'Chris was a top lad liked by everybody'

RAF colleagues today praised the young Sheffield serviceman killed in southern Afghanistan – paying tribute to his professionalism and sense of humour.

Christopher Bridge, who had successfully completed his Trainee Gunner Course at RAF Honington and was posted to 51 Squadron RAF Regiment at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, on November 18 2005, was described as popular, well liked and funny.

He had served in southern Iraq between January and June 2006 providing Force Protection for Basra International Airport and had been providing Force Protection for Kandahar Airfield since April 2007 as part of Operation HERRICK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Squadron Leader Tony Brown said: “Senior Aircraftman Chris Bridge was a very competent Gunner, unassumingly professional and with a promising career ahead.

“Following operational service in Iraq, Chris had consolidated his position on the Squadron as a capable and enthusiastic Gunner whose likeable personality and witty sense of humour made him engaging to serve with. Passionate about travel, he had clearly made his mark on the Squadron and will be missed.”

Flying Officer Matt Jupp said: “Chris Bridge was a very well liked, motivated and hard working member of the Flight.

“A once quiet young man he grew into an adventurous, charismatic and intelligent Gunner. He was a high calibre member of the Royal Air Force Regiment and a generally good bloke. I will miss him.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

SAC Bridge is the 74th UK serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Following the explosion just after midnight on Thursday, the popular Gunner was taken by helicopter to a Nato hospital at Kandahar Airfield, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Last night, Christopher’s squadron buddies spoke of how much he will be missed.

Senior Non Commissioned Officer Sgt ‘Oz’ Bailey said: “He was a quiet and confident young man and well liked by all on the Flight. His one outstanding trait was his dry sense of humour, which always had us in fits.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Never one to complain he worked hard for everyone. He will be missed by me personally and the rest of the gunners on C Flight.”

Senior Aircraftman ‘Parky’ Parkhouse described him as a “good mate” who was “nothing less than totally proficient and hard working” in his career. He was liked amongst the whole Flight and Squadron. He will be missed so much by everyone and forever in our thoughts.”

Senior Aircraftman ‘Burky’ Burke said: “Chris was a top lad and liked by everybody. He was always happy in a quiet way.

“Very well known throughout the Squadron for his dry sense of humour – he will be missed and remembered forever. He will always be with us in our hearts.”