Lance Corporal Duane Groom

Lance Corporal Groom was killed in action when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Friday 14 Sep 2012. Born on 7 April 1980 in Suva City, Fiji, Lance Corporal Groom joined the British Army in 2007. Having completed the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, where he participated in public duties and ceremonial tasks at the royal palaces. Two years later he joined the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, participating in an overseas training exercise in Kenya before going to Afghanistan in September 2009 with the Queen's Company. Upon his return he made full use of his time, taking part in the Infantry Skiing Championships in early 2011 and attending a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer's cadre in January 2012. Newly-promoted, he went out to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty on 7 April 2012 as a member of the Operations Company in Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North). As well as working with his parent company, for seven weeks of the tour he provided force protection for British military advisors to the Afghan National Army. It was in this role, while protecting his Afghan and British colleagues as they withdrew from a successful operation, that he was sadly killed. Lance Corporal Groom was a superb soldier. Fit, conscientious and extremely hardworking, he displayed great potential. Operationally-experienced, he was always willing to help others and was widely respected and liked by all. Although quiet and reserved, he possessed a great sense of humour and always had a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.'

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by Stephen Luscombe