Posthumous bravery award for Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by GrumpyGit, Sep 29, 2009.

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  1. Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, who was killed by an explosion in Afghanistan, has been awarded the Estonian Defence Forces Distinguished Service Decoration.

    The award was presented to Lt Col Thorneloe's widow Sally at a private ceremony in London's Wellington Barracks - Regimental Head Quarters of the Welsh Guards, which was attended by Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup; Chief of Defence of the Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots, Lt Col Thorneloe's parents, Major and Mrs Thorneloe and his sister, Jessica.

    Accepting the award, Mrs Thorneloe said: "Before deploying to Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards my husband Rupert thought it important to meet all the soldiers he would command on operations in Helmand Province. Of course this included the Estonian contingent."I knew this would mean not seeing him just before Easter, but he always put his soldiers first and it was one of the characteristics which made him such a capable and compassionate commander. Those first steps were crucial in nurturing a strong relationship between him and 'his Estonians' as he later liked to refer to them.

    Read More:

    Mrs Sally Thorneloe, widow of Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe MBE, received the Estonian Defence Forces' Distinguished Service Decoration for Battlefield Services from General Ants Laaneots at the Officers Mess, Wellington Barracks, London, on Monday 28 September 2009.
  2. Well deserved and a great honour for a true commander who led from the front, from an important and valuable ally, Estonia.

    Alongside the sacrifices that our own brave troops are making we must never forget the contribution that many often smaller but equally spirited and vital nations are making. Estonia may not be particularly large in stature but they are there and they’re giving it a 100%. I’ll bet Lt Col. Thorneloe was as proud to have them under his command as they were to be led by him.

    We must never forget who our true friends are in this world – especially in these troubled times at home and abroad, so thank you to Estonia for honouring one of our most beloved son’s in this way:

    Lt Col Thorneloe EDF Distinguished Services Decoration.
  3. Well said Steven, i whole heartedly agree.
  4. Seconded
  5. Aye, well done. RIP.
  6. While I agree with and fully share the sentiments you express, Steve, I'd beg to disagree on the small point of of "one of our most beloved sons". In British Army circles, this is surely true, but ask about 5,000 folks on the streets of the UK who Lt Col Thorneloe was and you'll be able to count the "yes" answers on the fingers of a leper's hand. There's something gone severely wrong with connecting our troops to the British public, I fear.

    Notwithstanding that, an excellent post indeed, sir.

  7. The thing that struck me about Lt Col Thorneloe in the pictures that were published of him after his death was that he had an extraordinarily kind looking face. I know you can’t ever judge someone by their appearance, but it does often give us a clue as to personality – and Col Thorneloe just had one of those kind looking faces. I never knew the man or met him, but the vibe that his pictures gives out, in a variety of settings, is that he was the sort of bloke you could approach with a problem – even though you might only be a Private soldier and he an old-school CO. He looked like a physically big bloke and every inch ‘the commander’, but he also managed to look warm and human – which many senior officer’s climbing the ladder often don’t.

    Anyway, as all you fellows above say, we definitely lost one of Britain’s brightest and best here.