Private Douglas Halliday killed in Afghanistan
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Private Douglas Niall Halliday was killed in a vehicle incident near Gereshk, Helmand Province, on 23 June 2010.
The soldiers were part of a Police Advisory Team, travelling as part of a two vehicle convoy tasked to attend an incident at a nearby Check Point when the vehicle rolled into the waterway.
Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox said:
“I was greatly saddened to learn of the loss of these four soldiers. Their work with the Police Development Advisory and Training Team, bringing on the Afghan police force, is pivotal to the success of our operations in Afghanistan.
“My sincere condolences go to the family and loved ones of Colour Sergeant Martyn Simon Horton, Lance Corporal David Andrew Ramsden, Private Douglas Niall Halliday and Private Alex Isaac.
“These brave men, committed to protecting the security of our country, will not be forgotten.”
Private Douglas Niall Halliday
Private Douglas Halliday was 20 years old and from Wallasey, Merseyside. He joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) on 28 January 2008 following basic training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.
He started his career in B Company and then moved to C Company. He served in Northern Ireland, Kenya and on operations in Afghanistan.
He undertook extensive Mission Specific Training in both the UK and Kenya in preparation for the deployment on Operation HERRICK 12. He moved back to B (Malta) Company and was assigned to the Police Advisory Team in Gereshk, Helmand Province.
His team has been advising the Afghan National Police in order to further develop their capabilities and promote security, governance and the rule of law.
On 23 June 2010, following an attack on a nearby Police Check Point, Private Halliday’s team, along with the Afghan National Police, deployed as a Quick Reaction Force in support of their colleagues.
The vehicle in which he was travelling overturned into the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal.
At approximately 2208hrs local, Private Douglas Halliday died in the incident alongside three of his colleagues from the Police Advisory Team – Colour Sergeant Horton, Lance Corporal David Ramsden, and Private Alex Isaac
The family of Private Halliday have made the following statement:
“Dougie was deeply loved by all of his family and friends for the love and laughter that he brought into their lives. Dougie was always the life and soul of the party and will be missed by all.We are all extremely privileged to have shared his short life.
“Dougie loved his job in the army and his comrades; he would have done anything for them. He was that special type of man. We were all so proud when he was voted top cadet in his passing out parade.
“He did us all proud and lived by the family motto; Sis Justus nec timeas.- be just and fear not.
“We remember Dougie for his charm, the special times together and his humour. He will never be forgotten.
“At this sad time for his family, we also send our condolences to the families of his comrades who also gave their lives so that we may live in freedom.”
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Dougie Halliday was a highly capable and competent soldier who thrived on the challenge and camaraderie that Army life brought.
“He joined the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) in 2008 and served in the Falkland Islands and completed a number of arduous exercises before deploying to Afghanistan with the Battalion.
“Initially serving with B Company, he was selected as a member of the Gereshk City Police Assistance Team under the command of Colour Sergeant Bobby Horton.
“A spirited man with a big heart he was totally committed to this difficult and often dangerous mission and interacted extremely well with both the police and the civilian community.
“Just two days before this tragic incident, he had whipped me soundly playing bowling on the Wii, much to the amusement of others.
“He was a fit and strong soldier and was willing to shoulder any burden to assist the team’s performance.
“He was positive in his approach to service in Afghanistan and to his chosen profession.
“He had a bright future ahead of him. His loss will be deeply felt and he will never be forgotten. He was a true Mercian Warrior and our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”
Major Paul Dupuy, Officer Commanding Police Advisory Team Gereshk, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery said:
“Private Halliday was a young, fit and able soldier. In the short time I have known him he proved to be a constantly positive and determined character.
“He always gave his all, was a dependable colleague and very much a team player.
“He was young man of much potential who will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this most difficult of times.”
Major Chris Wood, Officer Commanding C Company 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Doug Halliday was the archetypical Infantry soldier. He lived for being in the field and was very much looking forward to going on his first operational tour.
“In camp he was a nuisance, taking up far too much of the Company Sergeant Major’s time as he strived to find more interesting things to occupy his time – but he looked forward to deploying to Afghanistan and this had given him renewed focus as he shone during pre-deployment training.
“He was a strong, fit and very capable individual with a bright, if mischievous, future.
“He will be a loss to the Battalion which has lost one of its real characters.
“This is, however, nothing compared with the loss his family and friends are feeling now.
“Our thoughts are with them at this most difficult of times.”
Captain Ben Stephens, Intelligence Officer, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Private Halliday possessed a boldness and confidence of someone far more senior.
“He completed all tasks set for him with a smile and aplomb. His positive nature was infectious and this will leave a hole in his team that will not easily be filled.
“The fact that he went about his duties with such competence and a positive outlook, was testament to his courage and character.
“He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues in the Battalion but we know that this pales into insignificance compared to the feelings of his family at this difficult time.
“I wish you God’s Speed Doug Halliday, you will not be forgotten. Stand Firm and Strike Hard our Mercian Brother.”
Lieutenant Dave Payne, Officer Commanding 6 Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Private Dougie Halliday was a courageous young man. He was most at home on exercise, free from distractions and surrounded by his mates; this is where he excelled the most.
“It had always been his dream to serve on combat operations with his County Regiment.
“He realised this dream when he deployed on Op HERRICK 12. It will be truly difficult to come to terms with the loss of such a popular character.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to both his friends here and his family back home.”
Private Thomas Daignton-Rogers, C Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Dougie, you were a good friend with a heart of gold. You will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
“They say everything happens for a reason, but not this time. Take it easy Doug, sleep tight. Rest in Peace.”
Private Ian Williams, A Company, 1St Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“I first met Doug Halliday on a train as we travelled to Catterick for initial training and he was in my Section throughout.
“He was a very cheeky lad who loved to pull pranks on anybody.
“He was a close friend of Private Alex Isaac and the two of them would often be together, trying to chat up the girls in ‘Bar 28′, Catterick.
“He would always greet me with a grin on his face and this is how I will always remember him.
“I know you and Alex will be getting up to pranks together in heaven, RIP mate.”
The Police Advisory Team Gereshk, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Dougie was a quiet man, but beneath this lay a huge amount of confidence when he was out on the ground.
“He was a professional soldier through and through. Dougie was never afraid of getting stuck into any situation and his professionalism and ability was clear to see to those around him.
“He was selfless and would always put the needs of the team before his own.
“Dougie never lacked motivation and his endless enthusiasm and energy served to keep the team going when times were tough.”