17 Nov 11
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Peter Eustace from 2nd Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES) was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 16 November 2011.
Lance Corporal Peter Eustace
[Picture: via MOD]
Lance Corporal Peter Eustace, 2 RIFLES, deployed to Afghanistan as a mortar fire controller with Delhi Company of 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS), attached to Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North) in Helmand province.
He was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) on 16 November 2011 while conducting a joint patrol with his Company and the Afghan National Army.
Lance Corporal Peter Eustace
Born on 13 August 1986 and raised in Liverpool, after a brief career as a painter and decorator, LCpl Eustace found his true calling when he joined the Army in late 2004.
After completing his basic training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, LCpl Eustace joined 1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets, which subsequently became 2nd Battalion The Rifles. Within a year-and-a-half he was deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC 9.
He flourished on operations and showed the dependability, courage and quickness of mind for which he became known. His rich qualities made him a natural choice to undertake a Junior Non Commissioned Officer (JNCO) selection cadre, which he passed with ease in March 2009.
As a newly promoted Lance Corporal, he deployed to Afghanistan for the first time on Operation HERRICK 10 in April 2009, leading his section through difficult and testing times. The Riflemen he commanded, as well as the commanders he worked for, trusted and respected his opinion and judgement.
LCpl Eustace's willingness and ability to accept responsibility made him the ideal choice to become a Mortar Fire Controller, and it was in this critical role that he deployed to Afghanistan in October 2011. His experience, diligence and character undoubtedly made the difficult first weeks of Operation HERRICK 15 safer for the Riflemen and Private soldiers he served alongside.
Lance Corporal Eustace, known to his friends as 'Eust', was a huge character and a bedrock of the mortar platoon he loved. He had a wicked sense of humour, optimistic nature and love of life that will make him sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Carol, his sister, Kirsty, his brother, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Aimi.
LCpl Eustace's family issued the following statement:
"Peter was very fit and he always wanted to join the Army, he was committed to carrying out a full career there. He will be missed by his family and friends and is loved by all. Peter was a loving son and grandson and will be especially missed by his girlfriend, Aimi. He will also be missed by loving dog Macey."
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Wright MBE, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES, said:
"Lance Corporal Eustace looked and was every inch the archetypal Mortarman: utterly professional; dedicated to his fellow Riflemen and blessed with a huge character that matched his size. Full of an irreverent sense of humour no one, not even the Commanding Officer, was safe from his endless banter.
"After two very demanding operational tours, the first fighting on the streets of Basra on Operation TELIC 9 and the latter showing nerves of steel and huge courage in the IED laden alleyways around FOB Wishtan on Operation HERRICK 10, he had nothing left to prove as a warrior. He was one of those men you can completely rely on when things get tough.
"He will be sorely missed by all, particularly the Mortar Platoon and his fellow chosen men in the Corporals' Mess. Their parties will be far quieter without him. All our thoughts and heartfelt best wishes are with his family and friends at this tragic time. A true Rifleman – Swift and Bold."...
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Rest In Peace, Sir.