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Bradford soldier's tribute to war-zone colleague
9:00am Sunday 28th October 2012 in News
A Bradford soldier has spoken of his time in Afghanistan after returning home following the end of his tour of duty which claimed the life of a close colleague.
Rifleman Private Chris Evans, 27, of Odsal, serves with Burma Company, 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and within days of returning the company took part in a 13-mile run to raise money in memory of Private Gregg Stone, who was killed on the tour of duty.
Pte Evans was sent to Afghanistan in April and admitted he was happy to return after six months in the war-torn country.
The former pupil of Whitcliffe Mount School, Cleckheaton, said: “When you’re over there, when you’re walking about on patrol you have to look around and check all around you to check where IEDS (Improvised Explosive Devices) are and for people watching you.
“You’re more bothered about what can happen when you’re doing your checks. You think ‘it could go off at any time’, but you just put it to the back of your head.”
Pte Evans was in Afghanistan when his colleague Pte Stone, 20, of Hull, was killed in June as he took part in an operation to rescue a policeman from insurgents. The soldier had been in Afghanistan for less than a month.
Pte Evans said the group took part in the run to raise money in his memory and asked Pte Stone’s wife, who is expecting their first child, what it should be put towards.
She decided the money should be used to buy a trophy in his name to be awarded to the best platoon each year.
Pte Evans joined the Army 18 months ago after being let go from his job as a plumber and gas fitter.
His dad, also called Chris, told the Telegraph & Argus: “My wife Les and I are so proud of Christopher and his colleagues for what they have done and feel that we can now better understand why 3 Yorks and the British Army are in Afghanistan. The relationships they have built up with the Afghans are incredible.
“3rd Yorks Army welfare have been great, with regular bulletins on what’s happening and a monthly magazine all about 3rd Yorks work in Afghanistan. One even had Christopher's picture in it and helped bring him closer to us.”