Guardsman Karl Whittle, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Guardsman Karl Whittle, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital from wounds sustained in Afghanistan. He had been shot on the 14th of August when his checkpoint was attacked by insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. He was on solitary sentry duty when four insurgents approached him, pulled weapons from beneath their robes and shot him twelve times from just a few feet away. They then attacked the main compound, while a medic tried to save Guardsman Whittle – he told the medic that he didn’t see them, they suddenly appeared from the tree line in front of him and he didn’t have time to return fire. Even though he said he knew he was going to die, he joked with those who were helping him, about being careful as they cut away his clothing, and telling them not to drop him as they carried him on a stretcher to the helicopter. He was airlifted to Camp Bastion and three days later was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where his condition deteriorated as his organs failed. Fellow Guardsmen remember him as the best of friends, kind, dedicated, and selfless. Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder said: "Guardsman Whittle was one of our very best. A great soldier and a young man of rare character, he was destined to go a very long way in the Army. Big, strong and full of fight, he battled hard against his injuries right to the very end. His loss has been keenly felt in a close battalion and our prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times. I am immensely proud of what Guardsman Whittle achieved out here in Afghanistan and more broadly during his military career. He was utterly committed to his fellow Guardsmen, his company and the mission. He will never be forgotten by either the battalion or the broader regimental family. Moreover, we are determined to maintain the high standards set by this most talented of Grenadiers." Karl, from Bristol, was 22 years old and left behind his fiancée and baby daughter.