Private John Brackpool, 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Private John Brackpool of Prince of Wales's Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed in Afghanistan. He had been on sentry duty near Char-e-Anjir, just outside Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, when the compound he was in was engaged by enemy fire and he was fatally wounded. Private Brackpool had already spent time with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, with whom he completed two tours of Kosovo and one of Iraq. He had left the Regular Army, but volunteered to serve with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for a six-month operational tour to Afghanistan. Even though he had not been part of battalion long, his Company Commander said he quickly made friends. "That an Englishman could be so quickly and genuinely brought into the fold of a Welsh platoon – one which had already seen considerable action before his arrival – was a testament to his remarkable character and good nature. He was an extremely likeable and engaging man. His laid back attitude and tremendous sense of humour - most often at his own expense - made him a hugely valued member of his platoon. Private Brackpool was with us for only a short time but will leave a lasting impression on all that met him, especially those in his platoon who had the privilege and pleasure of living and fighting alongside this charming, unselfish, friendly and genuine soldier." John, from Crawley in Sussex, was 27 years old and left behind a young son.