Acting Sergeant John Amer, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Acting Sergeant John Amer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards died from wounds sustained as a result of an explosion in the Babaji area of central Helmand province. He was fatally injured by a booby-trapped bomb as he tried to help a comrade who had been injured in an earlier blast. He had enlisted in 1996 and served in the Falkland Islands and twice in Northern Ireland. He is remembered for his humour, professionalism and outstanding courage. Lieutenant Colonel Toby Gray said: “I have known him for 13 years and I have had the privilege of serving with him, as he progressed from Guardsman to Platoon Sergeant. He lived by the maxim ‘work hard, play hard’. He was at the centre of maintaining the morale of the Guardsmen in his platoon; whether ensuring they were fully prepared and briefed for the next patrol, checking on their welfare or just bantering with them. His grip and tenderness were keenly on display. He was like the benevolent uncle, respected and loved by them all. His soldiers were happy and proud to serve with a man with integrity, honour and one of the keenest senses of humour in the battalion. We have lost one of the very finest soldiers in the regiment. He died saving a comrade and doing the job he both loved and excelled at. To the last, he was thinking of others. As a brother-in-arms, there was no-one better. He leaves a gap in our hearts never to be filled.” John, from Sunderland, was 30 years old and married with a young daughter.