Operations in Afghanistan

Captain David Hicks of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment killed in Afghanistan

It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Captain David Hicks from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment on Saturday 11 August 2007.

Captain Hicks, aged 26, was killed during a violent attack on his patrol base north east of Sangin, in Helmand Province. At 1320 hours local time the patrol base came under attack from small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, and indirect fire. It was during this engagement that Captain Hicks was injured. An emergency response helicopter took him to the medical facility at Camp Bastion for treatment, but sadly he did not survive.

Captain David Hicks, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment

Captain David Hicks was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 2002 into the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. After two years commanding a rifle platoon he went to Bosnia for two months as a Company Second in Command with The Grenadier Guards. He then went to the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, for just over a year where he trained recruits, before going to Iraq as a Company Second in Command for the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment - ‘The Poachers’. He then returned to the 1st Battalion towards the end of 2006 where he took over again as Company Second in Command for C (Essex) Company.

Captain David Hicks (All rights reserved.)
Captain David Hicks (All rights reserved.)

Captain Hicks had been deployed on Operation HERRICK 6 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, since March 2007. He had been involved in numerous engagements with enemy forces. At the time of his death, he was acting as Company Commander, and had commanded a number of fighting patrols deep into Taliban territory, always leading from the front and setting the example for the remainder of the Company. He died commanding C Company from the front as he coordinated the response to the attack on their patrol base.

Captain Hicks was an extremely dedicated, conscientious and professional officer. He planned everything with incredible attention to detail, always ensuring he achieved the best possible result. He had a real passion for soldiering and thrived in the operational environment, where he had the opportunities to practise the profession he so loved. He was a true advocate of the ‘work hard - play hard’ ethos of the infantry and was a real character in the mess.

He was supremely fit, and enjoyed all physical aspects of the Army. His hobbies included skiing, and he was already planning the Battalion skiing trip for early 2008. He had been with his girlfriend Nicola since late 2006 and was planning to buy a house with her in Surrey following his operational tour in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Carver, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

Captain Dave Hicks was an outstanding officer who will be sorely missed by all members of the Battalion. It is typical of him that he had led from the forward position during the attack on his Company, in order to best direct the battle and provide an inspiring example to his men. Even after being mortally wounded his only concern was to get back into position to control the fight. Highly professional with a genuine concern for his soldiers, he typified the highest standards of leadership and commanded genuine respect from all who served with him. Our sincere condolences are with his family and friends at this most difficult of times.

Major Phil Messenger, Officer Commanding C (Essex) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

Dave Hicks was the most professional and dedicated fellow infantry officer I have ever had the privilege of working with. He had a true affinity with the soldiers he so enjoyed working alongside and he commanded their respect due to his firm but fair leadership style. He was an infantry officer of the highest order, totally dedicated to his work and determined to give 100 per cent in everything he did. He will be sorely missed by all officers and soldiers of C (Essex) Company and will always be remembered as a first class officer and dear friend.

Capt Alex Maclay, Regimental Signals Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

Words cannot describe what the loss of Dave means. Whether it was his shoulder to cry on, as a partner in crime, or just comradeship, we shared many good times, the memories of which I will always cherish.

Lieutenant Marni Olivier, Officer Commanding 11 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

I have had the honour to serve with Dave since the start of this operational tour. His calming influence and willingness to make time to listen to our concerns always impressed me. I trusted his judgement and thoughts. He led us extremely well in some very dangerous situations. I will miss my friend.

Sergeant Matthew Waters, 11 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

Captain Dave Hicks was a good friend and a good leader of men. To me he was a calming influence who would be able to see through tough situations and find a positive side. His humour was unique and he always knew what to say to cheer people up. Dave stepped up to Company Commander and used his intelligence and experience to do what was right for him and the men. He was a good friend but hopefully he has gone to a better place. Dave will be sorely missed by all in C (Essex) Company and across the Battalion. He was a true star.

Private Benjamin Emmett, C (Essex) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

Captain Hicks was a very hard working and understanding Second in Command. He was a funny, caring man and would always put a smile on your face. He was always willing to give advice and would never put you down. He always had time for everyone from private soldiers to the Company Commander. He will be missed greatly by all that knew him.

Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

Captain Hicks’ death is tragic. The loss of such a dedicated and talented officer is truly sad and I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family. My thoughts are also with the men of the Royal Anglians who Captain Hicks led so courageously in battle.