Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Marc A Lawrence

Westgate-on-Sea, Kent

March 22, 2003

Age Rank Unit/Location
26 Lt 849 Squadron, Royal Navy
Killed when two British helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf.

The Last Post is sounded at Lt Lawrence's memorial service


It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm the death of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence, from 849 Squadron RNAS Culdrose.

Marc, 26, son of George and Ann, grew up in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, and was educated at Chatham House Grammar School and the University of Plymouth. From an early age Marc was interested in sailing, diving, windsurfing, in fact anything connected with the sea, and when he was at university in Plymouth he decided to join the Royal Navy.

Joining Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in 1999 for officer training, he went on to train as a Sea King Observer at RNAS Culdrose, gaining his wings in 2002 and then joining 849 Squadron. Another important event happened in 2002, Marc became engaged to Elaine Cleaver, also from Kent. They planned to marry in 2004 and make their home in Cornwall.

At the age of 8, Marc showed a talent for music and became an enthusiastic and accomplished musician. He was a member of the Thanet Music Centre and the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra, his interest in music continued throughout university, and he played in the ship's band on board HMS Ark Royal.

Marc's sister Jayne described her brother as a "happy man with a ready smile". His fiancée Elaine summed him up - "He stole our hearts".

On 3 April, the memorial service to Lieutenant Marc Lawrence was conducted by the vicar of St. Saviour's Church. The eulogy was delivered by the Reverend Richard Ellingham, Royal Navy Chaplain from HMS Collingwood and prayers were said by Reverend Simon Springett, Royal Navy Chaplain at RNAS Culdrose. The 23 Psalm was read by Lieutenant Simon Collins, one of 30 Royal Navy officers from RNAS Culdrose who attended the service and formed an honour party. Also present was the Captain of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Mike Knowles, the Commander of Sea King Helicopters and the Assistant Chief of Staff (Air) from Fleet Headquarters.

A piper from the Royal Marines School of Music played a lament as the congregation arrived. The Last Post was played by a bugler from the Band of the Royal Marines, Portsmouth. Captain Knowles presented the Union Flag to Marc's father, George.

The family have issued the following statement:

"At this very sad time, the family, fiancée and friends of Lieutenant Marc Lawrence are under some distress.Today's church service was composed not only as a memorial, but also as a thanksgiving to Marc's life. A young man of whom we are immensely proud. As yet, we do not have Marc's body and therefore, no arrangements are in place for his funeral."

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