Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009 Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter, all of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, died in an explosion while on patrol near Sangin, Helmand province. Two of them died in an attempt to save the third.
Lance Corporal Fullarton had previously served in Northern Ireland and twice in Iraq. He had distinguished himself early, earning his place on a JNCO cadre and subsequent promotion to Lance Corporal. He is remembered as inspiring confidence and being a rock to his men, as a Section Commander and Section Second-in-Command. Major Jo Butterfill said: "Lance Corporal Fullarton was an excellent soldier and a committed and highly capable junior commander. Monstrously fit, strong and focused, he had a dry wit and a robustly disdainful attitude to operational hardship and danger that always put him at the very centre of his platoon’s collective sense of humour." James, from Coventry, was 24 years old and engaged to be married.
Fusilier Annis deployed to Afghanistan one month after his wedding, and it's noted that he approached his first operational tour as he did everything else in his life, with good humour and a professional attitude. His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, said: "Fusilier Simon Annis was a larger than life character, and a dedicated soldier. Always at the heart of whatever was going on, it was no surprise to me that he died whilst trying to save his mortally wounded Section Commander. He should be seen as a shining example to the nation of what selfless commitment really means." Simon, from Warrington, was 22 years old.
Fusilier Carter's childhood dream was to be a soldier. He joined the Army in 2007, and in 2009 on arrival in battalion he was sent out to join 3 Platoon, A Company, attached to the 2 RIFLES Battle Group, serving in Sangin. Lieutenant Alan Williamson said: "Fusilier Carter was one of my most junior soldiers but you would have never known this after meeting him. He was a quietly confident young soldier who faced the daunting task of operations in Afghanistan head on. He was always there to help out his friends whether it be carrying extra kit or just providing them with a comforting word. It will come as no surprise to those who knew him that he was killed whilst helping to CASEVAC his Section Commander. With a calm head and real courage he jumped onto the front of the stretcher with no thought for his own safety. I have no doubt in my mind that Fusilier Carter would have had a long and successful career ahead of him; he was already ahead of the curve. I will never forget this bright and personable young soldier. A true hero, rest in peace." Louis, from Nuneaton, was 18 years old.