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R.E.M.E death in Afghanistan (21st September)

The Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) died in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan on Friday 21 September 2012.

Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups

Sergeant Kups was from Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He was born on 28 October 1973 and joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in June 1992 where he trained as an electronics technician. In the early years of his career, he specialised in radar and ground to air weapons, completing an operational tour in Northern Ireland.
As he progressed through his career he turned his expertise to the operation and repair of Electronic Warfare systems, subsequently completing a number of deployments with 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare).

In 2011 Sergeant Kups moved to 104 Force Support Battalion REME before being attached to 4 Close Support Battalion REME for its deployment on Operation HERRICK 16.
With his vast experience, Sergeant Kups was able to effectively lead and develop his soldiers in a very busy electronic repair section. A man of considerable military experience, Sergeant Kups was well respected by his section and by the unit as a whole.
Sergeant Kups’ untimely death is a great loss to his family and the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He leaves behind his wife and three children.



Royal Engineers death in Helmand (21st September 2012)

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of Captain James Anthony Townley from the Corps of Royal Engineers. He died in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan from wounds sustained whilst serving at Forward Operating Base Shawqat on Friday 21st September 2012.

Captain James Townley was born on 22 September 1982 in Tunbridge Wells. He grew up near Glastonbury in Somerset, going to school in the local area. Having received a first-class degree in Engineering and Computer Science from University College Oxford, he worked as a tax associate for Price Waterhouse Coopers before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2007.

He commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers in December 2007 and promoted to Lieutenant soon after completing his Royal Engineer Troop Commanders’ Course before serving in 28 Engineer Regiment, based in Hameln, Germany.

Captain Townley was an avid sportsman who enjoyed a wide variety of sports including skiing, mountain biking, kite surfing and sailing. Having rowed for his college at university, he later went on to represent the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and his regiment.

Captain Townley was attached to 21 Engineer Regiment from 28 Engineer Regiment for the duration of Operation Herrick 17. He deployed to Afghanistan on 5th September 2012 with 4 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 21 Engineer Regiment and was based in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province as the Battle Group Engineer supporting 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

Upon arrival, he immediately immersed himself in operations that directly supported the transition to Afghan-led security, providing specialist advice on engineer tasks and capabilities. He had quickly established himself as a professional and charismatic officer.

In his time with 28 Engineer Regiment he shone as an intelligent, experienced and highly competent individual who had great plans for the future. With unrivalled commitment to his soldiers, he combined consummate professionalism and ability with a personable, humorous and approachable character. Extremely popular with his fellow officers, Captain Townley lived life to the full and was at the heart of the Regiment both professionally and socially.

Above everything else, he will be remembered for his selfless commitment to every undertaking, his strength of character and his faultless integrity.

Captain James Townley, was a remarkable young man. He leaves behind his parents Peter and Jacqui, his brother Nick, and girlfriend Helen.

James’s family said:

“James was a wonderful, loving and caring son and brother. He was devoted to his girlfriend Helen. He was our guardian angel and our hero. We were so proud of him. He touched every part of our lives and his loss has left a huge chasm that we can never fill.

“James will never be forgotten and always in our hearts and thoughts.”

Captain James Townley

Famous quote by Jean-Paul Sartre

“When the rich make war it’s the poor that die.”

A very harsh, but sadly true quote.


TWO 3 York deaths in Helmand (16th September 2012)

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s) (3 YORKS) were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 15 September 2012.

The two men were shot and fatally wounded by a rogue Afghan Local Policeman in Checkpoint Tora in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
Both men served proudly and in the highest traditions of The Yorkshire Regiment. They will never be forgotten.

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said:
“I was saddened to hear of this cowardly act by a man wearing an Afghan Local Police uniform, which has taken the lives of two brave British soldiers.
“All of our thoughts are with the families of Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe. They gave their lives protecting Britain’s national security, helping to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for international terrorism.”


1st Battalion Grenadier Guards death (14th September 2012)

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Duane Groom, The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 14 September 2012.

Lance Corporal Groom was killed in action when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Duane Groom

Born on 7 April 1980 in Suva City, Fiji, Lance Corporal Groom joined the British Army in 2007. Having completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, where he participated in public duties and ceremonial tasks at the Royal Palaces.
Two years later he joined 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, participating in an overseas training exercise in Kenya before deploying to Afghanistan in September 2009 with The Queen’s Company.

Upon his return he made full use of his time, taking part in the Infantry Skiing Championships in early 2011 and attending a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre in January 2012. Newly promoted, he deployed to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty on 7 April 2012 as a member of the Operations Company for Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North).
As well as working with his parent company, for seven weeks of the tour he provided force protection for British military advisors to the Afghan National Army. It was in this role, while protecting his Afghan and British colleagues as they extracted from a successful operation that he was sadly killed.

Lance Corporal Groom was a superb soldier. Fit, conscientious and extremely hard-working, he displayed great potential. Operationally experienced, he was always willing to help others and was widely respected and liked by all. Although quiet and reserved, he possessed a great sense of humour and always had a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.


Light Dragoons death in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Lee Paul Davidson of the Light Dragoons was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 9 September 2012.
Sergeant Davidson deployed to Afghanistan on 16 April 2012 as the Troop Sergeant of Support Troop with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. In June, his Troop was formed into a Police Advisory Team as part of the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group. He was based at Patrol Base Clifton in the north west of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province.
On 9 September 2012, Sergeant Davidson’s Police Advisory Team was on patrol with the Afghan Uniform Police in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. Sergeant Davidson’s Ridgback, the rear vehicle of the column, struck an improvised explosive device (IED) and, sadly, he was fatally wounded.

Sergeant Lee Paul Davidson
Born on 13 May 1980, Sergeant Davidson lived in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and started his working life as a pavement re-surfacer. He joined the Army in August 1998 and arrived at The Light Dragoons in January 1999. He deployed on operational tours to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan with C Squadron known as The Legion.
He was subsequently posted to the Army Foundation College at Harrogate where he flourished as an instructor to junior soldiers. He demanded the highest professional standards but always led with the forgiving nature of a father.
He returned to the Regiment in 2011, after marrying his wife Samantha, to become a Troop Sergeant in A Squadron. He was a devoted husband to Sam and doting father to his two boys, Jayden and Jamie.
Sergeant Davidson’s wife Samantha paid the following tribute: “My gorgeous husband Lee, we all can’t believe you have gone. You are my best friend, lover and the best husband and father I could have ever have wished for. You really are the total package – good looking, kind, loving, generous and the best dad I have ever known.
“Your memories we had together will be treasured in my mind and heart forever, your children will grow up knowing all this about you. You will never be forgotten. NEVER. All our love your Samantha, Jayden, Jamie and your little daughter who’s on the way very soon. X”


1st Battalion Grenadier Guards death.

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The soldier was serving within the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province when he was injured as a result of enemy action on 14 August 2012. The soldier was flown back to the UK for treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where, sadly, he succumbed to his wounds on 7 September 2012.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Ian Lawrence, said: “It is my duty to inform that, very sadly, a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has died as a result of wounds sustained while on duty in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone serving in Task Force Helmand are extended to his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

I know i usually post about myself on my WordPress, but I believe these soldiers deserve the highest respect possible. They are all volunteers wanting to fight for his country and this is the main reason why I myself can’t wait to get started.

The soldier has been named. Karl Whittle