Operations in Iraq

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath killed in Iraq

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Lance Sergeant Chris Casey and Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath of 1st Battalion, Irish Guards in southern Iraq on Thursday 9 August 2007.

Ministry of Defence crest

Lance Sergeant Casey and Lance Corporal Redpath were killed when their Snatch Armoured Land Rover was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device during an operation to the north of the Rumaylah oilfields, which is to the west of Basra City.

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey, from London, was 27. He had been in the Army since 1998 and had served with the Irish Guards in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and on exercises all over the world. This was his second tour of Iraq, having fought in the initial phase of the war in 2003. He was married with two children.

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey (All rights reserved.)

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey (All rights reserved.)

Lance Sergeant Casey’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE, wrote:

Lance Sergeant Casey was one of the stalwarts of the Pipes and Drums and having served in the Band for coming up for ten years certainly one of the most experienced. He was an outstanding drummer and for some time he had been the ‘lead tip’. He was frequently, therefore, the face of the Regiment and no better person could one find to fulfil that role. He was a cheerful and friendly character who always had time for others; nothing was ever too much trouble, he particularly went out of his way to assist and teach the newer members of the Band.

For much of the time of his tour in southern Iraq Lance Sergeant Casey was involved in training the Iraqi Army. He realised that he was able to make a difference to the Army’s capability and was a natural. He had hundreds of Iraqi soldiers hanging on his every word, not surprising given his passion, enthusiasm and genuine interest in their wellbeing - he was a very special talent. It was because of these special talents that he had been selected to instruct at a training establishment on his return from Iraq, a post that would most likely have resulted in his promotion.

Lance Sergeant Casey was a doting family man and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and young children. He will of course be irreplaceable to them but also to all who have had the pleasure of working with him. Our lives are certainly the richer for having known him - he will never be forgotten.

His Company Commander, Major Piers Ormerod, wrote:

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey was marked by his enthusiasm. A hugely popular member of his Platoon and Company, he had thrown himself fully behind the job of training the Iraqi Army. Working in their Training Centre in Shaibah, his efforts ensured tangible signs of development. He was helped by an excellent knowledge of the local environment and excellent cultural understanding and used this expertise to help contribute to the development of the Iraqis. He was therefore a critical element in the huge training task that is critical in enabling the Iraqis to take more responsibility for their own security.

Lance Sergeant Chris Casey was a very popular member of the Platoon and Company, his personal qualities and enthusiasm shining through again and again. He had become a key member of the Company not only for the part he played as a soldier but as the Company Barber, a job which he created for himself through characteristic initiative. He was one of the most positive members of the Company and I rarely saw him without a smile on his face. He had an infectious laugh and led by example. He was one of the most dedicated and diligent soldiers, taking pride in who he was, what the Pipes did, and his part in the Battalion as a whole. Musically he was enormously talented and provided the Pipes with not only talent but experience. He had drummed with them at the Edinburgh Tattoo, on numerous ceremonial parades and at musical events all over the world; the adaptable British soldier par excellence.

His death will leave behind a family who fed off his energy and who were very much part of the fabric of the Battalion. He will be missed by all that knew him for his zest for life, dedication to the job and contribution to others. He was selfless in all he did and this will not be forgotten.

His Platoon Commander, Captain Stephen Wolseley, wrote:

It is so difficult to write about Lance Sergeant Chris Casey at this time of great sadness as in my mind he was the most jovial and up-beat person I knew, the one person I could rely on to raise a smile or a laugh from the Platoon at a difficult time; his laugh and banter were totally infectious.

Since we arrived in theatre, Lance Sergeant Casey has been commanding a section of the Pipes Platoon whose role has been instructing Iraqi Army soldiers with Number 4 Company at the Divisional Training Centre. He instructed the Iraqi soldiers not only with patience and professionalism but also with a lot of heart and with a big smile. This was always the case. For such a personable character, teaching others came naturally to him. A lasting memory, which was thankfully captured on video, was of Chris and some Iraqi soldiers having a celebratory ‘dance-off’ at the end of a lesson.

Lance Sergeant Casey was due to return to England at the start of September to take up a posting as an instructor at a training establishment, where his life-loving spirit, his humour and his commitment that we all admired would have been used to great effect.

The Pipes recently moved from the Divisional Training Centre to the Contingency Operating Base to assist with more conventional tasks, including convoy force-protection operations to Kuwait. It was during the first of these operations that tragedy struck. He was a dear friend to many, a proud and highly capable Irish Guardsman, a loving father and husband. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Lance Sergeant Neil Nicholson served with Lance Sergeant Casey in the Irish Guards. He was also his brother-in-law. He wrote:

To a friend and great brother-in-law, Lance Sergeant Chris Casey, one of the finest musicians in the Irish Guards and the most professional soldier we have seen. To know Chris, you knew he was dedicated, loyal, and trustworthy and the friendliest man you could ever know. Sadly he leaves behind Tanya his wife, Kian his son and Ashlyn his daughter. He was a great family man, forever worrying about his family and their wellbeing when he was away. As he always said, the family comes first. Chris will be sadly missed and never forgotten.

From Lance Sergeant ‘Dish’ Lyttle:

I will always remember Chris as a gentle and kind character whose love of the world of Piping and Drumming was always evident. This can especially be seen in some of his fine compositions of pipe tunes. Chris could play both the highland bagpipes and the highland drum, a real musician of note. My dear friend Chris was a driving force behind the ‘Pipes’, always providing fresh and innovative ideas. Like so many of my dearly beloved Irish Guards brothers, Chris was an Englishman but with his splendid red hair, good humour and craic, he has come to embody to me all that is Ireland. Mostly I just miss my friend.

From Lance Sergeant Chris Coats:

Dearest Tanya, Allow me to start by offering my sincere condolences to you and your extended family and particularly to your two young children, both of whom I know Chris adored. Death is a hard subject to deal with and is only made worse when you were never able to say goodbye.

I can assure you that Chris will be deeply missed within the very close community of the Drums and Pipes and within the Battalion. I’m sure that you have already sampled the loyalty of the close knit family of the Drums and Pipes and with Chris at the very top within that family. You and your children’s wellbeing is foremost in our thoughts and prayers. Once again, I offer my sincere best wishes and deepest condolences in what is probably the hardest time of all.

Lance Sergeant Jo Bayliss, who served with Lance Sergeant Casey at the Divisional Training Centre, wrote:

Chris was an enthusiastic and popular member of the Battalion whose sense of humour and professionalism knew no limits. He was an excellent soldier and gifted musician. Chris was very approachable to every soldier regardless what rank or time served. The whole Battalion bears the loss of this great man; his memory will live on forever. My deepest thoughts are with his wife and family.

Lance Sergeant Mark O’Toole wrote:

Chris was one of the most approachable and well liked members of the Company. His charm and consideration for others made him who he was. I met Chris when I was new to the Regiment and we were in Kosovo. Typical Chris he made life easier by talking to me and settling me in instantly. My lasting memory of him will always be him practising his drumming on his drumming pads.You will always be missed mate. My thoughts and those of 10 Platoon go out to his wife and children with deepest sympathy.

It is so difficult to write about Lance Sergeant Chris Casey at this time of great sadness as in my mind he was the most jovial and up-beat person I knew, the one person I could rely on to raise a smile or a laugh from the Platoon at a difficult time; his laugh and banter were totally infectious. Captain Stephen Wolseley

From Lance Corporal Ant Gailey:

Chris was one of my best muckers in the Pipes and will be sorely missed by myself and no doubt the rest of the lads in the Platoon. He was such a character. For instance, when we’ve been out on a night out in Aldershot we had to go home early as Chris had made us laugh that much we all had headaches and sacked the rest of the night. He was one of the best blokes you could ever meet, always making everyone smile and laugh with his sense of humour and mickey taking. It didn’t matter who you were, he still took the mickey out of you and that was why he was a special friend; he always made me laugh when I was down and vice versa.

It’s like losing a brother and a friend rolled into one. He was always there for people when they needed someone. We used to call him ‘mini-Hitler’ when he took drill because he was a drill beast and you would always know it was him because he had such a distinctive drill voice. He will be missed by the platoon but never forgotten. He was an outstanding soldier and friend and most of all a father and husband. My heart felt condolences go to his wife, kids and family. Love ya Chris. Always remembered and never forgotten. Ant.

From Lance Corporal Tam White:

To Mrs Casey and family, I am so sorry for your loss. A fine man and comrade. Our thoughts will always be with you. Gone, never forgotten.

From Lance Corporal Sammy Vennard:

I feel sad about our loss of Lance Sergeant Casey and Lance Corporal Redpath. We were all drummers in the Pipe Band, we were like brothers. We had been all over the world to do band jobs; good times and bad times, we had been together. I want to send my love to their family and friends. We will miss them but they will never be forgotten in the Drums and Pipes.

Lance Corporal Arnie Wilson wrote:

I first met Chris when I joined the Drums and Pipes when the Battalion was serving in London. My first impression of Chris was that he was very approachable and well liked by every man in the platoon. He took me under his wing and taught me everything I needed to know and always helped me out with any problems I had.

As time grew on I realised he was a very keen and kind soldier who would always treat everyone the same no matter what rank they were. Every memory I have of Chris will never be forgotten and will always remain in our hearts. My thoughts and deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

Lance Corporal Wayne Golding served in the same Company as Lance Sergeant Casey for much of the pre-deployment training and throughout the whole of the deployment to Iraq:

Chris was one of the most approachable and well liked members of the Company and his consideration for others made him who he was. I remember when I first came to the Battalion. He was the person who would always help me out with any problems I had and gave me confidence in everything I did. Chris would always invite me and my family to his house for the many barbecues and our kids would always play together. We would always have a good time. It is times like this that will never be forgotten. In the time I knew Chris I have never heard him say anything bad about anyone. This is another reason why he was admired by everyone in the Company. My thoughts go out to his wife and children with deepest sympathy.

From Drummer Greg Scott:

Well I knew Lance Sergeant Casey from when I first came from Number 1 Company about two and a half years ago to the Pipe Band. Any time any of the lads were round him we always had a laugh at everything he had to say. He always had a way of doing that. He was the pick-me-up everyone needed at the lowest point when everyone had had enough.

The one thing I will remember him for was when we were in Belize and we had to go on an op with Number 4 Company. The mountains we had to go over were not small and we had to grin and get on with it but with Chris with us it made it more enjoyable, laughing as we fell all over the place. I can say he will be missed by everyone in the Pipe Band and the whole of the Irish Guards and I was one of the lucky ones to have worked with him. My heart goes out to his wife and kids who he always talked about and I am sorry for the loss of a great man and leader.

From Piper Philip Wood:

What reminds me most of Chris is that he was always up for a laugh and a joke. He was always fun to be around, even when he was on karaoke. Most of all, he was a close and good friend, always there when you needed him. He will be sadly missed. Always in our hearts and never forgotten.

From Piper Robert Fleming:

Lance Sergeant Casey was always making people laugh. He would always pick you up if you were down no matter what the situation. He will be sadly missed by all. My heart goes out to his family at this sad time.

From Piper Alan McCartney:

I knew Chris ever since I joined the Battalion nearly two years ago. All I can say about him is he was one of the most laid back NCOs I knew. He never made me call him Sergeant, I always just knew him as Chris. During the tour I lent my German language CD to Chris and we would try and have conversations (not very successfully) in that language. As I’m writing this, I am still trying to come to terms with his death; I don’t think it has sunk in properly yet. I know Chris and Rederz will be sitting in Heaven now playing their drums, and Chris probably playing the pipes too. I know I’ll always miss him, even though he always took the mickey out of me! RIP Chris wee mucker, see you soon.

From Drummer Oliver Vaughey:

“Chris was a very open man. He always listened to what I had to say and was teaching me how to play pipe band drumming over the last three months. I was hoping to show him what I was able to achieve with his help. Chris always kept my morale up, telling jokes and taking the mickey out of my accent which made me laugh when I was missing home. I’ll never forget the first time he taught me my first rudiment; he cracked up because I wasn’t getting it right and all I could do was laugh at him. I’m sorry for what happened to Chris. He was a brave soldier and he will always be remembered. Fhoill. Slan go a Chris.”

From Drummer Gareth Chambers:

Being the youngest member of the Platoon and being in Chris’s section, the last six weeks have given me many happy memories of Chris. From training the Iraqi Army and having drumming lessons with him has made it enjoyable. You could always have a laugh with him. Having just come out of training and this being my first operational tour, Chris was always reassuring and was the first to answer any questions and help with any problems I had. My thoughts are with his family, especially his wife and children.

Guardsman Perry wrote:

I have known Chris for six years. He was one of the nicest blokes I will ever meet. He made me laugh all the time because of the way that he went about life. He will be missed dearly by the Drums and Pipes and all the people that loved him so.

Guardsman Dave Richardson wrote:

When I first met Chris it was when the Battalion was serving in Germany. My first impression of him was that he was a very kind and polite person who you could always approach at any time no matter what the problem was.

Chris was an extremely well liked person by all of the Battalion. He always had a smile on his face and you could always have a laugh and a joke with him. He was also a very talented artist and would always sit in his room at night and draw caricatures of his platoon. He was a very professional soldier and Section Commander and was very well respected by all members of his platoon and anyone that knew him. It will always have been a pleasure and privilege to have known him. Chris will always be missed and never forgotten. My deepest sympathy goes out to all his family and friends.

The men of Number 11 Platoon wrote:

Chris was an extremely happy and much loved member of the Battalion. His sense of humour was a credit to his character and will be sorely missed by his comrades and close friends. Chris was a very close friend to many members of our platoon. He always had a smile on his face and gave us all the inspiration to carry on and have a laugh whatever was thrown at us.Our thoughts go out to his wife and children, and the rest of his family. We wish them all the strength possible to help at this dreadful time.

Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath

Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath joined the Army in September 2003, subsequently passing out of training to join his Regiment of choice, the Irish Guards. Serving on exercises all over the world, he had been on operations in Iraq since early May. A member of the Battalion’s Intelligence Cell he was attached to Badger Squadron, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment for the patrol on which he died. Although his job as a member of the Battalion’s Intelligence Cell in no way required him to deploy outside his base, he constantly volunteered to do so.

Lance Corporal Redpath (All rights reserved.)

Lance Corporal Redpath (All rights reserved.)

He was an excellent side drummer in the Pipes Platoon and was competent enough with the bugle to be deemed good enough to play at the famous Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Volunteering to be a member of the Intelligence Cell for the Battalion’s tour of Iraq, Lance Corporal Redpath was a critical cog in the analysis of enemy capabilities and tactics, contributing to the planning of both Battalion and Company level operations.

Lance Corporal Redpath was 22 years old and from Romford. He leaves behind his father and his mother, his beloved grandparents and his younger brother Grant.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE, Lance Corporal Redpath’s Commanding Officer, wrote:

Lance Corporal Redpath was a larger than life character, well known for his slightly cheeky approach and his cheerful disposition. He was a delight to have working in Battle Group Headquarters. Not only did he bring valuable insights as an intelligence analyst working hard to get inside the head of the numerous factions involved in the current conflict in southern Iraq, but he also brightened up the place; he always had a joke to tell or an anecdote to recount. Only the day before he was so tragically killed he was visiting all the offices in the Headquarters handing out sweets asking after other people’s welfare. He was a very kind, gentle and generous man who genuinely wanted to make a difference for the population of Basra.

On the night he died he was accompanying a patrol escorting a convoy from Kuwait. Notwithstanding the fact that he worked in the Intelligence Cell he knew that in order to learn the ground truth and to maintain the credibility of his briefings he needed to take part in patrols himself. He had done so on many occasions and his intelligence work was noticeably better for it; but he was also an accomplished soldier and an asset to any team lucky enough to be able to count him among their number.

An outstanding musician and a very professional soldier, Lance Corporal Redpath will leave a gaping hole in the Battalion. He was the perfect role model to every Irish Guardsman. There are many of us that will never live up to his standards but that will not stop us trying - we will never forget him. The thoughts and prayers of all members of the Battle Group are with his parents and family.

Captain James Bullock-Webster, the Battalion’s Intelligence Officer and Lance Corporal Redpath’s Platoon Commander, wrote:

The news of Rederz’s death has come as a massive shock and is deeply saddening. Rederz was undoubtedly a fantastic person, a great role model and friend to all. He was professional, incredibly keen and extremely competent. However, in my mind he will not be remembered for the manner in which he carried out his job but as the person who made us laugh through all the frustrating and difficult times. At moments like these it was always Rederz, with his boundless energy, who made us giggle. Even in the most pressured operational moments it was he who offered to help no matter what the circumstances. Working in a small, specialist team brought us very close together. We were due to go home on Rest and Recuperation at the same time and he had honoured me by promising to take me out in Romford; an offer rarely made to an officer!

”> My thoughts are with his parents, grandparents, his younger brother and the numerous friends that he so often mentioned. Rederz was a classic ‘Mick’ character who died carrying out his duty in the face of the enemy. When asked what are the best parts of your job for a home town story to be published in the Brentwood Gazette, Rederz answered ‘knowing that serving on this tour of duty will go towards helping and stabilising the country of Iraq’. A fitting testament to his selfless character. Unfortunately the article was not published before his death. He will be greatly missed.”

Captain Tim Rogers, an Irish Guards officer, was the Second in Command of Badger, the RTR Squadron to which he was attached. He wrote:

Where does one begin when trying to write about a chap who meant so much to so many people? Lance Corporal Redpath had the ability to amuse and entertain whilst sticking to his core business of delivering the daily intelligence picture to the Squadron.

Each day he would arrive in good time with a smile on his face and glint in his eye as he went about covering the operations map with coloured circles and dots marking areas of interest. His delivery had style and panache that went well beyond what would be expected of a Lance Corporal.

Lance Corporal Redpath was a kind, caring and dedicated soldier who like all good Guardsmen took immense pride in the work he undertook. His banter and sense of fun was infectious to all who met him and his unswerving loyalty to Household Division’s drill and customs was renowned across the Battle Group. Lance Corporal Redpath’s tragic death leaves a hole in the heart of the Micks that will take time to heal. We will miss him greatly and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. QUIS SEPARABIT.

2nd Lieutenant Matthew Hilton, an Intelligence Corps officer attached to Irish Guards, wrote:

Rederz made an immediate impression upon me, one of the first people in the Battalion that I met, and he gave me a tour of my new home in Iraq, showing me the ‘ECHOS’ bar and treating me to a banana milkshake. An ever generous young man, this summed up his attitude to life. He enjoyed life in the ‘Micks’, was ambitious for his future career and had lined up a series of courses over the coming year to progress both his drumming and military careers. He hoped to play the Edinburgh Tattoo either this year or the next.

The Intelligence Cell was a fun place to work. Lots of jokes were shared around, with Rederz giving and receiving in equal measure. He had a great sense of humour, giving light relief in all situations. But he took his job in Intelligence seriously, assessing the threat posed by the enemy and giving the best possible information to all who he briefed.

Sergeant John Gavin, the Intelligence Sergeant, wrote:

Rederz epitomised the adaptability of the Guardsman, able to deal with both the ‘quiet’ world of intelligence and intensive operations simultaneously. He was totally professional in both areas, always letting his personality shine through. He was an affable, enjoyable and enthusiastic individual whose capabilities were seen for what they plainly were: articulate, bright of mind, analytical and concise with his work. He was relaxed briefing his superiors and subordinates alike.

I will miss the ruddy cheeked young man who bounced into the office, full of the joys of life. He was an Essex boy through and through. He loved being a soldier and a musician, both of which he married well together. A bright flame has been extinguished, all too early; his prime was yet to come.

An outstanding musician and a very professional soldier, Lance Corporal Redpath will leave a gaping hole in the Battalion. He was the perfect role model to every Irish Guardsman. Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer MBE

Lance Sergeant Danny Burton, a member of the Battalion’s Signal Platoon who worked in the same Headquarters as Rederz, said:

Since I’ve known Rederz he has been truly LIVING THE DREAM. He was a funny lad who loved his job and always did the best he could at what he was required to do. He kept you smiling when times were hard. He will be sorely missed.

Lance Sergeant ‘The Dish’ Lyttle, a member of the Pipes Platoon who was on the same patrol as Lance Corporal Redpath when he died, wrote:

Lance Corporal ‘Rederz’ Redpath was to my mind one of the most diligent young Lance Corporals in the Battalion. It was an honour and privilege to have served with him. I know that he looked up to me as the old soldier of the band when I was a Lance Corporal serving alongside him. Many a long hour was spent debating ‘the idea’ of the Regiment being bigger and better than any one of us and it was for this reason that my good young friend Rederz laid down his life. He would have done it so willingly. If God spares me and I live long enough, I will look with great interest at any young men who aspire to join the Army that show but half of Rederz’s quality. Only then will I advise them to make an application to join the ‘Fighting Micks’. I am not ashamed to count my friend among the finest of all Micks and I trust that all will join with me in filling and raising a glass to his memory. ‘Quis Separabit’.

Lance Sergeant Jo Bayliss wrote:

Kirk was a really friendly and kind individual; he was well liked and extremely popular with all ranks within the Battalion. He would always carry a smile on his face and a spring in his step which was incredibly infectious. Kirk was a true friend and talented drummer. He will leave a gap in all of our hearts. My thoughts go out to his family at this time. I will miss him dearly.

Lance Corporal Danny Todd, Guardsman Jack Payne and Guardsman Carl Woods lived in the same tent as Lance Corporal Redpath. They wrote:

We all shared a room with Lance Corporal ‘Rederz’ Redpath out here in Iraq and for the few months prior during pre-deployment training. During that time we all got to know each other really well. Rederz was a dedicated and professional Non-Commissioned Officer of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards and he was fiercely proud to be so. The junior Guardsmen amongst us always found him to be approachable and he would always offer a helping hand should it be needed. Rederz was a great character and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

Lance Sergeant David Wright, who had trained for the tour in the Intelligence Cell, wrote:

Rederzs was a friend of mine from the moment we started working together in the Intelligence Cell. I will miss his sense of humour greatly. He was a person that could make the most ‘bone’ of activities seem fun or interesting. I don’t know Rederzs’ family and they don’t know me, but my heart goes out to them. I am truly sorry for their loss as it is so much greater than my own.

Lance Corporal Ian Boulton, Headquarter Company, wrote:

Rederz was a very good mate and knew when to have a laugh and when to be serious. It was a pleasure to know him as a friend and as a work colleague. He will be sadly missed.

Lance Corporal Tam White, a piper, wrote:

To all the family, I am so sorry for your loss. He will always be remembered for his big character. Such a loss of a good friend. Gone, never forgotten. With love.

Guardsman Christopher Kiernan, who had joined the Army with Lance Corporal Redpath, wrote of his friend:

I have known Rederz since the 15th of September 2003; Day 1, week 1 of basic training. From that day I considered us to be friends. I am aware he always knew what he wanted from life, especially what he wanted from the Army. He was very keen to be a member of the Drums and Pipes and he would like to have gone on to great things with the ‘Micks’.

Guardsman Kareem Weekes, another signaller, said:

Rederz was a good mate and he was a laugh to be with. It was a pleasure to meet him and get to know him.

Guardsman Dave Richardson wrote:

Kirk was one of the happiest people I have ever met in my Army career; he always walked around with a great big smile and was always full of enthusiasm. He would always have time to speak to any person and listen to anything they had to say and help them out with any problems they had. Kirk had a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody.

He was always very professional with his work and was a very keen soldier and drummer. It will always have been a pleasure and privilege to have known Kirk. He will always be missed and never forgotten. My deepest sympathy goes out to all his family and friends.

From Drummer Greg Scott:

Lance Corporal Redpath (Rederz) was a good person to know. He would do anything for anyone at any time. When I first came to the Pipe Band Rederz took me aside, showed me what was what, and how the Pipe Band worked. He looked after me and anyone else who he knew. He was a great drummer; he always had time to take people away and help them with any problems they would have, not just with drumming but everything. I was one of the lucky ones to know Kirk and to have worked with him. He will be sadly missed by the Pipe Band and by the Irish Guards and my heart goes out to his whole family at this time.

From Piper Alan McCartney:

Whenever I think of Rederz I always see him with a big smile on his face. He was always smiling and always happy. He had a heart of gold. He lived in the same corridor as me and would often call in for a cup of tea or to lend me a DVD. I had known Rederz since I joined the Pipe Band two years ago. Straight away I knew we would get along. I can’t express how I feel about his death in words; I just hope he is in a better place.

From Piper Philip Wood:

Rederzs loved the band and the band loved him. He was never off the bugle; even though it drove us mad, no one would stop him. He was therefore nicknamed Bugle Major. What I remember most is that he was friends with everyone, he would help you when you were down to get back on your feet. He was always polite and wouldn’t say a bad word against anyone. He was a good and close friend. He will be sadly missed.

From Piper Robert Fleming:

Everyone that knew him loved him. He was always happy to help anyone. He was a hit with the ladies as they loved his happy and full of life personality and his sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all that knew him. My heart goes out to his family at this sad and terrible time.

From Guardsman Perry:

LCpl Redpath was a good friend to a lot of people in the Irish Guards. He was always smiling and laughing. He loved his job. We will all miss him so much, our hearts are with you all.

The men of Number 10 Platoon wrote:

Kirk was a master at his job, where he delivered his briefs with so much charisma. He was a very likeable member of the Battalion, where everybody knew him well. He will be missed as both a colleague and a friend. Our deepest sympathies go out to his friends and families. All members, 10 Platoon, 4 Company.

The members of Number 11 Platoon had this to say:

Kirk was a happy go lucky and extremely thoughtful character who gave his all and asked for little in return. He injected everyday situations with humour to help everyone accomplish what had to be done. He was an extremely popular soldier and friend to us all who will be missed deeply. He will leave a hole in the Battalion and all our lives.

Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones at this terrible time. We wish them all the strength possible to deal with this dreadful news.

Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

It was with great sadness that I learned of the deaths of Lance Sergeant Casey and Lance Corporal Redpath in Iraq yesterday. They were a credit to their regiment - upholding the traditions of the Irish Guards and the British Army. Their efforts were highly valued by all who knew them and they will be sorely missed. I would like to express my condolences to their families and friends.

Published 10 August 2007