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Two soldiers killed in Northern Ireland attack trained in Medway

Sapper Mark Quinsey with his mother Pamela and sister Jaime
Sapper Mark Quinsey with his mother Pamela and sister Jaime

The two soldiers killed in an attack in Northern Ireland, both trained here in Medway.

One qualified as an electrician at the Royal School of Military Engineering (RMSE) in Brompton. The other sapper was a qualified carpenter and joiner.

Sapper Mark Quinsey, 23, from 25 Field Squadron, 38 Engineer Regiment, died alongside colleague Patrick Azimkar, 21, in the attack at Massareene Barracks, Antrim, on Saturday.

Mark, originally from Birmingham, joined the army at 19 and following his basic training he attended the combat engineer course at Minley before qualifying as an electrician at the RSME.

Patrick had told colleagues that he was keen to put his trade skills to use after qualifying as a joiner and carpenter in 2007.

Both spent at least six months at Brompton.

Four other people were injured in the attack which happened outside the barracks when gunmen attacked members of 38 Engineer Regiment who were waiting at the front gate.

Despite the efforts of their fellow soldiers, both died at the scene.

The pair were just about to deploy to Afghanistan at the time of the attack.

The Real IRA later admitted responsibility.

Mark's commanders and colleagues have been paying tribute to him.

Lt Col Roger Lewis, Commanding Officer 38 Engineer Regiment said: “Sapper Quinsey was an outwardly calm, resolute and motivated young soldier.

"A social livewire and hugely popular across the regiment, he was rarely away from the centre of the action.

“Professionally his approach reflected his infectious enthusiasm for life. As one of the few soldiers within my regiment to have completed the demanding Class 1 electricians’ course his trade skills were invaluable.

He was hugely passionate about his trade and eager to put his new qualifications to good use in Afghanistan.

“Tragically he has been denied this opportunity.

Major Darren Woods, Officer Commanding 25 Field Squadron added: “The death of Sapper Quinsey has dealt a heavy blow to the squadron, many of whom have already deployed to Afghanistan.

“To lose such a charismatic young soldier in the prime of his life has been a tragedy of immeasurable magnitude."

He added: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are now with Mark’s family throughout this period and into what will undoubtedly be a difficult time ahead.”

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