On Thursday, 13th August 2009, Daniel Wild, Mark Hale and Matthew Hatton and were killed by Improvised Explosive Devices near Forward Operating Base Jackson in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. They were on foot patrol as part of Op GHARTSE KERS 4.
Matthew Hatton had been injured by the first blast. Mark Hale and Daniel Wild went to the aid of Matthew Hatton when there was a second explosion which fatally injured all three soldiers. Matthew Hatton and Daniel wild died at the scene but Mark Hale died in hospital at Camp Bastion.
Daniel Wild was a Rifleman serving with 2nd Battalion, The Rifles..
Rifleman Daniel Wild was born on 18 July 1990 in Easington. He joined the Army in 2007 conducting his phase one training at ATR Bassingbourne and completing his Phase 2 training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick.
He joined 2nd Battalion The Rifles in May 2008. Too young to deploy to Kosovo last summer, he seized the opportunity to deploy on exercise to Canada with 5 RIFLES instead. He excelled there despite his apparent lack of experience, receiving outstanding reports from all he worked with.
On his return to the Battalion he threw himself wholeheartedly into pre-deployment training, determined to excel when he finally got his chance on operations. He passed many courses with distinction including the Team Medic Cadre qualifying him to administer life saving first aid whilst patrolling in Helmand.
He was an exceptional shot, both with the Rifle and machine gun. He died in an IED explosion on 13th August 2009 whilst helping another soldier to safety in Sangin. Rifleman Wild leaves behind his loving mother, his sister, Megan, and his brothers, Dale and Christopher.
Rifleman Wild's family said:
"Rifleman Daniel Christopher Wild, beloved son of mum Laura Laws, stepfather Alan Simmons, brother to Megan, Dale and Christopher and boyfriend of Kirsty, will always be dearly missed but always in our hearts and minds. The best son, brother and boyfriend ever. xxx"
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
"Rifleman Wild was an epic Rifleman who has been right at the very front of our fight here in Sangin. He has been fearless and his Platoon adored him for it. He was smaller than most (smaller than everyone, if I am being honest) and, when laden, appeared to disappear under the extraordinary burden the boys all carry here.
"But Rifleman Wild carried his load lightly and was in no sense a 'small man'. In a land of metaphorical giants here in Sangin, he was as tall as any of them, perhaps more so.
"He was always the lead man in his patrol; he got on with facing that risk every day without any complaint. He was selfless to a fault, everyone else, whatever their rank, came first and his nature was to hunt out the funny side of life.
"He has saved life here because, as point man, he was always on the look out for IEDs and it is tragic but typical that he died helping to carry a wounded friend to a helicopter landing site for evacuation. He had so much to offer - his next target was to be a PT buster in my gym and he had the lungs and legs for it. Few could keep up with him.
"Rifleman Wild will be sorely, sorely missed but we will never forget his sacrifice. He has given his life for his comrades, for our nation and for the people of Afghanistan. And we will celebrate the richness of his life.
"Our first prayers and thoughts must now be with his adored family and friends. We pray that somehow they can find strength in this desperately awful time."
Major Karl Hickman, Officer Commanding A Company 2 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
"I knew that Rifleman Daniel Wild was going to be a tough and resourceful soldier the moment he joined the Company. It was probably the fact that he wore jungle boots for tabbing when everyone else wore cushioned walking boots.
"Small, wiry and tremendously fit, he was a man who you knew would never quit and someone that you could always rely on. Calm, professional and always with a rye smile, Rifleman Wild had been phenomenally successful as both a Rifleman and as the point man responsible for clearing the route along which his platoon would follow.
"Yet he also had the spare capacity to always be there to help others, whatever the situation. He was one of the rocks of his Platoon and the Company has lost one of its most promising Riflemen. It was truly a privilege to have served with him."
Lieutenant Will Hignett, 1 Platoon Commander, said:
"Rifleman Daniel "Wildy" Wild was the absolute epitome of a tough and professional Rifleman. He was utterly dependable and truly loyal to the platoon, his comrades and his friends.
"He bought a sense of calm to those around him and, as the point man, clearing the route for others to follow, he was second to none. He unfailingly instilled confidence in those around him with his exceptional skill and capability, carrying out an incredibly demanding role with the platoon.
"His actions throughout our time in Afghanistan, without a shadow of doubt, saved numerous lives and allowed the successful completion of all the operations and patrols we undertook. Humorous and cheerful to the very end, he was always the first to pull out his team medic pack and help those around him or be the first to put on his kit and step out the gate after a particularly trying time.
"As his commander he gave me everything I could have asked of him and invariably more. He was a very talented and brave young man with an amazing career ahead of him. He had high aspirations to become a PTI on our return to Northern Ireland and I am sure he would have achieved that desire with ease.
"The Platoon is a much quieter and less colourful place since his loss; he leaves big shoes to fill and his fellow Riflemen are determined to carry on with the mission as they know, without any hesitation, Wildy would have done so for them.
"Our thoughts as a platoon are with his family and girlfriend whom he loved dearly and was very proud of. He never stopped talking about his younger sister and was so excited about seeing them all during his mid-tour leave in six days time. This is a very sad time for everyone who knew Wildy; he was a star but we all can take solace in the fact he gave his life doing a job he adored, surrounded by friends who loved and respected him."
Corporal Adam Newton, Section Commander, said:
"Rifleman Daniel Wild was a great Rifleman and a brother to everyone who knew him. He had a great sense of humour and always put a smile on my face. He always put his mates first. He was a fearless young man.
"When we first came to Afghanistan he was one of the men used to clear the route for the Platoon to follow, which he loved to do and he did it very well. I can say from my time working with him that he has saved many lives. On the day that he passed away he was taking other casualties to the helicopter and, to me, he died a hero and he will always be remembered as one.
"It was an honour working with him and I will truly miss him. Rest in Peace Fallen Hero - Swift and Bold."
Rifleman Dan Cayless, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Wild, you were a good mate and you were so brave. All you wanted to do was your job. If something needed doing, you would be the first person to volunteer. I'm gonna miss you loads mate, Rest in Peace."
Rifleman Steve Glover, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Rifleman Wild was my best friend and my little brother. Wildy was one of the strongest men I've ever worked with and I feel so proud to have served alongside him. He would always be the first man to help anyone out both on the ground or in camp. A brilliant soldier and a best friend. Rest in Peace Wildy, you'll never be forgotten."
Rifleman Matthew Meakin, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Rifleman Wild was not just a mate, he was a brother; a brother that will be missed, not just by his mates and family but by anyone who knew him. He always made sure that he put his mates first. If you were down, you always knew the Wildy would be the first person there to cheer you up. He was a hero, he will be missed and always loved by those who knew him. Rest in Peace Brother. Swift and Bold."
Rifleman Rick Edgar, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Wildy, may you Rest in Peace. You were a good mate and you have done us proud. Rest in Peace Wildy."
Rifleman Connor Duff, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Your unbreakable spirit and inspiring courage. Your infinite strength and immense passion. You were the one that never broke down, never showed weakness, the one we looked up to, the one we followed. Our mate, our brother, our Rifleman. Rest in Peace Brother."
Rifleman Greg Edwards, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Rifleman Daniel Wild was a Rifleman you would definitely be happy to have in your team. He was a strong, courageous and fearless Rifleman who, no matter what he was carrying on the ground or what he was told to do, he would have been happy to do it.
"Wildy was such a key Rifleman for so long within our Platoon, by doing what he did best - being the lead man and clearing the route for us to follow. On numerous occasions Wildy had saved the lives of his men by finding IEDs. It was a privilege and an honour to work with Wildy, a true Rifleman through and through. Rest in Peace buddy, we will miss you so much. You were a legend, we miss you."
Rifleman Joseph Nwagu, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Wildy, you left us in shock by your sudden departure but we took solace from the fact that you engraved your name in history by dying a hero. To those whom you gave your life so that they may live peacefully - you are a hero. And to us with whom you shared your joy in good times and marched with, swiftly and boldly in times of danger, you are a warrior, and in our hearts your memory will live forever. Adieu Wildy and may the heavens grant you peace. Rest in Peace."
Rifleman Daniel Taylor, Fellow Rifleman, said:
"Rifleman Daniel Wild was like my brother. We were battle buddies, we fought side by side for six months out here in Afghanistan . He cleared the route for every patrol and did it brilliantly. Always the first one into a compound, no whingeing, no messing around, he was a true hero. If you knew Wildy, you would understand that he put his life selflessly on the line before any of his mates.
"He was always a happy little chappy, joking and taking the mick like any Rifleman does. The only difference was that he was a 'dirty Mackem' and I am a horrible Geordie; we were the best of friends but on Derby Day the greatest of enemies. Rest in Peace my little friend and a fearless hero, from me and all the fighters in 1 Platoon. Gone but not forgotten. SWIFT AND BOLD."