Lloydy was my little Brother and a solider, a very good one!
This Challenge and everything we hope to achieve is being attempted as a tribute to him (and the other 455 Forces Personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan for their Queen and Country), to create a legacy for his memory.
Perhaps the 'Why?' hasn't been truly answered yet, I'll try to do that using my own words, words borrowed from those who knew and served with him and words from Lloydy himself….
I was fortunate to watch him grow, see him become a man and become the man I am and will always be so very proud of. He was the best of men and certainly the best I've ever known. He achieved everything a soldier could, taking the direction he did. He passed the toughest selection courses the British Army offers and at the time of his passing, he was on his third operational tour of Afghanistan, a tour which only lasted 25 days, 23rd May to 16th June 2011.
Lloydy had an extra-ordinary military career, in his 13 years in the Army, he accumulated four cap badges. He was a very well qualified soldier, having served with the Royal Signals (Airborne) and Royal Engineers (EOD) before transferring to the Parachute Regiment, after passing Pathfinder selection, before joining his fourth and final regiment 22 SAS. He was qualified in Bomb Disposal, as a Sniper, as a Forward Air Controller, and as a Military Freefaller, not to mention his signalling and combat engineering skills. He was also a Bisley Shot and won his place as an 'Army 100' shot. He was also a keen skydiver; a more professional, keen, natural and talented soldier would be hard to find anywhere. He loved his work and the military lifestyle.
He personified the great British Paratrooper – selfless, humble, cheerful and utterly reliable, he was a man of integrity and principle. His vitality was palpable, his dignity natural, his humour refreshing. He did his duty, relishing discomfort as a personal test, and always acting in the greater interests of the team. He attracted friends easily and cared deeply for those around him. His friendship was cherished by all; he also sported sideburns that would give the average RSM a heart attack!
For me his qualities were endless, not least and to never be forgotten his infectious smile.
Proud, is too nondescript a word for the way I feel about him. He gave his life doing what he was best at, what he was born to do and what he believed in. The world is a safer place because of what he did, and what our Forces do.
Lloydy said in his final wishes "please do not mourn me, celebrate me and the life that I led. I'm sorry that I've had to leave you all, but unfortunately this is the danger that the job brings. Please do not have any remorse or find someone to blame, I knew what I was doing and I served my queen and country to the best of my ability and enjoyed every moment of it and certainly wouldn't change this for the world."
My reply to that in his eulogy was "I like to think that although he has left us, this is not the end, this is just the beginning. Through us all, Lloydy lives on, His life, is a life worth celebrating and immortalising. My friends, I ask you to celebrate my brother, my best friend, my hero, for ever more."
So that's what we're asking of you all, all who take part in, support or are there to help us on our way when the Challenge begins. Make this Challenge a success, celebrate true heroes, and give hope to those that need it through the charities we are supporting.
This is Lloydy’s legacy, please help us make it a reality.