Lcpl Tay Cheeseman

Born 19th June 1985,
Died 7th June 2009.
Aged 21.

Lcpl Tay Cheeseman

Tay Memorail Display

Lcpl Tay Cheeseman

PARENTS of a 21-year-old Notts soldier who died suddenly from cancer after being taken ill in Afghanistan have spoken of their "beautiful brave boy".

Lance Corporal Taran Cheeseman of the 4th Battalion the Rifles, died on Sunday, June 7, just a week after he arrived in Camp Bastion. Dad Steven, and Mum Tracey were with him during his last few days after he was flown back to Birmingham.

The Mansfield soldier, known as 'Tay' or 'Cheesy', is believed to have died from an aggressive form of cancer – lymphoma or leukaemia – from which he had no chance of surviving. Mr Cheeseman said: "He was a legend. He was confident but never cocky with it. He would have a go at anything, he was very brave. "But he passed away in no pain, he didn't know what was happening."

L/Cpl Cheeseman joined the Army in 2005 after attending Intake Farm Primary School and Nursery, Cumberland Middle School and Queen Elizabeth's Comprehensive.

He served a six-month tour of Iraq in 2007 and this had been his first in Afghanistan. The avid Chelsea fan was also a keen footballer, having played for Mansfield Town from 13 to 15 years old and for Forest when he was 12. Mr Cheeseman said his son was suffering from stomach pains before he went away on May 30.

"But Tay said he wanted to go to Afghanistan to look after his boys," he said.

When he arrived in Afghanistan L/Cpl Cheeseman became seriously ill and was treated at the camp's hospital. Originally doctors thought he had a ruptured spleen but as he stepped on to the plane to fly back to Birmingham he collapsed. He remained unconscious until his death. A CT scan found his lymph nodes were swollen and doctors even tried giving him chemotherapy. But eventually his life-support machine was switched off.

L/Cpl Cheeseman's funeral was on Tuesday at St Philip Neri's Church followed by a burial. He had full military honours.

Mrs Cheeseman said: "There were people standing up and people outside. "It was a brilliant send off for him, we couldn't have asked for better." His best friend from the regiment read a tribute, his Commanding Officer Major Nathan Teale gave the eulogy and his mum read a poem she had written for him.

The family are collecting money for the St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service who looked after them during L/Cpl Cheeseman's last few days.


Tays Family


L/Cpl Cheeseman leaves behind his girlfriend and her two children.

As well as an older brother and three younger sisters (photo left).

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