Big thank you from

Lisburn based soldier killed in Afghanistan


A SOLDIER soldier killed in Afghanistan last weekend was based in Lisburn.

Bombardier Craig Hopson

Bombardier Craig Hopson from 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners) was based at Thiepval Barracks and was lost his life on Saturday July 25 when the Jackal vehicle in which he was travelling struck an improvised explosive device while taking part in Operation Panchai Palang. He was 24. Bombardier Hopson was part of a patrol in the Babaji area of Helmand province, tasked to recce a suitable area for a polling station in the forthcoming Afghan presidential elections.

Bombardier Hopson was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, and attended Castleford High Technology College before deciding that he wanted a career in the Army. He joined 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners) in August 2002 after completion of his training at Pirbright and at Larkhill,

Wiltshire. Bombardier Hopson's family said: "Craig was the light in so very many lives. The light has now gone out. His family and many, many friends will love him and miss him forever. Craig the legend. Our Craig has left a hole in our lives that no-one else can ever fill. He was loved so much."

Lieutenant Colonel Owen Adams, Commanding Officer of 40th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Bombardier Hopson was part of the fabric of my regiment, known to everyone as a man with an enormous personality and a huge heart.

"Bombardier Hopson died as he lived, going forwards, determined and committed. He was one of the best of us and we will carry on strengthened by his memory."

Former Mayor Councillor Ronnie Crawford extended the sympathy of the people of Lisburn to the family of the young soldier.

"On behalf of the city of Lisburn I would extend our sincere condolences at the tragic loss of this young life," said Mr Crawford. "I hope efforts to bring this war to an end will soon come to fruition," he added.

Ulster Star