Condolences On Death Of Sgt Stange-Simmons

November 27, 2015

Governor George Fergusson, Premier Michael Dunkley, Shadow Minister of National Security Walter Roban and Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Michael Foster-Brown expressed their shock and sadness at the untimely passing of Sergeant Dejion Stange-Simmons.

Sgt Stange-Simmons, 26, was found inside a Southampton residence last night. The police said the circumstances surrounding his death are considered suspicious, and confirmed they have a man in custody in relation to his death.

Premier and Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley said, “I had the privilege of meeting this young man in August last year before he and others went to Kenya on Regiment training. He was engaging and clearly excited at the opportunities his Regiment service was providing.

“As the Minister responsible for the Regiment, this loss is especially hard for the men and women with whom Sgt. Stange served and I wish for all ranks to know that the Ministry of National Security joins with them in fondly remembering this young man.

“To his family, words can hardly numb the pain of this terrible loss but I hope that they can take comfort in how highly Dejion was regarded and that they are not alone in dealing with his passing.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda our hearts are united in grief at his loss and we extend sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Michael Foster-Brown said: “The Regiment was shocked, saddened and angry to hear of the sudden death of Sgt Dejion Stange.

“He was a respected senior member of the Regiment of eight years service, having been conscripted at the age of 18.  He took to military life and was good at it, achieving rapid promotion through the ranks and was a Sergeant by November 2011, and had been the Platoon Sergeant of 2 Platoon A Company for almost exactly a year.”

Col Foster-Brown added: “His loss will be strongly felt across the Regiment, but particularly in A Company and the Sergeants’ Mess.

“Our thoughts are with family, particularly his parents Sandrine and Andre, his step-mother Tami, his three sisters and his brother.

“The Regiment are stood by to support his funeral should the family wish it.”

Col Foster-Brown said:  “He was a talented and dedicated soldier who had been specially selected to be part of the three-man team which deployed with the British Army on a demanding six-week overseas exercise to Kenya from September to October 2014, after which the Commanding Officer of 1 WG [Welsh Guards] wrote that he and the team: had “arrived with just the right approach and integrated seamlessly.

“Their work ethic, attention to detail and thoroughness were key elements in the overall success achieved on the exercise and it was a privilege to have them as part of the battle group.”

He added: “He was hardworking, enthusiastic and always keen to volunteer, most recently as part of the Committee for the 50th Anniversary Ball that took place last Saturday.

“He was attached to his troops and they to him. We will miss him.”

Sgt Stange in January, 2011 while instructing recruits, won the prize for best Sergeant, and in April 2014 he received a letter of commendation for his work in support of the Bermuda Police Service at Ferry Reach.

He was a member of Immediate Response Team 2 and deployed on the most recent embodiment in October 2015 for Hurricane Joaquin.

A Company  Commander, Major David Madeiros, described Sgt Stange as “a key member of A Company, a pleasure to be around and always smiling.”

Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Tyler Owen, described him as “exceptional’ and “an excellent motivator” and someone with a “big personality” who had the “respect and love of his men, which was one of the reasons why the retention rates in the platoon were so high.”

Regimental Sergeant Major Gavin Rayner said: “The Regiment is a tight-knit and close family and this sad loss affects us all.”

He added: Sgt Stange was one of my senior platoon Sergeants in A Coy.

“Like most he had his strengths that showed whenever he was in camp commanding his troops.  He was eager to do well and be the best Sgt, looking forward to the next level.

“Sgt Stange was a good supporter of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess. He could always be counted on to be at and help out at every function put on by the Mess. And he could always be seen being the life of the party and setting the standard of pride and fun.

“The Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess send his family our deepest, heartfelt sympathy and condolences. He will be dearly missed by all.”

Update: Governor George Fergusson said, “I have been really shocked at the sad death of Sgt Stange-Simmons and I know that his colleagues in the Regiment have suffered a significant loss. This will also be a terrible sadness for his family and friends.

“I only met Sgt Stange once or twice, but know that he was held in very high regard. In his time last year attached to the Welsh Guards in Kenya, he was a great Ambassador for Bermuda.”

Shadow Minister of National Security Walter Roban said, “On behalf of my colleagues at the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sergeant Dejion Stange-Simmons.

“Sgt. Stange-Simmons was a well known young man who committed to service for his country, and this event is incredibly unfortunate. His family and friends remain in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult period.”

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