Remembering Corporal Ben Leaning and Trooper Kristen Turton

Lest we ever Forget these brave young men

April 19th, 2007 Corporal Ben Leaning, aged 24 from Scunthorpe, and Trooper Kristen Turton, aged 27 from Grimsby, both of The Queen’s Royal Lancers, were killed by a roadside IED blast whilst on patrol in Maysan Province, Iraq.

At approximately 1120 hrs local time, the vehicle was struck and badly damaged by an improvised explosive device attack, which killed Corporal Leaning and Trooper Turton and injured the Scimitar’s gunner and two other members of the troop.

Corporal Ben Leaning, or “Bill” as he was affectionately known, was from Scunthorpe and joined the Army in January 1999. He was posted to his local armoured regiment, The Queen’s Royal Lancers, where he served on Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

Corporal Ben Leaning 

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nixon-Eckersall, said “Corporal Leaning was the model of a modern Formation Reconnaissance soldier. He was tough, fit, intelligent and compassionate. He truly cared for those he worked with and was never found to be wanting in any task.

He had already made a name for himself at the Regiment as one to watch for the future. He was the first to volunteer for any course or task, and I have no doubt he would have volunteered to lead the patrol that so tragically saw him killed. His death is a huge loss to the Regiment.”

Remembering them 14 years later

Trooper Kristen Turton was from Grimsby. Joining The Queen’s Royal Lancers in the summer of 2003, he quickly became a Regimental character. He went through the conversion to Formation Reconnaissance in 2004 and was marked out for specialist training due to his dismounted skills. He was a trained sharp shooter and assault pioneer, specialising in demolitions. These were roles he excelled in and were very much a measure of his professionalism and martial skill.

Trooper Kristen Turton

Corporal Kev Hough, a close friend of Trooper Turton who worked in the same troop said “Turts was a great guy to have in the troop. He was always eager to get stuck in and his Driving and Maintenance skills were particularly good. He was the self appointed troop chef and made a point of ensuring that everyone else had their food and a brew before he looked after himself, which was typical of his attitude.

“He was keen to get on in the Army and was hoping to get promoted later this year. He liked playing a joke and having a laugh, and was well liked throughout the squadron. Turts was also a real family man as well and often spoke about his wife Sharon and his plans. His death is a real loss to the troop and our thoughts are with his wife and family.”

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