Sergeant Lee Andrew Houltram, Royal Marines
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Sergeant Lee Andrew (Andy) Houltram of the Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan. He was one of a group of commandos assigned to destroy a Taliban bomb-making factory. According to reports, he led the attack by fast-roping into the enemy compound from a helicopter. As a firefight broke out, several mortar shells were detonated killing him and wounding three others. Despite those losses, the SBS mission was declared a success as the bomb-making factory was destroyed, with the Taliban sustaining even greater losses. Sgt. Houltram had been in the SBS more than a decade, and from a previous Afghanistan deployment he received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Operational Honours List of July 2008. One of his colleagues paid this tribute: "Andy was a legend in the unit. A jock with a lot of charm, but also hard as nails. All the young lads used to look up to him as someone they could aim to be like with a lot of hard work. His death is a massive loss, and has hit us all hard." Andy, from Cowie in Stirlingshire, was 33 years old and engaged to be married.