Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Sergeant Luke Taylor, Royal Marines, and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, Adjutant General’s Corps, were killed in Afghanistan. They were shot and killed at the main entrance to Lashkar Gah Main Operating Base by an Afghan soldier who was described as having a personal grievance. He was shot dead at the scene.
Sergeant Taylor had joined the Royal Marines in 1997, and had arrived in Afghanistan just four weeks before his death. He was well-liked, professional, self-less, and ready for any challenge.
His Commanding Officer (who was not named on the MoD site due to the nature of his work) said of him: “Sergeant Luke Taylor was one of those very unique ‘soldiers’ who combined the highest professional standards with a completely disarming and relaxed personality. Always an absolute pleasure to work with, you knew that Sergeant Taylor would deliver first time, every time. With a wealth of experience under his belt, he was fearless and would tackle every challenge head on with his usual charismatic but direct approach. He was a natural focal point; those junior would look up to him, those above would listen when he spoke. Physically robust, he was a great sportsman and always led from the front. And that is how I will remember him - a natural leader with inspirational flair who was devoted to his family.”
Luke, from Bournemouth, was 33 years old and married with a three-year-old son.
Lance Corporal Foley had enlisted in the army in 2003, and six months later joined the Royal Logistic Corps. He retraded to become a Combat Human Resources Specialist and served in Germany before being deployed to Afghanistan in September, 2011.
Warrant Officer Class 1 (Staff Sergeant Major) Paul Phillips said of him: “I first met Lance Corporal ‘Axel’ Foley when he joined the Brigade in December 2010. He was the epitome of all that you would want and expect in a good JNCO. Bright, intelligent and extremely fit, he was one of those men to whom you turn to when you want something done quickly and to the highest standard. Always cheerful, polite and full of fun, he was a true gentleman who I valued deeply. He was massively respected by all ranks within the Headquarters and will be sorely missed. A true professional with a genuine love of the Army, he thrived in the operational environment and was immensely effective. He was quite simply, the heart and soul of his detachment, a good friend to the men who loved him, and a dedicated family man. He will be sorely missed by us all.”
Michael, from Burnley in Lancashire, was 25 years old and married with three sons.