At approximately 11am local time on Sunday, 8th June, 2008 Daniel Gamble, together with Charles Murray and Nathan Cuthbertson, was on a routine foot patrol 1km west of the Forward Operating Base in the Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan when their patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber. All three died of the wounds inflicted.
Private Daniel Gamble was serving as a rifleman and Pashto linguist with 4 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. He deployed to Afghanistan in March 2008. Employed as the platoon linguist, he had gone forward with typical enthusiasm and professionalism to speak with a local Afghani when his platoon was attacked.
Private Gamble's Mother and Father said:
"Dan died doing the job he was so proud to do, with the regiment he was so proud to be a part of. He was special because he had trained in the Afghan Pashto language. He was special to his family and friends - a true hero in every sense.
"He will be missed by so many people more than he would ever know. We all love him and will miss him so very much, forever in our memories. Our hearts go out to the families of the comrades who fell with him."
Following his death the Commanding Officer of 2 PARA, Lieutenant Colonel Joe O'Sullivan, paid the following tribute:
"Today Private Nathan Cuthbertson, Private Daniel Gamble and Private Charles Murray were wounded by a suicide bomber near Forward Operating Base Inkerman, and despite the best efforts of the medics on the ground and at the hospital in Camp Bastion they could not be saved.
"They died doing their duty and doing their best, taking care with a potential threat, but also understanding the importance of connecting to the people around them. All three had been in Afghanistan for two months and had already experienced physically draining patrols in the high heat of the Afghan summer, combat with the Taliban, and the danger which is inescapable in our part of Helmand.
"They tested themselves to join The Parachute Regiment and they welcomed the challenge of operations. They knew the risks, and in facing them today as they had done every day before, they demonstrated the clear, cold courage which is the hallmark of their comrades and their Regiment.
"We will all take some time to think about them, and we salute them as brave young men, but our thoughts are also with their families who bear the greatest burden of their loss. We will turn to our job again and continue the relentless pressure on the Taliban in this valley, which in time will create space for a better life for the people here.
"When our job in Helmand is completed we will return home and honour them as members of 2 PARA who have given their all for their friends, their Regiment and the difficult task they faced. We will remember what they have done and the life that they have given, and what we achieve here will be their memorial."
Private Gamble, 22, was born on 25 June 1985 and grew up in Uckfield, East Sussex. After a short period working in a variety of jobs upon leaving school, he applied to join The Parachute Regiment and completed his basic training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
It was during this time that he passed the demanding Pre-Parachute Selection Course, known as 'P Company', and became eligible to serve with The Parachute Regiment. He joined 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in October 2006 having earned his parachute 'wings' at RAF Brize Norton.
Upon arriving at 2 PARA, he joined 4 Platoon B Company and instantly made an impression. Bright and determined, he showed true grit during the battalion's High Readiness exercises and marked himself as a man with the potential to go further.
It was during the initial phases of planning for the deployment to Afghanistan that Private Gamble was tested to assess his aptitude to learn a foreign language. Out of the 150 Private soldiers that were tested, he was one of 10 soldiers who showed the best aptitude to learn the language of the Afghan locals, Pashto.
Bright, determined and always positive, he completed the 40-week full-time language course, motivated by his eagerness to get out to Afghanistan and make a difference. His positive approach, friendship and humour helped the others on the course to stay focussed and upbeat.
He was confident too, willingly standing up in front of 300 soldiers and delivering a presentation on Pashto culture as part of pre-deployment training. His ability to speak the language of the locals of Helmand Province made a remarkable difference in the two months he spent in Afghanistan.
His skill and charisma ensured that he was always at the forefront of any patrol, his enthusiasm for his chosen profession was both relentless and infectious.
His Company Commander, Major Russell Lewis, said:
"Private Gamble was an incredibly talented individual and had completed a very demanding Pashto language course before the deployment. As a linguist he was instrumental to the Company's ability to communicate with the locals. It was in this role that he had gone forward to communicate with a local national and was tragically killed by a suicide bomber.
"A professional, intelligent individual he had added huge value to the Company mission in Afghanistan. His loss will be sorely felt by his friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
4 Platoon Commander, Lieutenant David True, said:
"As an important part of my Platoon Headquarters, Private Gamble and I spent a lot of time together on and off patrol. He was a highly professional soldier and I felt secure in the knowledge that on patrol he was covering my back. Having grown up in the same part of the country we often spoke of home. He was very proud of his family and loved them dearly."
Section Commander Corporal Mathew Walden said:
"Danny was a good friend and I'm going to miss him and his see-through shorts."
Friend and colleague Lance Corporal Alan Farmer said:
"Dan was a dedicated individual who, when told he was to attend the Pashto course, did it with his usual dedication. Not only did he understand the language, he also tried to understand the culture and empathised with the people of Afghanistan. This is the only way to ever try and explain the character of the man, his dedication, professionalism and determination to make a difference to this country."
Private Tom Wilson spoke of his friend:
"Dan, I'll never forget meeting you on day one of basic training and having a laugh about being the only southerners and how cold it was or going down to Brize on our 'Jumps' Course and your gift of the gab with the ladies helped me meet my girlfriend. You're a great friend and an even better soldier. I don't speak alone when I say what a pleasure it has been working with you and how much I'll miss you."
Private Lewis Barlow said:
"Private Gamble, Dan, was a very good friend of mine. Coming to the Battalion shortly after I did we spent a lot of time together in the same platoon at first, and a considerable amount of our spare time in Colchester. Dan was an exceptional paratrooper and very intelligent. Mostly I will miss our banter and conversation. My thoughts and condolences go to his family and friends."