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February 21, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Marine Scott Summers, 42 Commando Royal Marines, died as a result of injuries sustained in an accident in Afghanistan.

He had volunteered for a re-supply run and was part of a convoy, driving a Pinzgauer vehicle, when he was severely injured in a road traffic accident. After being treated in Afghanistan, he was sent to a specialist unit in the UK, but died seventeen days after the accident. Marine Summers had joined the Royal Marines in 2005, and deployed to Afghanistan in October of 2006. He is remembered as “a real character”, selfless, warm-hearted and with a sharp wit. He showed courage in over twenty fire-fights with the Taliban, and was always ready to volunteer whether for something mundane or dangerous.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Holmes said of him: “The loss of such a fine young man as Scott Summers is felt across the whole Commando, and shows the high regard in which he was held. It was typical of the man that he had volunteered for the...

February 14, 2020

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Private Robert Wood and Private Dean Hutchinson, the Royal Logistic Corps, died in Afghanistan.

They had been sleeping in the tented Transport Troop Office at Camp Bastion in order to respond quickly when vital supplies arrived. Another soldier was woken by the smoke and left the tent to raise the alarm, but those at the scene did not know the emergency number. When the firefighters arrived the tent was ablaze. That soldier admitted he should not have gone to bed but had told another soldier to stay, something the latter denied.

The coroner stated he would make a “preventing further deaths” report and recorded a narrative conclusion; there were eight areas where there was either a failure or a systemic failure that led to the deaths of Private Wood and Private Hutchinson. A fire risk assessment had not been carried out when the extension had been built. The fire began where electrical appliances were located, igniting combustible material clos...

January 28, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2004, Private Jonathan Peter Kitulagoda, E (Devon and Dorset) Company, the Rifle Volunteers, was killed in Afghanistan.

He had graduated from Plymouth University with a degree in marine navigation, and had joined the TA while studying.  He had then volunteered to serve in Afghanistan.  In a suicide bomber attack, Private Kitulagoda was killed, and four other soldiers were injured – they were travelling in Land Rovers on a main road and a taxi blew up as they overtook it.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Blewett said of him:  “It was with immense sadness that we learnt of the death of one of our soldiers, and injuries suffered by his colleagues, while on peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan. My thoughts, and those of the entire Battalion, are very much with Private Kitulagoda’s family, and the families of those injured, at this dreadful time.  Jonathan Kitulagoda was a young man who played a full and professional role as a TA infantryman, and was a popular...

January 11, 2020

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Marine Travis Mackin, 45 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan.

Marine Mackin was serving as a member of the Security Sector Reform Group in Afghanistan, and was killed by an IED during a joint patrol with the Afghan National security forces.   As a member of the specialist team mentoring the Afghan National Army and the National Police, one of his tasks was to guide and lead those he was training into and out of hostile situations.  He had been previously selected for specialist training and showed a strong performance on the communicators’ course, qualifying as a Royal Marines Communicator.  Marine Mackin is remembered as selfless, confident, a natural leader with huge potential and an infectious sense of humour.  He had joined the Royal Marines in July of 2004.

Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Armour said of him:  “Marine Travis Mackin was an archetypal Royal Marine who thoroughly embodied the ‘work hard - play har...

December 28, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Henry Wood, 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, serving with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, was killed in Afghanistan.

At the age of seventeen WO2 Wood had joined the army in 1994, something he had been keen to do since he was a child.  He had served in Iraq and Bosnia before deployment to Afghanistan, by which time his leadership abilities had been well-proven.  Promotion was rapid, he was seen to be talented and successful, and was considering a Late Entry Commission.  Keen on football all his life. WO2 Wood represented his regimental team as well as using his skills as trainer and manager.  He also raised thousands of pounds for forces charities.  On the day of his death, working as Advanced Search Advisor, he was leading the clearance of a route through the Khushdal Kalay area of the Helmand River Valley, when he was killed in an IED blast. 


December 12, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Lance Corporal Steven “Jamie” Fellows, Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Group Royal Marines, was killed in Sangin, Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Fellows had joined the Royal Marines two years earlier and was awarded the King’s Badge as best recruit in his troop. He was a keen sportsman who represented his unit in the Royal Marines Boxing Championships, and was invited to represent them in the Royal Navy Boxing Championships. Colleagues remember him as mature, determined, tough yet compassionate, a popular man with a quick wit. He was promoted to the rank of lance corporal after eleven months out of training, proof of his abilities and determination.

On the day of his death he was travelling in a Jackal on a foot and vehicle patrol when the vehicle struck an IED. Despite medical attention and being evacuated by helicopter, Lance Corporal Fellows did not regain consciousness.

Lieutenant Tom Winterton said of him: “Lance Corporal Fellows was an awesome...

November 27, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2011, Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel, 5th Battalion, the Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been on foot patrol when he was caught up in an IED explosion, and although airlifted to hospital at Camp Bastion, could not be saved. 

Rifleman Steel had joined the army in November of 2009 and loved his job, having wanted to join up since being with the army cadets.  He showed early promise during training, where he was quick to learn, intelligent, mature and ambitious.  Rifleman Steel excelled on the sharpshooters’ course, proving himself to be focused, calm and professional.  A superior officer said that he was “destined for the Corporals’ Mess” following his time in Afghanistan, due to his diligence, hard work and dedication.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Copinger-Symes said of him:  Rifleman Steel was the essence of a ‘Delta Dog’, as the members of D Company, 5 RIFLES, are known…the Delta Dogs have a particularly special identit...

October 19, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Marine Gary Wright, 45 Commando Royal Marines, died of injuries sustained while on patrol in Lashkar Gar, Afghanistan. He was a top cover sentry on one of two Land Rovers when a suicide bomber stepped between the vehicles and detonated the explosives which were strapped to his body.

Marine Wright had joined the Royal Marines in 2002, passing out the following year and joining 2 Troop, Whiskey Company. He then served in Northern Ireland as a Land Rover Driver, something at which he was particularly skilled. Remembered as enthusiastic and very fit, he took the Recce Troop Selection Course and the Joint Services Parachute Course. He excelled at both with his ability to adapt to any conditions and environment, and his high levels of determination and fitness served him well.

Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar R.M. said of him: “Marine Wright was an outstanding young Royal Marine whose determination and professional ability led to his selection as a m...

September 21, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett M.C., 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been investigating an IED when it exploded, injuring him and two other soldiers;  he passed away from his injuries before reaching hospital.

Acting Sergeant Lockett had joined the army in 1996, and served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and on three tours of Afghanistan.  A machine gunner, he also held other qualifications, including Military Tracking Instructor and Jungle Warfare Instructor.  In 2008 he was awarded the Military Cross;  he had led his platoon to rescue the bodies of Private Johan Botha and Sergeant Craig Brelsford and four wounded comrades trapped in a Taliban ambush.

At the time of his death he was working as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battle Group, alongside the Warriors of the Afghan National Army in the Upper Gereshk Valley.  Acting Sergeant Locke...

September 6, 2019

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Lance Corporal Luke McCulloch, 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in action by Taliban forces in Afghanistan.  Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which occurred in Sangin, but they recovered after receiving medical attention.

Lance Corporal McCulloch joined the army in 2001. He served with distinction in Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq, and is described as an enthusiastic soldier who was held in high regard by all ranks.  He had a bright, good-humoured and likeable personality, made friends easily and packed a lot of living into his too-short life.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael McGovern praised him: "He was a truly outstanding soldier, very colourful and a real character. Larger than life, Lance Corporal McCulloch was a delight to have around and always the centre of attention.  Operationally, he was extremely experienced and served on Op TELIC 1, the liberation of Iraq and in Northern Ireland. Most recently, he...

September 4, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2008, Ranger Justin James Cupples, 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been on foot patrol in Sangin when an IED caused him grievous injuries.  Despite immediate medical aid, he could not be saved. 

Ranger Cupples was born in the United States and served with the U.S. Navy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.   He later joined the Royal Irish Regiment after training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.  He took the Operational Language Training Course, having shown an aptitude for languages, and learned Pashtu before deploying to Afghanistan.  Ranger Cupples is remembered by colleagues as a quiet, popular and motivated man.  He impressed with his enthusiasm and maturity, and showed great pride in being a ranger. 

Lieutenant Colonel Freely said of him:  “Justin Cupples was a character.  He stood out as such.  He was drawn to the Battalion by the Irish fighting spirit...

August 20, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2009, Private Johnathon Young, 3rd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), was killed in Afghanistan.

Private Young had joined the army eighteen months earlier.  The tributes paid to him on the MoD site speak of an extraordinary young man, charismatic, dedicated, inspirational, courageous and full of humour.  His potential was recognized and he effortlessly became popular and respected.  He volunteered for Afghanistan and deployed three weeks before his death.  Private Young’s section reinforced a platoon which had suffered losses earlier, and he was immediate made Lead Scout.  He was killed while on patrol near Forward Operating Base Wishtan, clearing routes in what was described as an IED-heavy patch.  It was reported that he stepped on an IED and died instantly; 

Major Sam Humphris said of him.  “The death of Private Young has come as a devastating blow to Burma Company. He was a committed and extr...

August 13, 2019

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 2010, Sapper Darren Foster, 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan.  He had been manning a sangar at Patrol Base Sangin Fulod when he was fired upon.  Although treated onsite and then taken to hospital, his injuries were so grievous that he could not be saved.

Sapper Foster had joined the Royal Engineers two years earlier.  He qualified as a combat engineer and then as a military fabricator.  Just over three weeks before his death, he deployed to Afghanistan.  Even during his short time serving, he made an impression as being intelligent and skilled sapper, a down-to-earth young man who was kind and genuine.  He was enthusiastic and energetic, and according to his family, fiercely proud to be a sapper.

Major Jason Ainley said of him:  “Sapper Darren Foster recently joined the ranks of 73 Armoured Engineer Squadron, bringing with him a real zest for soldiering. From the moment he first learned of his new Squadron’s...