Lance Corporal Nick Stokes tragically died in the early hours of 6 October 1992 whilst commanding a Ferret in 2nd Troop during ‘B’ Squadron’s autumn exercise in Cyprus. He was taken from us doing a job he adored in his beloved ‘B’ Squadron.
Nick Stokes joined the Regiment in Hohne in 1986 and was posted to ‘B’ Squadron where he started a tempestuous relationship with Cpl Lear. Nick’s fun character soon came to the fore; he was seen running behind his tank after Cpl Lear had thrown him off.
He quickly gained a reputation for being unable to get a suntan and for his delight and amazement whenever he was injured in sports.
During this time, his firm, loyal friend to many became his trademark. He was always playing practical jokes, but equally, his highly professional attitude to soldiering was noted and he was snatched away to SHQ Troop on OC and the ambulance. With his newly found driver skills and his reliability, he became the Squadron getaway driver and had an immaculate record: mirror, signal, manoeuvre, stall – twice.
His time in SHQ encouraged Nick’s interest in the Signals world and he successfully passed his Control Signaller course. A tour in Cyprus with ‘G’ Squadron followed, before returning to Hohne and, of course, ‘B’ Squadron. Nick’s career was now set, he was the Tp Ldr’s operator and his expertise with wiggly amps stood out.
Another tour in Cyprus, this time with the independent ‘B’ Squadron on armoured cars, started in the summer of 1992 and again he loved his job, he lived life to the full and had a lot of fun.
Throughout his Army career, Nick remained in constant touch with his family who became a favourite stop-over for his many friends moving between England and Hohne. They are a very close, service family: one brother a ‘D’ Squadron stalwart, a second brother in The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, his father ex-RAF, and his step-father ex-Army.
He also continued his close association with scooter clubs, both in Germany and at home in Tenterden. His love of his family was reflected in an enormous number of friends in the Regiment; he always put himself out for others and was a trusted friend who knew how to enjoy himself.
Lance Corporal Nick Stokes will be sorely missed by many but he will be remembered with happiness for his great sense of fun, professionalism and love of life. Our sympathies are extended to his family for their tragic loss.