AFTER surviving horrific wounds in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2009, David Timmins had so much to live for.

The Neilston soldier impressed family and friends with his courage as he battled back from injuries that included a fractured skull and a collapsed lung, as well as the loss of his right eye.

And life took an exciting new twist for David when he discovered his fiancée, Liane Brophy, was expecting their first baby in July.

His tragic death on January 6 means he will never get to meet that baby but loved ones will make sure the new arrival knows all about his heroic deeds.

“We are so broken just now,” Liane told the Barrhead News. “David was not just my fiancée, he was my best friend and he adored my daughter Summer.

“He was so excited about the baby and he’d already picked names.

Barrhead News: David with his sister Susan and parents Stephen and CathyDavid with his sister Susan and parents Stephen and Cathy

“Anyone who met David instantly became a friend for life. He was an amazing, hilarious man who never let his injuries stop him from doing anything.

“I’m proud of him in so many ways and I will do everything I can to make sure his memory lives on.”

David was serving with the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) in Helmand Province and taking part in Operation Panther’s Claw when the explosion took place in July 2009.

He suffered 22 separate injuries and spent months at an Army rehab centre.

David was later awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for saving a badly-injured comrade just days earlier and for his work defusing Taliban mines.

He went on to become an inspirational fundraiser for other injured veterans.

David, who was dad to son Rhys from a previous relationship, was still only 39 when he was found dead at his parents’ home in Neilston.

His family said the results of a post-mortem to establish the cause of death were inconclusive, with further tests to be carried out.

Susan Gibson, David’s sister, said: “My young brother was taken far too soon and will leave a void in the lives of so many people, from family and friends to the Army and the many charities that he worked with.

“My children will miss their heroic Uncle David.”

David’s grief-stricken parents, Stephen and Cathy, describe him as “a loving son.”

“We can take some comfort knowing he is truly at peace now,” they said. “His death came as such a shock.

“We will miss him greatly every day.”

During his time in the Army, David was a highly-respected Lance Corporal and served with the RLC Explosive Device Disposal Team 5 – celebrated as ‘The Famous Five’ for their impressive record of dismantling deadly devices.

He was also assigned as a bodyguard for Major Wayne Owers, who described him as a “superb” soldier and friend.

“I met David in 2009 in Afghanistan,” said Major Owers. “He was one of the most professional soldiers I worked with.

Barrhead News: Highly-respected solder David (right) in Afghanistan with (from left) Major Wayne Owers, Corporal James Marsh and Corporal Richard McKinnonHighly-respected solder David (right) in Afghanistan with (from left) Major Wayne Owers, Corporal James Marsh and Corporal Richard McKinnon

“He was extremely strong, very clever and reliable. He was actually only meant to be in Afghanistan for four weeks but I ended up keeping him there because he was just superb.

“I hate the fact I talked him into staying in Afghan but you can’t dwell on that.

“He absolutely loved being in the Army. After he left, he wanted to dedicate his life to helping those who had helped him. At one stage, he wanted to do nursing to really pay back for all the support he received but I think that type of work would have been a strain, given his injuries.”

Among David’s fundraising exploits was a race across America for Blesma, which supports limbless veterans in the UK.

As part of a team of injured veterans, he helped to raise almost £40,000.

He also helped out as a volunteer with the Army Cadet Force in Easterhouse.

Susan said. “They have announced they will present The David Timmins QGM Endeavour Cup, to be awarded at their annual camp. This will be given to the cadet who has strived the most and overcome challenges.”

Others to pay tribute to David include Matt Drennan, of the Neilston War Memorial Association.

He said: “Neilston has lost one of its brave military heroes. Our thoughts are with his family, including parents Steven and Cathy.”

David is also fondly remembered by the Sight Scotland veterans charity, having helped out with its Younger Member Group and at the Hawkhead Centre, in Paisley.
Clair Bryan, Sight Scotland director of services, said: “It is with deep sadness that we learned of his passing.

Barrhead News: David in AfghanistanDavid in Afghanistan

“David was very involved in the early days of activities run by the Younger Member Group. When the Hawkhead Centre opened, he helped out in many ways, especially in setting up the gym, advising the team on the weights and the best kit.

“He had much to give back and his loss is profound. Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him.”

Two fundraising pages have been set up on the GoFundMe platform in David’s honour, with more than £4,000 already generated.

The money will be used to help pay for his funeral costs and to create a memorial garden and tribute bench where loved ones can remember him fondly.

To donate, visit and search for ‘David Timmins.’