Operations in Afghanistan

Lance Sergeant David Greenhalgh killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 13 February 2010.

Ministry of Defence crest
Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh (All rights reserved.)

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh (All rights reserved.)

Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh, aged 25, died instantly when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.

His section was providing safe passage for a patrol near Lashkar Gah, Helmand province.

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh was from Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He joined the Army in 2001 and had served on operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He took part in Op FRESCO during the Fire Service strikes and spent time training in the Falkland Islands and Kenya.

He was an experienced and dedicated soldier who had risen rapidly through the ranks. He had completed a vast array of courses qualifying him in almost every aspect of infantry soldiering. He was a Search Team Commander, a driver of almost every military vehicle, a Tactical Questioner, trained in psychological operations, and keen to learn the local language.

Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was a confident young man with a booming voice who was very definitely set to be a commander. Enthusiastic and professional, he drew well on his experiences to teach those under his command.

From the forecourt of Buckingham Palace to the Green Zone of Helmand province he was always a fine example to all those around him. His distinctive look of shaved head and bushy moustache was well known to all nationalities in the Forward Operating Bases and his strength of character left a lasting impression.

A proud Englishman, his array of tattoos displayed his unquestionable loyalty to family, regiment and country. He will certainly be remembered for his big pick-up truck and the 80s music that would be heard blasting out! When on leave he enjoyed spending time on his farm and scuba-diving, which he learnt in Kenya with the Army.

Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was one of the stalwarts of The Queen’s Company and will be sorely missed by all, and never forgotten.

Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer, The Grenadier Guards Battle Group, said:

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh died this morning. He was killed protecting his men as they cleared a high threat area, where his task was to secure safe passage for others to then pass through to continue on their way. He was watching over others so they could move safe from harm, a noble purpose for which he paid the ultimate sacrifice.

He was a tough soldier and a natural commander, a decent and honest man, and a friend to those he knew. He loved The Queen’s Company, he was a proud Grenadier, and he was a most loyal soldier to his country. He was a young fighting man in his prime, taken from this world in an instant on a dusty road in southern Afghanistan; he leaves a lasting impression on us all.

His death is a tragedy to us, his comrades in his regiment; but it is nothing to the loss his family have suffered. Our prayers and thoughts go to them at this terribly difficult time. They can be proud of him, we will never forget him.

The Captain of The Queen’s Company, Major Alex Cartwright, said:

You always knew when Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was in the room or on your patrol; he had great presence, always raising the spirits of those enjoying his company and raising the standards of those soldiering alongside him.

Those that were fortunate enough to spend time with Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh were immediately struck by his strong will and passion for life. His soldiering experience and long list of courses meant that he was always at the centre of what The Queen’s Company was doing.

On leave his love of diving, his farm, and his family and friends meant that he never rested. Such a passionate man and gifted soldier who contributed so much, leaves countless memories. Our thoughts are with those memories and with his family.

Lieutenant Michael Dobbin, his previous Platoon Commander, said:

As a new Platoon Commander meeting my platoon in January 2009 I was instantly struck by the booming confidence of Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh. Never a man to back down from an argument, he would challenge me on all manner of subjects and we shared many heated debates that never came to an agreed conclusion!

As a Platoon Commander I could not have asked for a more loyal Section Commander, always encouraging and certain that our platoon was the best in the British Army! He was utterly dedicated to his job and had completed such an array of courses that he was in high demand whenever the company deployed.

His confidence extended to every aspect of soldiering and we were regularly involved in comical vehicle recoveries resulting from an over-enthusiastic manoeuvre on his part! Extremely aggressive in the section attack and professional in his approach to soldiering, Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was also an intelligent man who fully understood and took great interest in the profession he loved.

I will hugely miss the camaraderie of Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh, his moustache and enormous laugh; he was unfailing in his ability to enthuse and a Guardsman of the highest calibre. My thoughts are with his family and closest friends as we, the men of The Queen’s Company, mourn the loss of an outstanding soldier and friend.

Second Lieutenant James Brown, 1 Platoon Commander, said:

Even before I joined 1 Platoon, I knew of Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh. His reputation for always being at the centre of the action, whether it be on patrol, in the middle of a practical joke or a key player in any good story made him stand out from the crowd.

The first time I met Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was just after he had returned from a patrol. I was immediately struck by his professionalism, strong character and proudly grown moustache! As a new Platoon Commander I considered myself extremely lucky to have Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh in my platoon, he very quickly put me at ease and spent time sharing his words of wisdom. Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh died protecting his colleagues and doing a job that he loved.

He will be sorely missed at every level of both platoon and company. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

The Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2 Steve Williams, said:

Losing Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh is a massive blow to the Sovereign’s Company. Not only will the company, platoon and team miss him, our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends. The Grenadier Guards have lost a fantastic soldier. Professional, diligent and courageous to the end.

I have known Dave for many years and his attitude and approach to soldiering was a gleaming example to all, young and old. We as a company and especially a Sergeants’ Mess will miss you Dave.

Sergeant David Roper, 1 Platoon Sergeant, said:

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh has been my Multiple Second-in-Command since deployment on Op HERRICK 11. Being able to organise 1 Platoon exactly how I wanted, there was never any doubt in my mind as to who I wanted as my right-hand man.

Loud, outspoken and with an opinion on quite literally any and every subject that came up, Dave was at times the single most frustrating and annoying man in the British Army! But he was a hugely capable and consummately professional soldier and commander, and someone with whom every other member of his team could rely upon absolutely.

An inspiring figure, with his enormous caricature-esque moustache and a whole string of catchphrases that could never be repeated in polite company, Dave was the very embodiment of what a soldier in The Queen’s Company, which he so dearly loved, should be. Dave’s place can never be taken and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace mate.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said:

I was extremely saddened to hear about Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh’s death. Clearly a proficient, devoted and enthusiastic soldier, he paid the ultimate sacrifice during Operation MOSHTARAK and was killed as he worked to bring security to the Afghan and UK people.

“My thoughts are with his family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time.”

Published 14 February 2010