Originally printed on March 23, 2003 in the Family Announcements.
Viewed by 1960 Visitors.
Sapper Luke Allsopp, who died on 23 March, 2003, aged 24, was a larger than life character and a popular member of his Regiment.
SapperAllsopp of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was killed in an ambush by Iraqi forces in the southern Iraqi town of Al Zubayr. Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth was killed in the same incident.
Sapper Allsopp, who was affectionately known as "Muscles", had served in bomb disposal units in Kenya and Cyprus before his posting to Iraq.
A subsequent inquest found that Sapper Allsopp and Staff Sergeant Cullingworth had been "unlawfully killed" by Iraqi military intelligence.
SapperAllsopp was from Dagenham, East London. He joined the Army in 1997.
One of his friends, Sergeant Sean McLoughlin, said: "He lived as a soldier and he died as a soldier. A soldier fighting for peace and for right."
Sapper Allsopp was laid to rest with full military honours at All Saints Church, Wimbish, on 7 May, 2003. More than 250 mourners attended the funeral, led by his sister Nina and step-father, Michael Pawsey.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Troulan, said: "Luke Allsopp was a very capable individual who was well liked within the Squadron, and a valued team member. He had served within bomb disposal in Cyprus and Kenya. He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend, Katy."
Luke was an energetic and bubbly character with a limitless zest for life. He loved his work in the Army and was a loyal friend to many.
Sergeant McLoughlin added: "He lived life to the max and he enjoyed it. We can be certain he is with us now with a pint in hand, drinking his farewells."
After the deaths of Sapper Allsopp and Staff Sergeant Cullingworth, a heated political debate arose when former Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed that the soldiers had not died at the scene of the ambush but had been executed some time after.
Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, Prisoners of War are supposed to be given medical treatment and treated with an agreed level of care during their internment.
The circumstances of his death aside, SapperAllsopp was a likeable young man who was good at his job. He was popular with his peers and respected by his superiors.
The Desert Rats who patrolled the area of Basra where Saddam Hussein's former palace stands, re-named it Allsopp Lines in Luke's honour.
In another testament to his popularity, a hospital in Baghdad has been renamed the Allsopp Medical Centre.
With his death, 33 Engineer Regiment lost a popular and promising colleague and his family a much-loved son.