Mother of Birkenhead’s Trooper Phillip Lawrence pays tribute to her son after he was killed in Afghanistan
THE mother of the latest Merseyside soldier to be killed in Afghanistan has paid touching tribute to her “loving and caring” son.
Birkenhead-born Trooper Phillip Lawrence, 22, of the Light Dragoons, died on Monday after his Scimitar armoured vehicle was caught in an explosion.
The former Ridgeway high school pupil leaves four brothers – Christopher, Liam, Ryan and Lewis – his wife Amy and Baby
His mum Gaynor Lawrence, 42, said: “Although we were mum and son, we were also best mates.
“We were a team and we all adored him.
“He loved his mum, his brothers, his wife and his little Baby
“He was the man of the house – both for his wife and daughter and for our house – and was always around if me or his brothers needed him or had a problem.
“He was a loving, caring person who made friends wherever he went.
“He was also a great practical joker and didn’t take life very seriously.”
Ms Lawrence explained her son, described as “generous” and “devoted to his family” by his commanding officer, combined a wonderful sense of humour with a fierce determination to serve in the Army.
She added: “Phil had always wanted to be in the Army.
“He went into the careers office in Birkenhead when he was 16.
“They said he would make a fantastic soldier, but to come back when he was 18 and more ‘streetwise’.
“On his 18th birthday, he went back into the office, wearing a big ‘18’ badge, and told them he had come back to sign up.
“He never looked back and loved being in the Army.
“He stepped up to the mark and I am incredibly proud of him for doing that.
“When he came home from Afghanistan after his first tour, I put a big banner up saying ‘welcome home, Mummy’s little soldier’. He was not embarrassed by that – he loved it.
“We backed him all the way. Although it is very hard for us to come to terms with this, we have taken great comfort from all the messages of support we have received from our family and friends.”
Lieutenant Colonel Gus Fair, commanding officer of the Light Dragoons, said Trooper Lawrence, who was known as “Lenny” in the regiment, showed great heart in the boxing ring and the battlefield.
He said: “Trooper Lawrence was one of the characters who make a family regiment such as the Light Dragoons so special.
“Lenny’s generous nature, inability to bear a grudge and sheer enjoyment of day to day life endeared him to us all.
“Everyone counted him among their friends, and his loss will hit the regiment especially hard.
“Lenny was devoted to his family, and the pride he took in his wife and daughter shone from him.
“It fills me with enormous sadness that Jessica will not know her brilliant father.” THE ECHO