Ross Nicholls was killed following a contact involving insurgent forces in northern Helmand Province in Afghanistan on the morning of Tuesday 1 August 2006. During the contact, a UK vehicle patrol was attacked by insurgents with rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine guns and Captain Alex Eida and 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Johnson were also killed. The soldiers were all embarked in a tracked Spartan armoured reconnaissance vehicle, which was equipped with enhanced protection for operations in Afghanistan. A second vehicle immobilised in the incident was a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle, also equipped with enhanced protection.
Ross Nicholls was a Lance Corporal in the Blues and Royals Battalion of the Household Cavalry Regiment.
Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls, 27, enlisted in Edinburgh into the Royal Corps of Signals in August 1995 and served with 216 Signals Squadron, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. During that time he completed a number of operational tours including both Afghanistan and Iraq before transferring to the Blues and Royals in July 2004.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Smyth-Osbourne, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, based in Windsor, said:
"He embraced life with the Household Cavalry with gusto and enthusiasm serving with D Squadron on the Prairie in Western Canada and picking up his armoured trades with alacrity. Indeed his previous experience stood him in good stead and he established himself as a bright, professional and effective operator whose presence was a real asset to the Squadron.
"He volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan despite the fact he had decided to leave the Army and was serving as Lt Johnsonís operator when he was killed in an ambush during the early hours of the 1 Aug in Northern Helmand. With his death the Household Cavalry Regiment has suffered the loss of a talented soldier and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Lance Corporal Nicholls leaves behind a wife, Angela, a two year old son, Cameron, and a newborn baby girl named Erin, who live in central London.