Lt Tanswell died as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident near Shaibah Logistics Base, southwest of Basra City, on 27 October 2006, in which a military Snatch Land Rover collided with a civilian vehicle. Three other soldiers were slightly injured in the accident.
He was serving with 58 (Eyre's) Battery, normally based in Sennelager, Germany, as part of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery. The Battery currently forms part of the Danish-led Basra Rural North Battle Group, under the overall command of the UK's 20th Armoured Brigade, and is about two weeks from the end of a six-and-a-half month tour of Iraq.
Lieutenant Tom Tanswell was born in London on 23 February 1979. Prior to joining the Army he had gained a degree in Management and Marketing from the University of Manchester, and amongst other things, had also been the area manager for a major supermarket chain.
He commissioned into the Royal Artillery in August 2004 and, upon successful completion of the Royal Artillery Young Officers' Course, was posted to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery taking his place as a Troop Commander within 58 (Eyre's) Battery in February 2005.
During his time with the Battery, Tom deployed on exercise to Crete and to Poland prior to deploying to Iraq for the first time on Operation TELIC 8 in April this year.
In Iraq he was a Multiple Commander, directly responsible for twelve men, manning three vehicles. He frequently escorted Danish Military Police and reconstruction teams and was well-known and respected by his Danish peers.
Tom was a tremendously enthusiastic and cheerful young man. He had a broad spectrum of interests and hobbies and this was evident, not just within the Army, but also from his time at university where he acted in university productions and was sports captain for his halls of residence.
Throughout a difficult and demanding tour in Iraq, Tom continued to motivate those around him and particularly those under his command with his good natured, yet firm and professional leadership. Tom very much had his own style of command, preferring to steer his own path. This endeared him to his many friends and colleagues in the Battery.
Tom had become very much part of the fabric of life within the Officers' Mess and was always ready to be doing something or going somewhere, never content to let life pass him by.
Lieutenant Tanswell was single.