Corporal Mike Gilyeat, Royal Military Police
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Corporal Mike Gilyeat, Royal Military Police, was killed when the U.S. Chinook helicopter he was travelling in crashed in the Kajaki area of northern Helmand, believed to have been brought down by Taliban fire. He was a photographer attached to the Media Operations team based in Kandahar, and had been filming a U.S. air assault for a piece he was producing on the major alliance operation around Kajaki.
Corporal Gilyeat had followed his father into the Army in 2002, served in Iraq and Northern Ireland, and had volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan. He is remembered as being talented, dedicated and humorous.
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Smith said: “Cpl Gilyeat was a gifted and enthusiastic member of the team who had made a real difference in the time he had been in theatre. He was an eternally cheerful character who was always quick to lend a hand wherever it was needed and did so without complaint. Despite being an experienced and proud Military Policeman he was thriving in his first employment as a news photographer. He showed great flair and promise and had already produced several powerful images. In the six weeks he had been in theatre, he had struck up a close friendship with his fellow photographer Master Corporal Priede, with whom he enjoyed a constant stream of banter, usually centred on their friendly competitiveness over pictures. The tragic loss of both of them is something which has been keenly felt by everyone in our team; we miss their infectious enthusiasm, consummate professionalism and unwavering good humour.”
Mike, born in Hanover in Germany while his father was stationed there with the British Army, was 28 years old.