Corporal James Oakland, Royal Military Police
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police was killed in Afghanistan. He was mortally wounded by an IED while conducting a route search to clear devices in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. Corporal Oakland had joined the Army in 2002, passed out into the Intelligence Corps, then a year later transferred to the RMP. He had served in Kosovo and Beirut, and once before in Afghanistan. He qualified as a Class 1 RMP Investigator, passing with a very high standard and a recommendation for the Special Investigation Branch. He is remembered as personable and intelligent, popular and highly respected, an exemplary soldier. Major Andy Lewis said: "Corporal Oakland was one of the brightest stars in my company and it was an honour to serve alongside him. He was the man you wanted on your side in a difficult situation as he had been there many times before. A soldier’s soldier, he was in his element in the field; robust, devoted and utterly professional, he epitomised the RMP soldier in every aspect. It was on that basis that he was selected to go out to Afghanistan in advance of the main body. Then, as always, he was in the lead, taking the counter-IED fight to the enemy. He understood the risks but he never wavered. Never a man for ceremony, he let his actions speak for him and they did. The company is understandably shocked by his death and that such a pivotal character has been taken so cruelly." James, from New Moston, was 26 years old.