Operations in Afghanistan

Sapper Adam Moralee has died in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Sapper Adam Moralee, from 32 Engineer Regiment, on Wednesday 5 March in Camp Bastion.

Ministry of Defence crest

Sapper Moralee deployed to Afghanistan on 10 September 2013 as a section sapper in the Close Support Engineer Squadron of the Task Force Helmand (TFH) Engineer Regiment Group. He worked throughout the TFH area of operations in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

On Wednesday 5 March 2014, Sapper Moralee was working with his section within Camp Bastion preparing engineer plant equipment for redeployment out of theatre when he was fatally injured.

Sapper Adam Moralee, 32 Engineer Regiment

Sapper Adam Moralee (All rights reserved.)
Sapper Adam Moralee (All rights reserved.)

Sapper Adam Moralee was born on 2 November 1990 in Newcastle. He joined the Royal Engineers from school aged 17 in January 2008, and trained as an armoured engineer at Bovington, learning to operate and maintain a variety of armoured engineer vehicles.

He was posted to 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, in March 2009 and deployed on Operation Herrick 14 in March 2011 as part of the Armoured Support Group. In Afghanistan he crewed a Trojan armoured vehicle clearing legacy minefields and defeating improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In mid-2013, Sapper Moralee successfully passed his pre non-commissioned officer (PNCO) cadre and was due to promote to Lance Corporal on posting later this year. He deployed on Operation Herrick 19 in September 2013 as part of a close support troop within 39 Armoured Engineer Squadron.

Throughout this time he worked as a combat engineer to give physical force protection from both the environment and the enemy threat to personnel deployed in forward bases, and to close these bases as part of TFH’s lift-off from Helmand.

He leaves behind his parents Lynn and Darren and fiancée Emma.

Sapper Moralee’s family have paid the following tribute:

Adam was a loving son, fiancé and friend who touched everyone’s hearts that came into contact with him. His passion for cars and anything with an engine made him a true petrolhead through and through.

As a son he was full of life and always the joker of the family, who never took anything too seriously. He loved his job and the friends he made from his time in the Army, and he would never have swapped those experiences for the world.

He treated his fiancée, Emma, like his princess and the love they shared was clear to all of those who were lucky enough to see it. To be his wife would have made Emma feel like the luckiest girl in the world and they were each other’s one true love and soul mates.

Adam touched the hearts of all of us who were lucky to know him and not a day will go by where he is not in our thoughts and hearts. He will be sorely missed by family and friends and forever loved by all. Rest in peace son!

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Davies RE, Commanding Officer 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

Quietly determined and utterly dedicated, Sapper Adam Moralee was an outstanding soldier. An armoured engineer through and through, he had proved himself on both the icy prairies of the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada and the IED-riddled deserts of Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 14, clearing safe lanes in his beloved TROJAN. In his second operational deployment to southern Afghanistan, he worked as a combat engineer – toiling hard in both the heat and the snow to ensure that the force was protected from the elements and the enemy threat, and then working in support of the redeployment effort.

His dry wit and his commitment to the team, be it on operations or the football field, have made him a well known, trusted member of his troop, his Squadron and the Regiment. Passing his PNCO cadre prior to deployment, Sapper Moralee was ready to be a junior commander and his huge potential really shone through. A role model to all, I have no doubt he would have risen high in the ranks.

The deployed TFH Engineer Regiment Group and 32 Engineer Regiment Rear Operations Group in Hohne have been struck hard by the sudden and tragic loss of Adam. We will eternally remember him as the dedicated professional and likeable sapper that he was. We will honour his memory by delivering the mission to which we have committed. At this most difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Lynn and Darren, and his fiancée Emma whom he was shortly to marry.

Major Marcus Hayakawa RE, Officer Commanding 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, said:

Sapper Adam Moralee is revered throughout 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron. His loss has come as a blow to all those who have had the privilege of knowing this outstanding young man. A Royal Engineer of tremendous potential, Sapper Moralee had served with the Squadron since passing out of training five years ago. Over this time, he grew to become an exceptional soldier and promising leader. His talents were widely recognised and his hugely popular selection for promotion was testament to both his professionalism and enviable standing amongst his peers.

26 Armoured Engineer Squadron has a very proud history. It is forged by individuals like Adam who personify all that is honourable about our chosen profession. We will miss him greatly and our deepest sympathies go out to his parents and fiancée at this terrible time. Yet as we mourn his passing, there is an utmost determination to draw strength and inspiration from his sacrifice.

Captain Alastair Bramson RE, 4 Troop Commander, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

Sapper Adam Moralee was a valued member of 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron within the TFH Engineer Regiment Group. As a senior sapper he was highly respected both by myself and within the Troop. With his extensive knowledge and experience from previous deployments, he was an important and valued member of the Troop. In particular I was impressed by his strong work ethic, which set an example to those around him. An active soldier, he enjoyed a variety of sports – above all football, which he played regularly.

Sapper Moralee, having passed the PNCO cadre, had a promising future. His dependability, determination and hardworking nature marked him out for a successful career. Above all, Adam will be remembered for his dry sense of humour and teamwork. His loss to the Corps and the Army is considerable. My thoughts and prayers and that of the Troop are with his fiancée Emma and parents, Lynn and Darren at this very difficult time.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (Squadron Sergeant Major) Mark Gotsell, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

On first meeting Sapper Moralee he gave the impression of a quiet and reserved sapper, which was the opposite to his inseparable best friend Lance Corporal Crosbie. If ever there was a case of ‘books should never be judged by their cover’, Sapper Moralee is a shining example of this. No matter how tough or adverse the conditions he was always happy in his Trojan and would greet you with a genuine smile, a wave and a ‘morning Sir, how are you?’. He was sincere, honest and one of life’s nice men. Known to the lads ironically as ‘Massive’, what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in tenacity and drive. Passionate about his chosen vocation, I would trust his advice in his given trade as I would a section commander.

He will be missed in the Squadron deeply, both at work and socially. A man taken in the prime of his life, I spoke to him the night before the tragic accident and he expressed how he was looking forward to his future with a promotion, a posting and a new start married to Emma. My sincere and deepest sympathies go out to his family and fiancée who will be feeling this more painfully than anyone. We will remember.

Corporal Matt Mackay, Armoured Section Commander, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

I first got to know Sapper ‘Mozza’ Moralee from his banter in the troop and later for his passion for Armoured Engineering. ‘Mozza’ was an utter pleasure to work with and an expert in his trade from many exercises in Canada and Germany. Life was so much easier when he was around.

He was a lover of anything mechanical, from his white VW Polo car to the Trojan tank he crewed alongside Lance Corporal Crosbie. They gelled instantly and became inseparable at work and in the bar. Incredibly popular in the Squadron and well known by the lads, we often teased him for his quiet nature during the day and his fun loving attitude once encouraged off the sofa.

His love of Newcastle United was legendary despite being utterly uncoordinated at the game himself. He was loved by everyone around him and definitely a star of the future. The only thing that rivalled his friendship with Lance Corporal Crosbie was his love of his fiancée, Emma. She put a look in his eye of pride, achievement and true happiness. The most genuine person I have ever met, it has been a pleasure to know him and to serve with him.

There won’t be a day or a Newcastle game that we don’t think about him. My thoughts are with his family and especially Emma. I’ll see you in the Squadron bar my friend.

Lance Corporal Karl Crosbie, 4 Troop, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

From the outset, it was clear that I had met a truly caring best friend and brother who would have done anything for me. Adam and I were inseparable; we did everything and went everywhere together. We were always seen as a pair almost as if we were joined at the hip.

From the first day when he arrived and moved into the same room as me, we shared many happy memories during our time together. He was a very popular man and was known by everyone within the Squadron. We served in the same section on Operation Herrick 14. One thing that will forever stand out amongst many amazing memories is his love for doing body building poses and from where he got his nickname ‘Massive’.

Such was our friendship that he asked me to be his best man for his wedding to his fiancée Emma; I was deeply honoured. We were very much like brothers and I will miss him very much. We will meet up again one day ‘Massive’.

Lance Corporal Phil Smith, 4 Troop, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment, said:

Sapper Adam Moralee was an extremely talented and passionate Armoured Engineer. He gained the nickname of ‘Massive’ due to his lack of size but big personality. He was renowned for his one liners followed by his trademark laugh. To those who did not know ‘Massive’, he would seem quiet and reserved but those who got to know him will never forget him.

I don’t know a single person who didn’t like ‘Massive’. When we went out together we would always get a keyring picture of us. I have got a draw full them, each a little uglier than the last. On the tour we would play FIFA most days. At first he was seen as an easy victory, but as time went on he became a most worthy opponent and most of Helmand would hear about it when he scored a goal.

He was hugely proud of his fiancée Emma whom he worshipped. He would often be seen with her in their home town of Newcastle drinking cocktails out of teapots together, and with his VW Polo; small and powerful, it suited him down to the ground.

He will be severely missed by a lot of people. It was an honour to have served with him and to count him as a friend. My thoughts are with his fiancée Emma and parents Darren and Lynne.

Sapper Dave Leader, Sapper Richie Rayner, Sapper Richie Eggo and Sapper Chris Brookes, 4 Troop, 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 32 Engineer Regiment

We first met Adam back in 2009 when he joined Armoured Troop. Adam was known as ‘Massive’ to his close friends due to his ironic lack of size! Being a Geordie he was a keen Newcastle fan. He was greatly respected for his experience, especially with armour, spanning several exercises in Canada. Aside from his professional side we had many happy memories of his avid social life which usually resulted in the amazing ‘Mozza’ dance!

Other than his party animal spirit he had a deep love for cars and cherished his prized VW Polo; an improvement from his old battered Seat Ibiza. His other love was his fiancée Emma. They had been together for three years and were due to marry in June.

He was one of the nicest blokes you’d ever have the pleasure of meeting. He was the kind of guy who would help you out whatever the situation. He was typically involved in troop banter, and always raised spirits wherever he was. We remember him getting a lot of stick for his volleyball skills or lack thereof!

‘Massive’ was 26 Squadron through and through and it was a pleasure to work with him. He will be dearly missed by everyone he leaves behind, both his family back home and his second family at 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron.

Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:

It is clear from the tributes paid to Sapper Moralee that he was a determined and respected soldier who was good-humoured, trustworthy and considerate. His untimely death is a tragedy and my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family, fiancée and friends at this difficult time.

Published 5 March 2014
Last updated 6 March 2014 + full page history
  1. Eulogy attached
  2. First published.