Lance Corporal Christopher Roney
3rd Battalion The Rifles
21st December 2009

 

Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 21 December 2009. Lance Corporal Roney died of his wounds following an engagement in Sangin, Northern Helmand, Afghanistan.

At the time, his platoon was working out of Patrol Base Almas, providing security, reassurance and freedom of movement for the local population in support of the Government of Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Roney was born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, on 3 February 1986. He worked as a Drayman before joining the Army and, following initial training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, he joined 3 RIFLES in Edinburgh in May 2006.

He qualified as a Class One Infantry soldier in October 2007 and was promoted to Lance Corporal in March 2009, following successful completion of the Junior Non Commissioned Officers' Cadre.

He deployed to Afghanistan with the 3 RIFLES Battle Group in October 2009 and has since played a key role as a junior commander during the numerous patrols and operations that are bringing increased security and prosperity to the population of Sangin.


LCpl Roney's wife, Lorna Roney, and family have issued the following statement:

"Born a legend, died a hero. Loved always and sadly missed by his son William (5 months), wife Lorna and family. We're all so proud of you."


Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, CO 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:

"Lance Corporal Roney was an utterly professional Rifleman who was held in the highest regard by all around him, his seniors, peers and subordinates alike. A strong, robust, tried and tested soldier, his mission was to serve the regiment, the battalion and his mates.

New to command and responsibility, he was not one to shy away from the unpopular decisions and was respected all the more as a result. Such was his quality, compassion and depth that he was loved as much as he was respected.

A fighting soldier who would fight to be at the front, he died doing exactly that. Despite having recently stepped onto the first rung of the promotion ladder, his men unhesitatingly looked up to him.

His confidence, knowledge and sense of humour inspired them to do their very best. His loss is a tragedy. His talent, commitment and contribution live on in his men and their unstinting determination to carry on fromwhere he left off.

The Battle Group has lost a brave warrior for the current fight and a talented prospect for the future. He would undoubtedly have gone onto bigger and better things all too quickly.

Here in Helmand he was doing what he enjoyed most: soldiering as part of a team, a team that he commanded expertly. His memory will be revered and celebrated by us all in the battle group and in this proud regiment. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Lorna, his son William, his family and his friends."


Major Tim Harris, Officer Commanding A Company 3 RIFLES said:

"Lance Corporal Christopher Roney joined the Army in 2005. He was a tough, experienced and professional soldier and I was glad that following his promotion to Lance Corporal he came to A Company. A true grafter, he was the kind of man you knew you could throw any task and he would do it well.

He had a dry sense of humour and a razor sharp wit. He was loved by his platoon and the whole Company are devastated by his loss. He was a strong contender to attend the Section Commanders' Battle Course in Brecon in2010, which would have seen him begin to realise his enormous potential. Sadly, that is not to be.

Christopher Roney was a bright and engaging man; even at his relatively junior rank I trusted his advice. He was a proud family man; his new born son William was his pride and joy. He doted on him. That he was taken from his family so early in his son's life is particularly cruel.

I see, in the eyes of my men, just what his loss means to them; they are hurting badly. But they are now even more determined to take the fight to the enemy and to free the local population from their intimidation.

While we mourn Christopher's loss, our pain can only be a fraction of that felt by his beloved family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."


Lieutenant Palmer Winstanley, Platoon Commander, 2 Platoon, said:

"Lance Corporal Christopher Roney was one of the strongest characters in the platoon. His example was second to none, inspiring his platoon to achieve ever higher standards.

He has been a rock that in any given situation the platoon and I could rely on. He was never shy or withdrawn. During the most dangerous situations when most would dig with their eyelids, I found myself having to pull him back.

He was extremely proud to be serving next to his mates and in the end paid the highest price doing just that. During a fierce attack, some of the riflemen were injured when he immediately leapt into the Sangars to man the weapons with his mates.

I know from fighting beside him he would not have wanted to be in any other place. When all was quiet, he was not. Given half the chance he would steer the conversation onto his beautiful first baby boy, William Roney, born only months before deployment and his incredibly supportive wife Lorna.

Both the platoon's and my own thoughts and prayers are with them both and his family. We will miss you but rest assured your passing is not in vain. The platoon remains even more resolute to achieve our mission. We will hold you in our thoughts, knowing you will be looking over us."