Tributes pour in for Royal Engineer killed in Afghanistan's Helmand province
A SOLDIER from the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, who was responsible for one of the toughest jobs in Afghanistan, was killed by an explosion on Sunday. Cpl Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) was mortally wounded by an im
A SOLDIER from the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, who was responsible for one of the "toughest jobs" in Afghanistan, was killed by an explosion on Sunday.
Cpl Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Gereshk area of Helmand province.
His wife, Nicola, said: "Loren was Army barmy right back to being a Cadet. He did the job he loved and paid the ultimate price for his friends, comrades and country.
"We are proud to say we knew and loved him. A true hero in our eyes - you may be gone but you will never ever be forgotten."
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Known as Loz to his friends, Cpl Marlton-Thomas, 28, was a search team commander within a task force responsible for minimising the threat posed by IEDs to troops and the people of Afghanistan.
He was leading an advanced search team, hunting for explosive devises near to Patrol Base Sandford, when he was killed.
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After joining the Army in 1998, Cpl Marlton-Thomas served in Northern Ireland and Iraq. He was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 with 49 Field Squadron who are based at the barracks near Saffron Walden.
Commanding Officer of 33 Engineer Regt (EOD), Lt Col David Southall MBE, described Cpl Marlton-Thomas as a man of "great courage and commitment" and a "gifted" soldier.
"His role, in leading teams to find IEDs, was undeniably amongst the toughest in Helmand province," he said. "Despite this, Loz was one of the most irrepressible and positive junior commanders I have met.
"With a smile on his face, his natural charm, confidence and soldiering skill meant men followed him instinctively.
"Loz made the ultimate sacrifice whilst striving to rid Afghanistan of IEDs and make the country a safer place, for both our troops and the Afghan people. Our thoughts are with his wife, Nicola, and family; we share their grief. Loz will not be forgotten."
Commanding Officer of Counter IED Task Force, Lt Col Gareth Bex said: "Corporal Marlton-Thomas was a courageous soldier and a strong leader; his boys loved him.
"He epitomised the character and bravery required of a Royal Engineer search team commander and his loss will be felt keenly across our close knit community.