It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Ryan Wrathall in Basra, Iraq, yesterday, Thursday 12 February 2009.
Private Wrathall was serving with 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment as part of 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES) (Strike) Battle Group....
Private Ryan Wrathall, aged 21, from Surbiton, Surrey, was serving in 1 Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1 PWRR) - known as 'The Armoured Tigers'.
He enlisted into the Army in November 2007 at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, prior to joining 1 PWRR in Paderborn, Germany, in June 2008.
On arrival in the battalion he joined his company in their preparations for deploying to BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Canada and subsequently deployed on Exercise Medicine Man 2. While in Canada he also took part in Exercise Fast Air (free-fall parachuting) which he thoroughly enjoyed. The remainder of 2008 was spent preparing for Operation Telic 13 in which he played a full and active part.
He deployed to southern Iraq in November 2008 and was about halfway through a six-month tour of the country as a member of the 5 RIFLES (Strike) Battle Group...
"Kind-hearted and gentle, his personal administration seemed well-designed to test his platoon sergeant's sense of humour. He was known variously as 'Waffle', 'Wrath', 'Mr Clown' (due to his clown tattoos and fun-loving attitude) or 'Socks' (after a mishap when he uncomplainingly spent an entire day on the prairie in boots without socks).
"At the end of his time in Canada, he took part in Exercise Fast Air, a week-long free-fall parachuting course in sight of the Rocky Mountains. He was delighted at overcoming his initial fear and meeting the challenge, thrilled at the excitement of the sport. A man of contrasts, he was a regular smoker, but a naturally fit runner, regularly beating most of the remainder of the platoon.
"Proud of his Spanish heritage, he joined the Army also proud of his two grandfathers' military service and determined to live up to their example. He told his Platoon Commander that his Spanish grandfather had served in the Spanish Civil War and that his English grandfather had served in World War II. In his own words, he was eager to 'make something of his life and proud to serve the country he believed in'...(MOD here)
Keeping Private Wrathall's mother, family and brothers and sisters in arms in my thoughts and prayers.