Guardsman Simon Davison

Guardsman Davison was killed by small arms fire on Thursday 3 May 2007 while manning a checkpoint near the town of Garmsir in Helmand Province. He was from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, and was operating from Patrol Base Delhi in Garmsir District Centre, southern Helmand Province. In the early hours of Thursday morning, Guardsman Davison had formed part of a team manning the district centre's Eastern Checkpoint. At 0645 hours local time the checkpoint came under attack from a force of between eight and ten lightly-armed Taliban fighters. The Grenadiers returned fire with small arms and during the ensuing gun battle Guardsman Davison, who was manning a General Purpose Machine Gun, sustained a gunshot wound. As the fire fight intensified, with the Taliban using Rocket Propelled Grenades as well as small arms, ISAF forces called in support from British artillery.

Guardsman Davison was pulled out of the firing line by members of the Quick Reaction Force from Patrol Base Delhi and was then flown to the medical facilities at Camp Bastion, the main British base in the area. Despite their best efforts, the medical teams on the helicopter and at the base were unable to save his life. Meanwhile the engagement continued at the Eastern Checkpoint; two Dutch F16 aircraft arrived to provide air support and, at around 0830 hours, a 500lb bomb was dropped on the Taliban firing position. The remainder of the team who had been engaged by the Taliban were then relieved by incoming troops and were able to return to base.

Guardsman Simon Davison, aged 22, was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and attended Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic High School in Cannock and then went to Stafford College. His interests ranged from Thai boxing to carpentry, which was his profession before he became a soldier. He joined the Army in August 2005 and was posted to 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in March 2006 after completing his training as an infantry soldier at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. Guardsman Davison leaves behind his mother Maureen Hindmarch, father Ray Davison, and sister Caroline.

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by Stephen Luscombe