Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe killed in Afghanistan
16 Sep 12
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (3 YORKS), were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 15 September 2012.
The two men were shot and fatally wounded by a rogue Afghan Local Policeman in Checkpoint Tora in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
Both men served proudly and in the highest traditions of The Yorkshire Regiment. They will never be forgotten.
Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said:
"I was saddened to hear of this cowardly act by a man wearing an Afghan Local Police uniform, which has taken the lives of two brave British soldiers.
"All of our thoughts are with the families of Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe. They gave their lives protecting Britain's national security, helping to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for international terrorism."
Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment
Sergeant Gareth David Thursby was born on the 21 September 1982. He attended South Craven School in Skipton before joining the British Army on 3 August 1999. After completing his training in early 2000, he joined 1st Battalion The Duke of Wellington's Regiment. His first deployment was to Kosovo in 2003 followed by Iraq in 2005. He passed the Section Commander's Battle Course to qualify for a posting to the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright as an instructor. Subsequently, he returned to 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a section commander. In October 2010 he was promoted to sergeant and assumed his role as a platoon sergeant in Alma Company.
Sergeant Thursby was deeply respected by all that worked with him and all that knew him. His professionalism and strength of character were his hallmark, as was his commitment to his men. His unswerving loyalty, moral courage and sense of duty were an example to all. He was 29 years old and is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children, Joshua and Ruby.
Sgt Thursby's wife, Louise, paid the following tribute to him:
"Gareth was the love of my life. He was an amazing husband and father, happy, full of life and kind hearted with a passion for his work and family. He was brave, hardworking, a loving husband who was a devoted father to his children. Our Hero."
Private Thomas James Wroe, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment Private Thomas James Wroe was born in Huddersfield on 27th June 1994. He joined the British Army on 5th September 2010 and attended the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. On 11 November 2011 he completed his training and joined 3 YORKS. He was assigned to 3 Platoon, Alma Company as a Rifleman and completed demanding pre-deployment training, including qualifying as a Team Medic. Private Wroe spent several weeks working and training with the Battalion Rear Operations Group in the United Kingdom until he turned 18 years, deploying to join the rest of his Company on Operation HERRICK 16 on 1 July 2012.
Private Wroe was an outstanding example of a Yorkshire Regiment soldier. Even in the short time he had been with his Company he had shown himself to be enthusiastic, articulate and highly capable. He followed a strong family tradition of service in the Battalion and already had aspirations to attend a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre. His quick witted sense of humour made him popular with all. Private Wroe was 18 years old and is survived by his parents, Michael and Claire and sister Demi, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Thomas's family paid this tribute:
"Our son Thomas was a brave young soldier, who is loved by his family, girlfriend and friends. We can't believe you have been taken so soon from us. You will always be in our hearts for ever and ever. You would light up the room with your smile and bubbly personality. Our world will be a duller place without you. We are so proud of you son, on all you achieved and we are grateful for every special thing you gave us. We will always love you Tom."...
Go here and spend time learning how these Heroes lived, in the words of those who knew and loved them the most.
Rest In Peace.