Grenadier Guards

[ Grenadier Guards Association Website ]

Grenadier Guards Association Website

Another Grenadier Guards site

[ Guardsman Simon Davison  ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman Simon Davison from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 3 May 2007. Guardsman Davison was killed by small arms fire while manning a checkpoint near the town of Garmsir in Helmand Province and was operating from Patrol Base Delhi in Garmsir District Centre, southern Helmand Province. In the early hours of Thursday morning, Guardsman Davison had formed part of a team manning the district centre’s Eastern Checkpoint. At 0645 hours local time the checkpoint came under attack from a force of between eight and ten lightly-armed Taliban fighters. The Grenadiers returned fire with small arms and during the ensuing gun battle Guardsman Davison, who was manning a General Purpose Machine Gun, sustained a gunshot wound. As the fire fight intensified, with the Taliban using Rocket Propelled Grenades as well as small arms, ISAF forces called in support from British artillery. 

[ Guardsman Davison ]

The coffin of Guardsman Simon Davison of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, who was killed by Taleban fighters in Southern Afghanistan, being carried out of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Cannock in Staffordshire, after his Funeral Mass on Tuesday 15 May 2007

From the "Independent Catholic News"

Fr Patrick Brennan, Parish Priest of St Mary's, celebrated the Funeral Mass, attended by close family and senior representatives from the Battalion as well as military colleagues and friends. Guardsman Davison's coffin, coved by a Union Jack, was carried in and out of the church by six young Grenadier guardsmen. On top of the coffin was his Forage Cap, headdress of his number two dress uniform together with his white belt and a wreath of red and white carnations.  Before the opening hymn, Abide with me, Fr Brennan, wearing white vestments, spoke about the "sacrifice and the service" of Guardsman Simon Davison being celebrated during the Requiem Mass. He added: "I am deeply impressed by the family and fraternity shown by the Grenadier Guards as they bid farewell to one of their own." It was a moving and prayerful service that included two short tributes to Guardsman Davison by his sister Caroline, and a young man who was at school with him in Cannock. Guardsman Davison's mother and father, Maureen and Ray, and his sister were left with their own thoughts and treasured memories of a son, a brother and a brave soldier as the hearse made its way slowly to the Crematorium in Stafford.  Guardsman Davison's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, said:  "Guardsman Simon Davison died fighting to protect other Grenadiers and gave his life in doing so. There is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform."

Guardsman Davison was pulled out of the firing line by members of the Quick Reaction Force from Patrol Base Delhi and was then flown to the medical facilities at Camp Bastion, the main British base in the area. Despite their best efforts, the medical teams on the helicopter and at the base were unable to save his life. Meanwhile the engagement continued at the Eastern Checkpoint; two Dutch F16 aircraft arrived to provide air support and, at around 0830 hours, a 500lb bomb was dropped on the Taliban firing position. The remainder of the team who had been engaged by the Taliban were then relieved by incoming troops and were able to return to base. Guardsman Simon Davison, aged 22, was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and attended Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic High School in Cannock and then went to Stafford College. His interests ranged from Thai boxing to carpentry, which was his profession before he became a soldier.  He joined the Army in August 2005 and was posted to 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in March 2006 after completing his training as an infantry soldier at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. Guardsman Davison leaves behind his Mother Maureen Hindmarch, Father Ray Davison, and Sister Caroline. Guardsman Davison’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, said: "Guardsman Simon Davison always wanted to be soldier. As a Grenadier he was immensely proud of the uniform he wore, be it tunic and bearskin or combats. Well known for his ability to find a smile even in the most adverse of conditions he was a soldier who could be relied on to work hard at whatever was asked of him.  "Reliable and trustworthy are the two words most used when his colleagues describe him. He died fighting to protect other Grenadiers and gave his life in doing so. There is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform. Guardsman Davison was a popular soldier who will be sorely missed and never forgotten." His Company Commander, Major Will Mace, added:  "It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce the death of Simon Davison whilst serving on operations in Afghanistan on 3 May 2007. He died bravely, repelling a Taliban attack on the Eastern Checkpoint, a key location for the protection of Garmsir District Centre, southern Helmand Province.  "Simon Davison was a soldier of the highest calibre and it is tribute to his professionalism and strong character that he fell while performing his duties and protecting his friends. His death is a great loss to the company, and the thoughts of all of us are very much with his family at this tragic time." His Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Stuart Jubb, said:  "Simon Davison was a key character in my Platoon. He was popular, hard working and could always be relied upon to raise the morale of the platoon at low moments. His professionalism as a Guardsman was second to none, whether serving on operations or performing duties at Buckingham Palace.  "He loved his family and was very proud of his sister and his young niece. He often talked about them and had pictures on his wall. Outside the Army, Simon was a keen Thai boxer and threw himself into the Army social life with gusto. He will be sorely missed by his comrades in the Platoon and our thoughts are with his family and friends." His Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant Matthew Betts, said: "Simon was a diligent and smart Guardsman who I had the pleasure of having in my platoon for over a year and a half. I worked with the young man on ceremonial duties in London, trained for operations and served with him in Afghanistan, where he was someone you could depend upon. It was a testament to his self discipline and professionalism that Simon lost his life in action.  "This is a great tribute to him, defending his friends from harm. Simon will be sorely missed in the Platoon. His easy going smile, character and sense of humour, even in extreme adversity, made him a very special person. His loss will be felt everyday by his friends and our thoughts are with his family, who although grieving, should take solace in the fact that Simon at a crucial point did not shrink from his duty, but faced the enemy with outstanding courage whilst under fire." Guardsman Thomas Eyre, a good friend who served with Guardsman Davison in Afghanistan, said: "It is pretty hard to imagine what the friends and family are feeling when they read this. In the past five or six months, working closely with him, I got to know 'Davo' really well. He enjoyed his job and tried his hardest at everything, but that is not how I remember him. I remember him as an outgoing mate who thought he was a ladies man.  "He always stuck up for his mates and looked after them. While out here he referred to his beard as a golden main, like a lion and comments like this would keep morale up. He went down defending his section, which was how he lived, sticking up for his mates. I and all his friends will miss and think of him always. It brings back an old saying that there is ‘no greater love as a man, than to lay down his life for his friends’." Guardsman Jason Lee, who trained with Guardsman Davison, said:  "To the friends and family of Simon I know that no words I say will console your recent loss, but I hope these will in some way. Simon was a good friend of mine in training, in Nijmegen Company in London and when we both joined the Battalion. He was a professional soldier who took pride in what he did. No matter where he was, he liked to enjoy himself and let his hair down. I will miss his personality and how he always raised morale for the lads when times were good or bad. From me and all the boys in One Platoon, he will be dearly missed." Guardsman Alan Davies, a close friend, said:  "Simon was one of my very good mates. He was a gentleman in every way and could always be relied upon to make people laugh. I would like to tell his parents that we are all very sorry for the loss of your son, who was a great mate and great member of the Platoon. We will miss him everyday."

[ Guardsman Daniel Probyn ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman Daniel Probyn killed in Afghanistan, on Saturday 26 May 2007, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards


ARMY comrades, family and friends were united in grief for the funeral of a brave Black Country soldier killed in Afghanistan. Guardsman Probyn, a former Tividale High School pupil, was serving with the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. His funeral service, with full military honours, took place yesterday afternoon at Christ Church, Quarry Bank. It was followed by a cremation at Gornal Wood Crematorium His coffin arrived at the church draped in the Union flag. The High Street in Quarry Bank had been closed off for the funeral and the road was lined with locals and shopkeepers paying their respects.

Guardsman Daniel Probyn killed in Afghanistan, on Saturday 26 May 2007, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Guardsman Probyn from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards died in an explosion during an offensive operation to clear a Taliban stronghold on the outskirts of the town of Garmsir, in Southern Helmand. Four soldiers from the battalion were also injured in the incident. Guardsman Probyn was part of a force of British soldiers who left their base near Garmsir during the evening of 25 May 2007. Their mission was to clear the Taliban occupied compound. A force of British soldiers left their base near Garmsir, in Helmand Province, to carry out offensive operations against the Taliban during the evening of Friday 25 May 2007. Their mission was to clear a Taliban occupied compound on the outskirts of the town. After engaging and destroying a Taliban stronghold with combined artillery, mortar and small arms fire, the force began clearing the Taliban positions. During this phase of the operation there was an explosion at around midnight, which resulted in five casualties. The casualties were extracted back to a safe location, while under fire from the Taliban, and were met by a medical team who sadly pronounced Guardsman Probyn dead at the scene. The Immediate Response Team (IRT), which provides specialist medical cover to UK forces, was called for and evacuated Guardsman Probyn and the three seriously injured casualties to the UK field hospital at Camp Bastion by helicopter. The remaining casualty had received very minor injuries that were treated locally. The patrol returned to base, The three remaining casualties are still receiving treatment for their injuries. Guardsman Daniel Probyn, aged 22, was from Tipton. He joined the Army in 2003 and had previously served in Iraq during Op TELIC 5 and Op TELIC 8. He was a keen rugby player and also a dedicated supporter of West Bromwich Albion.  Lt Col AGC Hatherley, Commanding Officer, 1st Bn Grenadier Guards said: "Guardsman Probyn was a larger than life character both on and off duty, and was a dependable and loyal friend to all who knew him. He excelled as a soldier, whether in tunic and bearskin or combats, and was held in the highest regard by all who served alongside him. "He had tirelessly fought the Taliban just hours earlier at the side of the others in his platoon when he was killed in a second action. Totally focused on the mission and determined to prevail he died in the company of those Grenadiers he had previously fought to protect. He gave his life in selfless service to his country and his courage is an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten." Lt Col Angus Watson, Commanding Officer, The Light Dragoons and Battle Group (South) said:  "Guardsman Daniel Probyn was a soldier of the highest calibre, and wholly committed to his chosen profession. He clearly loved being a soldier, and a Grenadier in particular. As one would expect of him, he died showing courage and professionalism of the highest order, seeking to protect the lives of his comrades and taking the fight to the enemy. The thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences of the whole Battle Group are with his girlfriend, his family and his wide circle of friends." Major Will Mace (Company Commander) said:  "Guardsman Probyn was without question one of the very best soldiers in the Company. Consummately professional in everything he did, he was one of those men who always delivered a thousand times more than was asked of him. He was completely dedicated to his job and to the men around him, making him both a pleasure and an honour to command. He loved soldiering and so died doing something he loved and believed in totally. He died during an intense contact with enemy forces, bravely carrying out his duty and protecting those he was fighting alongside. "Guardsman Probyn was not only a great soldier but also a great character, always ready with a laugh and a joke. Every aspect of his character made him loved and respected by all. "His family and girlfriend have our deepest sympathies and our thoughts will be with them always." Lieutenant Andrew Tiernan (Platoon Commander) said:  "Guardsman Daniel Probyn was quite simply the most outstanding soldier I have ever come across and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the pleasure of serving alongside him on operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Guardsman Probyn was respected by everyone in 3 Platoon and was looked up to by the younger and more inexperienced members of the Platoon, to whom Guardsman Probyn was an inspiration. He was an exceptionally professional Guardsman and thus had an intensity about him that rubbed off on those around him. Yet Guardsman Probyn always maintained a sense of humour and was more often than not at the heart of Platoon banter. "As is typical of the man, Guardsman Probyn warned his fellow soldiers of a potential threat just prior to the explosion that killed him, making them move away from his position in a selfless act which saved their lives. He died whilst engaging with the enemy and protecting those who were fighting alongside him. Guardsman Probyn was a legend within the Platoon and indeed the Company, and now he will remain a legend forever more. Guardsman Probyn is a hero to all of us and will be remembered as such. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his girlfriend Michelle, to whom he was devoted and with whom he intended to spend the rest of his life." Lance Corporal Pete Bocock said: "Guardsman Daniel Probyn was a great friend and someone who was completely reliable, as a soldier and a mate. He was always up for a laugh and would stand by his mates in any situation. I had the pleasure of meeting “Probes” when we deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a Grenadier section attached to the Welsh Guards. It was during this time that we became close. Probes was a great lad, an awesome soldier and somebody you would always want by your side, be it in battle or going out for a drink. Probes will be massively missed by me and the rest of 3 Platoon. We will always remember him." Lance Corporal Andrew Thomas said: "Danny was a friend you could always rely on, either when we were in Civvie Street or in the Army. I have great memories of him, like serving with him in Iraq and going on a great holiday with him and the “Malia 8” lads. I will always remember Danny as one of the best soldiers I have ever known and worked with. He was more than just a friend to people that knew him; I guess you could say he was like a brother." Guardsman Keith Rowlatt said: "Probyn was a great mate. He always has been and he always will be. He will be greatly missed. We all loved him like a brother. He would always go out of his way to give you a helping hand. Probyn sadly lost his life doing what he loved to do and he was not just good at his job, he was the best Guardsman I have worked with. It has been a privilege to work alongside him. Probyn will be forever missed and he will be in my thoughts for the rest of my life. He was friendly, loving and funny."

[ Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes from the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards was killed in Afghanistan in Helmand province, on Saturday 9 June 2007. Guardsman Downes's vehicle was hit by an explosion when on a patrol with the Afghan National Army close to the town of Sangin in Helmand province. The Grenadier Guards and the ANA had been taking part in an operation to help widen and deepen irrigation ditches for locals in the area. Guardsman Downes died from the injuries he sustained in the explosion. 

Guardsman Tony Downes, aged 20, was from Manchester. He joined the army in 2004 and had already completed one tour in Iraq with the Grenadier Guards in 2006.

[ Guardsman Tony Downes ]

Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Always full of energy and enthusiasm, his intellect and humour constantly shone through the darkest of situations. He was a resolute and steadfast friend to all who knew him. He excelled as a soldier, whether in tunic and bearskin or combats, and was held in the highest regard by all who had the pleasure to serve alongside him. "Over the previous twelve weeks he had fought alongside his fellow Grenadiers and the Afghan National Army soldiers against the Taliban, never once flinching from his duty. He gave his life in selfless service to his country. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten." Company Commander The Inkerman Company, Major Marcus JG Elliot-Square, said of him: "Guardsman Downes was without doubt one of the most remarkable Guardsmen that I have had the pleasure to serve with. He was a man of huge intellect. In possession of sixteen GCSEs he was always going to be the Company's choice as intelligence rep. This was a responsibility that he fully embraced always willing to give informed briefs at a moments notice. "He had developed such a depth of understanding about the areas that we worked in that the Company was always well prepared. Consummately professional in everything he did, he never stopped gathering vital intelligence whilst on patrol in areas such as Sangin, Gereshk and Babaji. "He was completely dedicated to his job and to the men around him, making him both a pleasure and an honour to command. Guardsman Downes loved soldiering and so died doing something he loved and believed in totally. Guardsman Downes added so much to the Company and asked for very little in return. He was a real asset and his loss will be felt keenly within The Inkerman Company and The Grenadier Guards as a whole. "His family and girlfriend have our deepest sympathies and our thoughts will be with them always." Company Second in Command, Captain Alex Corbet Burcher, added: "Guardsman Downes was a bright, enthusiastic, hard working Guardsman who loved his Company, his Regiment and the Army. He was a pleasure to work with and was never afraid to tackle any challenges that arose. He never complained, and could always see the positive side to a situation. His character endeared him to all the men. He was a good soldier, a good friend and will be greatly missed." Company Sergeant Major The Inkerman Company, CSM Wayne Scully, said: "Guardsman Downes was an intelligent, honest, trustworthy Guardsman. During his second operational tour with The Inkerman Company his professionalism was consistent throughout." "Guardsman Downes was manning the Grenade Machine Gun in my WMIK, a job which he conducted with great humour and relish. It was an unenviable job being a Guardsman in the Company Sergeant Major's wagon, but one that he took in his stride."  "Guardsman Downes was one of those Guardsmen that a Company Sergeant Major would say, 'I wish we had more like Downes.' It was honestly an honour and a pleasure to have 'Downsie' as a member of The Inkerman Company. He will never be forgotten."  His friend, Guardsman Richard Brown, said:  "Guardsman Downes was one of my closest friends in the Grenadier Guards. I have known him since training. We went to Nijmegen Company together and then joined the Battalion and the same company together. He was a character, always up for going out and having fun. He enjoyed his job, loved his family and his girlfriend Jane. He is a friend I'll miss forever." Guardsman Jamie Kemp said: "Guardsman Downes was a good lad, who always had a smile on his face. You could always have a laugh and a joke with him. He loved the army and loved being in it and everybody thought he was good."  Guardsman Mike Piantkiwskyj said: "Words cannot describe Tony. He had a million watt smile and a sense of humour that could stir even the coldest heart. He had an enthusiasm that was infectious and a mature level head. "He would want to be remembered as a professional soldier, and as a friend to all who knew him. He died doing the job he loved and will be remembered with great affection by all who knew him. All our lives are now richer for having known him. To his family go all our sympathies. It is a shattering blow."

It is a poignant declaration of love to the woman with whom he had hoped to spend his life. The letter by Guardsman Neil Downes, 20, also reveals the innocence of the fresh-faced soldier - full of life and jokes, despite being sent off to war.

Jane Little, 19, pictured with her boyfriend Neil Downes

Jane Little together with Neil Downes' father Ronnie and a picture of boyfriend Guardsman Neil Downes

"He believed that he was helping other people and he believed that he was giving people a better life."  Miss Little described her boyfriend as a "remarkable soldier with a million-watt smile", who would write, send text messages and phone her whenever he could. Guardsman Downes also wrote another letter to his parents, Sheryl and Ronnie, that was to be opened only in the event of his death.  Mrs Downes said: "All Tony ever wanted to do was to be in the Army. It was his life. "His studies were his priority at school but as soon as he could he joined up for the Army. "We are very proud that he served as a soldier. We wouldn't have stood in his way." In the letter to them, he wrote: "Please do not be mad at what has happened. I did what I had to do and serving the British Army was it.

[ Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes ]

The final letter in full ...

Hey beautiful, I'm sorry I had to put you through all this darling. I'm truly sorry. Just thought I'll leave you with a last few words. All I wanna say is how much I loved you, and cared for you. You are the apple of my eye, and I will be watching over you always. Mary-Jane, Ian, Tom, Craig, Lee, thank you all for accepting me in to be able to care for your daughter/sister. I will not forget how nice you have been to me! Bet now my bloody lottery numbers will come up! Ha ha. Jane I hope you have a wonderful and fulfilling life! Get married, have children, etc! I will love you forever and will see you again when you're old and wrinkly! I have told my parents to leave you some money out of my insurance so have fun bbz! Ok...gonna go now beautiful.

Love you forever.

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman Daryl Hickey from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Southern Afghanistan on Thursday 12 July 2007.

Guardsman Hickey of The Queen's Company had been working with Somme Company since the beginning of the year. He was killed whilst his Somme Company platoon was operating in support of 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (1 WFR) Battlegroup.  1 WFR are currently undertaking operations alongside Afghan National Security Forces to improve security in the Gereshk region of the Helmand River valley. He was part of a fire team providing covering fire as others in his platoon assaulted a Taliban position. The assault was successful. The underlying purpose of these operations is to create the conditions for a further expansion of Government of Afghanistan influence and increased reconstruction and development in Helmand. During the enemy contact, Guardsman Hickey suffered a gunshot wound at approximately 0800 hours local time. He was rapidly evacuated by helicopter and despite the very best efforts of emergency medical staff he was pronounced dead on arrival at the field hospital. Two other soldiers were injured in another part of the same operation and they are now receiving medical treatment. Guardsman Daryl Hickey, aged 27, was from Birmingham. He joined the army in 2001, after completing initial training, he was posted to The Queen’s Company where he completed operational tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq, before deploying to Afghanistan in April this year. Guardsman Hickey was a keen supporter of his local football team, Birmingham City. He enjoyed playing sports with his friends in the regiment, whether it was on the football field or over a game on his computer. His family was always a large part of his life.

MOURNERS lined the streets in pouring rain to say a sad final farewell to a brave Birmingham soldier killed in action while protecting colleagues in Afghanistan. Fifty guards in ceremonial uniform were on parade for the 27-year-old devoted Blues fan from Rutland Drive, Yardley. His sister, Elaine, read a eulogy at the service in the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church on Coventry Road.

His Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Guardsman Hickey was a quiet and thoughtful character who was fun to be with both on and off duty. Immensely proud to be a Grenadier, whether in tunic and bearskin or combats, he was held in the highest regard by all who served alongside him. We knew each other well enough that he could joke with me whenever we met, it was invariably at my expense. "He had been fighting the Taliban on an operation that had at times been nothing short of ferocious, shoulder to shoulder with the others in his platoon, and in whose company he also died. He gave his life in selfless service to his country and his courage and determination is an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten." Major Mick Blake, Somme Company, said of him: "Guardsman Hickey was a very proud Grenadier, a credit to his battalion. Due to his age and maturity, he was always a strong guide to all the young Guardsmen and Territorials within Somme Company. He was very proud of being part of The Queen’s Company. He could be a quiet and reserved person, but was always a dedicated soldier. He will be greatly missed by all ranks of Somme Company." Colour Sergeant Hampson said: "Daryl was a unique character with a unique sense of humour. His great personality made him the very popular member of The Queen’s Company that he was. It was always a pleasure to be in his presence, his relaxed and sometimes quiet ways made him very easy to work with. The times we worked together I knew I was in good company and could always rely on him to carry out his duties in a truly professional manner as he would always take pride in everything he did. "I can honestly say that everybody in The Queen's Company who has lived, socialised and worked alongside Daryl over the years is greatly saddened by his loss. I can also say that I am proud to have known and worked with such a man."

Lance Sergeant Nick Rowe said: "Guardsman Hickey was a pleasure to work with and had a great sense of humour. He was always an asset and a proud member of The Queen’s Company. Hickey was sometimes quiet, but would often become the life of any party and I enjoyed drinking and relaxing with him. I was glad to know him and he will be greatly missed by all ranks in the company." Lance Sergeant Adam Ball and Lance Corporal Keith Maskell said: "We knew Guardsman Hickey for over four years. He was always full of life and very proud to be in The Queen’s Company. Hickey was a really great lad who brought both morale and laughter to everything he did. A great team player and someone who was very helpful to others, he will be remembered for his passion towards his football team, Birmingham City, and his Brummy accent will be sadly missed." Guardsman Garry Casburn said: "I first knew of Daryl when he came to The Queen's Company in Northern Ireland. Although a quiet lad at first, his larger than life personality soon came through. I worked closely with Daryl for nearly four years. He was a truly reliable, honest and fun guy. It was a pleasure to work with him and it was an honour to call him my friend. He will be sadly missed by myself and all those who knew him. My thoughts are with his family at this tragic time." Guardsman Scott Pountney said: "I knew Daryl Hickey for over six years and he was always the life and soul of any party. Hicks was always smiling and finding ways to wind people up with his quick wit and wry sense of humour. Hicks and I always exchanged banter about football; he was a passionate Birmingham City supporter and whilst I support Coventry City, this made me the brunt of most of his jokes about football. Hicks was a true professional. I am a better person for knowing him and my thoughts are with his family and friends." Guardsman Nicholas Wilkins said: "He had a character of kindness and he was always helping everyone. His Brummy accent always made us laugh and this would boost our morale." Guardsman Martin Jolley said: "When Hickey first started working with other Guardsmen fresh from Nijmegen Company, he was someone who we could all look up to and who always set us in the right direction if we needed it." Guardsman Damien Hill said: "For the time that we knew him we grew into a small gang of Guardsmen who respected Hickey for the kind soldier he was." Guardsman David Stevens said: "All the Guardsmen in Somme Company are devastated for the loss of Hickey. He was a true Grenadier who fought for what he believed in and loved so much."

[ Guardsman David Atherton ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman David Atherton from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards killed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday 26 July 2007.

Guardsman Atherton was serving in the Anti-Tank section in Number 3 Company, the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. The Company, serving as part of Battle Group South, is currently deployed on Operation CHAKUSH, a deliberate operation to defeat the Taliban in the Upper Gereshk Valley in order to create the security conditions to allow reconstruction and development to flourish.

The operation was in its third day of fighting when Guardsman Atherton was killed during a fierce fire fight against Taliban fighters near the village of Mirmandab. He had just successfully engaged a Taliban position with a Javelin anti-tank missile when he was shot. His brave actions helped to neutralise the enemy threat and enabled his Company to advance safely. Guardsman David Atherton, aged 25, was from Manchester. He joined the Army in 2002 and had already completed operational tours in Bosnia and Iraq. Colonel Angus Watson MBE, Commanding Officer Battle Group (South), said: "The tragic death of Guardsman Atherton this morning on Op CHAKUSH has been keenly felt across the Battle Group. He died as his company was going forward, bravely taking the fight to a tenacious and determined enemy. Guardsman Atherton was a character, well known and much liked by all members of Number 3 Coy, and he will be sorely missed by his comrades both in The Grenadier Guards and in Battle Group (South)." "Guardsman Atherton was a real character and a good friend to all who knew him. Whether he was conducting ceremonial duties in London in his tunic and bearskin, or fighting in combats, he was immensely proud to be a Grenadier. He was highly respected by all who served alongside him."

Captain Rupert King-Evans, his Company Commander, said: "When Number 3 Company was re-formed last year for operations in Afghanistan, I had a lot of new people to get to know. Guardsman Atherton stood out from the beginning for his cheerful demeanour, boundless enthusiasm and enormous personality. 'Jaffa' was a member of the Anti-Tank Platoon and has proved his ability during countless engagements on this tour. "He was an excellent soldier and was someone who could be relied upon, both at home in England and on operations. I am privileged to have known him and my thoughts and those of the entire Company go out to his family, especially his girlfriend and young daughter. Guardsman Atherton was a real character and he will always be remembered." Lance Sergeant Robert Pancott, his Section Commander, said: "David was known to everyone as Jaffa. As his Section Commander I couldn't have asked for a better soldier. He was always first to volunteer and he never let anything get him down. He loved to be at the forefront of any banter and he would always be cracking jokes, usually at everyone else's expense! Jaffa was one of the characters that make Army life so enjoyable. He will be missed by everyone in the Battalion. I will never forget him." His friend Guardsman Carl Fairclough said: "Jaffa was a good mate that you could trust with your life. If you were ever feeling down he would always be there to cheer you up or help you out. He will be forever missed by his friends in the Anti-Tanks." Another friend, Guardsman Robert Jones, said: "Jaffa was Jaffa. He was always playing jokes and always up for a laugh. He was forever smiling and joking, whatever the situation was, keeping everyone's morale up. A great soldier and a great mate." Guardsman Junior Adon added: "Jaffa was the sort of bloke you could rely on to get things done. He was always talking about his family and particularly his special daughter. He was a guy that can't be replaced and will always be missed." Guardsman Atherton's family have provided the following statement: "David was a professional and dedicated soldier. He loved the Army and it is hard to imagine him doing anything else. A kind, caring, loving, father, son, brother and boyfriend, he was considerate, thoughtful and the light of our life and the world will be a duller place without him.

[ Guardsman Jamie Janes ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman Jamie Janes, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, Killed in Afghanistan on Monday 5 October 2009. Guardsman Janes was killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a foot patrol near to Nad e-Ali district centre in central Helmand province. He was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device, which also wounded three of his colleagues. The explosion was followed up by an insurgent ambush which the patrol then had to fight off before evacuating the wounded soldiers. Unfortunately Guardsman Janes died en route to hospital. Guardsman Jamie Janes, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Guardsman Janes was a Guardsman in 6 Platoon, 2 Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Born on 16 May 1989 in Stafford, his family moved to Brighton when he was two. He attended Hove Park Comprehensive School and began his Army career at Harrogate Foundation College when he was 16, before moving to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. Guardsman Janes joined Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, in Woolwich, aged 17, where he carried out numerous state ceremonial and public duties. In 2007, on turning 18, he deployed to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards who were in Afghanistan. He spent four months on operations before returning to England. Between tours he deployed to the Falkland Islands and also conducted training exercises in Kenya with the Battalion. Guardsman Janes leaves behind his beloved girlfriend, Kate, three brothers (one of whom is serving in the British Army), two sisters, and his mother. Guardsman Janes' experience and professionalism from his previous tour of Afghanistan ensured he was a reliable and dependable individual whatever the circumstances. He was a natural soldier, comfortable on operations in testing circumstances, and he had a very promising career ahead of him.

[ Guardsman Jamie Janes ]

Yesterday Mum Jacqueline and girlfriend Kate Woolley were joined by hundreds of mourners at St Philip's Church in Hove, East Sussex. Rev Peter Hewlett-Smith, chaplain to the Grenadier Guards, told them Jamie showed "selfless commitment, physical and moral courage". His coffin, wrapped in the Union flag, was carried from the church by his comrades. Jamie, one of six children, was buried at Hove cemetery.

[ Guardsman Jamie Janes ]

[ Guardsman Jamie Janes ]

Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer of the Grenadier Guards Battle Group, said: "So early in our tour, the tragic death of one of our brave young men comes as a shock. Jamie was a soldier to his heart, and a friend to all. He knew the dangers he would face in Afghanistan but he had the courage to keep soldiering. He stood tall amongst his fellow men as an experienced hand who willingly stepped forward to take on the difficult task of clearing routes, and he gave the less experienced soldiers in his section huge confidence. He leaves behind a strong impression and his memory will inspire us. I am hugely proud of him, and humbled by his sacrifice." Major Richard Green, Guardsman Janes' Company Commander, said: "Guardsman Janes was an integral member of 2 Company, both on a professional level and as a constant source of morale. His experience and cool head reassured the younger, less experienced Guardsmen and set their minds at ease as they began to come to terms with the task at hand. He died in the way he lived; protecting his friends from danger; a true Grenadier. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his girlfriend Kate, whom I know he cared deeply about, and all his friends both here and at home." Lieutenant Alexander Rawlins, his Platoon Commander, said: "I worked with Jamie since joining the Battalion in late 2007. He was an enthusiastic, passionate man who took both his job and his friends very seriously. Never afraid to speak his mind, he was painfully honest and always had something to say. Professionally and socially, he was an integral part of 6 Platoon, good at his job and was always up for a laugh. He would speak often of his girlfriend, Kate, whom he loved very much and with whom he was hoping to start a family. He died as a result of wounds he received whilst on patrol, clearing safe passage for his comrades. He will be sorely missed by the platoon and all who knew him." Company Sergeant Major Matthew Boak, his Company Sergeant Major, said: "I've known Guardsman Janes since I took over as Company Sergeant Major 2 Company in October 2008 and it became very apparent that Jamie was one of the likely lads, the one that would chance his arm in camp, trying to get away with whatever he could. In the field he more than made up for the extra work he created when in camp. He was an asset to his Section, his Platoon and to the Company. Guardsman Janes will be sadly missed and my thoughts go to Kate, his family and friends." Lance Sergeant Arron Harris, his Section Commander, said: "I met Jamie in Wellington Barracks shortly before we deployed. I was aware of his previous operational experience and he very quickly proved his worth during the final stages of our training. Jamie was a person I relied on heavily. His position in my section meant he created a safe passage for me and the rest of the lads whenever we went out on patrol. He was totally professional in everything he did and was a role model to the other lads who didn't share the same operational experience. As a Section Commander I know I will struggle to find somebody as capable and reliable as Jamie. As a friend and comrade, although I didn't know him for long, I know the atmosphere won't be the same without him. He will truly be missed." Guardsman Bradley-Dean Jones, a close friend in his section, said: "I've known Jamie Janes since we began training in 2005. He was a friend who was always there for me, as I was to him. We joked saying how when one of us was sent somewhere within the Army, the other was sure to follow through no fault of our own. We were well known as being like a married couple with all the arguments and disagreements we had over the littlest subjects, but we always ended up laughing about it, normally with a massive hug of some sorts. I wish Kate, his girlfriend, all my support in the coming times, as we have lost someone very close to us both." Guardsman Stephen Loader, a close friend, said: "I met Jamie when I had just got to the Battalion just after Op HERRICK 6 and, being the new boy in town, it was hard to try and fit in, being one of the only people who had not gone on the tour at the time. Jamie made me feel appreciated and was always there for me when things weren't looking good; he was a unique person who really knew how to treat his friends with respect and joy. He was a good friend and will always be with all of us; I wish the best for his family and girlfriend, Kate. It is a terrible tragedy." Guardsman Jason Goucher, a close friend, said: "I first met Jamie at Harrogate in 2005. He came across straight away as a very confident person. When we moved into the same section during our training in Catterick, he instantly tried to gel the blokes together and always wanted to have a laugh and live his life to the fullest. Even when times were hard he never stopped smiling. It was a total blessing to have known him and I will never forget him. And my heart goes out to his family and loved ones."

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Corporal Steven Boote (above bottom) and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, both of the Royal Military Police, were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali. The soldiers were part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at a checkpoint. The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations. WO1 Darren Chant, Sgt Matthew Telford and Guardsman James Major from the Grenadier Guards (above top) were also killed in the incident.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, Sergeant Matthew Telford and Guardsman James Major were killed in Afghanistan on 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali. The soldiers were part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police. Corporal Steven Boote and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, both of the Royal Military Police, were also killed in the attack. The team had been tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at the checkpoint. The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations. WO1 Chant and his team were sent to a police checkpoint of vital importance as it provided protection to the bazaar area of Nad e-Ali where the Battle Group's Forward Operating Base was located.

[ Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Darren 'Daz' Chant ]

Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Darren 'Daz' Chant, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards  WO1 Chant was born in Walthamstow on 5 September 1969. He completed his basic training at the Guards Depot, Pirbright, in 1986 and was deployed to South Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1993. After an attachment to the Pathfinders Platoon from 1997-1999, he returned to the 1st Battalion before being posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) as a Colour Sergeant instructor until 2003. At Sandhurst WO1 Chant quickly made a name for himself with his straight talking, no nonsense approach to training and soldiering. After two years at Sandhurst, WO1 Chant rejoined the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. As the Company Sergeant Major of the Inkerman Company he deployed to Bosnia from September 2004-June 2005 as part of the NATO and latterly European Union's peace keeping operation. On return from Bosnia he was posted back to RMAS as a Company Sergeant Major from August 2005 until December 2006 where he met his future wife. After a year at RMAS he returned to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, firstly as a Liaison Officer for the Battalion while deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 6 in 2007.

On return to the UK he took post as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (Technical). In the summer of 2008 he was appointed Sergeant Major and moved the 1st Battalion to London and on to Pre Deployment Training. In September 2009 he deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 11 as The Sergeant Major 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. WO1 Chant was the senior Warrant Officer within the Battalion. In this position he was a natural figurehead for all Grenadiers and was unflinching in his pursuit of the highest possible standards. WO1 Chant was carved from the very rock that forms the foundations of a Regiment. He was a role model for those beneath him and was an invaluable colleague for anyone that worked alongside him. The day before WO1 Chant was killed it was announced that he had been awarded a Commission in the Grenadiers as an Officer. It is a tragedy that he was due to be informed of his success on the day he was killed. WO1 Chant leaves behind his beloved wife Nausheen 'Sheenie'. He also has three children from a previous marriage, Connor, Victoria and Adam. WO1 Chant had risen to the highest possible level within the Regiment. After the tour it was his aspiration to go to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as Academy Sergeant Major. It was then his intention to commission and join the Grenadier Guards Officers' Mess.

WO1 Chant's wife, Mrs Nausheen Chant, said: "I am devastated by the loss of my husband. Our unborn son will never meet his father, but he will know him through his legacy. For whether in uniform or out, his incomparable courage and selflessness humbled all those who knew and loved him. "His famed sense of humour lightened any situation. I will miss my best friend and nothing will fill the void he has left, my darling Darren. A natural born leader who led from the front. I am immensely proud to say he was my husband." WO1 Chant's father John, speaking on behalf of Darren's ex-wife Connie and their three children Connor (16), Adam (10) and Victoria (8), said: "The whole world should know that Darren Chant was the best father any child could have wished for. He adored and lived for his children. He strived to be the best at everything he did. "He was very passionate about the military and believed the British Army were doing a good job in Afghanistan. He was a first class soldier, always putting the needs of his men before himself. He was always the first to volunteer. "We feel cheated as we know that we will never experience his quick wit and dry sense of humour again. His loss has devastated everyone who knew him and he will be missed and loved forever." Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Darren Chant, the 'Sarn't Major' died only a few hours ago, at the hands of men he was helping. His death is profoundly sad for the Grenadier Guards and our Battle Group. "He was the senior soldier, and cast from the original model of a Guards Regimental Sergeant Major. He was such a big character. He knew the answer to all our problems; he could make anyone laugh; and he worked tirelessly for everyone in the Battle Group. "He relished the opportunity to put himself where his soldiers were. He had a deep instinctive wish to make a positive difference to the lives of our soldiers and the Afghans, so he put himself forward to better understand the operation from the ground up. "And thus he found himself commanding a team from the Headquarters, working with the Afghan police in a small village in southern Afghanistan. In a few short weeks he'd changed the relationship between the police and the villagers for the better. "To them he was the face of integrity and professional conduct, and on him rested their hopes for a better future. But his success was a threat, and he was cowardly struck down. "The sun has set here in Afghanistan, and with it has gone a tremendously brave soldier and personal friend, taken down in his prime. He had such a bright military career ahead as a Late Entry Commissioned Officer. He's on a journey home now, borne with all the dignity this proud man deserves, to an adoring family. They can be so proud of him. "All that remains here is an enormous gap in our ranks; but in time our memories of him will overfill the void." Major Andrew James, Senior Major, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "WO1 (RSM) – 'The Sergeant Major' – Darren Chant and I have served together for 18 years. He was one of the most immaculate men I have ever known – in all senses of the word: in his turn out, his professionalism, his inimitable style of robust compassion and above all the exceptionally high standards he set for himself before others. "In the last 12 intensive months prior to the tour I have come to know, like, respect and trust him more and more each passing day. "He was a rare individual, possessing both an imposing physical presence and an imposing personality. No one who met him even once is likely to forget him. He has inspired, shaped and 'gripped' many a young officer either at Regimental Duty or during his postings to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an instructor of future generations of officers. "He was being considered, and was a leading runner, for the top Warrant Officer's post in the British Army, the Academy Sergeant Major. "There are many competing facets to deploying a Battalion on contemporary operations and The Sergeant Major is the key player in resolving most of them. "We would have daily discussions with the Operations Officer on how to tackle the next issue. I knew that once he had it in his grasp, the problem was gone. "The indelible memory I have of him is standing in (and filling) the doorway after each such discussion saying, 'Not a problem, leave it with me, Sir, I'll sort it.' And so he did." Major Mark 'Vince' Gaunt OBE, Quartermaster, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Daz Chant was not only a good friend but an outstanding soldier to work alongside. "His death is a huge loss to the Regiment and my immediate thoughts and sympathy are with his family, his wife Sheenie and his children Connor, Victoria and Adam of whom I know he was hugely proud. "He was a man that you would only have to have had the briefest of dealings with for you to remember him forever. "He was a big bear of a man and his presence was what anyone would expect from a Regimental Sergeant Major, a larger than life character who would always have an opinion and would tell you whether you wanted to hear it or not. "No one could ever escape his eye if you were in his gaze it was either going to be painful or painfully funny, never in between. "He had an infectious sense of humour that would make his mates roll with laughter and they in turn would tease him that all of his impressions sounded the same, he, with colourful language would always disagree. "Passionate about his role as the top soldier in the Battalion, and even more so for the soldiers under him, he led from the front and would take the phrase 'Don't ask people to do something you would not do yourself' to the letter. "For a huge man his fitness was legendary. As an ex Pathfinder he would never give in and never come last at anything. He and I would run most lunch times and sort the Regimental world out, well he would sort it out and I would concentrate on keeping up with him. "On a previous tour of Afghanistan I was present when he carried an injured man in full kit at night across uneven ground for two kilometres, chatting to him all the way about drinking, fighting and his beloved Inkerman Company. "Daz was an immaculate Regimental Sergeant Major and it was a tremendous honour and privilege to have known him, to have drank with him, to have laughed with him and to have been a Grenadier alongside him." Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Steve Munro, Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Daz took over the Battalion following on from the end of Operation HERRICK 6. From the outset he made his mark and set a standard from which he never faltered. "Socially he had the most wicked sense of humour; he lived his life to the full. To recount his exploits would take a book, the ups, the downs, the funny and comical. "I would read it over and over apart from the last page, a page I would never turn. He was a good friend and a true professional, I and the Regiment will miss him. My thoughts go to his wife Sheenie and his children Connor, Victoria and Adam."

[ Sergeant Matthew Telford, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards with his wife ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Sergeant Matthew Telford, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards with his wife. Sergeant Matt Telford was temporarily employed as a mentor to the Afghan National Police (ANP). As the Regimental Police Sergeant he was perfectly placed to work with such a team drawn from soldiers of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police. The team had been tasked with mentoring a number of ANP at a Check Point. The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations. Sergeant Telford was part of a 16 man team who were sent to a Police Check Point of vital importance as it provided protection to the bazaar area of Nad-e'Ali where the Battle Group Forward Operating Base was located. Sergeant Telford was born in Grimsby on 10th October 1972. He passed out of the Guards Depot in February 1991 and was immediately posted to the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards.


On amalgamation between the First and Second Battalions in 1993, Sergeant Telford was transferred to the 1st Battalion where he served until 2004. In 2004 he was posted to Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards where he served for two years before being detached as a Regimental Recruiter. In early 2009 he returned to the Battalion as the Regimental Police Sergeant. Sergeant Telford leaves behind his beloved wife Kerry and two sons, Harry and Callum. Sergeant Telford's size, stature and presence were entirely in line with what you would expect of a Regimental Police Sergeant. However, what you found behind the mountain of a man was a thoughtful and caring family man who would work tirelessly all hours of the day to help someone out. He was professional and meticulous in everything that he did. Sergeant Telford was a fantastically popular individual across the Battalion. He was a definite Battalion character and it was a pleasure for all his colleagues to have him back serving with the Regiment.

Sergeant Telford's family said: "Matt was a larger than life character – a gentle giant of a man. He will be sadly missed by his wife Kerry and sons Harry and Callum, his extensive family and friends and his colleagues." Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Sergeant Telford, a quiet giant of a man, has died. He was working with a small detachment of Afghan police to improve security in a village infiltrated by insurgents. "As the Regimental Police Sergeant for the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, he was well placed to help the police learn new skills; and as a soldier he was more than ready to face the challenges. So his death at the hands of those he was helping is all the more tragic. "His was an unwavering and reliable presence in the Battalion. His easy going style and happy humour made him everyone's friend. "He was thriving in his role as a police mentor, and his spirits were high because he could see the results in the men he was working with – both our troops and the Afghans. He was utterly professional in his duty, and the respect he had from the villagers was clear to anyone who visited. "Our loss is as nothing to that of his family and close friends. Our deepest condolences go with him on his final journey home." Captain Bernie Broad, Quartermaster Technical, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "I knew Sgt Matt Telford as a Guardsman in The Queen's Company when I was the Company Sergeant Major. A larger than life character, he was large, fit and intelligent. He epitomised to me what being a soldier, and more so a Guardsman, is all about. "Throughout his career his enthusiasm for the job never diminished and with his excellent sense of humour and gentle touch for such a giant of a man, he was known, respected, and trusted by all. "On promotion he became a Recruiting Sergeant in Grimsby where his charming and professional manner boosted recruiting for the Regiment. The quality, well motivated soldiers who joined as a result of his endeavours will never forget the big guy who recruited them. "Matt, you are a true professional and a loving family man who never let anyone down in the course of his duties at work or at home. A very large gap will be left in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and he will never be forgotten."  WO2 Miles, Company Sergeant Major Headquarter Company, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "There aren't enough quality words to describe Sgt Matthew Telford. He was a giant of a man in both the physical and personal sense. "I knew him personally for 18 years; his sense of humour was infectious and where morale was needed Matt always provided it in spades. "The consummate solder, his professionalism and leadership were the envy of most of the Regiment. Posted out from the Battalion for a few years, he returned as the same compassionate and understanding man, who when someone really needed support he was able to offer it without question. "Bravery for Matt came with the territory, he led by example and expected nothing of his soldiers that he personally would not undertake. "To say Matt was a totally committed family man, probably wouldn't do him justice. His family was his life, he talked about them constantly and my heart sincerely goes out to them at this difficult time. "To serve with Matthew was an honour and a privilege, and I really couldn't be more proud to call myself his Company Sergeant Major, but more than anything, his friend."  Lance Sergeant Roberts, Medical Sergeant, First Battalion Grenadier Guards: "Sgt Matt Telford was a big man not just in size but also in everyday life. A very professional man who was immensely proud to be a Grenadier Guard he epitomized what the Regiment are all about. "Matt was a keen martial arts expert and was always keen to show this off, his favourite saying was 'grab me here and I'll will show you how to get out of it'. On grabbing him he would then proceed to put you on the floor in some ridiculous arm lock. "Big-hearted and an even bigger family man, he loved his wife Kerry and his two boys Callum and Harry. I was privileged to have attended his wedding which was one of his proudest and happiest days of his life. "Matt was a man I could call not only a colleague and friend but a brother. Rest in peace mate, you will be sorely missed by all who knew you." Lance Corporal Lee Dutton, a close friend, said: "I first met Matt on return from a Northern Ireland tour in 1994 when he joined The Queen's Company. Even then as the junior Guardsman we instantly became the best of friends and through the years that friendship strengthened. "When we both got married our families' houses in Pirbright were next door to each other and we spent many evening together with our families, running, or just going to the gym. "Matt had an enormous personality and heart to match. He was big and strong and could always be relied on when you needed help for anything. "Always with a smile on his face, he was always the first to cheer people up when they were down and cheer up any situation with some of the worst jokes I have heard or by showing a new arm lock he had learnt. "Matt was a true friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him."

[ Guardsman James 'Jimmy' Major ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Guardsman James 'Jimmy' Major, First Battalion Grenadier Guards  Guardsman James Major, known as Jimmy to his family, friends and colleagues, was employed as a top cover gunner within the Commanding Officer's Tactical Group (TAC). Guardsman James Major had only recently joined the TAC Group and was in the early stages of getting to know his new team. The TAC Group had been tasked with mentoring a number of Afghan National Police (ANP) at a local Check Point. The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the ANP within its area of operations. Guardsman Major was part of a 16 man team who were sent to a Police Check Point approximately one and a half kilometers from the main Battle Group location. The Check Point was of vital importance as it was on the main road into the bazaar of Nad-e'Ali where the Battle Group Forward Operating Base was located. This provided protection not only to the base but to the local inhabitants of the village itself.

Guardsman Major was born in Grimsby on 12 November 1990. On 16 November 2008, he completed his training at the Infantry Training School Catterick. His first posting was to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, for a period of five months. With Nijmegen Company he conducted numerous State Ceremonial and Public Duty engagements. 

In April 2009 Guardsman Major was posted to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and joined them in their pre deployment training. Six months after arriving in the 1st Battalion, Guardsman Major deployed to Southern Afghanistan on OP HERRICK 11. Despite his short time spent with the TAC group Guardsman Major had already made a strong impression. His character and humour had begun to shine through his naturally quiet demeanour. It is clear that this was a tragic and abrupt end to such a short career. Guardsman Major leaves behind his mother Kim, father Adrian, brothers Lewis and Daniel, sister Paige and grandparents Harry and Pat Gilliatt and June and Fred Major.  Guardsman Major's family said: "Jimmy was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Jimmy. He was a loving son, brother and grandson and a dear friend to everyone. We are proud of the fact that Jimmy was prepared to do his duty, helping the people of Afghanistan." Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Guardsman James Major died alongside others with whom he was working to mentor Afghan police and, through them, bring security and hope to a small dusty village in southern Afghanistan. "He died from the hands of a man he was there to help. It was a tragic and cowardly attack. It was so at odds with the amazing results the men had achieved with the police and villagers in a short time. "Jimmy Major had not been with us long. But in the short time he had served with the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, he had impressed us with his enthusiasm and soldierly talents. He was always the first to volunteer for a patrol, and wanted to be at the front. "He resented being left behind in the base to man the radio or the sentry positions, even though it was his turn. He was a really good young soldier, and he kept spirits high amongst the team with a great sense of humour, positive energy, and remarkable culinary skills. "He died young, as soldiers tend to in war. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, to whom he has begun his final journey. He leaves an immensely strong impression for one who was with us for such short time, and we are especially proud he was a Grenadier." WO2 Miles, Company Sergeant Major Headquarter Company, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "Guardsman James Major was an extremely personable young man I had only known for a short time as his Company Sergeant Major. During that time he impressed me with his outright enthusiasm in his work in Barracks and incredible courage in the face of the enemy. "Always praised by his Platoon Sergeant for his constant drive to succeed, he died doing the job he loved. He was a quiet man who was well respected by his peers and this is evident in the fond words spoken in his memory. "James was without doubt a credit to himself and his family whom I know he loved so dearly and I am proud to say that I knew him. My sincerest and heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends in this very difficult time."  Lance Sergeant Peter Baily, Signaller, Commanding Officer's Tactical Command Group, said: "Guardsman Major was posted into the Commanding Officer's TAC group just before the tour. He immediately came across as a very intelligent and motivated soldier. "For the few short weeks Guardsman Jimmy Major was with the TAC group he became an integral part of an already close-knit team. He was a hard worker and always carried out any job to his fullest potential. "A quiet soldier at first but he came out of his shell quickly and showed a rare comical side that kept the rest of the TAC group in high spirits. "Guardsman Major was 18 years old and had been ready to celebrate his birthday next week. He had shown a keen interest in boxing although he had never competed, but had aspirations of taking it up on return to the UK." Guardsman Daniel Harvey, a close friend, said:

"Jimmy was a friendly and caring person who tended to look after the people around him. He was a quiet man who came into his own with his drive to succeed within the Battalion. "He was employed in the Sergeants' Mess but strived to be sent to a Rifle Company as he felt he could achieve greater and better things. Although Jimmy was a quiet man he liked nothing else but to go out and have a few beers with his mates. He had one of the funniest funny streaks I have ever seen. "Jimmy was very family orientated and made no secret that he loved them all very much, in particular his Mum. Jimmy will be missed by all the people around him and without knowing it he has made an impact on me and on all others in his circle of friends." Guardsman Martin Nelson, a close friend, said: "Jimmy, or Major as we called him, was a great mate. He was always there when you needed someone to lend a hand or to go for a drink with. He was never far away when you were down and he always knew what to say to help you out. "He took me under his wing from the very first time I met him; we first met in Nijmegen Company and he was the one to show me how to do my kit properly before a Queen's Guard. "It only seems like the other day when we both chatted in Wellington Barracks and he was asking about my son. He was a brilliant lad; someone who will never be forgotten. My thoughts go out to his family and we are all thinking about them in their time of need. Major, you were a great mate, loved by all of us and will be never forgotten."  Guardsman Alexander Bone, a close friend, said: "Guardsman James 'Jimmy' Major was recruited from Cleethorpes by Sgt Telford, he enjoyed most sports especially boxing and football. He was a very keen supporter of Manchester United Football Club. "He was very proud to be selected for his very important job in the Commanding Officer's TAC group. For a small man he had a longer than life personality with a presence and loving/sharing nature which made him standout amongst his peers. "A character full of spirit and laughter, which will be missed by all that knew him."

[ Lance Sergeant David Greenhalgh ]

[ Grenadier Guards Cap Badge ]

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 13 February 2010. Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh, aged 25, died instantly when his vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. His Section was providing safe passage for a patrol near Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh was from Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He joined the Army in 2001 and had served on operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He took part in Op FRESCO during the Fire Service strikes and has spent time training in the Falkland Islands and Kenya. He was an experienced and dedicated soldier who had risen rapidly through the ranks. He had completed a vast array of courses qualifying him in  almost every aspect of infantry soldiering. He was a Search Team Commander, a driver of almost every military vehicle, a Tactical Questioner, trained in psychological operations and keen to learn the local language. Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was a confident young man with a booming voice who was very definitely set out to be a commander. Enthusiastic and professional, he drew well on his experiences to teach those under his command. From the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace to the Green Zone of Helmand Province he was always a fine example to all those around him. His distinctive look of shaved head and bushy moustache was well known to all nationalities in the Forward Operating Bases and his strength of character left a lasting impression. A proud Englishman, his array of tattoos displayed his unquestioned loyalty to family, regiment and country. He will certainly be remembered for his big pick up truck and the 80s music that would be heard blasting out! When on leave he enjoyed spending time on his farm and SCUBA diving, which he learnt in Kenya with the Army. Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was one of the stalwarts of The Queen's Company and will be sorely missed by all, and never forgotten.

[ Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh ]

Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer, The Grenadier Guards Battle Group, said: "Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh died this morning. He was killed protecting his men as they cleared a high threat area, where his task was to secure safe passage for others to then pass through to continue on their way. He was watching over others so they could move safe from harm, a noble purpose for which he paid the ultimate sacrifice. "He was a tough soldier and a natural commander, a decent and honest man, and a friend to those he knew. He loved the Queen's Company, he was a proud Grenadier, and he was a most loyal soldier to his country. He was a young fighting man in his prime, taken from this world in an instant on a dusty road in southern Afghanistan; he leaves a lasting impression on us all. "His death is a tragedy to us, his comrades in his Regiment; but it is nothing to the loss his family have suffered. Our prayers and thoughts go to them at this terribly difficult time. They can be proud of him, we will never forget him." The Captain of The Queen's Company, Major Alex Cartwright, said: "You always knew when Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was in the room or on your patrol; he had great presence, always raising the spirits of those enjoying his company and raising the standards of those soldiering alongside him. "Those that were fortunate enough to spend time with Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh were immediately struck by his strong will and passion for life.  His soldiering experience and long list of courses meant that he was always at the centre of what The Queen's Company was doing. "On leave his love of diving, his farm, and his family and friends meant that he never rested. Such a passionate man and gifted soldier who contributed so much, leaves countless memories. Our thoughts are with those memories and with his family."  Lieutenant Michael Dobbin, his previous Platoon Commander said: "As a new Platoon Commander meeting my Platoon in January 2009 I was instantly struck by the booming confidence of Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh. Never a man to back down from an argument, he would challenge me on all manner of subjects and we shared many heated debates that never came to an agreed conclusion! "As a Platoon Commander I could not have asked for a more loyal Section Commander, always encouraging and certain that our Platoon was the best in the British Army! He was utterly dedicated to his job and had completed such an array of courses that he was in high demand whenever the company deployed. "His confidence extended to every aspect of soldiering and we were regularly involved in comical vehicle recoveries resulting from an over enthusiastic manoeuvre on his part! Extremely aggressive in the section attack and professional in his approach to soldiering, Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was also an intelligent man who fully understood and took great interest in the profession he loved. "I will hugely miss the camaraderie of Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh, his moustache and enormous laugh; he was unfailing in his ability to enthuse and a Guardsman of the highest calibre. My thoughts are with his family and closest friends as we, the men of The Queen's Company, mourn the loss  of an outstanding soldier and friend."  Second Lieutenant James Brown, 1 Platoon Commander, said: "Even before I joined 1 Platoon, I knew of Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh. His reputation for always being at the centre of the action, whether it be on patrol, in the middle of a practical joke or a key player in any good story made him stand out from the crowd. "The first time I met Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh was just after he had returned from a patrol. I was immediately struck by his professionalism, strong character and proudly grown moustache! As a new Platoon Commander I considered myself extremely lucky to have Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh in my Platoon, he very quickly put me at ease and spent time sharing his words of wisdom. Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh died protecting his colleagues and doing a job that he loved. "He will be sorely missed at every level of both Platoon and Company. My thoughts are with his family and friends." The Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2, Steve Williams, said: "Losing Lance Sergeant Greenhalgh is a massive blow to the Sovereign's Company. Not only will the Company, Platoon and Team miss him, our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends. The Grenadier Guards have lost a fantastic soldier. Professional, diligent and courageous to the end. "I have known Dave for many years and his attitude and approach to soldiering was a gleaming example to all, young and old. We as a Company and especially a Sergeants' Mess will miss you Dave." Sergeant David Roper, 1 Platoon Sergeant, said: "Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh has been my Multiple Second in Command since deployment on Op HERRICK 11. Being able to organise 1 Platoon exactly how I wanted, there was never any doubt in my mind as to who I wanted as my right hand man. "Loud, outspoken and with an opinion on quite literally any and every subject that came up, Dave was at times the single most frustrating and annoying man in the British Army! But he was a hugely capable and consummately professional soldier and Commander, and someone with whom every other member of his team could rely upon absolutely. "An inspiring figure, with his enormous caricature-esque moustache and a whole string of catchphrases that could never be repeated in polite company, Dave was the very embodiment of what a soldier in The Queen's Company, which he so dearly loved, should be. Dave's place can never be taken and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace mate."