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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Andrew Fentiman, 7th Battalion, The Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Rifleman Andrew Fentiman (7th Battalion The Rifles (7 RIFLES), attached to the 3 RIFLES Battle Group) was killed as a result of small arms fire whilst on a foot patrol near Sangin in central Helmand province. He had only been in Afghanistan for two weeks. Before enlisting he read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leicester, then went on to become a regional sales manager for a software firm; he had enlisted to gain experience before going on to seek a commission. Lieutenant Ben Heap paid this tribute: “A likeable young man who had made a clear decision that he wanted to complete an operational tour by committing to train as a Rifleman by giving up his job. On the face of it an unlikely character to become an infanteer, he was very focused on serving in the Army and worked hard to reach the standard required in order to deploy with 3 RIFLES. He had a kind, gentle and cheerful manner and showed great consideration for others in everything he did. He was obviously happiest most when working alongside his section in the most challenging of circumstances, while still remaining to be a source of morale in the face of adversity. He died alongside his friends doing a job he loved.” In a blog from the frontline, he described his Afghan base as calm and was cheered by the cheap cigarettes, but worried troops were still waiting for the body armour and helmets they had been promised. Andrew, from Cambridge, was 23 years old.

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