Leon Spicer was the top cover sentry in a Snatch land rover which was the leading vehicle in a three vehicle patrol in Al Amarah, Maysan Province, Southern Iraq. In the early hours of Saturday 16th July 2005 his vehicle came under attack from a roadside bomb killing him and Richard Shearer, the patrol commander, instantly and Philip Hewett, the driver, who died from his wounds at the scene whilst receiving first aid from other members of the patrol. All three were serving in C Company, 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment.
In a statement, Commanding Officer of the Staffordshire Regiment, Lt Col Andrew Williams, said:
"The Regiment has always been a family to the soldiers that serve in it, and never more so than when deployed on complex and challenging operations such as these. The loss of Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, Private Leon Spicer and Private Phillip Hewett will be felt very deeply by all the soldiers of the Staffordshire Regiment and indeed the soldiers of Task Force Maysan.
"Private Leon Spicer, 26, was a Tamworth soldier. After sustaining a serious injury to his leg last year, he had worked against the odds to become fully fit again. He had shown tremendous grit and determination to rejoin 7 Platoon, and to be with his friends in Iraq. Always larger than life, Leon got along extremely well with all those he worked with, and was a strong young man who enjoyed his soldiering.
"To lose any member of a team is a severe blow to those that are left behind, those that they had trained with, played with and fought alongside. The loss of three such popular and professional men is simply devastating.
"Second Lieutenant Shearer, Private Hewett and Private Spicer will be sorely missed by all those serving in The Staffordshire Regiment and in Task Force Maysan. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families through this tragic time."