Plymouth, England, UK
Trooper, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment
7/1/2009, Lashkar Gah (Near), Afghanistan
As a young lad Josh loved playing on his skateboard and riding his bike, sometimes riding to his local beach which is a good few miles away. Josh was the most loveable lad who loved playing with his mates, he enjoyed camping and listening to a wide range of music – one of his favorite’s being Eminem.
As from a young age Josh wanted to join the Army. This came more so when his cousin Jason joined having been more like brothers growing up. Josh enlisted in the Army at aged 16 and-a-half and attended the Army Foundation College in Harrogate to complete his initial training. From Harrogate, having been accepted into 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, Joshua moved to Bovington to learn his trade as a Challenger 2 tank driver.
Josh arrived with his Regiment in Tidworth in May 2008, shortly before his 18th birthday and within months had deployed with his Squadron to Canada where he spent a happy and fulfilling three months training on the Prairie. Josh quickly established himself as a professional and capable young soldier, full of potential and with a future full of promise.
General Sir Richard Dannat, Chief of the General staff, said the death of Trooper Joshua Hammond had been a devastating blow to the Army.
“Trooper Hammond was a first-class tank crewman who epitomized the spirited and determined approach to operations expected of Royal Armoured Corps soldiers.”
Joshua died in an Improvised Explosive Device while on a convoy along the Shamalan Canal, near Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan. Joshua or Hammy as his mates called him, was 18 years old when he died a week away from his 19th birthday. Josh loved the Army and paid the Ultimate Sacrifice a true hero.
As a father Josh was not only my Son but also my best friend. He joined the Army to be the best and believe me he was. He’s touched so many hearts in his short life that he will always be remembered. This is a poem that I read out at my sons funeral – its called “At Daybreak”
I listen for him in the rain And in the dusk of starless hours I know that he will come again Loth was he ever to forsake me He comes with glimmering of flowers And stir of music to awake me
Spirit of purity, he stands As once he lived in charm and grace I may not hold him in my hands Nor bid him stay to heal my sorrow Only his fair, unshadowed face Abides with me until to-morrow.