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COPE Thomas John Ronald “Cody”


DICKS William Albert Henry Cpl 2217168


Of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, on 20 February 2009 aged 66. He enlisted into 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters in 1961 serving with the Signals Platoon in Ireland, Münster and Minden. He was a founder member of the Blue Berets pop group, playing bass. He left the Army in 1971. In civilian life, he became a steel worker by day and an entertainer at night as a comedian/ singer touring the Social Clubs of the north of England.


DAVIS Michael C J Maj


Of Kidderminster on 18 July 2009 aged 78. Born on 28 May 1931 in Kidderminster, he was called up for National Service in The Worcestershire Regiment at Norton Barracks on 18 April 1949. The 7th Battalion was on the point of departing for Germany so he was posted to The South Staffordshire Regiment. He completed his National Service in September 1951 and returned to agricultural engineering joining 7th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment as a TA soldier at The Shrubbery, Kidderminster. He excelled at running and shooting whilst in uniform.


DyER Christopher Capt


Of Great Missenden on 11 November 2008 aged 68. Born in Stone-in-Oxney, Kent, where his father was the Parish Vicar, he was commissioned into The Staffordshire Regiment and joined the 1st Bn in Colchester in 1961. He served with the Battalion in their tours in Colchester, Kenya, Dover, Berlin, Bahrain, Osnabruck and North Armagh. He completed a training appointment in Lichfield, saw operational service in the Oman during the communist inspired insurrection and Aden and was also Adjutant of The Mercian Volunteers in Wolverhampton. In the latter half of his service, he became an expert in Forward Air Controlling and did various jobs in that field. His final posting was as Schools Liaison Officer in Beaconsfield and he left the Army in 1995. In retirement, he worked for twenty societies and charities which he continued to support right to the end of his life.


DAVIES Luther WO2 978101


Of Keynsham, Avon, in August 2008 aged 90. He enlisted on 15 July 1939 and served with 1/5th The Sherwood Foresters in France where he was wounded by shrapnel. He was evacuated through Cherbourg and, on return to UK, was transferred to the Small Arms School in 1940. He left the Army as a WO2 instructor in 1946. In civilian life, he worked as a Group Training Manager for Spillers Bakery.


DEAKIN Gilbert


Of Woodsetter, Dudley, on 16 May 09 aged 92. He served in 1st Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment.


The Mercian Eagle


Of Fleet, Hampshire, on 8 February 2009 aged 49. Chris was commissioned into The Staffordshire Regiment in 1978 and joined the 1st Battalion on 26 March 1979 in Colchester. He served with the Battalion on an eighteen month tour in Londonderry and in Gibraltar, Lichfield, Colchester and Fallingbostel; he served, also, with the 3rd Battalion in Wolverhampton. He left the Army in 1988. He was a much liked Regimental character, slightly unorthodox and very much a soldiers’ officer.


EDWARDS Fred


Of Kettering in the summer of 2008. Fred served with 1st South Staffords in Cyprus during the EOKA Campaign. He lost touch with the Regiment for a number of years and contacted Tom Mason of Lichfield Branch after hearing him on a radio show. Fred lost both his legs in his later years, but this did not stop him from living a full and active life. In 2005 he read a poem at a large parade of the National Service Veterans Association at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas. He took part in Cyprus Veterans visits in 2007.


ELLIOTT Gavin “Billy” Pte 30012063


Of Worksop on 3 September 2009 aged 21. Born in Woodsetts, Worksop, on 30 October 1989, Gavin completed his training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick where he was voted “Soldiers’ Soldier” by his peers and he was honoured with a sailing trip around the Canary Islands for this worthy achievement. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion in October 2007 and took his turn at Public Duties before the Battalion was posted to Palace Barracks, Hollywood. Whilst in Belfast, he deployed to Jamaica on Ex Rum Punch where he earned his spurs as a MERCIAN soldier in the testing Jungle environment. After moving to B Company, he began build-up training for the Battalion’s deployment to Afghanistan on Op Herrick 10, where he was attached to The Light Dragoons Battle Group. On the day that he lost his life, Gavin was in his familiar position as point man on a clearance operation on a foot patrol in Babaji district, central Helmand province, when his Section came under close quarter attack from insurgents. Gavin was shot and fatally wounded. Despite the best efforts of his Platoon to extract him quickly from the scene for subsequent evacuation by helicopter, the injuries were too severe and he died en route to hospital.


He was renowned for always being the first one on the dance floor but, when it came to the business of being a soldier, he would always work stoically hard for his comrades. Just as he was known during basic training, he was known in the Battalion for all the traits that distinguish a thoroughly professional soldier. During their tour of Afghanistan, B Company was instrumental in all the major operations - in particular Op Panther’s Claw. Gavin found himself tested by some of the fiercest fighting the British have experienced since deploying to Helmand Province. In every respect, this tested the mettle and bravery of everyone involved and Gavin remained the soldiers’ soldier. He insisted regularly on being “point man” to act as the eyes and ears of the patrol and always took the lead in the search for Improvised Explosive Devices. More than any other, in spite of the relentless and harsh climatic conditions of the Green Zone, Gavin would lie on his stomach tenaciously carrying out nervous fingertip searches of the dust and dirt uncovering countless of these devices buried in the ground. His bravery was an inspiration. Pte Elliott lived by the phrase: “Learn from yesterday; Live for today; Hope for tomorrow.” He was professional and hardworking and a man in whom all had the utmost confidence. He never shied from danger and, in the fiercest of battles, his comrades took comfort from knowing that he was there, side-by-side, and sharing the danger.


FALLOWS David


In 2009. David served with 1st Bn The Staffordshire Regiment in Dover and Osnabrück and the associated Northern Ireland Op Banner tours in the 1970s. He


October 2009 117


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