Rifleman Daniel Hume
4th Battalion The Rifles
9th July 2009

 

Rifleman Daniel Hume was killed in a contact explosion whilst on a foot patrol near Nad e-Ali, Helmand province.

Rifleman Daniel Hume's family has made the following statement:
"Daniel passed out of Catterick as top recruit and since joining the Army he was the happiest we had known him, he had truly found his place in the world. He believed in what the British Army was trying to achieve and was confident. He was proud to serve his country and was planning to move battalion when he returned so that he could guarantee a speedy return to Afghanistan.

We have lost a son and a best friend, his death has left a huge void in our lives, we are fiercely proud of him."

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones MBE, said:
"Rifleman Daniel Hume always said that he wanted one day to be RSM [Regimental Serjeant Major] of the battalion. This may at first appear to be an arrogant boast from a young soldier, but in his case it was anything but this. He was an exceptionally gifted young man who wanted to genuinely do something with his life and it would have been a brave man to bet against him to achieve his ambitions.

He only arrived in the battalion at the end of April having just passed out from ITC Catterick where he was the Top Student. However, he was no stranger to success despite being only 22. He was a keen snowboarder, but his passion was downhill mountain bike racing and it was a passion for which he had a genuine talent.

He started racing at the age of 12 joining the Mountain Bike UK/Scott bikes squad in 2002. By the end of the season he was third in the national rankings, with six wins to his name. It was clear even at this stage that he was a genuine star in the making. More success followed and in 2004 he came 42nd in the Downhill World Cup. Rifleman Hume was a young man with extraordinary talent and a real thirst for life.

He was born in Slough, before moving to Maidenhead where he was educated at Furze Platt Senior School and then at Reading College. Despite his talent on a bike he accepted that he wouldn't make a living from it and acareer in the military beckoned. Initially he headed towards the Royal Marines, attending the Commando Course in 2007. Displaying his typical determination and physical ability, he was nearing the end of the course when he took himself off for personal reasons. Over the next year he worked for a courier company before the call of the bugle drew him to the Army.

The Royal Marines' loss was The Rifles' gain. In training he was nothing short of a star; always first in everything, immaculately turned out, but always there for his mates and up for a laugh. When his friends were struggling, he was there for them with a kind and encouraging word and assistance. He was a natural prankster and up for a challenge, but despite this mischievous streak, like the very best Riflemen, he was never caught.

He arrived in 4 RIFLES at a difficult time with the bulk of pre-deployment training completed, but it was testament to his quick and confident manner that he settled into his platoon making an immediate impact. He was a true professional, utterly determined in everything he did, and it was no surprise that he rapidly mastered the skills that he would need in Afghanistan. In his short time in Helmand, he came to be a Rifleman that both his friends and commanders could totally rely upon, no matter what the task.

He was a man with boundless energy, naturally fit and a sportsman, with exceptional motivation and will to succeed. Despite all of his ability, he was truly humble and was just one of the Riflemen - loved and trusted. In difficult times you need men of character who rise to the immense challenges that we ask of our young men; Rifleman Hume was one such man. He had become a rock within his section that belied his relative inexperience. With depth beyond his years, he had an unusually mature head on his shoulders.

He was the epitome of the Thinking Rifleman. Early promotion beckoned and he had his eye on a move to the Sniper Platoon to join some of our very finest Riflemen. The snipers sit at the heart of The Rifles tradition and he would have excelled with them. Mature and perceptive, his aspiration for the year was to complete the tour safely. Cruel fate has denied him this.

His brother Riflemen have been robbed of a future leader, who would over the coming years have been at the forefront of his generation. However, his family have lost much more - they have lost a beloved brother and son. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the 4 RIFLES family are with them at this tragic time. We will remember him".


Commanding Officer Lt Col Rupert Jones MBE