Operations in Iraq

Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers killed in Iraq

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Timothy Darren Flowers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Basra City, southern Iraq on Saturday 21 July 2007.

LCpl Flowers, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but who was attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, died as a result of an indirect fire attack on Basra Palace. For reasons of operational security we are unable to give any further details.

Lance Corporal Timothy Darren ‘Daz’ Flowers

Lance Corporal Timothy Darren ‘Daz’ Flowers, aged 25, of The Corps of Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and serving with the Irish Guards Battle Group in Iraq, tragically died from injuries sustained from an indirect fire attack on Basra Palace on Saturday 21 July 2007. He was working on the vehicle park when the attack occurred and, despite reacting quickly and carrying out the correct drills, he was hit by shrapnel and subsequently died from his injuries. He lived in Northern Ireland and joined the Army in January 2003.

Lance Corporal Daz Flowers (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal Daz Flowers (All rights reserved.)

Lieutenant Colonel David Catmur, Commanding Officer 2nd Royal Tank Regiment paid this tribute:

There is, and always has been, a tight and unique bond between ‘Tankies’ and our REME tradesman with whom we have worked side by side with, whatever the fight, since their formation in 1942. We continue to do so today in Iraq and it is with great sadness that I write this tribute for one of my soldiers and tradesmen, Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers.

On his 2nd tour of Iraq LCpl Flowers was attached to Badger Fitter Section, part of the Irish Guards Battle Group, as a vehicle mechanic supporting the ‘workhorse of the theatre’, the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Detached forward into Basra City he worked hand-in-hand with his squadron in difficult conditions to keep their vehicles working. The importance of his role can never be underestimated because if it were not for LCpl Flowers’ skill and expertise the Squadron would have to deploy without the protection the Warrior offers.

LCpl Flowers was just the man for the job and I was always impressed by his remarkable determination and focus to work towards his one goal of keeping fit equipment in the hands of his Squadron; a truly selfless individual. His knowledge of Warrior coupled with his single minded approach and diligence made him an invaluable asset to my Regiment. He epitomised all that is good in REME with his ‘can do’ attitude, professionalism and expertise, but he also added his own flair and character which together created a synergy that made him a hugely effective soldier.

I am extremely grateful to have had such a fine tradesman in the Regiment. His loss affects us all and he will be sorely, sorely missed. Now though our hearts go out to his grandparents, his family and his friends for their loss is the greater.

The Commanding Officer of the Irish Guards Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE said of him:

Lance Corporal Flowers had worked with the Irish Guards Battle Group since the beginning of March. Joining us during the final stages of our pre-deployment training he was a critical cog in the intricate workings of the Battle Group. He understood the key nature of his job and did everything in his power to ensure that his tasks were completed to the highest possible standard.

Deeply proud and professional he worked with unswerving dedication regardless of unpleasant conditions of southern Iraq. Not only was his job physically tough but the mental strength required to work consistently out in the open when the threat of indirect fire was so high was enormous. His peers, superiors and subordinates followed his example of supreme hard work and dedication. I was lucky to have known LCpl Flowers. I will always remember one evening sitting under the starry Arabian sky with him listening to his views on life. He was bright, thoughtful and erudite with intelligent opinions.

Very much his own man and not one to be easily swayed, he was a character and one who always had a smile on his face and a thoroughly positive outlook on life. He was selflessly committed to his work, his job and his colleagues. He would never stop work or leave the tank park if there were others still working, rather he would offer to lend a hand or take the job on himself. He died on the dusty vehicle park in the heat of the day doing what he did best - preparing vehicles for other people. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time. He was the most positive advertisement for his Corps, his Army and his country.

Major Fabian Roberts MVO, the commander of the Irish Guards Company to whom he was attached, said of him:

Lance Corporal Daz Flowers had been attached to Number 1 Company for a little over three weeks. It is not often that it can genuinely be said about an individual that his impact was as immediate as it was vital but it is true in his case of his time with the Company. On a personal and a professional level his death has dealt a body blow to those around him and deprived the Company of a person who almost unconsciously set an example of determination and professionalism we would do well to emulate.

Perhaps he would be surprised at the difference his presence made in such a short time. He was ostensibly a quiet, modest man, who got on with his job with unstinting pragmatism and determination, yet there was a depth to him intellectually and in his wider personality that made him full of surprises. His closest colleagues knew that he was well read, keenly interested in politics and culture, and whose opinions - often firmly held - were invariably well thought through. They also knew a man who was unflappable and had a wonderful ability to see the good in people and situations.

Others who knew him less well might simply have been exposed to a mechanical expert who they knew would do his utmost to guarantee that their vehicle would make that night’s patrol, as long as he had a cup of unnaturally strong coffee to support him. Both sets of people were exposed to the immense value that he brought to all that he did. LCpl Flowers sought a challenge in everything. He joined the Army having spent time in the Royal Air Force in order to try something new and had recently elected to leave the Army simply for the same reason.

But it is testament to the man and the loyalty with which he regarded his friends that he had lately decided to stay in the Army long enough to complete this tour, and he was not a person whose pride would allow him to leave something until it was finished. He was his own man and impossible not to admire. Not only has the Company lost an individual of almost irreplaceable professional expertise but also a character whose infectious personal qualities and enormous potential made him respected by everyone with whom he came into contact. We are all extremely sorry that he has gone, we miss him and we wish him peace. Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with his family.

Major Mike Longman, commander of Badger, the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment Squadron from which LCpl Flowers was detached wrote:

Lance Corporal ‘Daz’ Flowers was a confident composed soldier who carried out his job with the professionalism and attention to detail that we have come to expect from The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). Despite being a modest man he was often the centre of attention within a crowd, frequently exercising a razor sharp wit. Above all he knew his own mind.

If he wanted something he would invariably find a way to get it, a trait he bought with him to his work. As a vehicle mechanic he was superb, someone who positively enjoyed getting his hands dirty. His skills were in short supply and this was one of the reasons he was sent to Basra Palace. He was moved around at short notice from one location to another in southern Iraq, worked in dangerous and uncomfortable conditions and commanded his vehicle out on the streets of Basra, on many occasions under fire. He epitomised all that was good about the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes making our vehicles work and keeping them on the road, indeed he died doing just that, out on the vehicle park working on vehicles.

Quite simply as a REME vehicle mechanic and as a fellow soldier I could not have asked for any more from him. He met and often exceeded my expectations. LCpl Flowers had terminated his colour service before deployment to Iraq but felt strongly enough about completing the tour with his colleagues that he had just extended his service to see out the full six months. He was hugely respected by his friends in the REME and those within BADGER.

Prior to the build up training for Iraq he had been part of a different Sqn, CYCLOPS, within 2 RTR and I know they feel his loss as deeply as we all do. Daz was a very popular man who made time for friends and ensured that the morale of those he worked with was always high. He had an uncanny way of looking at life as a series of possibilities rather than as insurmountable challenges. Nothing was impossible, and nothing was pre-ordained. Fiercely independent, he firmly believed that you made your own luck and this only added to the impression that when you were around him anything was possible.

Our thoughts are with his grandparents, his brother and also his parents. We will remember him now, and in the future, as we knew him in life.

Captain Toby Lambert REME, Officer Commanding the Light Aid Detachment (LAD) of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said:

A true grafter; gritty and determined; proud and honest. In the year I have known Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers these are the words used most frequently by my Senior and Junior Non Commissioned Officers to describe our colleague and pal who we knew better as Daz. Daz was very much a part of the LAD family and formed part of a core of close friends in Badger Fitter Section.

His seemingly controversial outlook on life and political views, which he often shared with others, were a source of endless entertainment for his friends. The value of having a character like Daz working in your team cannot be measured in words or numbers but suffice to say, he added a real value and quality to his Fitter Section in a difficult operational theatre. I found him to be a fantastically straightforward character, but a thinker, a man who would always get straight to the point, and a tradesman who possessed an uncanny ability to simplify even the most difficult of problems.

He was an engineering purist who always focused the technical aspect of his job; the part that has earned him the utmost respect, as he would always be the first to leap onto a broken vehicle where he would remain until it was fixed. His handy work has served the Regiment well in Canada and his Squadron in Iraq and I am proud to wear the same cap badge as him. Both skilful and a fighter I believed him to be REME through and through, even though he did not always agree.

To my fellow REME officers and soldiers reading this, please note that LCpl Timothy Flowers was a craftsman for whom the Corps can be eternally proud of, and a part of our family who we will always miss.

Artificer Quarter Master Sergeant ‘Loz’ Lee, Lance Corporal Flowers’ commander said of him:

In the time I had got to know Lance Corporal ‘Daz’ Flowers, I was always amazed by his unstinting desire to help those around him. He would work tirelessly, without complaint, to ensure that everything that could be done was so. His modest and selfless attitude to all that he did was an inspiration.

A natural mechanic, he was at his happiest on the Tank Park, spanner in hand. No job was too difficult or too much trouble. The diligent endeavour that he constantly displayed was as infectious as his cracking sense of humour. Work positively buzzed when he was around. Daz had already resigned from the Army when he came to Iraq, however, it is testimony to the loyalty and courage of the man that he extended his service to see the job through, with his friends, regardless of his own personal situation.

Words cannot express how much the loss of Daz has affected those who knew him. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

Sgt Steve White, his Detachment Commander said of him:

I have worked with Daz since I arrived in Badger Squadron Fitter Section this February. Everybody knew and liked him, whenever I was frustrated with someone he always pointed out the good in people. Thank you for all your help.

Corporal Adam Wiseman a friend also attached to the Irish Guards Battle Group said:

I remember Daz for his very laid back attitude. His amazing taste in music and the fact that he made exercise in Canada the best time of my life. I thank him for that. I was very pleased when I met him out here and now I wish things were different.

Lance Corporal Dee-Dee Houghton, a colleague from Lance Corporal Flowers’ Fitter Section said:

Daz Flowers was a good friend with an awesome outlook on life. He took everything with a pinch of salt and didn’t complain once. During his first week with Badger he made friends by doing what he did best, helping people, because that was the kind of guy he was. In fact, he always helped people. Daz was a great vehicle mechanic and he loved the life that came with it. He will be missed for his personality and attitude, character traits that any soldier would be proud of.

Lance Corporal Pam Slater, a friend from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment’s Light Aid Detachment said:

He was a kind, caring, charming, funny man and it was an honour and a privilege to have known him. He will be sorely missed.

Craftsman Kav Raitamata, a friend from Lance Corporal Flowers’ Fitter Section said:

Daz was a close friend, a hard worker and an awesome vehicle mechanic. He taught me everything I know. He would always help me and share his knowledge and experience. He would always answer my questions, even if they were bone! He was very funny and I will miss him a lot.

Lance Corporal Kev Clark a colleague from his Fitter Section said:

I only met Daz a few weeks before deploying to Iraq, but in that time I have made a loyal and trusted friend. I have never seen anybody give so much as he did. He would work until God knows when on the Tank Park helping everybody he could. The thing I will always remember about Daz is that he never backed down to anyone, something I hope I can take from the short time that I knew him.

Lance Corporal Richie English was Lance Corporal Flowers’ room mate. He said of him:

I remember when I first met Daz in Canada last year. I had to ask him to talk properly - I couldn’t understand his accent. He was one of the hardest working men I have ever met. He also loved his ‘Magners’ cider, which he used to drink at ‘The Boar’ in Fallingbostel. He will always be remembered.

Lance Corporal Trevor Holding, from the Badger Fitter Section said:

Daz, will miss you mate - Trevor will be thinking of you on every smoke break. Lance Corporal James Bruce, from the Badger Fitter Section said: Since we both arrived at the RTR we have worked together through every step of the journey in the build up to Iraq. It’s been an experience I’ll never forget, take it easy Daz.

Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne said:

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers. He was doing an important job wit great skill and enthusiasm in challenging circumstances. I know he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.