Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


CULLOMPTON WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Bridget Hill 2008
(AOL removed Bridget's site and we have tried to reproduce the details here with updates)

The memorial is located on Cullompton High Street and takes the form of a base surmounted by a tapering plinth, a shaft and a wheel cross with the inscription on one side of the plinth and the names on base sides of the plinth. On the front of the memorial are crossed rifles with a wreath in the centre. There memorial was unveiled in 1920; the mason's were Messrs Easton & Son; monies were raised by public subscription. The UKNIWM states that there are 34 names for World War 1 (but there are more) and 17 for World War 2. One name has been added for post war 1945 for Iraq 2007.

Photograph from an old postcard

THE GREAT WAR
1914 - 1918
THIS MEMORIAL WAS RAISED BY
THE INHABITANTS OF CULLOMPTON
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND
IN HONOUR OF THOSE WHOSE
NAMES ARE HEREON RECORDED
WHO
PLACING COUNTRY BEFORE COMFORT
AND HONOUR BEFORE EASE,
GAVE THEIR LIVES
FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM.
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH

BASTONE

William David

Private 1485, 1/4th Battalion (Territorial), Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action in Mesopotamia 3rd February 1917. Born Tiverton, enlisted Cullompton. Son of Mr D. Batstone, of The Bungalow, High St. Cullompton. Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

BISS

James

Sergeant 290030, 2/6th Battalion (Territorial), Devonshire Regiment. Died in Mesopotamia 27th February 1918. Born and resident Cullompton. Aged 37. Husband of Ellen E. Sprague (formerly Biss) of Matther's Court, Cullompton. Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

BLACKMORE

William H

Private 240945, 1st/5th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Died 24th July 1918. Buried in Cullompton Cemetery, Devon.

BOWDEN

Ernest

[Devonshire Regiment on memorial] Private Ernest Bowden, 207263, 10th Battallion, Worcestershire Regiment. Died of wounds 30th May 1918. Born Puddington, Devon, enlisted Exeter, resident Tiverton. Buried Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France.

BOWLES

James

Pioneer (Sapper) 129067, Depot Specialist Brigade, Royal Engineers. Killed in action 27th June 1916. Born Kentisbeare, enlisted Tiverton, resident Cullompton. Formerly 2052, Devonshire Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. Panel 1.

BRADBEER

Richard James Edwin

[Listed as S/Gnr on memorial], Able Seaman Bristol Z/1670, SS Obuasi, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died 11th July 1917. Aged 19. Son of James & Eugenie Bradbeer of High Street, Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

BROOM

Sidney Charles

[Listed as Charles Sidney in records] Private 123916, 24th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment). Died 18th May 1917. Born Cullompton 6th January 1890. Labourer by trade. Husband of Mrs. C.S. (his initials) Broom of 697, Elias Street, London, Ontario, Canada. Enlisted and passed fit 27th September 1915 at London, Ontario, Canada, aged 25 years. Height 5 feet 4½ inches, 37 inches, complexion fair, eyes blue, hair fair; religion Church of England. Commemorated Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1110 - 36

BROWN

Walter G

Lance Corporal, Devonshire Regiment probably Walter George Browne, Private 82203, 20th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Born, Crumys Morchard, Devon, enlisted Cardiff, resident Monmouth. Killed in action 4th September 1918. No known grave. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

CARDEW, MC

George Eric

Captain, 4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment attached 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Killed in action 9th April 1918. Aged 31. Son of Henry Master Cardew and Beatrice Mary Cardew, of The Birches, Churchdown, Gloucester. Previously wounded in 1916. Awarded the Military Cross (MC). No known grave. Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. Panel 3.

CHICK

Edward J

Sapper 34874, 5th Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action 24th July 1916. Born Cardiff, enlisted Exeter. Formerly 8919, Devonshire Regiment. No Known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

COLEMAN

Joseph

[Listed as Private on memorial] Rifleman 20500, 2nd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Killed in action in France 8th June 1917. Brother of John George Coleman of Higher Street, Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Messines Ridge (N.Z.) Memorial, Belgium.

COLES

Albert John

Private 406265, 58th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment). Died 8th October 1916. Aged 31. Born 22nd August 1887 at Exeter. Son of Samuel & Harriet Coles of Station Road, Cullompton. Labourer by trade. Unmarried. Passed fit 14th September 1915 and enlisted 16th April 1915 at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Height 5 feet 11 inches, girth 40½ inches, complexion dark, eyes brown, hair dark; religion Presbyterian. Commemorated on Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France. National Archives of Canada Accession Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1862 - 10

COLES

Ernest

Private 13615, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died 9th October 1918. Born and resident Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton. Formerly 40927, Somerset Light Infantry. Buried Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.

COLES

William

Private 4527, 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Died of wounds 13th November 1914. Aged 33. Born and resident Cullompton, enlisted Taunton. Son of Samuel & Harriet Coles, of Station Road, Cullompton. Husband of Florence Coles. No known grave. Commemorated Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. Panel 11.

CONIBEER

Edward James

Private 80988, Royal Army Medical Corps. Killed in action 6th November 1917. Born Bradninch, enlisted Exeter. Buried Menin Road South Miltary Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

DANIELS

George

Private 5192, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 31st October 1914. Born Portsmouth, enlisted Exeter, resident Cullompton. *** Cannot locate on CWGC ***

DAVEY

Ernest

Acting Corporal 3019, 2/4th Battalion (Territorial), Devonshire Regiment. Died in Mesopotamia 17th June 1916. Enlisted Cullompton. Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

DAVEY

Fred

Private 200032, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 30th August 1918. Born Halberton, enlisted Cullompton. Commemorated on Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.

DENNER

John

Private 16666, 9th (Service) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 1st July 1916. Aged 23. Born and enlisted Cullompton. Son of Mrs J. Denner of Station Road, Cullompton. Buried Devonshire Cemetery, Somme, France.

EALES

John

Sergeant 755, 1/4th Battalion (Territorial), Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action in Mesopotamia 3rd February 1917. Born and enlisted Cullompton. Aged 33. Son of Mr & Mrs Henry Eales, of Exeter Road, Cullompton. Buried Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

EVANS

Tom

Private, R.A.F. - No further information currently

EWENS

George

[Also known as George WAUGH and enlisted under that name] Private 420975, 43rd Battalion Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment). Born Cullompton. Died 21st September 1916. Aged 26. Only son of Tom Francis Biddlecombe Ewens and Eleanor Maria Ewens of The Bungalow, Colyford, Devon. Born Dublin, Ireland 26th February 1890. Lists his next of kin as Mrs Waugh, of Colyford, Devon. clerk by trade. Unmarried. Enlisted and passed fit 18th December 1914 at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Height 6 feet, girth 43 inches, complexion sallow, eyes brown, hair dark; religion presbyterian. No known grave. Commemorated Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France. National Archives of Canada Accession References: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 2964 - 23 and RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10163 - 28

FORD, MM

Reginald [Richard]

Sergeant 19883, "Z" Special Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action 3rd April 1917. Aged 29. Born Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton. Son of Richard & Kate Ford, of Coronation House, Crow Green, Cullompton. Awarded Military Medal (MM). No known grave. Commemorated Arras Memorial, France. Bay 1.

GIGG

Charles James aka George

[Listed as Seaman on mmeorial] Private PLY/14713, HMS Monmouth, Royal Marine Light Infantry. Died 1st November 1914. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

GREENSLADE

Reginald R

Private 34849, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died 2nd April 1918. Born and resident Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton. Buried Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France.

HALES

William [James]

Private 66961, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 30th march 1918. Born Cullompton, enlisted Crdiff, resident Rhonda, Glamorgan. Killed in action 30th March 1918. Son of George Hales of Church Lane, Cullompton. Husband of Louisa J. Hales of Reed's Place, Cullompton. Commemorated on Pozieres Memorial, Somme France. Panel 24 to 25.

HARDING

Arthur

Private (Signaller) 31385, 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. Killed in action 17th April 1918. Born and resident Cullompton, enlisted Bristol. No known grave. Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.

HARRIS

Samuel

Company Sergeant Major, 7th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry). Died 19th October 1915. Born Cullompton, enlisted Taunton, resident Ilminster, Somerset. Buried Rue-du-Bacquerot (13th) London Graveyard, Laventie, France.

HARVEY

Godfrey James

Acting Sergeant 49534, 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). Killed in action 29th January 1917. Aged 32. Born Cullompton, enlisted St James Street, London S.W., resident Worcester. Son of Richard & Mary Harvey, 45 Somers Road, Worcester. Formerly E/143, Royal Fusiliers. Buried Hamel Military Cemetery, Somme, France.

HAWKINS

Henry Charles

[Listed as King's Royal Rifle Corps on memorial] Sergeant 781, 12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers), London Regiment. Killed in action 8th May 1915. Born Cullompton, enlisted London, resident Hampstead. No known grave. Commemorated Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.

HELLIER

Oliver [John]

Private 3/6474, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 1st May 1915. Born totnes, enlisted Exeter, resident Cullompton. Aged 20. Son of Mrs Rosa Hellier of Higher Mill Lane, Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. Panel 21.

HILLMAN

Walter George Tree

[Listed as Sergeant on memorial] Driver 43124, 88th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Died in Mesopotamia 12th July 1916. Born and enlisted Exeter, resident Cullompton. Buried Basra War Cemetery, Iraq.

HITT

Ernest Edward

Private 65533, Devonshire Regiment transferred to 245734 Labour Corps. Died 28th March 1919. Aged 35. Son of Henry & Susan Hitt of Cullompton. Husband of Frances Mary Hitt of End Cottage, Broadhembury. Buried St Andrew Churchyard, Broadhembury, Devon.

HITT

C Frank

Private 33847, 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Died 23rd October 1917. Buried in St Andrew Churchyard, Clyst Hydon, Devon. [Not found on SDGW]

HOWE

Frederick

Lance Corporal 72490, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died of wounds 28th March 1919 Aged 20. Born Cullompton, enlisted Cullompton, resident Cullompton. Son of Thomas & Annie Howe of Crow Green, Cullompton. Buried Namps-Au-Val British Cemetery, Somme, France.

INGERSENT

James

Private 29721, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action 23rd March 1918. Born Cullompton, enlisted Cullompton, resident Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated on Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

JAMES

Wilfred [John]

Rifleman 3875, 1st/8th Battalion, London Regiment (Post Office Rifles). Killed in action 21st May 1916. Enlisted London, resident Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Arras Memorial, France. Bay 10.

KERSLAKE

Robert

Private 141714, 4th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment). Died 8th October 1916. Born 17th May 1888 at Cullompton. Next of kin Mrs Mary Kerslake, Exeter Road, Cullompton, Devon. Car Trimmer by trade. Unmarried. Member of the 44th Regiment of the Militia at enlistment. Enlisted and passed fit 27th July 1915 at Welland, Ontario, Canada. Height 5 feet 5 inches, girth 32 inches, complexion dark, eyes grey, hair dark brown; religion Methodist. Buried Adanac Military Cemetery, Somme, France. National Archives of Canada: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5126 - 7

LABDON

Percy Miller

Second Lieutenant, 469th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action 26th September 1917. Aged 21. Son of Fred L. & Eunice Labdon of Glenthorne, Cullompton. Buried Bridge House Cemetery, Belgium.

LUXTON

Gordon

Private 16790, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action 1st July 1916. Born Cullompton, enlisted Exeter, resident Exeter. No known grave. Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

MARTIN

Frederick Adam Sanford

Private 457322, 2nd/1st (Wessex) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. Died 3rd June 1917. Aged 20. Born Cullompton, enlisted Cullompton, resident Cullompton. Son of Adam Sanford & Miriam Frances Martin of "The Pines", Alcombe, Minehead. Buried Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

OWENS

William

Private 41420, 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Killed in action 4th October 1917. Born Cullompton, enlisted Exeter, resident Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

PALMER

Herbert Slader

Corporal 6276, 5th Dragoon Guards. Killed in action 31st October 1914. Aged 25. Born Cullompton, enlisted Exmouth, resident Exmouth. Son of John Palmer of Beacon Terrace, Bradninch, Devon. Husband of Daisy Cornish (formerly Palmer) of Egremont Road, Exmouth, Devon. No known grave. Commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.

RICHARDS

Edgar

Private SP/3050, 24th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Killed in action 30th March 1916. Born Abertillery, enlisted Exeter, resident Monmouth. Brother of Mrs. Eleanor Herrington of 4 Park Avenue, Rogerstone, Monmouth. Buried Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

SELLICK

Walter [John]

Private 4/7171, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 7th May 1915. Born Cullompton, enlisted Hertford, resident Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium.

SHATTOCK

Thomas H

Engine Room Artificer 4th Class M/5731, HMS Good Hope, Royal Navy. Died 1st November 1914. Aged 20. Son of Henry James & Ruth Shattock of The Croft, Cullompton. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

SKOINES

Federick Charles

Private 20665, 6th Battalion, Dorset Regiment. Died of wounds 11th June 1918. Born Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton, resident Cullompton. Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

SNOW

Benford [Lewis]

Private G/58064, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killed in actoin 2nd October 1918. Born Cullompton, enlisted Kingston-on-Thames, resident Cullompton. No known grave. Commemorated Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France.

SNOW

Reginald John

Private 110444, Royal Army Medical Corps. Born Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton, resident Cullompton. Died 25th April 1918. Aged 24. Son of John & Lucy Snow, of Trumps Barn, Cullompton. Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

STILING

William Frederick

[Listed as Frederick William in records] Private 33792, 1st/5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. Died 2nd November 1917. Born Cullompton, enlisted Tiverton. Buried Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.

STONE

Ernest [C H]

Corporal 252424, Royal Engineers. Died 30th July 1919. Aged 34. Son of John & Sarah J. Stone. Husband of Laura Stone of Higher Street, Cullompton. Buried Cullompton Cemetery, Devon.

VOYSEY

Sidney [Henry Albert]

[Spelt Voisey in records] Private 27419, 14th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment attached 7th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment. Died 4th April 1918. Born Cullompton, enlisted Exeter. Commemorated on Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

WHITFIELD

William

Private 5540, 2/8th Battalion Devonshire Regiment. Died of wounds 2nd August 1916. Born Cullompton, enlisted Cullompton, resident Cullompton. Buried Merville Communal Cemetery, France.

1939-1945

BENNETT, MC

John Paul Barkell Bennett

Captain 137195, Royal Engineers. Died 24th April 1945. Awarded Military Cross (MC). Buried Becklinkgen War Cemetery, Germany.

BOND

Charles Frederick Gordon

Major 50968, attached 1st Special Air Service, Wiltshire Regiment. Died 10th April 1945. Aged 33. Son of Major C. G. Bond, The Wiltshire Regt, and Mrs Bond. Husband of Evelyn Hinchcliff Bond of Kilve, Somerset. Buried Sage War Cemetery, Germany.

CARTER

Richard E

Leading Supply Assistant D/MX 61147, HMS Illustrious, Royal Navy. Died 10th January 1941. Aged 19. Son of Richard & Mary Jane Carter of Cullompton. Buried Imtarfa Military Cemetery, Malta.

COCKRAM

Charles Havill

Flight Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1852449, 37 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 23rd November 1944. Aged 20. Son of Charles Havill Cockram and Elsie May Cockram of Cullompton. Buried Budapest War Cemetery, Hungary.

DYER

Edward Harold George

Sergeant (Air Gunner) 1606353, 51 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 22nd November 1943. Buried Amersfoort (Old Leusden) General Cemetery, Netherlands.

ELWORTHY

Arthur James

Sergeant (Pilot) 1013219, 40 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 11th July 1944. Aged 20. Son of Stanley & Kathleen Elworthy of Down St. Mary, Devon. Buried Milan War Cemetery, Italy.

ENDICOTT

Leonard John

Pilot Officer 115749, 502 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 30th July 1942. Aged 30. Son of William & Annie Elizabeth Endicott. Husband of Eileen Endicott of Trenance, Mawgan Porth. Buried Mawgan-in-Pydar Cemetery, Cornwall.

GOSS

George Robert

Corporal 5735350, 1st Battalion, The Hertfordshire Regiment, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. Died 28t November 1944. Son of Mr & Mrs J. E. Goss of Cullompton. Buried Florence War Cemetery, Italy.

GRANT

Walter Stewart

Flight Sergeant 564185, Royal Air Force. Died 25th August 1945. Aged 30. Son of James Malcome & Minnie Grant of Cullompton. Buried Cullompton Cemetery, Devon.

GRANT- STURGIS

Robin Julian

Lieut-Commander (A), HMS Saker, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died 16th February 1944. No known grave. Commemorated Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire.

HEALE

Francis James

Driver 5619506, Royal Corps of Signals. Died 3rd November 1943. Aged 22. Son of William & Laura Hester Heale of Cullompton. Buried Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy.

HILLMAN

Walter George Tree

Private 5615574, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Died 23rd June 1942. Aged 33. Husband of E. M. Hillman of Knowle, Cullompton. Buried Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta.

HOOPER

Lionel Albert Jeffery

Telegraphist D/JX 206800, HMS President 111 (lost in M.V. Athel Sultan) Royal Navy. Died 22nd September 1942. Aged 21. Son of Albert & Florence Hooper. Husband of Phylliss Hooper of Hemyock, Devon. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

PERHAM

Donald

Stoker 1st Class D/KX 86366, HM Submarine Seahorse, Royal Navy. Died 12th January 1940. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

PRING

Robert Conrad

Ordinary Seaman D/JX 156755, HMS Gloucester, Royal Navy. Died 22nd May 1941. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

STONE

Thomas John

Leading Stoker D/KX 94034, HMS Tamar, Royal Navy. Being trasnported as a Japanese Prisoner of War and lost when the SS Lisbon Maru was sunk 2nd October 1942. Aged 22. Son of William & Fanny Stone. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth.

SYMONDS

William James

Boy 1st Class D/JX 166617, HMS Repulse, Royal Navy. Died 109th December 1941. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Symonds, of Cullompton, Devon. No known grave. Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth. Panel 50, Column 1.

Post 1945

COFFEY

Daniel [Lee]

Rifleman, The Rifles. Died 27th February 2007 in Iraq. Aged 21.

Extract from Defence News 28 Feb 07:

Rifleman Daniel Lee Coffey killed in Iraq

A Military Operations news article
28 Feb 07

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Daniel Lee Coffey, from 10 Platoon, C Company, Second Battalion The Rifles, in Iraq on Tuesday 27 February 2007.

Rifleman Daniel Coffey
[Picture Courtesy: MOD]

Rifleman Coffey, 21, died as a result of injuries sustained during a patrol in north Basra. He was returning to his base at the Shatt-Al-Arab Hotel after taking part in a task mentoring the Iraqi Police Service when his patrol was ambushed by two gunmen.

Rifleman Coffey was on top cover providing protection for the patrol vehicles when he came under small arms fire attack from the gunmen.

He was immediately evacuated by helicopter to a field hospital and despite the valiant efforts of medical staff and the provision of the best available medical care, he sadly died later in the day from his injuries.

Rifleman Daniel Lee Coffey was born on 8 July 1985 in Exeter. He was single and leaves behind a loving family centred around Cullompton and Newcastle. Rfn Coffey enlisted into the army in August 2005. After completing his Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick where he won best shot, he was posted to The Devon and Dorset Light Infantry (DDLI) in February 2006.

He deployed with the DDLI to Iraq on Operation TELIC 8 between April and November 2006, operating out of the Shaibah Logistics Base on the outskirts of Basra City. He then almost immediately volunteered to serve in Iraq again, deploying to Basra City North with C Company Second Battalion The Rifles in January 2007.

Major Michael Foster-Brown, his Company Commander, said:

"Rifleman Coffey was professional, enthusiastic and a reliable soldier with a bright future. He fitted in very quickly, winning everyone’s respect and admiration, not least for his sense of humour and his enthusiasm for soldiering. He greatly enjoyed his new friendships in the Second Battalion The Rifles and he had asked for a permanent transfer to the battalion and wanted to come with the Company to Ballykinler. I fully supported his request - I told him we were always happy to have good men.

"He was very fond of his family and used to delight in showing pictures on his mobile phone, in particular the newest edition to it, his six-month old brother. As well as his family in Devon, he spoke often about visiting his mother in Newcastle who, due to tours and spending time in Exeter near his father, he had not seen for a while.

"He was patriotic, as evident by his vocal support for England in any sport and was a good football player. His nicknames included 'Beaney', named after Mr Bean the TV character and 'John' after a character with a similar surname in the film the Green Mile.

"Rifleman Coffey had the qualities of a good rifleman: hard-working, thorough, quick-witted, brave, adventurous and with maybe just a hint of cheekiness. With these qualities he had strong potential for the future. We will miss him and we feel for his family."

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Maciejewski MBE, Commanding Officer The Second Battalion, The Rifles, added:

"The death of Riflemen Coffey as a result of enemy action on 27th February represents a tragic loss to all Riflemen in the Second Battalion The Rifles. He lost his life protecting his fellow Riflemen in the dangerous environment of Basra City. He had only recently been posted into the Battalion but had quickly made his mark on C Company.

"His sense of humour, his skill as a Rifleman and his enthusiasm for soldiering on operations in Iraq were clearly evident to all around him. The fact that he volunteered to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty only two months after having completed a seven month tour with his previous Regiment - The Devon and Dorset Light Infantry - is a humbling testament to his dedication and his selfless commitment to the service to his country.

"As the first soldier of the Rifles to be killed in action, Rifleman Coffey occupies a unique place in our Regimental story. In death he is a shining example for all Riflemen who serve now and in future of what we hope to be as Riflemen. We are all proud as brother Riflemen to have served with him and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends at this time of grief and sorrow."

"We are all proud as brother Riflemen to have served with him and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends at this time of grief and sorrow."
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Maciejewski MBE

Colour Sergeant Steve Brett, Rfn Coffey's Platoon Sergeant, also said:

"Rifleman Coffey joined 10 Platoon in early January 2007. He fitted within the platoon straight away and was liked by his peers. A professional, reliable soldier with many qualities, his courage is unquestionable, volunteering for Operation TELIC 9 just after completing Operation TELIC 8 in November 2006. He will be greatly missed."

Rifleman Douglas Brady of 10 Platoon, who went through training with Rfn Coffey, said of his friend:

"Dan was one of the best soldiers I have ever met and a loyal friend. If I was down he knew and would always get a smile out of me. We spent many times together in the dirt during attacks together and although we were scared he found humour in it.

"Whatever we did together he always made me laugh. He loved his family very much and always spoke highly of them. He was my best friend in the Army and I love him like a member of my family. He will always be in my memory."

Rifleman Ian Lewis of 11 Platoon served with him in the Devon and Dorset Light Infantry and moved to C Company, The Rifles with him:

"Rifleman Coffey was the best friend I made in the Army. We got through Operation TELIC 8 together and the Infantry Training Centre. The one thing I will remember the most was his integrity and the way he never complained about anything he had to do. We had made plans to live together after the Army. One thing I know is true that I am going to miss him dearly. He is a big loss to the Army and to society."

Lance Corporal Harold Anderson, 11 Platoon, added:

"He was a quiet bloke who took his job seriously and loved the Army. He was easy to get on with and knew what he was doing. The first time I met him after he arrived in theatre was when he was attached to my platoon for guard.

"He seemed rather quiet so I began to make conversation with him. First he was telling me about who he was in training with, then we talked about his name. A common one was ‘Coffee, 2 please’ and he found it funny.

"He was telling me about the previous Operation TELIC, what he had done and what it was like. He told me he volunteered for this tour because it was what he joined the Army for and he loved it.

"After getting to know him I realised that he was switched on and keen to learn. He made friends quickly and was seen as a team player. Just to think we have lost a good soldier is wrong. Most of all he was one of the boys, a Rifleman by heart."

Rifleman Thomas Thompson, 11 Platoon, also said:

"He was a credit to work with. When people were down he always made them laugh."

Defence Secretary Des Browne said:

"The death of Rifleman Coffey is deeply saddening. The fact that he volunteered for a second tour of duty, so shortly after returning from Iraq, is testament to his courage and devotion. I am sure he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow soldiers at this difficult time."

Last updated 14 December, 2008

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