Operations in Afghanistan

Privates Lewis Hendry and Conrad Lewis killed in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Private Lewis Hendry, from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, and Private Conrad Lewis, from 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 9 February 2011.

Ministry of Defence crest
Private Lewis Hendry (left) and Private Conrad Lewis (All rights reserved.)
Private Lewis Hendry (left) and Private Conrad Lewis (All rights reserved.)

The soldiers were deployed on an operation to reassure the local population and provide security in the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand province.

Private Lewis Hendry, from A Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA), deployed to Afghanistan on 10 October 2010 as a member of the Patrols Platoon detachment serving with A Company.

Private Conrad Lewis deployed to Afghanistan on 10 October 2010 as a member of the Fire Support Group attached to A Company, 3 PARA.

Both soldiers were based at Checkpoint Qudrat in the northern part of Nad ‘Ali district.

On 9 February 2011, Privates Hendry and Lewis deployed as part of a foot patrol to reassure the local population and gather census information in a small village north of the Nahr-e Bughra canal.

Their patrol came under fire and, during the ensuing fire fight, both Private Hendry and Private Lewis received serious gunshot wounds.

Despite receiving immediate medical attention at the scene, and extraction by helicopter, the soldiers sadly died of their wounds.

Private Lewis Hendry (All rights reserved.)
Private Lewis Hendry (All rights reserved.)

Private Lewis Hendry

Private Lewis Hendry was born in Norwich on 12 February 1990 and educated at Northgate High School, Dereham. He joined the Army in May 2008, conducting his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick.

On completion of his training he was posted to 3 PARA. Originally serving in A Company, his performance marked him out from his peers and he was nominated for service in the prestigious Patrols Platoon, moving across in January 2010.

An extremely fit, popular and committed soldier, he fitted in well in this highly motivated and specialist team. In Afghanistan Private Hendry was employed as an intelligence specialist. His role required him to build relationships with the Afghan locals in the area, using his considerable charm and sense of humour to gather information in order to protect the population and his comrades.

However, Private Hendry was still a man with a hard edge. Regularly under fire in one of the most dangerous checkpoints in the area of operations, he demonstrated the same fearlessness in the face of the enemy as he did when boxing at the battalion.

A laid back but highly social individual, he was due to turn 21 in the next few days. He enjoyed football but his true passion was the Parachute Regiment and his fellow paratroopers. He intended to make a career within the regiment or the Special Forces, realistic aspirations given his dedication and natural talent.

The family of Private Hendry made the following statement:

Lewis lived life to the full - and more! Words can’t describe how much he will be missed. He was not only a soldier, a son, brother and grandson, but a friend to all.

He was proud to be a member of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. Loved by so many and will never be forgotten.

Private Hendry’s mum and dad said:

So proud of him! His smile lit up every room he walked into. A true heart of gold and such a lovely boy to be around!

Private Hendry’s brother, Jamie, said:

He was not only a brother but my best friend. Our childhood memories will never be forgotten”.

Private Hendry’s sister, Stacey, said:

You are my rock. You were always there to protect me. We have so many memories that will never be forgotten. I love you so much

Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, Commanding Officer, 3 PARA, said:

Private Lewis Hendry died on 9 February during an operation to secure an area of Nad ‘Ali district in Helmand. As a member of 3 PARA’s Patrols Platoon, Private Hendry had a real aptitude for soldiering and his military career would have taken him far. Everyone who met him was struck by his good nature and his consummate professionalism; he always made an impact.

I last saw him several days before he died and he was thriving on the operational challenges in his patrol base. Held in high regard, he was always calm and collected, despite the constant threats in the area of operations. His courage was undisputed and his superb sense of humour made a real difference to everyday life in his patrol base. He has made a lasting contribution to his company’s task in Helmand and leaves behind a huge gap.

However, as he would have wished, his comrades are continuing his task undaunted and will ensure that his contribution to their success is never forgotten. He will remain part of the 3 PARA family and will always be remembered. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. Utrinque Paratus.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard Hames, Regimental Sergeant Major, 3 PARA, said:

Private Hendry is ‘The’ paratrooper; professional, motivated, with bags of confidence and a core of steel. He was a soldier who could be relied upon to get the job done, however big the call was. Working on the ground under continuous daily contacts Private Hendry never let his section down.

He had a genuine care for his fellow paratroopers; witty, bright and very fit, Private Hendry will never be forgotten. His fellow paratroopers that are left behind will continue to drive forward and hunt down the enemy relentlessly with the knowledge that Private Hendry would be standing tall at the front doing what he always did best: Being a ‘Paratrooper’.

Fellow Airborne brother rest in peace. All our thoughts and prayers are now with his parents.

Major Richard Todd, Officer Commanding A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Private Lewis Hendry, known to all as Lewy, had been selected to be a Patrols Platoon soldier for exactly the same qualities which he had shown daily in spades right up to the very point he was killed: bravery, selflessness, intense professionalism and a deep love of soldiering and his fellow soldiers.

At the heart of company life, always full of energy and fun and just short of his 21st birthday, Lewy had a full life ahead of him as a paratrooper and as a man. Lewy died alongside his friend Private Conrad Lewis whilst taking the fight forward to the enemy.

Lewy’s loss is bitterly felt by the company and he will always remain in our hearts. At this difficult time we continue with greater determination in our mission but we will never be able to forget Lewy. We send our love and deepest sympathy to his family.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Danny Leitch, Company Sergeant Major, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Private Lewis Hendry was typical of a Patrols Platoon soldier: professional, determined and calm. On his return to A Company he not only brought these qualities with him, but passed them onto his fellow soldiers.

He had known the dangers surrounding him yet never faltered in his resolve. He was a great team player and he died doing the job he loved and with the men he respected. The men of A and D Company will miss him dearly. A true ‘Son of the Sky’.

Captain Ollie Mikulskis, Officer Commanding Patrols Platoon, 3 PARA, said:

I was first privileged to serve alongside Private Hendry just prior to deploying on an overseas exercise to Kenya in January of 2010 - new to the Patrols Platoon at the time, he came with a strong reputation from A Company. A fresh-faced paratrooper, full of enthusiasm.

Private Hendry quickly established himself, taking time to get along with everyone and learn from his fellow Patrols Platoon members. I have vivid memories of a navigation lesson at night with him heading the patrol as lead scout.

The pitch black, moonless Kenyan night was all around, eyes looking at us from every bush and the noise of big cats in the immediate vicinity. As others got nervous, he confidently got up, walked on his bearing and led the patrol. This will be my enduring memory of this paratrooper - confident, steadfast, fit and fearless. He will not be forgotten.

Lewis was the epitome of why this brotherhood of paratroopers is so strong, the epitome of all that is best about the Parachute Regiment. Forever young, a paratrooper who I am supremely proud to have commanded. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him - always.

Sergeant Hugh Kier, Operations Sergeant, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

I had the good fortune of receiving Lewis Hendry into my platoon in 3 PARA once he had completed his training. His physical robustness, motivation and attention to detail were immediately evident to me, marking him as a promising young paratrooper.

He was subsequently selected for a place in the battalion’s experienced Patrols Platoon prior to Operation HERRICK 13. His skills as a paratrooper combined with his dry humour and quick wit made him a popular member amongst his peers and commanders alike.

When he came to my location for a brief spell in November 2010 the banter was good, his spirits were as usual high, and his professionalism faultless - just a few of the qualities that made Private Lewis Hendry a pleasure to work with and a true asset to have had in my platoon. Rest in Peace Airborne, you shall be sorely missed.

Private Scott Young, Signals Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis was one of my closest friends in and out of work. For the short couple of years that I have known him I’m privileged to have been one of his best friends. Throughout our time in A Company and D Company we were inseparable, either at work, on holidays, or out on the town. I will miss him dearly and feel sick every time I think of his loss.

Lewis was always number one with both girlfriends and mates, and he was constantly the centre of attention and had everything you would ever want! He was always the best looking bloke and would always have a good chat up line or a crazy story.

Lewis would have gone far in life and was pretty much good at everything he set his mind to. I’m deeply sorry for his family and for my other friends who are sharing in this tragedy. Lewis mate, I’m never going to forget you and I’ll always remember those nights! To a best friend, fellow paratrooper and one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Love you mate and you’ll be close to me until the day I die.

Private Sean Merrion, 1 Platoon, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

This is just a short sentence on how I would describe Lewis Hendry. True friend, a fellow paratrooper, a best friend. He was always there when called upon and always listened to others. I know he will be missed by other people but he has gone to another life now and one day we will meet again. Rest in peace Airborne.

Private Jack Marshman, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

One of the best blokes I have ever worked with in 3 PARA. He loved the reg[iment] and everyone in the reg. I loved him, he was a mega bloke and I will miss him dearly. Rest in peace.

Private Aaron Wheeldon, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis was a top bloke, always boosting morale. He was always putting smiles on people’s faces in the time I’ve known him. He was an all round mega bloke and he will be dearly missed. Rest in peace.

Private David Ashton, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

A truly remarkable paratrooper and an awesome bloke. A massive loss to me and to the reg. I’ll make sure the beers are on you in Thailand. Gone but not forgotten, love you mate. Take care up there buddy.

Private Ollie Smith, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

You will never be forgotten and are a massive loss to the reg as a soldier and a friend. See you again some day.

Private Shaun Nicholls, Fire Support Group 3, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

From first meeting Lewis Hendry at depot, we became close mates. Lewis was an older brother to me, always looking out for others. He loved his job as a paratrooper and was very proud, always looking out for the blokes. Lewis was as dedicated to his job just as much as he was to going out to town with the lads. He will be truly missed and never forgotten. Rest in Peace Brother.

Lance Corporal Aaron Parker, Patrols Platoon, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis, our dearest friend and Airborne brother, was the most good looking bloke I have ever met. He was an outgoing and enthusiastic person in and out of work. He was the typical paratrooper, great at his job and even better at gobbing off.

He epitomised being a paratrooper out on the town too, captivating whoever he met and making friends wherever he went. Everyone in the platoon loved him just because he was Lewis.

Lewis my friend, there isn’t going to be one day that I don’t think about you. You were a true friend to me and others and shall always be in my heart until I see you again. I shall truly miss you my Airborne brother - Rest in Peace. Utrinque Paratus

Corporal Danny Atkinson, Lance Corporal James Allan, Lance Corporal Ben Pilgrim, Lance Corporal Duncan Armstrong, Private Mick Watson, Private David Pope, Patrols Section, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis our valued friend, our younger, better-looking brother. Not only an excellent paratrooper but also a person that everyone loved. He had a big impact on everybody’s life in the Patrols Platoon and wherever in 3 PARA he had been. On this day we feel great sorrow; there are not enough words to describe how much he will be missed by all of us that knew and loved him.

The memory of Lewis will remain strong in the hearts of all his friends and peers. Lewis was a unique person who had many qualities which made him stand out as a mega bloke. His sense of humour was legendary and he had many tales of the capers he used to get up to which made us all laugh.

He was an awesome person to be around and always had something funny to say when times were dull. It is a great shame for all of his friends and the many young ladies who will forever miss him and always think of him.

He had many ambitions and aspirations in life I am sure he would have fulfilled. Always someone to rely on, you could count on his help when needed. One of his greatest qualities was loyalty, which he gave to his friends and his comrades unconditionally. Lewis was a true paratrooper who was loved and thought highly of by all who knew him. He always knew how to make you smile, an excellent soldier and an even better friend.

Corporal Sean Robb, Private Gavin Lovett, Private Toby Shears, Private Daryn Fritchley, Private Simon Hanks and Private Chris Hitchens, 2 Platoon, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis was with A Company for some time before he moved to the Patrols Platoon. In this time he served as an excellent paratrooper and a fantastic bloke. He was a real character both in and out of work and he will be dearly missed by all who knew him. May he rest in peace.

Sergeant Perran Berry, Lance Corporal Scott White, Lance Corporal Andrew Lanaghan, Lance Corporal Jack Palmer and Private Michael Connolly, C Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis, it was a privilege to work with you as a platoon member and even more to know you as a good friend. Your loss has been felt by us all and you will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with your family.

Private Paul Blair and Private Joseph Szypitka, Patrols Platoon and 9 Platoon, C Company, 3 PARA, said:

The death of Lewis Hendry is a devastating loss to the battalion and his family, whom he always talked about. He was a keen and vigorous fellow paratrooper both inside and out of work; well loved by everyone. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Private Conrad Lewis (All rights reserved.)
Private Conrad Lewis (All rights reserved.)

Private Conrad Lewis

Private Lewis was born in Boscombe on 21 October 1988, and grew up in Warwickshire. An active individual with a taste for adventure, he joined the Territorial Army in August 2008, completing his recruit training and the rigorous Pre-Parachute Selection Course (P Company).

Originally serving in 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), the Territorial Army battalion, Private Lewis was accepted for a full-time reserve service appointment in 3 PARA in July 2009.

Private Lewis was quick to integrate at his new battalion, deploying to Oman with C Company and then moving across to the Machine Gun Platoon, Support Company, in the run up to the battalion’s operational deployment. Fighting as a member of a Fire Support Group, he proved an exceedingly competent soldier and was selected as lead scout for his section.

A volunteer for this highly dangerous but critical position, his diligence and bravery were the first line of defence for his fellow paratroopers. An intelligent individual, Private Lewis knew the risks, but, day-in-day-out, he was still the man at the front of every patrol, coolly facing the threat and keeping his friends safe.

The family of Private Lewis have made the following statement:

Conrad was an outstanding young man, with a character the depth of which you only truly find out in these sad circumstances. He was a warm-hearted, funny, kind, loving, handsome and clearly a brave young man.

It is a cliché to say that everyone loved him, but they did, from people of his own generation to adults of all generations. If you met Conrad you were touched by him and he made you feel good about life. He had a smile that literally could light up a room, change your mood for the day, and a hug that made you feel loved and safe, which he never shied away from giving, regardless of the time, place or audience.

He wanted to be a soldier - he wanted to be a Para - and he served the regiment and his nation with the spirit and vigour that he approached everything in life, full on and without fear or restraint.

He had joined the Parachute Regiment on a military gap year in 2008, but signed on for two more years to ensure he could serve with his new comrades in Afghanistan. He wanted to carry on a military career and had aspirations to join the Special Forces, something we all believe he would have achieved.

He always considered others before himself, which made him the most fantastic and loving son, brother, boyfriend, friend and colleague. He carried this trait into his work in Afghanistan and he knew that together with his unit he was making a big difference.

He is remembered by many as an outstanding sportsman; semi-professional footballer, club swimmer, biathlon champion at a young age and county sprinter, never one to miss a moment at the gym he was an incredible athlete.

We have received incredible support from our family and his friends, and tributes have poured onto a Facebook group set up by them - we thank all those supporting us, it is so good to know that someone can be around for such a short amount of time and touch so many people; he loved you all and you should be so proud of the man you made him.

He had the obligatory military tattoo - but typical of the lad his was script and it read: ‘God gave me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference’.

Conrad did change things. We are all incredibly proud of him. ‘Until the reorg son’. With love, the whole family.

Private Lewis’s girlfriend, Georgina (known as George), has made the following statement:

Con, you are leaving an enormous gap in mine and all our friends’ lives. Words cannot even explain how much I will miss my best friend and my soul mate. To me you are amazing and there will never be a day that goes by that I will not be thinking of you and missing you. I feel so blessed to have had you in my life, you have made these last three years truly unforgettable. I am so proud of you Con.

Better to have loved you and lost you than to never have had the chance to love you at all.

Lieutenant Colonel John Boyd, Commanding Officer, 4 PARA, said:

Private Conrad Lewis demonstrated the very finest of British society; he was a man who volunteered to serve both his country and his fiercely proud regiment. It takes a special sort of individual to join the Parachute Regiment, it takes an exceptional individual to deploy on operations, and for that he will always be remembered within the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment.

Our reservists are doing an outstanding job alongside their regular counterparts and although Conrad died doing the job he loved, amongst his brothers-in-arms, he will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, Commanding Officer, 3 PARA, said:

Private Conrad Lewis died during a security operation on 9 February in the Nad ‘Ali province of Helmand. He was a supremely popular soldier who faced danger time and again but always put his comrades first. As a reservist soldier, he might have chosen the easy option in life and remained a part-time soldier at home rather than deploying to Afghanistan.

However, he aspired to serve with 3 PARA on operations and he fulfilled this ambition in spades. He was devoted to those around him and the affectionate tributes pouring in provide a real testament to his popularity; he had a big personality and people remembered him.

He thrived on being a paratrooper and he thrived on operations. It is a fitting tribute to his memory that his battalion continues to significantly disrupt the insurgency, delivering a better future to the people of Helmand province. He will be sorely missed and we will never forget him or the contribution he made to the improved security situation in Nad ‘Ali. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this distressing time. Utrinque Paratus.

Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major) Richard Hames, 3 PARA, said:

Private Lewis is a paratrooper first and a civilian second. He joined 4 PARA so he could be with the very best, on the front line, in a forward patrol base, with his fellow paratroopers of Fire Support Group 1. Confident, with great banter and an all-round character, he fitted in well.

Despite the rigours and harsh routine of daily contacts and long patrols through the day and night he never faltered in his commitment to his fellow Airborne brothers.

“On operations, Private Lewis delivered, from constant banter keeping morale high, to being the first to volunteer for that not so good job that had to be done. He was respected, trusted and will be sorely missed by his company and closest friends.

Private Lewis, a friend to so many, a paratrooper to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his father Anthony and his girlfriend Georgina.

Major Richard Todd, Officer Commanding A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Over the last four weeks of almost daily combat Private Conrad Lewis has been a true inspiration to his fellow soldiers. Conrad was always at the front, without fear and eager to get to grips with the enemy - the true embodiment of a paratrooper.

Aged only 22 Conrad was a friend to all and a source of help and comfort in difficult times; he was mature beyond his years and a really good man. Conrad died alongside Private Lewis Hendry in the same manner in which he had lived - looking out for his friends.

The loss of Conrad is like a hammer blow to the company and he will always be remembered. Our difficult task must and will continue but our thoughts, prayers and love are with Conrad and his family through this dark time.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Danny Leitch, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

From his Company Quartermaster Sergeant to his Company Sergeant Major, Private Lewis had always shown me the qualities required of a ‘Senior Tom’; robust, steadfast and willing to step up to the mark when required.

“Combined with his genuine care for his fellow soldiers and friends, proven in combat, he was admired by all ranks from Private to Officer.

On operations he led from the front on patrols and under immense pressure he showed huge courage, both moral and physical. He was always first to volunteer for the tough, unpleasant and dangerous duties.

Missed but never forgotten, summed up by General Montgomery: ‘Every Man an Emperor’.

Captain Hugo Deed, Officer Commanding Machine Gun Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Private Lewis was hugely popular within the platoon, hardly surprising since he was such a charismatic person. He came to Machine Guns keen and willing to learn, and quickly developed into a very capable and confident machine gunner.

Strong, bright and confident - he was doing extremely well in the platoon. He transitioned over to a Fire Support Group before the tour, meaning more specialist training and responsibility - he took this and more in his stride.

I will always remember Private Lewis for his humour and ability to uplift those around him, something that would shine through on even the most miserable of training exercises! His loss is sorely felt, we will remember him.

Private Luke Flanagan, Fire Support Group 1, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Where do I start with Conrad Lewis? He was probably the loudest bloke in the checkpoint; he was constantly having banter with the blokes. We were called the twins, always being together and dishing out abuse and pranks on everyone. Although he did it in jest he was looked up to by all the blokes.

An awesome lead scout, fearsome in a fire fight, he cared about the men; always making them scoff and brews. He always had the guts to stand up to the blokes when he felt the need. I probably owe you my life and I will remember you for the rest of it. The reg won’t be the same without you. See you at the re-org.

Private Fraser Preston, Fire Support Group 1, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad was a big voice in the platoon, whether it be good or bad. He was well-liked and always at the heart of the banter amongst us. I’m going to miss the Fire Support Group Nissan Patrols through camp and the notes to reconfirm what the hell we were meant to be doing that day.

There is a big hole in the platoon now where you will be sorely missed mate. PS ‘It’s up the office at two in civvies’.

Private Liam Greenhalgh, Fire Support Group 1, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad was well-respected and well-liked in our Fire Support Group. It won’t be the same without him trying to beast blokes. You and your Nissan will be missed. Gone but never forgotten mate.

Lance Corporal Zak Dunnings, Fire Support Group 2, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis was a big personality within the Machine Gun Platoon and will be sorely missed by everyone. My condolences go to his family at this extremely difficult time. Rest easy Airborne.

Private Ricky Williams, Fire Support Group 2, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad Lewis was a great soldier and a great friend. He was one of the first blokes I met in battalion and he always stood out due to his sharp personality and his wit. Lewis, you will never be forgotten and will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with your family and friends. Rest in peace dear Conrad.

Corporal Carl Thompson, Fire Support Group 3, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

My thoughts go out to Private Lewis’ family. He was a paratrooper with a massive personality; he always had a big smile on his face, was a friend to all that knew him and will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace Airborne.

Private James Aston, Fire Support Group 3, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad Lewis was a brave man and loved being a paratrooper but, more importantly, he was a very dear and close friend who will be missed by all those who knew him. Forever in my heart, goodnight, God bless. Until we meet again, take care, mate, I’m going to miss you so much. Love always.

Private Paul Conner, Fire Support Group 3, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

True friend, true paratrooper; you will be sorely missed, Lewis. My thoughts are with your family. Sleep well mate. Love always. Rest in peace Airborne.

Lance Corporal Sammy Garnham, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Without a doubt one of the funniest reg blokes I’ve ever met who always made the best of a situation. My heart goes out to his family and his loved ones. All the best mate. Take care up there.

Private David Ashton, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad was an awesome paratrooper and a top bloke who was always committed to the cause and never gave less than one hundred per cent. A massive loss to the reg. Rest in peace mate, I’ll never forget you. A true friend to the end. Take care up there buddy.

Private Ollie Smith, Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 3 PARA, said:

Such a shame to lose you mate. You’re an awesome bloke and you will never be forgotten. See you again some day.

Lance Corporal Mac McCallister, Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad was an amazing lad who always brought a smile to those around him. He will be greatly missed, gone but never forgotten. My sympathies to his family and friends.

Private Jack Marshman, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

A good friend of mine. The life and soul of whatever group he was with and an all-round mega bloke. He will be dearly missed. Rest in peace.

Private Edward Cook, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

I went through training with Conrad Lewis. He was a mega paratrooper; he was a good bloke bringing morale up and constantly cracking jokes. He was the most popular bloke I knew and he will be missed dearly.

Private Aaron Wheeldon, 8 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Conrad you were full of beans, always having a laugh and a joke with the blokes. You will be missed by all the blokes in 3 PARA. Rest in peace mate.

Private Thomas Revitt, 9 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

I remember when I first came to 3 PARA, you got put straight into 9 Platoon, C Company. We were a few days away from deploying on our overseas exercise Ex Omani Express. Once we got there we noticed that you were keen, confident and usually the loudest man in the platoon.

It seemed that everywhere I went I’d hear you ‘gobbing off’ in the smoking area or trying to jump the scoff queue! One of my favourite memories of you was when we climbed Mount Jebel. It was funny that before we even left the transport to climb it, you looked at it for a few seconds, laughed, and said to me ‘there’s no chance of me getting up that thing!’ We set off and within 20 minutes you had me in stitches.

Your morale carried a lot of the blokes up and back down the other side. Another good memory was when we were at the top; we both got a scoff on, you lit a fag up and we talked of how you couldn’t wait to get back to England and how you could not wait to see your girlfriend, George.

I could not believe it when I heard the news, it took a moment to sink in. I am absolutely gutted that you’re gone. I know you want the blokes to crack on and that’s what we are going to do. Miss you already mate. Rest in peace Lewis!

Private Ben Simner, 9 Platoon, attached to A Company, 3 PARA, said:

Lewis, you’re one of my best mates and one of the funniest blokes I know. I’ll miss our dominoes nights. Rest in peace mate.

Corporal Sean Robb, Private Gavin Lovett, Private Toby Shears, Private Darryn Fritchley, Private Simon Hanks and Private Christopher Hitchens, 2 Platoon, A Company, 3 PARA, said:

We only worked closely with Conrad for a couple of months and during those months Conrad was a fantastic figure of a man and a paratrooper. His personality was one in a million and was permanently bulging with morale regardless of what was going on.

We are all gutted by the loss and we hope he rests in peace. He will be truly missed by all that knew him.

Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:

Private Lewis Hendry and Private Conrad Lewis have both made the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives to bring security to the Nad ‘Ali district, denying the area to the enemy, and protecting the safety of our country.

Private Lewis Hendry was clearly an exemplary soldier who was courageous, professional and a trusted member of Patrols Platoon.

Those who served alongside Private Conrad Lewis speak of an individual with boundless enthusiasm, a brave volunteer soldier who was committed to his fellow paratroopers and to military life.

My thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

Published 11 February 2011