It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Lee Thomas Davies, from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 12 May 2012.
Lance Corporal Davies was killed by small arms fire alongside Corporal Brent John McCarthy, from the Royal Air Force, while deployed as part of a Police Advisory Team to attend a meeting at the local Afghan Uniform Police headquarters near Patrol Base Attal in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province.
Their commanding officer was attending the meeting while the men and the remainder of the team were providing security.
Lance Corporal Lee Davies
Lance Corporal Davies deployed to Afghanistan on 21 March 2012 as part of a Police Advisory Team within the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group. He was based in Patrol Base Attal in the Lashkar Gah District of Helmand Province.
Lance Corporal Davies was born on 15 October 1984 in Carmarthen. After school he was self employed before starting his career at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick in October 2009. He successfully passed out from Catterick in April 2010, joining the Welsh Guards.
On 10 May 2010 he was posted to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Lille Barracks in Aldershot. During his time in the Battalion he quickly stood out as a natural leader and he was selected to attend the Lance Corporal promotion cadre, subsequently promoting in December 2011.
Lance Corporal Davies was an exemplary member of the Welsh Guards. He was an extremely popular and respected member of his company and platoon. A gifted junior non-commissioned officer, he had earned the respect of all he worked with.
Lance Corporal Davies had a bright future ahead of him - his professionalism, leadership and unswerving sense of duty would have carried him far. He will, justly, be remembered among the ranks of the bravest of the brave.
The family are devastated at the loss of Lee and wish to be left alone to grieve at this time.
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Lance Corporal Lee Davies loved being a soldier - it was who he was. He passed out from the Infantry Training Centre Catterick in April 2010. He swiftly made a name for himself for his enthusiasm, fitness and professionalism as an infantry soldier and in less than two years was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.
"To have made such a profound impact so early in his Army career speaks volumes about the quality of the man we have lost today. Lance Corporal Davies was very much the up and coming Junior Non-Commissioned Officer; he had big plans and the personal qualities to make his ambitions a reality. He was a sports fanatic, both watching and playing and would throw himself into any outdoor activity.
"His passion for motor-sports would see him up until all hours to watch a rally or a grand prix. In his personal life Lance Corporal Davies was a live wire who enjoyed nothing more than a night on the town. He was the living embodiment of the Army's work hard, play hard ethos.
"On duty he was a consummate professional; whether 'strutting his stuff' on public duties in London or on operations here in Afghanistan. It is in Afghanistan that the depths of his talents became obvious to all.
"He was a formidably talented team commander, in his element in this complex and unforgiving environment. The Welsh Guards have lost a man of inestimable promise, a fine Guardsman who lived and breathed the values and standards of the Foot Guards. He will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family."
Lieutenant Colonel Alex Potts, The King's Royal Hussars, Commanding Officer Combined Force Lashkar Gah, said:
"Lance Corporal Lee Davies was a key figure in a thoroughly professional and successful Police Advisor Team, who are working at the very heart of our mission. His contribution has been significant and the team are rightly proud of what they have achieved. We will continue his good work with the determination that was his trademark."
Major Julian Salusbury, Company Commander, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Lance Corporal Davies was an outstanding Welsh Guardsman. Newly promoted after little more than two years service, he made the jump from guardsman to junior non-commissioned officer with characteristic flair, professionalism and not a little good humour.
"And that marked him out as a man - cheerfulness in the face of adversity; a ready smile and a friendly word. His catch phrase, first heard by me in the pouring rain and cold of Aldershot training area, 'I love my job', was not only said to raise his friends' morale but it was also the truth. Lance Corporal Davies loved being a guardsman and was the proudest of proud Welsh Guardsmen.
"Committed, capable and thoroughly dependable, he well understood his role in Afghanistan. He could not have been more suited to helping the Afghan police achieve a better, safer life for the Helmandi people. Considerate and utterly selfless, Lance Corporal Davies accepted the inherent risks of being a soldier and has paid the ultimate price.
"I am proud and humbled to have commanded such a fine, decent and compassionate man. Our sadness is the keenest felt by a soldier and our thoughts and prayers are with Lance Corporal Davies' family and friends. His good work lives on - he will not be forgotten. Cymru Am Byth."
Lieutenant Ben Bardsley, Police Advisory Team Commander, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Lee, '27', 'Twent' - as Lance Corporal Davies was often fondly referred to, Police Advisory Team 3 knew that the same helpful, friendly and endearing face would respond. He was willing to help, always showing selfless commitment at every opportunity.
"Having recently promoted in time to deploy on Op HERRICK 16, he quickly assumed his important role in the team with ease. In the month since arriving at Patrol Base Attal, Lance Corporal Davies not only carried out his duties to the highest standard but continued to excel and make the role his own.
"In camp he was a rock for not only the Guardsman and NCOs but also for me. On the ground he showed all the skills, communication, grip and determination expected of an Infantry section commander and in doing so he commanded those around him to the highest of standards.
"As well as being a highly competent soldier who I am proud to have called my own, he was a kind and gentle man who has left a big whole in our lives - he is sorely missed.
"At this difficult time my thoughts go out to his family and friends for whom such a tragic event is so difficult to bear. However, they can take strength knowing that Lance Corporal Davies gave his life doing what he loved amongst those who held him in the highest of regards.
"A regimental brother has been lost. May he rest in peace. Cymru Am Byth."
Captain Rob Bird, Second-in-Command, B Squadron, The King's Royal Hussars, Combined Force Lashkar Gah, said:
"On behalf of the whole of B Squadron, I would like to convey our sincerest condolences to the family of Lance Corporal Davies. A giant of a man, he was an integral part of the Welsh Guards Police Advisory Team who had become fully absorbed into the Squadron over the last few weeks.
"He had an unfaltering sense of dedication towards his job, particularly maintaining the close professional bond between the Police Advisory Team, B Squadron and the Afghan Police, who as we are, are deeply shocked by the chain of events which led to his death. He was a lynchpin of the tight-knit bond the Police Advisory Team had developed and our thoughts are with his family at this troubling time."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Dunn, Company Sergeant Major, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Lance Corporal Davies was a truly professional soldier, a true leader who his men looked up to. I am proud to have served with him and we will all miss him so much. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in Peace."
Sergeant Rob Heath, Second-in-Command, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Lance Corporal Davies made my job as a Platoon Sergeant very, very easy. Give him a task and it would be completed to the highest standard. Give him a problem and he would always find a solution that many would struggle to think of. He was diligent, fit and always led from the front.
"He played a key part in our team and will be missed from now and forever. We have lost our dear friend and one of the best Lance Corporals to have ever worn the cap badge of the Welsh Guards. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time. Rest in peace my friend and fellow NCO. Cymru am Blyth."
Guardsman Matthew Jones, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"For someone I hadn't known that long I felt like I'd known him for ages. He was funny, smart and rarely complained about anything. However when he did we always ended up in hysterics. No matter how big or small the jobs that came his way were he always gave 100% and got the job done. He was definitely and always will be one of the lads. Our thoughts are with his family and friends back home."
Guardsman Josh Foley, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"I've known Lance Corporal Davies for just over a year now and in that time I have gathered some really good memories of him. He was always there to help with anything that you wanted. I will never forget the day that I had to service my vehicle and he got straight in there and rounded up some of the lads to help.
"We managed to get the job done even though it took all day but we did it. Lance Corporal Davies was very good at his job and was a good friend. He will never be forgotten."
Guardsman Timothy Roe, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"There's only one word to describe Lance Corporal Davies: Legend! He was one of those lads that anyone could get along with. He was such a good lad to have around and full of banter. He is going to be truly missed by everyone especially in the Police Advisory Team. My thoughts are with his family at this time."
Guardsman Jonathon Reeves, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Words cannot express how I feel at this sad time. Lance Corporal Lee Davies was a very good friend, a great leader and an astonishing soldier. His loss is huge to me, the boys and the Battalion. Most of all though is the loss to his family who my condolences go out to. Our thoughts are with you at this time. Rest in peace, mate."
The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:
"I send out my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Corporal Brent McCarthy and Lance Corporal Lee Davies whose lives were cut tragically short by a cowardly act of aggression.
"Both servicemen were performing an invaluable role, training and mentoring Afghan police, helping to ensure that Afghanistan will never again be a place from which international terrorists can launch attacks on our society. Their sacrifice will not be in vain and we will never forget them."