Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Captain Rupert Bowers, 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (attached to 2nd Battalion, The Rifles) was killed in an IED explosion on his third tour of Afghanistan. He had been working as an advisor to the Afghan National Army at Operating Base Ouellette, and was leading a patrol at the time of his death.
Captain Bowers had commissioned into 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in 2007. He then successfully passed the Platoon Commanders’ Battle Course and joined his regiment in Afghanistan – it was during this tour that he was Mentioned in Despatches due to his actions during what was described as a complex insurgent ambush. He went on to qualify as a Machine Gun Specialist.
Lieutenant Colonel Colin Marks said: “A gifted officer, he excelled in the field and was happiest when leading men in battle. Possessing the heart of a lion, already proven in battle, he continued to lead from the front and was wounded in action. During Operation HERRICK 15, he was a natural choice to lead an advisor team embedded within an Afghan National Army Tolay (Company) operating in an area in the north of Nahr-e Saraj, heavily contested by insurgents. Although officially attached to the Brigade Advisory Group, he spent his entire tour attached to 2 MERCIAN and was among his closest friends and comrades right to the end. The bravest of the brave, he died as he lived, leading from the front in the face of the enemy. Full of character, Rupert was fun to be around all the time and I enjoyed his company very much. We talked for hours about his love of piano music and he always made me feel happy because he was such a sincere and fun-loving person. His brother officers loved him dearly and we will remember him for his infectious smile and wicked sense of humour.”
Rupert, from Wolverhampton, was 24 years old and married with a newborn son.