3 Jul 12
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Perran Thomas of the Royal Corps of Signals, and Guardsman Craig Andrew Roderick and Guardsman Apete Saunikalou Ratumaiyale Tuisovurua of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 1 July 2012.Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Thomas, Guardsman Craig Roderick and Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua [Pictures: via MOD]
On 1 July 2012, all three were part of a patrol to a checkpoint known as Kamparack Pul to help organise a meeting (shura) with the local detachment of Afghan National Civil Order Police. Having completed their task and on leaving the compound, they were attacked by small arms fire and fatally wounded. They were based in Forward Operating Base Ouellette in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Thomas
Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Thomas deployed to Afghanistan on 17 February 2012 as the Military Stabilisation Support Team (MSST) operator attached to Combined Force Burma.
He was born on 8 August 1967 and was from Ross-on-Wye. He enlisted into the Army in 1990, aged 23. On completion of training he joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards and deployed on Operation GRANBY to Kuwait and Iraq the same year.
He later transferred to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, finishing his regular service in 2005. Much of his career was spent with the Reconnaissance Platoon and he served with distinction whilst in Northern Ireland. As a career soldier he joined the Reserve Forces, continuing his career with 37 Signal Regiment (Volunteers). More recently he held a Full Time Reserve Service appointment in Headquarters Army where he continued supporting operations in the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device area.
WO2 Thomas was in the twilight of an exemplary military career. This was his final operational tour and he was looking forward to spending time pursuing his passion for the outdoors and spending time with his long-term partner Rachel and his mother Sylvia.
WO2 Thomas leaves behind his mother, partner Rachel, and younger brother Tristan (43).
The family of WO2 Thomas paid the following tribute:
"Pez was a military man through and through. He thrived in extreme environments, both in the military and in his spare time.
"He was a keen climber and mountaineer and will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege to have met him."
Guardsman Craig Roderick
Guardsman Craig Andrew Roderick deployed to Afghanistan on 26 March 2012 as a member of a Police Advisory Team within the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group.
Guardsman Roderick was born on 2 April 1990 in Cardiff. Before he joined the Army he went to Pencoed to learn bricklaying. He said to his friends that he joined the Army because he liked to keep fit and wanted to go to Afghanistan. He started his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick on 22 February 2009 and passed out from Catterick in September 2009 joining the Welsh Guards at their home in Aldershot, Lille Barracks.
Guardsman Roderick was an exemplary member of the Welsh Guards. Almost every person he spent time with, commented on his infectious smile and wicked sense of humour. He had a hugely bright future ahead of him and there is no doubt that he would have progressed through the ranks. His enthusiasm was truly boundless, his approach and attitude to work faultless to the last.
Guardsman Roderick will be remembered alongside the other Welsh Guardsman who have both given their lives in service of our country, amongst the ranks of the bravest of the brave.
Guardsman Roderick leaves behind his parents Mike and Sadie, two sisters Katie and Lucinda Emily, step-brother Jay, Grandmother Margaret, and girlfriend Zoe.
The family of Guardsman Roderick paid the following tribute:
"Words cannot describe how the loss of our precious Craig has affected us all. The vast void left by this tragedy will never be filled.
"Everyone who knew him will miss his big smile and his sense of humour. He was the best son, brother or friend you could have wished for, we were privileged to have known him. He will always be missed and never forgotten."
Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua
Guardsman Apete Saunikalou Ratumaiyale Tuisovurua deployed to Afghanistan on 13 April 2012 as a member of a Police Advisory Team within the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group.
Guardsman Tuisovurua was born on 16 July 1983 in Fiji. He started his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick on 14 November 2010. He passed out from Catterick in 2011 before joining the Welsh Guards on 13 June 2011 at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow.
Guardsman Tuisovurua was an exemplary member of the Welsh Guards. His wonderful smile and relaxed attitude ensured universal popularity from all who met him. His professionalism and commitment to his duty meant that he was an extremely popular and respected member of his company and platoon. Guardsman Tuisovurua had a bright future ahead of him - his professionalism, determination and unswerving sense of duty would have carried him far. He will, justly, be remembered among the ranks of the bravest of the brave.
Guardsman Tuisovurua leaves behind his mother, father, four brothers and three sisters.
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua was a gentle and decent man who was defined by his love of sport, his uplifting company and his willingness to go out of his way to help anyone. One of Nature's true gentlemen, he had a deeply moral outlook on life and enduring principles by which he lived. He was extremely fit and robust but without show or arrogance. Everybody liked him - one could not fail to - and his infectious smile broke down barriers wherever he went.
"His ambition was to be selected to play for the Battalion's First XV rugby team, turning up to training regularly though he knew he would struggle to make the cut. He played for the love of the sport and for the friends that he won on the pitch and off it. Guardsman Tuisovurua was an intensely loyal man who was very much part of his team. He leaves a gap in its ranks as he does in that of his Company and of the wider Welsh Guards.
"Our feelings now rest with his family whose loss makes ours seem insignificant in comparison. We hope that God gives them the strength to endure their grief and the knowledge that Apete died in a just cause doing his duty with pride, honour and skill. We will remember him. Cymru am Byth!"...
To read more on how these brave men lived, go here.
Rest in peace.