It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Marine Dale Gostick, of 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines, in Afghanistan on Sunday 25 May 2008.
Marine Dale Gostick
[Picture via MOD]
Marine Dale Gostick of the Royal Marines was serving as a Viking operator in 3rd Troop of the Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines, when he was killed in action at the Sangin crossing of the Helmand River, southern Helmand province, Afghanistan. His troop were returning to their Forward Operating Base, after providing essential support to 2 PARA Battle Group, when the Viking he was driving struck a suspected mine. Sadly, despite the best efforts of the medical team on site, Marine Gostick was pronounced dead at the scene. His death has come as an incredible shock to his friends and colleagues, and he will be deeply missed by his comrades in the Armoured Support Company and the wider Royal Marines. Another two Royal Marines were also injured in the blast and are still receiving medical treatment.
Marine Dale Gostick
Marine Dale Gostick was known by his friends as "master chief general of the universe", which reflected his humorous and relaxed approach to life. He was 22 years old and from Oxford. He joined the Royal Marines in late 2004, and after successfully completing 32 weeks at the Commando Training Centre, he was passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando.
After training, he joined Lima Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines, based in Plymouth. In 2006, after initially serving as a General Duties Marine, he successfully completed the Viking Operators Course based in Bovington and deployed to Afghanistan with the Armoured Support Company for Op HERRICK 5 with 3 Commando Brigade. During his two operational deployments to Afghanistan, Mne Gostick's support to the ground troops of 12 Mechanised Brigade, 52 Infantry Brigade and finally 16 Air Assault Brigade has been invaluable.
Throughout his training and on each operational tour, Marine Gostick had demonstrated himself as a shining example of a Marine and he took great pride in being a diligent and dedicated Viking Operator. He was clearly a man to watch, a man who had much potential to progress swiftly through the rank system.
"Over the past 24 hours the words that keep being mentioned describing Dale are: Gentle, strong, understanding with a sharp wit. I will remember him for those characteristics and how having someone like that around you makes everyone better."
Captain Caldwell RM
Dale's family paid him this tribute:
"Dale was much loved and respected by his family and all who knew him. Dale had a huge character, making time for all who needed him. His passing has left an irreplaceable hole in so many people's lives. He is dearly loved and deeply missed by Beccy."
Major Jez Stemp Royal Marines, Officer Commanding Armoured Support Company, said:
"We have lost a great Marine today. Marine Gostick was a huge part of his Troop and the Company alike – he was a highly professional Marine and a good friend to all who knew him. A confident and outgoing Marine, he seemed to thrive on the challenges which life presented him and took great pride in his ability both as a rifleman and as a Viking Operator. His experience and courage as a Viking operator in Afghanistan was a comfort to those around him, and his advice was often sought by both peers and commanders.
"He arrived in Afghanistan in December 2007 and quickly settled into a role he knew well. He was an integral part of the Armoured Support Company, extremely popular with his peers, and despite only a short time within the Corps, an already extremely experienced Marine with huge operational experience. A physically strong man with a great sense of humour, he was everything you would expect a Marine to be.
"During the extensive operations conducted by the Armoured Support Company, Marine Gostick was always to be found at the heart of any activity, standing shoulder to shoulder with his friends and colleagues, whatever the task asked of them. He was a courageous and gentle man who would not flinch at a challenge or a dangerous task. He was a selfless and generous member of the company who would offer his strength and broad shoulders to anyone in need. Marine Gostick epitomised the Commando spirit – cheerful in the face of adversity, selfless, and above all, a good friend.
"The Royal Marines have lost a brave man, a strong and gentle man, a friend. But our loss, whilst great, is nothing compared to that felt by his family. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his girlfriend, Beccy."