered for his love of life, his unwavering loyalty and his comradeship in its purest form.

"But, most importantly he will be remembered for his dedication and devotion to his loved ones – his wife, children and immediate family meant everything to him.

"The whole Battlegroup mourns the loss of Tagi and offers its deepest condolences to Laisani and to all of his family in this dark time – our prayers are with them.

"No one epitomised the spirit of the Battalion more than Tagi – he was a'Lion' of a man, he was a'Lion of England'. We will never forget him."


  1. am so sad, nice guys gone too quick. R.I.P

  2. There are tributes dedicated to their heroism at Friends At Rest ( May they rest in peace.

  3. Rest in peace brothers will see you again.To the familys may god give you strength though this time of sadness God Bless.

  4. Our deepest sympathy:(

  5. Mo drau na tiko e na loloma ni noda turaga o Jisu....drau moce mada na turaga Naita.....

  6. God's peace rest upon you as you lost your lives trying to bring peace to others.May the families and your friend's of these 2 beloved gentleman be comforted by the memories they have left behind.R.I.P. Drau Moce Turaga Naita.