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Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker killed in Afghanistan

March 2, 2011

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker, from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 1 March 2011.

Lance Corporal Tasker deployed to Afghanistan on 8 September 2010 as part of 1st Military Working Dog Regiment. Having trained as an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler, he was attached to 1st Battalion Irish Guards on 19 February 2011.

On 1 March 2011, LCpl Tasker was taking part in a patrol with his dog, Theo, when they were engaged by small arms fire, during which LCpl Tasker was struck and died from the injuries he sustained. Sadly on return to Camp Bastion, Theo suffered a seizure and died.

Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker

LCpl Liam Tasker was born on the 11 December 1984 in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. He joined the Army in 2001 and was originally a vehicle mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. His passion though, was always dogs which led to his transfer to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 2007.

A trainer who had a natural empathy with dogs, he was a rising star within the Dog Training group. In 2010, he was posted to 104 Military Working Dog Squadron, St Georges Barracks, North Luffenham, Rutland, part of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment.

From the onset of his operational tour in Afghanistan, he provided strong search and clearance capability for units across Helmand Province. In a short period of time, he had significant success locating Improvised Explosive Devices, weapons and bomb making equipment. His success undoubtedly saved many lives.

Lance Corporal Tasker was an outgoing, jovial and friendly character. He was extremely popular within the Squadron. His easy going, confident approach belied a consummate professional. He always strived to be the best and within the Squadron he was one of the best and he will be sorely missed by all in the Squadron.

He can never be replaced and will always be remembered. He was a fun, friendly, talkative character who always wanted the best from his dog, his troops, and himself.

He leaves behind his mother Jane Duffy, his father Ian Tasker, his brother Ian and his two sisters, Laura and Nicola, and girlfriend Leah.

Liam’s family said:

“There are three words that best describe Liam, larger than life. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheeky smile. He was the best son, grandson, brother and friend you could ever wish to meet. He died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about. We are so proud of him and everything he’s achieved. Words can’t describe how sorely he will be missed.

“Sleep well Liam you are forever in our hearts.”

Girlfriend Leah Walters said:

“LT never met anyone without touching their lives in some way. The amount of support both I and his family have received in the last day alone pays testament to this.

“I am the proudest girlfriend there could ever be and there will be an LT sized hole in my life forever. Sleep well my darling, my soul mate, my best friend.”

Lieutenant Colonel David Thorpe LANCS, Commanding Officer 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, said:

“It is a challenge to put into words what Lance Corporal Liam Tasker meant to those he worked with. To his friends he was a mate who could put a smile on your face; he was that man who you wanted around and who you wanted to spend time with.

To the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment he was a strong, reliable soldier and an expert ‘Dog Man’. He genuinely loved the dogs he worked with and was always able to get the best out of them. He was one of the highly qualified Dog Trainers in Afghanistan and had spent time at our training establishment making sure that the new soldiers coming out of training had the best possible skills and experience imparted into them.

Epitomising the hardworking, determined and ambitious nature of our very best soldiers, he wanted to go to Afghanistan. He wanted to ply his trade in the harshest of environments, to be outside of his comfort zone and he wanted to be successful. He was. The work he did in his 5 months in Afghanistan saved countless lives, of that I have no doubt. He flew the Royal Army Veterinary Corps’ flag high; he led from the front and made us proud.

Lance Corporal Tasker wanted to go far in the Army and he had all of the attributes needed to be a career soldier, with capacity to spare. His ability to command whilst maintaining his sense of humour had already marked him out as one to watch. His loss has hurt every single one of us today. He will be missed. He will not be forgotten.”

To read the full Eulogy for Lance Corporal Liam Tasker click HERE

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 00:38

    Rest easy dear soldier and Theo, your job is now done. Thank you both for all you have done to ensure the safety of others.

    My thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues.

  2. Peter Willaims permalink
    March 3, 2011 01:15

    R.I.P. true and brave Heroes, your deeds and names will not wither and fade with time, our childrens children and their childrens children will speak your names with pride forever and a day.
    To your family deepest sympathy and condolences and may they take comfort in the knowledge that your sacrifice will not be forgotten, that your actions can be summed up as Adm. Nimitz said in 1945 as ‘uncommon valour was a common virtue’, you belong to that group of Heroes the likes of which we may never see again in our life times. Your names are now entered onto that list of Heroes that dates from time immemorial to the end of days, we will remember you and Theo. God Bless.

  3. Mary Francis permalink
    March 3, 2011 02:12

    Liam and Theo, you must have flown out at more or less the same time as my son who is in the Irish Guards. I want to thank you for your hard work and sacrifices that you have made in the months that you were out in Afghanistan and I have not doubt that you and Theo have save countless lives in the work that you were carrying out there. Our pride in you in without measure.
    Thank you feels not enough and I cannot express the sorrow that I feel for your parents, siblings and your girlfriend. So I send them my deepest condolences.
    Rest in peace brave soldier, you will not be forgotten.
    RIP Theo.

    Mary – Proud mother of an Irish Guard.

  4. lynn permalink
    March 3, 2011 04:57

    THis news really saddened me
    and brought tears to my eyes
    prayers go out to all who have
    lost a loved one in war.


  5. Deborah Secker permalink
    March 3, 2011 12:21

    R I P brave soldier and his beloved dog another life lost my thought s are with his friends,family and colleages x

  6. Jacqueline Hughes permalink
    March 3, 2011 19:38

    My daughter & I both send our very best wishes to the family of Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker. In just this last few weeks – being huge dog fans – we had especially taken note of the posting about Liam & Theo. A wonderful tribute to perfect teamwork! Liam & Theo were doing an amazing job down there in Helmand to ensure the safety of our troops and the local people.

    It is small consolation for Liam’s family, but we thank you so much for raising a son who had the character & courage to make life that much safer for the likes of my son now on tour.

    Our thoughts are with you all.

  7. March 4, 2011 00:00

    So sad news such a brave soldier who will be forgotten, my thoughts go out to his family, his girlfriend and anyone that knew him . R.I.P

  8. Nicole permalink
    March 4, 2011 11:30

    To Liam and Theo – Tau mahi’ra e te iti Kahurangi – Your work is well done, my little treasures. With your strength and courage, you allowed us to stand on your shoulders, and your successes allow us to live in a safer world. Rest in peace together, brave ones of heart.

    To Liams family, friends and colleages, Kia Kaha – be brave. You are in my thoughts and this mere posting does not express the sorrow that I feel for you all. Liams and Theos story has reached far and wide. It has touched many hearts and all will mourn the passing of two very brave individuals.

    • marja hoge permalink
      March 4, 2011 15:24


      what language is that which you write…some words look like ours in Finland…kahu, means horrid, fear….te iti, means “do it yourself”

      it brought tears to my eyes as I read the story, dogs love so deeply and honestly, and although I have 3 sons and all have done their military duty, I never knew fear of war for them, they stayed here. Those parents who give their children up to fight wars, that are perhaps needed or not, are brave indeed.

  9. Jane Feist permalink
    March 4, 2011 19:11

    Such sad news as is every death in theatre. As an animal lover this brings tears to my eyes.

    Liam & Theo I hope you RIP together forever.

    To Liam’s family & girlfriend so so sorry for your loss, but you should be very very proud xxx

  10. March 4, 2011 20:29

    R.I.P Hero.

    Theo wanted to be with you so you would never be alone.

    No amount of words will ease your loved one’s pain, but I pray for them to have strenght at this dredful time. You sir, will never be forgotten.

  11. Donna Millar permalink
    March 10, 2011 21:46

    I would just like to pass on my deepest sympathy to the family & friends of L/Cpl Liam Tasker & his beautiful dog Theo. You will not be forgotten, & I am so glad that you and Theo are together, although it is in the saddest of circumstances. Thank you for your bravery. And thank you to all our boys & girls & their dogs in the forces overseas. The bond of love & friendship that was shown in that picture was there for all to see. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all, goodnight & godbless Liam & Theo

    Love Donna & family XX

    • March 13, 2011 04:02

      Thanks Donna. You put in to words exactly what I wanted to say but just couldn’t find the right words.


  12. March 13, 2011 20:53

    I did not know Liam Tasker nor his dog Theo. But I do know the love and bonding that exists between a dog and a human and it is one of the purest forms of unconditional love that we feel. Theo would have known that he was so loved by Liam and Liam likewise by Theo.

    My dear wife and I, both born Londoners, have twelve dogs here at home, all but my Pharaoh are rescues, and our lives are so, so much richer as a result of the love we receive from them.

    Off to church shortly, it’s 0915 here in Payson, AZ, and Liam and Theo will held close in my prayers. Liam and Theo are forever together in peace.

  13. Robin Pariso permalink
    April 25, 2012 08:59

    My heart was heavy while reading the article about Lance Corporal Taker and Theo. They are heroes. May God Bless them and their family.

  14. Sue Brown permalink
    January 13, 2013 18:50

    Can anyone help trace the photographer who took the beautiful picture of Llam looking up at Theo. I was so moved by this as many others were, that I decided to paint it and now would like to put this into an exhibition but I do need the permission of the person who took the photo, if anyone can point me in the right direction then I would be extremely grateful. I would like to do more paintings of our troops in action etc and if they, one day happen to sell, to then donate to the cause of our heroes. God bless Liam and Theo, I am just glad they are still together in this world and the next! Any contacts please send them to Thank you .


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  2. Remembering Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and Theo « Learning from Dogs
  3. Surrey Constabulary Blog » Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker: Royal Army Veterinary Corps

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