Operations in Afghanistan

Lance Corporal Adam Drane killed in Afghanistan

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Adam Paul Drane from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 7 December 2009.

Lance Corporal Adam Drane (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal Adam Drane (All rights reserved.)

Lance Corporal Drane died whilst carrying out security duties at Check Point Paraang in southern Nad e-Ali, Helmand province.

He deployed to Afghanistan as a Section Second-in-Command within C (Essex) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, attached to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Battle Group.

Lance Corporal Drane was employed within 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company. He was responsible for commanding a four-man ‘fire team’ and as such was charged with engaging with and reassuring the local population as well as defeating the insurgents in one of Helmand province’s most challenging areas. He had been conducting this task for nearly two months.

Lance Corporal Adam Paul Drane

Lance Corporal Drane was born in Bury St Edmunds on 24 July 1986. He completed his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick on 15 August 2007 and within two weeks had joined 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in Afghanistan for the last two months of their Op HERRICK 6 tour.

On returning to the UK he completed a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) cadre and was soon after promoted to Lance Corporal.

Prior to deploying to Afghanistan for his second tour, Lance Corporal Drane had completed a number of demanding field exercises in the UK as well as achieving a semi-final place in the Inter-Company Boxing Championships of 2009.

Lance Corporal Drane leaves behind a close and loving family, including his parents, Desmond and Jackie, and brother, Christopher, as well as his beloved fiancee, Sian Goodenough.

Quietly confident, Lance Corporal Drane was an extremely kind individual who had a wonderful sense of humour. He was well-known and respected across the battalion as a soldier but particularly renowned for his love of music and guitars.

Lance Corporal Drane was very much career orientated and was looking forward to completing the demanding Section Commanders’ Battle Course after the tour which would have made him eligible for further promotion.

Lance Corporal Drane’s parents, Desmond and Jackie Drane, paid the following tribute:

No words can adequately describe what our loss means to us. But knowing we are united with all Service families brings comfort.

As his parents, together with Sian, his fiancee, and on behalf of Christopher his younger brother, we wish to express our tremendous pride in Adam’s achievements: as a son, a brother, and future husband. We wish also to honour his chosen profession, which taught him the true meaning of courage and self-sacrifice. In the course of his duties, Lance Corporal Adam Drane died at his post, protecting his company, in the service of his country.

All we would ask, at this time, is for a period of grace in order to begin coming to terms with our loss. We ask that our family’s needs be respected through this time of grief and sorrow.

Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:

I am hugely saddened by the death of Lance Corporal Adam Drane killed whilst serving in the Nad e-Ali area of Afghanistan. He died doing his job and whilst playing his part in creating all-important security for the people of Afghanistan.

Adam was a highly respected and professional Non-Commissioned Officer whose death has left a huge hole in the hearts of those with whom he served. He will be remembered as a quiet, confident and effective young man with a bright future ahead of him.

Those of us who Adam leaves behind will never forget him and will draw inspiration from his memory for the work that lies ahead of us. I know that I can speak for all members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment - ‘The Vikings’ - in offering our thoughts and prayers to Adam’s family and friends.

Major Christopher Davies, Officer Commanding, C (Essex) Company, said:

Lance Corporal Adam Drane was a thoroughbred soldier with huge potential; having already served with distinction in Afghanistan in 2007 as part of B Company it was no surprise that he stood out amongst his peers as someone special when he moved to C Company in the summer of 2009.

After nearly two months of almost daily engagements with the enemy, of which the majority were fierce and unrelenting, he remained hardy, focused and full of resolve. His stoical nature made those around him stronger and his sense of humour and genuine compassion for his fellow men allowed him to create a confident and extremely capable team.

Lance Corporal Drane was naturally brave and courageous, and convincingly demonstrated this in the boxing ring as well as on the battlefield. A true inspiration to others, his absence will leave an irreplaceable gap within the ranks of C (Essex) Company.

Such a tragic loss of life is hard to comprehend but will be most acutely felt by Lance Corporal Drane’s fiancee and family, who meant so much to him, and our thoughts at this deeply sad time are firmly lodged with them.

Second Lieutenant Dan Benstead, 6 Platoon Commander, C (Essex) Company, said:

The death of Lance Corporal Drane has dealt a huge blow to 6 Platoon. He was an immensely popular character and the shock we are feeling is testament to this.

Lance Corporal Drane was an outstanding soldier and a highly competent Section Second-in-Command. He proved his ability to command his fire team in numerous difficult engagements with the enemy, and his calmness under fire earned him a huge amount of respect from those who served with him.

I could always rely upon Lance Corporal Drane to do anything that was asked of him. He believed entirely in our mission in Afghanistan and his commitment to achieving this was evident in everything he did.

Lance Corporal Drane was an avid music fan and could often be found compiling playlists of his favourite tracks during periods of down-time; he will be remembered fondly for this.

This is a very difficult time for all of 6 Platoon but words cannot describe the grief his family must be feeling. His parents, Jackie and Des, his brother Christopher and fiancee Sian can be immensely proud of Lance Corporal Drane. The thoughts of the whole of 6 Platoon are with them at this time. He will be missed by us all.

Lance Corporal Daniel Monks, Second-in-Command 2 Section, 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:

It is not hard to describe the kind of man Adam was; never difficult or uncomfortable to be around but the complete opposite. A well-loved character within the company.

Never negative about what had to be done, and always smiling at every task no matter how hard to achieve. Determined as a leader and an inspiration to the others with his kindness. I first became good friends with Adam after the JNCO cadre, where he would come to me for advice about work.

I never talked to Adam without laughing about something stupid and always walked away with a smile on my face.

Lance Corporal Alex Stearne, 1 Section Commander, 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:

The way I remember Adam is his love of music and kindness to everyone. We have lost a good commander but a better friend. I will always remember him ‘air-guitaring’ to AC/DC whilst on radio stag with him.

Private Paul ‘Kels Bels’ Kelly, 1 Section, 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:

Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss Adam. He was the best friend I have ever had. No matter how hard the situation became, he could always cheer me up.

All we had talked about during the tour was our future weddings and how we were going to be each other’s best man and that is exactly what he was. His passing has left a space in my heart that will never be filled. He was my ‘hard rockin’ brother and that is how I will remember him.

Private Jason Field, 3 Section, 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:

Lance Corporal Drane was the kindest, most loving man I knew. This was most apparent when he talked about his fiancee. He loved her so much. She was the first and last person on his mind and I have never met anyone who loved someone as much as he did. I’ll never forget our times together and listening to him play his guitar. He’ll always be with me.

Private Dan Burgess, Javelin Detachment, 6 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:

I will always remember ‘Add’ for his sense of humour and love of music. When I first met him seven years ago with his long blond hair and bass guitar in hand, I never once thought a few years down the line we would be in Afghanistan together. He will always be remembered as an excellent soldier, and an even better friend.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lance Corporal Adam Drane, a young soldier who was as popular for his friendliness and personality as he was respected for his ability and professionalism.

“Lance Corporal Drane lost his life in the service of his country, but this will not take away the pain felt by his family, friends and colleagues. My thoughts and sympathies are with them all at this difficult time.”