Of the three 1st Battalion, The Rifles soldiers who were killed in action in Afghanistan last week, one was brought up locally on Salisbury Plain. Our deepest sympathy and Condolences go out to all soldiers and families concerned. Details of the latest casualties are listed below.
Lance Corporal Paul 'Uppers' Upton, 1st Battalion the Rifles, was killed in action when the vehicle in which he and two other Riflemen, Corporal Tom Gaden, and Rifleman Jamie Gunn were travelling was struck by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on the highway East of Gereshk on Wednesday 25 February 2009. They were on patrol with their OMLT (Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) with whom all three had been operating since 2008. Lance Corporal Upton lived locally for a time at Figheldean on Salisbury Plain. He originally enlisted into the Army in Salisbury in August 1996. On completion of his Combat Infantryman's course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick he was posted to A Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (1 RGBW) on 24 February 1997. He served in the Anti-Tank Platoon with a tour to Northern Ireland and exercises in Canada. Lance Corporal Upton left the army in 2000 to pursue other interests, including opening a sports shop in Amesbury although he was deployed as a reservist to Kosovo with the 1st Battalion, The Princess's of Wales Royal Regiment. He re-enlisted in December 2007 and was posted to E Company, 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES) in April 2008, in time to commence Pre-Deployment Training for their operational tour in Afghanistan, alongside his brother Leon, a Serjeant in C Company of the same Battalion. Lance Corporal Upton was aged 31.
Corporal Tom Gaden was 25 he enlised into the 2nd Battalion, The Light Infantry in November 2002. Rifleman Jamie Gunn enlisted in to 1st Battalion, The Rifles in May 2008, he was aged just 20.
Pictured - from left to right - Corporal Tom Gaden, Rifleman Jamie Gunn and Lance Corporal Paul Upton.