It is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that two British soldiers died following the ambush of a military convoy south-west of Basrah on Tuesday 28 September 2004.
An armoured Land Rover was badly damaged, and as troops sought to extract the casualties, they came under small arms fire.
Corporal Marc Taylor, Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
Aged 27, he came from Ellesmere Port and served with the Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, attached to 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. He was married with a daughter.
Marc ‘Spud’ Taylor joined the Army in August 1993; choosing REME. After training, his first posting was to 1st Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, based in Germany, as a Recovery Mechanic. During this time he served an operational tour in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In July 1998 he was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Workshop, based in Marchwood. In August 2000 he moved to 7th Air Assault Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and completed a tour in Northern Ireland.
His last posting was to 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Workshop in Tidworth. He deployed to Iraq in command of a four-man team with B Battery Royal Horse Artillery in April 2004. Initially responsible for the mentoring and training of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Basrah Police, they had recently re-roled to provide escort teams to a group coordinating reconstruction projects in Basrah province.
Corporal Taylor was killed whilst escorting a visit to a new housing project. He was a calm, confident leader who easily gained the respect of all who had the privilege of knowing him. He was a first class Team Commander. Corporal Taylor was a devoted husband and father. In the year he had been with the Regiment he made many good friends and will be sorely missed by all, in particular the members of the Workshop and B Battery. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.
His wife, Mrs Olivia Taylor, who is expecting their second child, said:
Marc had been in the Army for eleven years, and it was his life. He was an Army man through and through. He was always very positive about his time in Iraq, and serving his country. He enjoyed the particular job he was doing, helping the Iraqi people rebuild their lives.
All of his family are proud that he died doing the job he wanted to do. He was a hero to all of us, and everyone who knew him.
Gunner David Lawrence, Royal Artillery
Gunner David Lawrence, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was aged 25 and came from Wallsall.
David ‘Loz’ Lawrence enlisted in June 2001, joining the Royal Artillery. After training at the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright and the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, he joined B Battery, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, based in Tidworth, operating the AS-90 armoured self-propelled gun.
Almost immediately he went on operations; serving with the Battery in Bosnia in 2002. He also took part in the provision of emergency cover under Operation Fresco during the industrial action by firefighters in 2002-3, and deployed on exercise to the British Army’s training facility in Canada.
He deployed to Iraq with B Battery in June 2004 as a member of a Rifle Troop responsible for the mentoring and training of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Basrah Police.
His Troop recently re-roled to provide escort teams to a group coordinating reconstruction projects in Basra province.
Gunner Lawrence was killed whilst escorting a visit to a new housing project. He was a cheerful soldier who always had a cheeky grin on his face; a keen footballer - he was very much a team player.
He was very popular with all who knew him, as he was a good loyal friend. He will be sorely missed by all in the Regiment. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his parents and his girlfriend.