Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

(2nd Battalion)

[ Fusilier Petero "Pat" Suesue ]

Fusilier Petero "Pat" Suesue, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 22 May 2009. Fusilier Suesue was killed a result of a gunshot while on a foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province. Fusilier Suesue, or Pat to his mates, was born in Levuka in Fiji in December 1980. He joined the Army in February 2002, and on successful completion of his infantry training at ITC Catterick, was posted to the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) later that year. He was always eager and proud to be a Fusilier and Infantryman. On arrival in the Battalion, Fusilier Suesue joined Fire Support Company and the Anti-Tank Platoon, remaining there throughout his career. In 2003, he deployed to Northern Ireland and was based in Girdwood, Belfast, during which time he was involved in Public Order operations. After a short spell in mainland UK, Pat found himself back in Belfast with 2RRF based at Palace Barracks. During that time he represented the Battalion at rugby, playing with distinction. His ability on the field was recognised with a place on the Infantry Rugby team for their tour to South Africa in 2004. In late 2005, Fus Suesue moved with the Battalion to Cyprus, and during the Theatre Reserve Battalion commitment, deployed from Exercise Saffron Sands in Jordan to Iraq for four months, operating from Basra Palace. On his return in November 2006, Pat went to Fiji, where he married Emalaini. On his return, he then deployed to Kabul with Fire Support Company, but was soon needed in Sangin with C Company as an integral part of their Javelin capability. Once back in Cyprus, his wife Emalaini moved to join him in Dhekelia, and the Suesues moved with the Battalion back to Hounslow, West London, in March 2008. After the move to London, Pat again distinguished himself as a key member of the Anti Tank Platoon during Exercise Druids Dance, and then subsequently during the Battalion's period of Public Duties in London.  When called on to deploy to Afghanistan again, Fus Suesue threw himself into the challenge with his usual tenacity and enthusiasm, training as a Jackal heavy weapons gunner for A Company's Fire Support Group, now attached to the 2 Rifles Battlegroup and based near Sangin.

Fusilier Suesue's family paid this tribute: "Petero epitomised the qualities of the Fijian Fusilier. He was strong yet gentle, compassionate and always willing to support those around him. His ability to include everyone is indicative of his friendly nature and there will be a large hole left in the community with his passing. "He leaves behind a loving wife, Emalaini, his mother, Sisilia, his sister Litiana and three brothers, Taito, Varasiko and Jovesa. It is with great sadness that Petero will no longer be with us in body, however, he leaves behind a legacy of love and affection in the memories of all who knew and loved him."  Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said: "2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have paid a heavy price with the death of Fusilier Petero Suesue. However, all of us know that this is as nothing compared to the loss sustained by his wife Emalaini and his family back in Fiji. It is some small recompense to know that he died a brave soldier amongst friends." Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson, Commanding Officer, 2 Rifles Battle Group said: "The loss of Fusilier Suesue is sorely felt across the Battle Group. He was a legendary soldier, awesomely tough and full of character and Pacific Island charm. His beloved wife, family and friends are front and centre of our thoughts and prayers at this unimaginably difficult time." Major Jo Butterfill, Officer Commanding A Company Group, said: "Fusilier Suesue was every inch the professional infantry soldier, and a big man in all senses of the word. Universally respected and liked throughout the company group, with quietly irrepressible good humour and compassion, I count myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve with him.  "He was a character and we will miss him deeply. It is a small comfort to know that he died doing the job that he loved, amongst his friends, at the front, and in the face of the enemy. Our grief can be as nothing to the anguish of his loving wife and family, and my thoughts, and those of the whole company are with them at this, the worst of times." Captain Anthony Harris, Platoon Commander, said: "I have known Fusilier Suesue for three years. In that time he has proved himself to be a loyal soldier and steadfast Fusilier. Keen to support his friends and a talented rugby player, it is with greatest sense of loss that we saw this brave Fusilier lay down his life saving his friends. "It does not surprise me to hear that Fus Suesue was at the front of things, he strove to protect the civilians and the soldiers around him. We will remember a good friend, a loyal warrior, a true Fusilier and most of all a loving husband. He will be missed but not forgotten." Company Sergeant Major A Company Group, WO2 Wayne Caffrey, said: "Fusilier Suesue will be sorely missed. He was a quiet, calm, professional soldier, with a can-do approach to his job. He was a key Battalion rugby player, a sport that he loved. Our thoughts go to his wife, friends and family at this very sad time." Colour Sergeant John McCowliffe, Officer Commanding A Company Fire Support Group, said: "I have known Fusilier Suesue for many years, and worked closely with him during a previous operational tour in Iraq. He was an outstanding, professional soldier who had a thorough understanding of his role in my platoon. He was an asset, a very skilled JAVELIN operator, and carried out every job he was asked to do diligently and without hesitation. It feels like we have lost a true friend and we're thinking of his family. He will be missed by the lads in FSG A."  Fusilier Robert Fitzgerald, A Company Fire Support Group, said: "Fusilier Suesue was loved by everyone, and always had a smile and a positive look on his face. If you were down, he would always pick you up. Suesue would give you a hand with anything, if it was in work or in his own down time. He will be greatly missed by me, and everyone that worked with him and knew him as a friend." Lance Corporal Michael Walsh, A Company Fire Support Group, said: "Fusilier Suesue was a quiet man, but he had a powerful presence. Whenever you were on duty with him you felt safe in his professional attitude to his job and his knowledge. He was a thoroughly professional soldier who will be sorely missed by all." The men and women of 1 Troop, 11 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers said: "During our time with the Fusiliers at FOB NOLAY, Fusilier Suesue (known to us as Pat) has been one of the most memorable characters we have met. Not just because of his sheer size, or the crazy moustache he was trying to grow, but also because he was one of the most pleasant and courteous members of the company. "He always had a smile on his face, and would go to great lengths, just to be polite. Although we didn't know him that well, having only met him whilst serving alongside A Company, he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and family." His Fire Support Company Commander, Major James Bird spoke of his character and professionalism: "Fusilier Petero Suesue was a true Fijian warrior; physically strong yet kind-hearted. He was a real friend to many and all of the Company will miss him dearly. Petero was a well liked member of Fire Support Company who proved himself to be a diligent, conscientious and reliable soldier that we could all depend on. During the preparations for Operation Herrick he worked hard to learn new skills demonstrating his commitment to his job. "All ready trained as a Javelin gunner he cross-trained as a GMG gunner and Jackal crew member; he rapidly became proficient and a valued member of A Company's Fire Support Group. A combination of his passion for rugby and his formidable stature saw him being selected for the Battalion's Rugby team where he became a justifiably accomplished player. "He was central to the social life of not only Fire Support Company, but also the Battalion. Our thoughts go out to his wife Emalaini and his family on their sad loss. He will be sorely missed by all members of Fire Support Company, the Javelin Platoon and the wider Fusilier family." Major Jez Lamb MC, OC B Coy spoke of his time in Northern Ireland: "Unusually, Fus Suesue and a number of other Fijians joined Fire Support Company in 2002 straight from training as it was acting as a rifle company for Northern Ireland operations. They had an immediate and dramatic effect on the culture of the company and Fus Suesue was central to it.  "The summer of 2002 will be remembered for Fijian families having all inclusive parties on the sports pitch, all dressed in sarongs throwing rugby balls around. He always had a huge wide grin on his face and would greet everyone whether he knew them or not. Fellow Fusiliers struggled with the pronunciation of the Fijian names so he was instantly nick-named 'Sue'. Eventually he became known as Pat, a derivation of his first name Petero. "Despite being a member of A Company, such was his popularity across the battalion that within B Company his loss has greatly affected all of us. Since learning of his death, many stories have been told of his generosity and kind nature, including Fus 'Bad Foot' Wotton who recalled an incident when he found himself in trouble on a night out in Belfast. Fus Suesue pulled the assailant away shouting 'No one messes with my Bad Foot!'. "Fus Suesue was well known for playing rugby (very well), for his grin and optimistic outlook, and for having time for everyone. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him and the thoughts of all of B Company are with his family." Captain Chris Dixon, 2 Royal Regiment Fusiliers Rugby Team Captain, said: "Fus Suesue was a key member of the team, both on and off the pitch. One couldn't help liking Pat, he had a warm kindness and he always had the time of day to stop and say hello and chat to the team. "On the pitch Pat could read the game superbly. He could judge a gap, move through it as if there was nobody there, dance around anybody trying to stop him, and then score the try before converting it himself. "He has many friends who are devastated by his departure; he was truly a great man, a great rugby player, and a great husband. I will miss his flare on the pitch, I will miss his smile in camp and I will miss him as a friend and a colleague." In a joint statement, Drummer Saimon Iroi, best man at his wedding,  and Fusilier Paula Waqakalou, a close friend from Fire Support Group B, said: "Born in Ovalou, the old capital of Fiji, he was extremely close to his family, especially his sister and three brothers, one of whom serves with the Fijian Army. An exceptional and fiercely competitive rugby player from the start, he was a member of the school team that won the Fijian schools' national level Dean's Championship every year from U15 through to U19. He continued his rugby career in the Battalion, and both the Infantry and Army teams as both a fly-half and winger. "A genuine, kind, generous man he was at the centre of both battalion and Fijian social life, always present with his infectious laugh, humour, and insistence on a good standard of drinking! He was known as a man who believed and said that 'the more you give, the more you get in return', and was viewed as a brother to many Fusiliers, especially his fellow Fijians. "Pat met his wife Emalaini in Fiji before coming to the UK to join the Army. He was based in Dhekelia, Cyprus and flew back to Fiji for the wedding with Saimon Iroi. His friends in the Fusiliers want his family in Suva to know that their thoughts are with them. Pat was loved and greatly admired by all who served with him. He will always be remembered and will be sorely missed." a close friend and colleague, said: "Over the course of seven years in the British Army, Pat was involved in countless exercises, and no less than five operational deployments. He was a kind, generous and sociable man, who loved being part of the Javelin Pl, and relished challenges. "He was always ready to lend a hand and get stuck into anything, however unpleasant. He was a much-liked member of the Fusiliers, Battalion wide and he was a great friend to me and many others. He will be very sorely missed. He died doing what he loved and believed in showing courage under fire and a grit and determination when taking the fight to the enemy. We are all immensely proud of this fine man. Rest in Peace my friend, we shall never forget you." Lance Corporal Wesley Tokalau, a close friend and colleague, said: "It is impossible to describe Fus Suesue in just one word because of the numerous qualities he possessed, but unique is probably the one that comes close. Few people have the ability to touch our lives like he did, and he did so with such ease like it was second nature to him. "He was a friend like no other who always had time for you if you needed him and his house was always open to those that needed it! He was a dedicated husband to his wife Emalaini whom he adored tremendously and as a soldier he could be counted on to give his all." Lance Corporal Vilikesa 'Kia' Tubuitamana, a close friend, said: "Fusilier 'Pat' Suesue was a funny bloke, always joking, particularly about my dancing moves. He was good on a night out and an excellent rugby player. He would always host all of the Fijians at his house, inviting us round to drink Kana. He never wanted anyone to go, always saying 'the night is still young'. "When he got married, he invited all of the single Fijian guys round to his house. Pat was always willing to go out of his way to help out the single Fijians with no family in the UK." Fusilier Tez Scanlon, a close friend, said: "I first met Fus Suesue when we got back from Dungannon in 2002, he joined FSp Coy straight from training. Straight away you could tell that he was a top bloke, he had one of those smiles, a cheeky smile. "In all of the time I've known him, he never said a bad word about anyone; he was a true genuine bloke. When things were bad you just turned round to him and say 'How's it going?', he'd smile a massive grin and look at you with big wide eyes and say 'Fine!'. There isn't anyone who knows him who doesn't like him, he'll be missed by everyone and this is a big shock. I send my love to his wife." Corporal Stuart Fiddler and Fusilier Eugene De-Bruyn (Jav Pl), close friends, said: "Fus (Pat) Suesue was a quiet, but large character within the Platoon. He always saw the good in people as well as showing the good within himself. We have known Fus (Pat) Suesue since he arrived in FSp Coy in 2002 when he finished training. "He was a top soldier who spent a lot of time in our Detachment, and was also a very good friend who will leave a gap within the Anti-Tank family who have always been close. We wish to send our condolences to his Wife and family. May he rest in peace and watch over us all." In a joint statement, Fusilier Joshua Masala (Mor Pl) and Fusilier Kafoa Fatiaki (Jav Pl), close friends, said: "We have known Fus Suesue since 2003. He initially came across as quiet but funny person. He was the sort of bloke you could turn to and share your problems with. On Physical Training in the mornings we were running partners, we were always the rear markers, although not by choice. "He loved the Army and would have done 22 years standing on his head. He will always be remembered as a brother and as a best friend by those who were close to him. Suesue will mostly be remembered by his beloved family and all the Fusiliers who knew him. May he rest in peace."

[ Corporal Joseph Etchells ]

Corporal Joseph Etchells of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 19 July 2009. Corporal Etchells, aged 22 from Mossley, Greater Manchester, was killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a foot patrol near Sangin, northern Helmand Province.

Corporal Etchells, or "Etch" to his mates, was born on 23 March 1987. He joined the Army in December 2003, and on successful completion of his infantry training at Army Foundation College, Harrogate, was posted to 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers later that year. He was always eager and proud to be a Fusilier and Infantryman. On arrival in the Battalion, Cpl Etchells joined B Company 6 Platoon in Palace Barracks, Belfast subsequently moving to with the Battalion Cyprus. Whilst in Cyprus he deployed with A Company Group to Now Zad, Afghanistan in 2006 as a Fusilier in 6 Platoon. He returned to Cyprus from Afghanistan and in June 2007 he passed his Junior NCO cadre moving to A Company on promotion.  Whilst in Cyprus he represented the Battalion and Garrison side at cricket and was an active member of the Battalion cross country team. In late 2007 Cpl Etchells deployed to Jordan on Exercise Saffron Sands and showed huge potential for the future in his Army career. On the Battalion's return from Cyprus to UK he secured a place on the Section Commander's Battle Course in June 2008 a course he passed with ease and was promoted to Cpl soon after. When called on to deploy to Afghanistan again, he was the ultimate professional ensuring his Section were fully prepared for their role in Helmand. His dedication and loyalty to his men was evident from the moment he took over his Section. Cpl Etchells was an enthusiastic and dedicated individual who loved his job, cared about his men and was the consummate professional. He will be sorely missed.  Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers said: "Corporal Etchells was a remarkable young man. He showed a gift for soldiering that touched all who worked with him. His enthusiasm, determination, loyalty and professionalism would have seen him progress with ease through the ranks. Above all he will be remembered for the friendships that he easily made; at home, in barracks or facing daily adversity in Afghanistan. "The Battalion; his friends mourn his loss. However our loss is nothing compared to the loss sustained by his fiancée, and his family. Our prayers are now for them, Julie and their daughter."  Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, Commanding Officer, 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "Cpl Etchells was one of those heroic men who never made a fuss and who always exceeded what we asked of him; and we have been asking a lot of him this summer. Cpl Etchells was a tough, wiry, charming JNCO who oozed friendship in a sort of 360 degree way; he cared down, across and up the chain of command. "This was quite a singular approach but it gives you the mark of the man. He has made a real difference for the benefit of the Afghan people here. He wore his responsibilities enviably lightly and his Fusiliers adored him for the fact that he was the consummate section commander. "Their grief at this tragic loss is heart-breaking but his valiant Fusiliers know that Etch would want them to get back into the mix straight away and that is what his heroes will do in memory of a man who has given his life in the service of his country. "Our thoughts and prayers must now be with his beloved fiancée, Julie, and her daughter." Lieutenant Alan Williamson, Platoon Commander, 3 Platoon, A Company 2RRF, 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "Cpl Etchells was an outstanding soldier and an inspirational young section commander. At the age of 22 he was already on his third tour of Afghanistan. He always led from the front providing an excellent example to the soldiers that he commanded. "Cpl Etchells was a straight talking soldier who was not afraid to speak up for his men. No matter what the situation he always put his section first. It was a real pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic individual who really did love his job, often heard to say 'I live for this stuff.' "A commander of huge potential he was well respected by his soldiers and his commanders alike. It was obvious that Cpl Etchells had something special about him and had a great career ahead of him. He truly was one in a million and I shall miss him greatly. "Cpl Etchells's loss has left a great hole within 3 Platoon and it was a real honour to know and work with him. He was everything a platoon commander looks for in a section commander; fit, robust, keen and tactically sound. The platoons thoughts and prayers are with Julie his fiancée, their young daughter and his family during this difficult time. " Sergeant Paul Greenhalgh, 3 Platoon Sergeant A Company 2 RRF said: "To sum up 'Etch' on a piece of paper is impossible. To say that he was a naturally fit and robust soldier is an understatement. The man was a lung!  "Tactically sound on the ground in any situation he had an enthusiasm for the job that was every platoon sergeants dream. He will be sorely missed by everyone he came into contact with and I know that he will be watching us where ever 3 Platoon may venture." Captain Georges Heyes, Company Second in Command, A Company 2RRF, 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "Cpl Joseph Etchells was one of our most promising young commanders. He was one of a new breed of junior leaders; he led with distinction, flair and with a remarkable lightness of touch. He was a naturally gifted commander who always led from the front and set the standard. "His generosity of spirit was remarkable and his enthusiasm for the job was infectious. Always the first to step up to the mark he was adored by his Fusiliers who he inspired and motivated even through the darkest of days. He was always able to get the best out of his men. "Cpl Etchells was tragically snatched from us by an IED before his already distinguished career could be fully realised. We will all miss him terribly as we uphold his memory and sacrifice and continue undaunted by the task in hand. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his family, his fiancée, Julie, and their daughter." Warrant Officer Class 2 Wayne Caffrey, Company Sergeant Major, A Company 2 RRF, 2 RIFLES Battle Group said: "I've had the great pleasure of watching Cpl Etchells develop since day one of his arrival into the Battalion. He had become the role model for all ranks from this Battalion. His passion for sport, enthusiasm for running and his love of the Army, marked him as the very best of his peer group. "He easily completed SCBC recently, which is testament for such a capable, young, and professional soldier. There was nothing he was scared of, or incapable of doing. "He was the complete soldier. All ranks from A Company will sorely miss this rising star. It is such a tragic shame that we never got to see him in the Warrant Officer's and Sergeant's mess. He was capable of so much more, but we will never know. "Our thoughts go to his family, his fiancé and their young daughter. God bless." Cpl Tariq Malin, Section Commander A Company 2 RRF, said: "In the eleven years that I've been in the Regiment I came to know Cpl Joey Etchells well. From the start it was clear that Cpl Etchells had great aspirations and knew what he wanted from life. He was a keen, motivated and always put in 110 percent in everything he did. "He was a great sportsman always involved in playing football and cricket for the Battalion; one of his main hobbies was running. Tremendously fit he was physically and mentally strong and determined. This gave him that edge over everyone else and was always able to get that bit further. "Out of work he always socialised with everyone in the company and would always go out of his way to help the newer members of the company feel welcome and settle in. He would always speak about his family back home and how proud he was of his fiancé and daughter which he loved dearly. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his friends and family especially his fiancée and daughter during this hard time. It's hard for everyone that knew him, he will be missed. He has left a gap in A Company which can't be replaced; it was an honour and privilege to know Cpl Joey Etchells." Fusilier Craig Ashwell, 2 Platoon A Company 2 RRF said: "I have had the privilege to know Cpl Joey 'Etch' Etchells for two and a half years. Ever since I first spoke to 'Etch' as he was known to his friends, we've been close. We became closer friends once the Battalion moved back to Hounslow, and often went out on the town together back home in Manchester. "Earlier this year, he came out in Oldham for my birthday. We met up in Walkabout and he lined up ten Aftershock shots for me on the bar and said, 'Treat yourself' and made me see them off, knowing full well that I hate that drink. Half-an-hour later I was in a taxi going home. "As a soldier, he epitomised the word professional. He was one of the fittest men in the company, and always aspired to be the best he could be, he looked after the newer blokes, found time for them and made sure they were squared away, because that was his nature. "His loss has left a void in the Company and the Battalion. I and many others will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, his fiancée and young daughter especially. May you rest in peace my friend."

Fusiliers Darren Rushton and James Turnbull, 2 Platoon A Company 2 RRF said: "We both feel very privileged to have known and worked with Cpl Etchells. We have known him since he was a Fusilier and watched him progress through the ranks quickly with his trademark professionalism. "He was an outstanding soldier and a born leader in everything he did he striving to be at the front. He was well respected by all the lads in A Company and he will be sorely missed. He has left a massive gap in the Company which will never be filled as his drive and determination were second to none. "Outside the Army 'Etch', as he was known by all his friends, was one of the lads and always had a smile on his face. He could always make you laugh no matter the situation. "Our hearts go out to his family, his fiancée and their baby girl. He would always talk about his fiancée and how he couldn't wait to get married to the woman of his dreams and watch their daughter grow up.  "He was proud of his family and we are proud to have had the pleasure of working with and knowing such an outstanding individual. In our hearts he will always remain and in our minds he will never be forgotten."  Cpl Michael Wright, Fellow Section Commander 3 Platoon A Company 2 RRF said: "'Etch' was a quality bloke and a great section commander. He was always energetic and inspiring to those he led. Etch was always having a laugh whatever it was he was doing. He was as keen as mustard. "A quality leader who led by example - he feared nothing. He was a great friend and will be missed dearly. The man was a legend." Fusiliers Tom Swann, Jamie Connolly and Simon Annis, 3 Platoon A Company 2 RRF said: "'Etch' (Joey) was a true leader who was loved and liked by everyone who knew him and although he was only 22 he feared nothing in life. He defied science - you could put anything on his back and he would carry it. "He was ambitious and was already talking about his Platoon Sergeants Battle Course. He was a man that always led from the front. I know it sounds like a cliché but he died doing the job that he loved. Missed but never forgotten by all the people who had the pleasure to meet him. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his fiancée and family." Fusilier Kristopher Russell, 9 Platoon C Company said: "I got very close to Cpl Etchells when I was living next door to him in Cyprus. He was definitely the joker of the platoon and had a great sense of humour. As my section 2i/c [second-in-command], I learnt a lot from him, he was the best 2i/c I ever had, so clued up on his job. He did everything for the blokes. "He had a natural ability for soldiering and when things got hard he took it in his stride and rose above the challenges with flying colours. He was an inspiration to his Fusiliers and was one of the soldiers that the new lads would really look up to. He was on track for a glittering career. "It was when I was on stag with Cpl Etchells in Now Zad that I realised I had found a good mate. He put his neck on the line for me personally many times. "Cpl Etchells was my running partner for two years in Cyprus. We pushed each other so hard and got the reward when we won the "Cyprus Four Day Challenge" and the cross country league. He was great on nights out too. I remember one company boat party when me and him jumped off the boat naked in front of loads of people! We had an excellent day and that was the happiest I have ever seen him. He was in his element." Fus Gary Farrell FSP Coy, who served with LCpl Etchells in B Coy said: "I served with "Etch" in B Coy, we joined battalion together at the same time. He was an outstanding soldier, and a great friend. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten, and he will always live on in memory."

[ Sergeant Simon Valentine ]

Sergeant Simon Valentine of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 15 August 2009. Sergeant Valentine died as a result of injuries sustained in an explosion that happened while on a foot patrol near Sangin, Northern Helmand province. Sergeant Simon Valentine, or 'Val' to his mates, was born in April 1980 in Bedworth. He joined the Army in May 1997 and started phase 1 training in Bassingbourn before completing his infantry training at ITC Catterick and joining 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF) in Celle, Germany, which was an armoured infantry unit at the time.

Shortly after arriving in A Company, he completed numerous exercises in Poland and Canada and was hand-picked from the battalion to deploy to Kosovo with the Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1999. On his return from Kosovo he passed a demanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre and was promoted to Lance Corporal. Subsequently he moved to C Company and redeployed with them to Kosovo in March 2000, before returning and passing the sniper course. After Kosovo the battalion re-rolled to a light role infantry battalion and moved to North Luffenham in England, where Sgt Valentine completed the Close Observation Platoon (COP) course. From North Luffenham he deployed on a six-month operational tour of Northern Ireland, based in South Armagh. After a short time off, the battalion redeployed to Northern Ireland, this time to Belfast for public order operations during marching season. In 2002 Sgt Valentine married Gemma, whom he had known since they were at school together. During his time in North Luffenham Sgt Valentine was also involved in covering the fire strikes as well as being prepared as part of the Spearhead Battalion to move at short notice. The next post for the battalion was Palace Barracks in Belfast, where the battalion moved in 2003. Here Sgt Valentine joined COP and took part in various target-specific anti-terrorist operations. From Northern Ireland he deployed to Iraq with C Company and on his return was selected to attend the Section Commanders Battle Course which he passed with ease and was soon promoted on his return to the battalion. The unit moved again in late 2005, this time to Cyprus, based at Alexander Barracks in Dhekelia. After taking part in Exercise Saffron Sands in Jordan, Sgt Valentine deployed straight from the desert to southern Iraq for three months as part of the Theatre Reserve Battalion commitment. A short Christmas leave followed, and then he deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan, as an attachment to C Company from Fire Support Company, where he was part of Drums Platoon. After the tour of Sangin, Sgt Valentine completed the demanding Platoon Sergeants Battle Course (PSBC) in Brecon in late 2007. In March 2008 the battalion moved again, to Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, where they are still based. Here Sgt Valentine was an integral part of Drums Platoon and completed an intensive period of public duties, performing duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor and the Tower of London. Sgt Valentine returned to A Company and took over as Platoon Sergeant of 2 Platoon at the beginning of November 2008. He trained with the platoon to prepare them for Operation HERRICK 10 from November until deployment in April 2009. A Company Group was attached to the 2 RIFLES (2nd Battalion The Rifles) Battle Group for this deployment and Sgt Valentine was based with his platoon near Sangin, where he was tragically taken from us by an explosion on 15 August 2009.  Gemma, his wife, said: "Simon, above all else, was a truly loved father, son, husband and friend. To have known him was to have loved him." His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, 2 RRF, said: "Sergeant Valentine was quite simply an outstanding Platoon Sergeant. He achieved what needed to be done with a light touch when in camp, and when on the ground he gave enormous confidence to all the Fusiliers with him by his meticulously professional approach. "He will be remembered for being a central figure in the Corps of Drums, proud to represent the Fusiliers on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. First and foremost he was a great family man, and it is to Gemma and his two daughters, Chantelle and Niamh, that the battalion sends its heartfelt condolences." Commanding Officer 2 Rifles Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson, said: "Gritty, indomitable and with a rucksack full of charm is how I will remember Sergeant Valentine, one of my Fusilier heroes. I met Sergeant V first in Hounslow and he was infectiously upbeat - about everything. "He was one of those contagious men whose talent for soldiering reassured everyone in the chain of command up and down. Fusiliers adored him; officers relished his field skills, his fun and his outstanding company. "We will miss him desperately but we know that our loss is nothing compared to that being endured by his adored wife and daughters. They are firmly at the heart of our prayers tonight and for a very long time to come." His Company Commander, Major Jo Butterfill, A Company Group, 2RRF, said: "Sergeant Valentine was the sort of Platoon Sergeant that all Company Commanders want. A totally professional, meticulous soldier whose personal focus and drive masked a genuinely compassionate nature, a wonderful sense of humour and the keenest of eyes for the well-being of his men. "Hugely operationally experienced, he had excelled during this tour, helping to mould an outstandingly capable rifle platoon through example, strength of personality and sheer hard work. We served together for about a year, and I very quickly learned to trust his judgement and honesty; I always felt that if I was talking, and Val was nodding, I was on roughly the right track. "He was a man of true soldiering talent and real future promise; it was both a pleasure and a privilege to have known and worked with him. His tragic death leaves a void in A Company and the wider battalion that I know we will find impossible to completely fill. I also know that he would now want - and expect - us to drive on with the job at hand, and to do so in a manner of which he could be proud. "We will return to work with immense sadness, and in the certain knowledge that our grief is dwarfed by that of his loving wife Gemma, his two young daughters and his wider family. They are foremost in all our thoughts at this terrible time." His Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Chris Danby, 2 Platoon, A Company, said: "The empty space left by the huge personality that was Val is not something that any of us in 2 Platoon will be able to avoid. As Platoon Sergeant he was outstanding, and he had worked tirelessly over the last four months of this difficult tour to bring the guys home safely at the end of it. It breaks my heart that he will not be one of them. He was every bit the family man, he absolutely adored his wife Gemma and their two young girls, Niamh and Chantelle, and wouldn't stop talking about them. "Val had three main obsessions which you would notice every day in the FOB [Forward Operating Base]: superheroes (particularly Superman, going as far as painting a big 'S' sign on the wall, and hanging another one above the door of our room, even putting it on the front of the quad for a patrol on one occasion); keeping things clean and tidy (not one of my strong points); and a twice-daily trip to the gym for Op Massive. "I will miss his cheeky sense of humour, I will miss him telling me he was 'awesome' on a practically daily basis, but I will especially miss having him around to talk to at the end of the day. The world is a poorer place without Val, all of us in 2 Platoon will remember and honour him as we see the rest of this tour through. At this awful time my thoughts and prayers are with his family whom he loved so dearly." Warrant Officer Class 2 Wayne Caffrey, Company Sergeant Major, A Company, said: "It is difficult to put into words how we all feel about Sergeant Valentine. He was an exceptional Platoon Sergeant, a superb example of a soldier, keen, fit and always immaculately turned out. He had a fantastic rapport with his entire platoon and they all idolised him. He could brighten up any room with his big smile. Sergeant Valentine had an odd fixation with the Marvel comic superheroes and he loved all of that stuff. To us he will always be a superhero. We will miss him so much. Our hearts and prayers go to his wife Gemma and their daughters. God Bless." Colour Sergeant John McCowliff, Officer Commanding A Company, Fire Support Group (FSG), said: "I have known Sergeant Valentine for 12 years during our time in the battalion. He was a remarkable, outstanding, strong, professional soldier who always seemed to see the positive side to everything he did. He was always willing to give advice to the younger members of the company and went out of his way to ensure his men were well equipped and prepared prior to every patrol. "Sergeant Valentine was very much a true leader of men, a man every soldier should aspire to be. He was highly respected within the battalion and will be a huge loss to the front line club. "Simon, it has been an absolute honour to have known you and worked alongside you on operations. You will go down in my book as a legend and good friend who showed no fear, just like a true 'SUPER HERO'. Our thoughts and prayers within the FSG go to his wife and girls at this devastating time." Sergeant Paul Greenhalgh, 3 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, a close friend and colleague, said: "If you could say that Val was your friend then you were truly blessed. To me he was my best friend, never asking for anything in return no matter how much he put himself out. I will never forget you mate. Chantelle and Niamh, your daddy will always be looking down on you from the brightest star in the sky." Sergeant Darren Hanrahan, 1 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, a close friend, said: "Having the pleasure to know Si for many years I could say he has always been a kind-hearted family man. This quality was shown in his work; he treated his platoon like they were a part of his family. He looked after his men and would always put them first at work. Val was a devoted husband and father who always talked about his wife Gemma and his girls. He would always refer to himself as Superman; he had all the memorabilia and had even decorated his platoon house with the Superman emblem, even taking it on patrol with him. He was a super friend to me and this is how I will always remember him." Sergeant Carl Harris, C Company, 2 RRF, a close friend, said: "I would like to pass on my condolences over the tragic death of Simon. As a close colleague and someone from the same hometown, he was a real friend who will be sorely missed. It was only just over a year ago we were in the same platoon on PSBC where he was an inspiration to myself and the rest of the course. Other memories include his heroic efforts on HERRICK 6 where we served together in the defence of Sangin DC [District Centre], and on the TES [Tactical Engagement Simulation] Exercise, Druid's Dance, where he received the title of best Section Commander in the company ahead of stiff competition from eight other quality Section Commanders. "On a social level we both shared the same love for Coventry City FC and Leicester Tigers RFC. My heart goes out to all of his friends and family back home, in particular his wife and children. Everyone here shares your pain. He will never be forgotten." Corporal Richie Manton, a close friend, recalled their time diving together: "Above all, I remember Sergeant Simon Valentine as a man who adored his family. His wife Gemma and his two children Niamh and Chantelle meant the world to him. His desire to progress in his career and the battalion was driven to provide his family with the life they deserve. I've known Simon for nearly ten years and served with him in both B Company and C Company. He always stood out as a soldier that would achieve great things within the battalion. He always put his soldiers first and this was the case on his R&R when he gave up nearly a week of his leave so his soldiers could get on the last available helicopter to avoid missing any of their leave. A true testament to the kind of man he was. "In Cyprus we did a scuba diving course together and one moment that always sticks in my head was when he had to go to the surface because he felt sick. While I was on the bottom carrying out my drills with the instructor, we suddenly noticed a school of fish all around us eating on what looked like chunks! When we surfaced we found Si puking up chunks and all the fish were feeding on his sick all around us. He quickly went back to the shore to recover. "At this time my heart goes out to his family and my thoughts are with his wife and children at this difficult time. Rest in peace pal. You will never be forgotten!" Corporal Ian Pascall, 2 Platoon, A Company Group, said: "There are no words that I can think of to explain how myself and the rest of 2 Platoon felt about Val. He inspired confidence throughout the platoon; even when times were hard he made us feel safe and confident just by his mere presence. His sense of humour was infectious. I looked up to him as a truly professional soldier and a man and a very close friend. My heart and thoughts go out to his wife and daughters who he loved dearly and always spoke about. He will be missed but never forgotten." Lance Corporal Callum Davies and Fusilier Andrew Evans, 3 Platoon, who served with Sergeant Valentine during their time in 2 Platoon, said: "Sergeant Valentine wasn't just a Platoon Sergeant, he was a person that everyone would look up to. He put the troops before himself every time, everyone who knew him looked up to him and admired his professionalism and the way he did things. Every time he was given a task or job to do he would put 100% into it. He was at his happiest when the soldiers below him were happy. He was always up for a bit of banter! His work throughout his career was recognised and respected by the battalion. He always led from the front although he respected the ranks below him and trusted them to carry out their responsibilities without interfering. It was just the way Val was; a true leader of men. "He has many friends at home, within the battalion and throughout the Army that will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, children and family. He will always be in our hearts and I know he will be watching over us. He will never be forgotten." Fusiliers Lawrie Stevenson, Adam Gregg, Ryan Hyndman, Ricky Wright and Michael Boyce, 2 Platoon, A Company Group, said: "Val was without doubt the soldier to look up to. 'Top Cracks' - we all aspired to be like him one day. 

"In this tough operational environment Val's positive attitude kept us wanting to solider. His platoon was always welcoming, and his leadership made all of us feel safer and confident about going on patrol. He was inspirational, and without him morale would not have been nearly so high. "We always trusted his sound judgement, particularly while the chips were down. It seemed that even in the worst of situations Val would always be able to make light of it. He could always see the funny side to everything. Any platoon would have been lucky to have a Sergeant like Val. It has been an honour to work alongside him; we could not have wished to work for a better bloke. At this time we are all thinking of his wife and two daughters who he loved so much." Fusilier James Allen, 2 Platoon, A Company Group, said: "Sergeant Valentine was one-in-a-million, a true leader and friend. A loving husband and father he was someone you could turn to when you needed help or support. Our thoughts go to his wife Gemma and Chantelle and Niamh. "He will be missed so much but he will always be a superhero to us all." Drummer Andrew Miles, A Company, Fire Support Group, Drums Platoon, said: "On behalf of the Drums Platoon, Sergeant 'Val' Valentine was a very big part of Drums Platoon even though he left earlier this year to take up the role of Platoon Sergeant. "During his time in Drums he was such a respected colleague and friend. You could always count on him having a big grin on his face, giggling away regardless of where we were unless the 'Hulk' was released. You could count on him to do anything for you even if it wasn't work-related; all you had to do was ask. He would always go out his way to help his friends and get the job done professionally. "Even though he left the platoon it was as if he was always there, popping in every now and then to see how the lads were doing. I can speak for the lads when I say a big place has been left in the platoon, especially in his 'leopard skin'. It's going to take some big shoulders to fill it. "Sergeant Val, you will be very deeply missed by all of us as a colleague, but more importantly as a very good friend. All our thoughts go out to his wife and two daughters during this very sad time. You will always be remembered and never forgotten." Fusilier Jamie Green-Morris, 2 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, said: "Sergeant Valentine was one of those people who touched everyone around him and for that he will be greatly missed. He always looked out for 2 Platoon and always did his best to make sure that each and everyone of us were looked after. "There are not many more words in which to describe how great a man he was and how he will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure to work with him. I don't think that any of us will forget the passion he had for Superman. His family will always have the love and support from 2 Platoon along with the rest of the Fusiliers." Fusilier Darren Rushton, 2 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, said: "Sergeant Valentine, or 'Val' as he was known, was my Platoon Sergeant and a friend. Val is someone I admire and someone I look up to. He always had a smile on his face and when he was around the platoon house with the lads. When he was around we were happy and morale was always high. Whenever the platoon was down he would always find a way of making everyone happy even if it meant going out of his way to make it happen, then he would. "His smile and laugh was infectious and he would often stay up late with the other lads playing Trivial Pursuits which I wasn't very good at and actually neither was he. Val loved his superheroes and in my eyes he was a true superhero. My heart goes out to his wife and children who I know he absolutely adored and loved dearly. I will never forget Val and he will be sorely missed. The hole left in 2 Platoon could never be filled."

[ Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter  ]

Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter, all of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF), were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 16 August 2009. All three died following an explosion while on patrol near Sangin in Helmand province.

[ Lance Corporal James Fullarton, or 'Fully' ]

Lance Corporal James Fullarton, or 'Fully' to his mates, was born in Coventry in April 1985. He joined the Army in November 2003 and on successful completion of his infantry training at ITC Catterick, was posted to the Second Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.  Lance Corporal Fullarton joined the Battalion in Palace Barracks, Belfast, as the Resident Battalion based there. He patrolled the streets of the city and was involved with public order incidents keeping the streets safe during the marching season. In the summer of 2005 Lance Corporal Fullarton deployed to Iraq for the first time. In late 2005, Lance Corporal Fullarton moved with the Battalion to Cyprus as part of the Theatre Reserve Battalion commitment. During this time he deployed on Exercise Saffron Sands in Jordon and again on Operations to Iraq. 

Lance Corporal Fullarton distinguished himself early earning his place on a JNCO cadre and subsequent promotion to Lance Corporal in 2006. His love of sport and fitness saw him drive to undertake and pass the Physical Training Instructors cadre, he was never happier than when he was taking imaginative and demanding training sessions. In March 2008 Lance Corporal Fullarton moved with the Battalion to Hounslow, West London. Here, Lance Corporal Fullarton was to stand proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Public Duties commitment.  In March 2009 Lance Corporal Fullarton was called upon to deploy to Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, first as a Section Second in Command and latterly as a Section Commander. He was a shining example to his men who all admired and respected him. In June 2009, whilst on leave, Lance Corporal Fullarton got engaged to fiancée Leanne, whom he loved and adored, he was planning to marry her in June of 2010. Lance Corporal Fullarton's life was tragically cut short in an IED blast on 16 August 2009. He was tasked with leading the Company on a patrol. Lance Corporal Fullarton died doing what he loved and leading, as always, from the front.  His parents, Janice and Peter, and his fiancée, Leanne, said: "James was an outstanding soldier who was so proud to serve his Queen and country. He touched so many around him and has left a void in our lives that will never be filled. A treasured son, brother, grandson, fiancé, nephew, cousin and friend. Gone but never forgotten." His Commanding Officer Lieutenant Charlie Calder, CO 2 RRF, said: "Lance Corporal James Fullarton had established an enviable reputation as a section commander and section 2IC. He inspired confidence in all the Fusiliers around him when operating under the most demanding of circumstances. He will be sorely missed in the Battalion by his many friends. However, it is to his family and in particular his fiancée, Leanne, that every Fusilier in Afghanistan sends their heartfelt condolences." Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, CO 2 RIFLES Battlegroup, said: "Lance Corporal Fullerton was a rock to his men. Full of fun, he kept the load out here light by finding mischief around every corner. A pre-eminent soldier, he has been standing very tall under fire and under IED attack. Loyalty was his thing and no-one loved 3 Platoon more than he. He is sorely missed but our first thoughts and prayers are with his family and Leanne, his fiancée, whom he was heart-breakingly due to marry next year." Major Jo Butterfill, OC A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Lance Corporal Fullarton was an excellent soldier and a committed and highly capable junior commander. Monstrously fit, strong and focussed, 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. "He was a character, liked and admired by all, who could always be relied on to summarise the worst of situations in a few choice words, generate a smile from tired, sometimes frightened men, and then resume the charge with renewed energy. He led, in the best traditions of the infantry, from the very front and by personal example. "His tragic and untimely death is a terrible loss both to the Company and the wider Battalion. We shall miss him hugely during the remainder of this tour and in the future. All our thoughts and prayers are with his loving family and fiancée." Lieutenant Alan Williamson, Platoon Commander Three Platoon, A Company, 2RRF, Attached 2 RIFLES, said: "Lance Corporal Fullarton, Fully, was one hell of a good soldier whom I would have trusted with my own life. A man of immeasurable morale and physical courage he was an inspiration to all who knew him. Fully was fiercely loyal, he loved Three Platoon and was so proud to be a part of this very special group of young soldiers. Fully's soldiers would have followed him anywhere, he was their rock and inspiration during some very testing days out here in Afghanistan. "So often trusted with the most difficult of tasks, I could always depend on him to back me up and get the job done to the highest of standards. He led from the front providing the most outstanding example to his men, if any young infanteer is looking for a role model then Fully should be it! "His loss has left a massive hole within our Platoon that will never quite be filled. However, this is nothing compared to how his beloved fiancée Leanne must be feeling; he was so excited at the prospect of marrying her next year. My thoughts are with her and his family during this most difficult of times." Sgts Matthew Palmieri, Mark Taylor and Cpl Wayne McNamara said: "Ful-Dog … a strong man who was fit as a butchers dog and a great soldier, at a junior rank commanded respect from all and also gave the respect back. Will be sorely missed by all, our thoughts go to his family. Fallen but not forgotten. Good memories of another great man and… once a Fusilier always a Fusilier. Rest in peace…" Corporal Scott O'Connell, Section Commander 11 Platoon A Company Group, said: "I have known Lance Corporal Fullarton for about 4 years but became close friends with him at the start of the Cyprus Tour when I moved to C Company. We instantly became good friends and we had a small group from all over the Midlands that would be partying in Ayia Napa. At every chance, myself, Fully, Shane Hurley and George Cardwell would be on it the second we finished work, and you could guarantee Fully would be the life and soul of the party. "Fully was one of the most professional soldiers I have ever seen, always happy, loved his job and no matter how hard things got he was never phased he would just say 'I'm not arsed', Fully's famous quote. He had total respect from everyone around him. Fully was loved by everyone because of his attitude to life, no matter if you were a mate he had known all his life or the youngest Fusilier he had never met before, he still made the effort to give you the time of day and help in anyway he could. He was a model soldier and a model friend. He will be sorely missed especially that distinctive laugh! My thoughts go out to his fiancée and all of his family at this hard time. RIP Fully mate, I will never forget you. God Bless x." Corporal Paul Whiting, 3 YORKS, said: "Lance Corporal Fullarton, Fully, to me he was a bloke I couldn't say a bad word about, in the little time I knew him, he was an extremely professional soldier and he was an inspiration to all he worked with, and everyone around him looked up to him. He is a tribute to his family and a true hero in the lads eyes. Rest well Fully, God knows, you deserve it." Lance Corporal Phil Gibbons, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fully, known to his mates as "Fullydog”, was a tough, genuine, strong and courageous man. He was a fantastic soldier, who feared little and always led from the front. If I was to sum Fullydog up – it would be that he was a loyal friend who would be behind you whatever the situation. My heart and sympathy go out to his beloved fiancée Leanne, who he adored so much, his mum, dad and two sisters, family and friends. Fully, you are and will always be a true legend and there will always be a place in my heart for you. I will never forget you – I hope one day we can meet again. RIP friend." Lance Corporal Callum Davies, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fully aka 'Fullydog', was an absolute legend and a true friend. He was a great leader and I had the pleasure serving as his 2IC. Everything that was asked of him, he did with 100% commitment. Fully will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with his fiancée Leanne, who he loved dearly, and his family and friends. He will always be in our hearts, and he will never be forgotten." Lance Corporal Kielan Walker, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "I've known Jay all my life since I started Primary School, he was a typical lad's lad always up for a laugh. We used to finish school, then go down the park in Profit Avenue and play football. He was always a very competitive sportsman and wanted to be a winner in everything he did. We lost touch for a while when I moved away, then in training in Catterick we met up again after eight years. It was like we never separated. We both joined the Battalion near enough the same time and since then I've watched him grow into a perfect soldier, proud of his cap badge, proud of his job and glad to be in the Army. "Fully would always welcome the newest Fusilier to his room for a drink because he never wanted to leave anyone out, this was just typical of him. He classed his Section as his family and brothers in arms. As he used to tell me, I can honestly say he died doing what he loved and all that knew him will miss him dearly. I won't forget you mate all my love to you, your family and your future wife. You were a true Sky Blue fan, CCFC ‘til I die. God Bless mate, Love Kielan." Lance Corporal Nike Thomas, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "James was one of the best lads I have ever met. He was always there for his friends. My thoughts go out to all of his family and his girlfriend Leanne." Fusilier Martin Nolan, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "To sum Fully up in a paragraph or two is not easy, for the simple fact, there are just too many things to say about him. I remember when I first got to Battalion, he gave me a tour of the barracks, introduced me to his closest friends and made me feel comfortable in my new surroundings. He then said "Do you want a brew kid” a phrase that he would use again, many times as he was a true 'Brew Monster'. "Fully showed me the ropes and taught me a lot about the Army, he was an excellent soldier and JNCO. J was family, a cousin who became a best friend and a best friend who became a brother, but not just to me, to all who knew him. He hasn't left my side and will never leave my thoughts and heart, we will meet again my friend. Stay strong Leanne, he is watching over you now, protecting you as he always did. RIP Fully, Love Chubbz." Fusilier John Jones, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fully was great commander, I always looked up to him from the first day I met him, he didn't mess about when it counted on soldiers' lives, he was a professional soldier and always got himself and the section to practise drills, until it became second nature. He always said that he always learnt new stuff, even off the newest Fusiliers in the Platoon. It is a shame we will never have that drinking bet, but when we all go to Cyprus for decompression, we will all have a drink on you. Rest in peace Fullydog. Specky." Fusilier James Burke, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fully or "Fullydog” to all that new him was one of my closest mates. From the day I got to Battalion, he took me under his wing and called me "Boy Blue”. Its been an honour to have worked and known Fully as well as I have and he is the soldier all of Three Platoon wanted to be. Funny, awesome at his job and always first to speak up for the lads. Fully, you'll never be forgotten mate." Fusilier Tom Swann, 3 Platoon A Company, said: How can you sum up Fully on a piece of paper? He was a fearless warrior and a loyal friend. Every Fusilier in the Platoon looked up to him. I spent the majority of the tour in his section and I have witnessed what an awesome soldier he was. It's a tragic shame we'll never get to see him fulfil his dream of being RSM. "As a mate you couldn't ask for more, he was always there, either having a laugh or talking about home, he was always there to make you feel better. He was unique. The pain felt in the Platoon by his loss cannot be matched by that of his beloved fiancée Leanne, his parents and sisters, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Full, I love you mate. You're in a better place. See you at the Re-Org." Fusilier Stanslaus Zvirawa, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "I have known the distinguished soldier for over one year in the Battalion. He was a mentor, an exemplary soldier, who led from the front. Throughout this Op Herrick 10 Tour, he has been my Section 2IC and when he unfortunately passed away, we were together on the ground. My deepest thoughts go to his family fiancé. May the Lord accept your soul into his hands." Fusilier Andrew Evans, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fully was a strong, fearless and smart soldier, that could do any task he was given, whether it was Section 2IC , Section Comd or even Valon man, which he did on this tour. He lead from the front and was such an inspiration to the people below him. As a person, he was always cracking jokes and having a laugh with all the lads, he will be sorely missed by everyone that new him and someone that I and many more would follow anywhere. Our thoughts and love now go to his family and fiancée." Fusilier Tez Scanlon, a close friend from B Company Group, said: "James was a popular bloke both in 2 RRF as well as back home in Coventry. He was a friend who cannot be replaced. James was big bloke with a big heart to match who always smiled no matter what. He cared a lot about his family and friends. I am finding it hard to come to terms with the loss of a true friend like Fully, knowing when I return he won't be there. I can't imagine how his loved ones are feeling at this time back home. My thoughts and prayers are with his family back at home. Rest in Peace my friend." Fusilier Matthew Cleaver, Mortar Section, A Company Group, said: "I have known Fully for over 4 years. When I joined A Company in Belfast he became a really good friend. Not long after he was promoted he joined C Company on OP Telic 6, he rejoined A Company half way through Cyprus and we got even closer. He was one of my best friends, I asked him to be my best man at my wedding. I was in his section on Exercise Saffron Sands in Jordan and I believe one of the best soldiers in the Battalion. My stag and wedding weekend was the best weekend of my life, he said an amazing speech on the day. My thoughts are with his wife to be Leanne. Rest in peace James, I'll never forget you." Fusilier Hooley, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "Fully as he was called by his friends was a strong and determined man who cared for people and especially those under his command. He was a role model for many of the Fusiliers, an excellent NCO. He always kept things running smoothly, he always had time for a person in need. He will be missed by all." Fusilier Robert Clark, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "James, otherwise known to his friends as "Fully” was an extraordinary bloke and everyone's best friend. When I first arrived in Battalion Fully took me under his wing along with his best mate Shane Hurly. Seeing them together was like watching brothers playing. For anyone that knew, loved or looked up to James, this is a hard time to go through, he will be missed dearly and will remain forever in our hearts."  Fusilier Liam Poole, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "Fully was an outstanding bloke, he was a laugh and had an all round great character. He loved going out with the lads. Whether in work or at home you could always count on Fully to brighten and cheer your day up. You would not ask for more from a friend or colleague. He will always be in our thoughts and so will his family. You will be missed Fully." Fusilier Tony Manuel, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "When I first arrived in Battalion, James made it as easy as possible for me to settle in to the Platoon and welcomed us with a barbeque and some beers. He will be missed and I will never forget him." Fusilier Lewis Collins, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "I met Fully on my first day in Battalion, he told me he would be in his platoon. I spent the best part of two years working with him. We went on exercise in Jordan together, followed by a tour to Iraq. We were also in the company boxing team together. Fully was very professional, but he would always keep the section or the platoon on their toes and alert because of his pranks and practical jokes. "He brought smiles and laughter to everyone around him. I will sorely miss you mate and I will never forget you."

[ Fusilier Simon Annis with his wife Caroline ]

Fusilier Simon Annis with his wife Caroline whom he married in February 2009 just a few weeks before he deployed to Afghanistan. Born in Salford in 1987 Fusilier Simon Annis attended Culcheth High School, Warrington, until he had completed his GCSEs. After leaving school his desire to test himself saw him pursue a challenging and varied career when he joined his local Infantry Regiment, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers aged just 19. In 2006, he completed the physically demanding Infantry Training course at ITC Catterick ready to embrace the varied lifestyle on offer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Having completed training he was to move to Cyprus to join the Regiment in a demanding training year where he deployed to Jordan on a tough 6 week training exercise. From the outset Fusilier Annis was to experience the full range of activities on offer to a young man in the infantry. In his short time in the Army Fusilier Annis has served in Cyprus, Jordan and latterly Afghanistan. It was in Jordan that Fusilier Annis developed his taste for scuba diving. He was able to deploy to Egypt in 2007 and Belize in 2008 to further his diving skills and love of the sport. Having experienced a plethora of activities he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow West London as part of a Battalion move. Here Fusilier Annis stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion's Public Duties commitment. In February 2009 Fusilier Annis married his beloved Caroline just one month before he was called upon to deploy to Sangin, Afghanistan. Fusilier Annis approached his first operational tour as he did everything else in his life with good humour and a professional attitude. Whilst in Sangin, Fusilier Annis was an integral part of Three Platoon serving as a Light Machine Gunner. Fusilier Annis sense of humour and positive attitude helped to inspire the men of Three Platoon through some dark days, including the death of his friend and colleague Cpl Joey Etchells. Fusilier Annis was tragically killed on 16 August 2009 whilst evacuating his section commander; it is fitting that Fusilier Annis was there for his friends right up to the end. Caroline, his wife, said: "Simon was the perfect husband, son and brother. He will be sorely missed by all of us. He was a true hero who made all of us so very proud and he will always have a place in our hearts. We will love and miss him always." His Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, CO 2 RRF, 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. The heartfelt condolences of every Fusilier in Afghanistan go to Caroline, his wife of only a few months."  Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, CO 2 RIFLES Battlegroup, said: "Fusilier Annis was delightful in addition to being a quality soldier. A huge man, I used to encounter him on my way to breakfast on an almost daily basis and he used to stop me and ask me if I was OK. He had an ever-present grin and used to carry far more than his normal share on patrol. He was always laughing and used to lighten the mood in the darkest of times, often by breaking into particularly tuneless song. He leaves behind Caroline, his beloved wife of less than six months, who will be devastated. Our prayer is that somehow she will find the strength and courage to face this the most unimaginably awful time."  His Company Commander Major Jo Butterfill, OC A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Annis was an A Company character from the moment he arrived. A quiet, sometimes unassuming personality, his extraordinary, wry sense of humour and his incredible capacity for shouldering more than his fair share of any task nevertheless made him immensely popular across the ranks. If the job of the infantryman is sometimes simply to endure, then Fusilier Annis had that ability, and then some. "Unshakable by anything the Army or the enemy could throw at him, he was rock-solid under both fire and the privations of operational life, and never to be found without a smile on his face. It was absolutely typical of the man that he died in the attempt to extract a wounded friend from danger. We have lost a truly excellent soldier, and a staunch comrade; the company is immeasurably poorer for his passing. Foremost in our thoughts however, is his new wife Caroline who has lost her cherished husband. Our heartfelt condolences go to her at this dreadful time." Lieutenant Alan Williamson, Platoon Commander, Three Platoon, A Company 2RRF, Attached 2 RIFLES, said: "How do I sum up Fusilier Annis in just a few short words? Cheeky would be an understatement, the life and soul of the platoon would not be too far from the truth. During our darkest days out here in Sangin Fusilier Annis has been there to lighten the mood and pick up morale. The man was a delight. Whether it be his jokes and banter or his spontaneous outbreak into song he could always make you smile and forget your troubles – how we could do with him now." "Fusilier Annis was no joker when the chips were down! He was fiercely competent with his LMG, bragging that he was the 'best gunner in battalion', a statement not far from the truth. He was a soldier who was always there for his friends and commanders, never to busy to stop and talk, he has touched a lot of hearts within the Battlegroup. I spent three weeks scuba diving in Belize with Fusilier Annis a year ago and he was the centre of attention for the entire trip. On his 21st birthday night out in San Pedro he even managed to befriend some American tourists and convinced them to buy him drinks for most of the night, such was the personality of the man."  "Fusilier Annis was a man with a big heart and a bright future, he was a real people person. It's fitting that he died trying to save his friend, right at the front of the CASEVAC party. I shall miss Fusilier Annis and his quirky sense of humour, his mischievous ways and his appalling singing! But this loss is nothing compared to his wife Caroline whom he loved so much. My thoughts and prayers are with her and his family now during these darkest of days." Corporal Paul Whiting, Section Commander 3 YORKS, said: "Fusilier Annis was a character, the little time I knew him, he would always make you smile, whatever the situation. He was another legend of the platoon, if not the legend. He was great and very professional. I'm just sorry he won't be able to live out his dreams of becoming a pro poker player. Rest in peace buddy." Corporal Dan Henderson, 9 Platoon C Company, said: "I was Simon's Corporal when he was in training at ITC(C). I got to know him very well. He was the light in the Section, he had a cheekiness that only he could get away with. No matter how hard things were, Simon could bring a smile to people's faces. Simon was very caring and full of joy, the world is a lesser place without him."  Lance Corporal Nike Thomas, 10 Platoon C Company, said: "Simon was one of the funniest lads I have ever met. I was in A Company with him in Cyprus, we would always go out for a few beers together and he would ensure that every night would be memorable. My thoughts go out to all his family and his wife." Fusilier Tom Swann, 3 Platoon A Company, said: Si was one of those blokes you couldn't help but love. He was always smiling and taking the piss out of someone. He was one of the few people who could cheer you up. Whether it was with his snide comments, stupid songs or his atrocious beat boxing. He was always the first to complain about things, but when out on the ground he was fearless, always the first to return fire in contact. He knew when to draw the line and always got the job done. The bloke was an absolute legend, the Platoon, Company and Battalion has lost a true friend. Our thoughts now turn to his beloved wife, Caroline and his family. Our deepest sympathies go out to them. Miss ya mate x." Fusilier James Burke, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Simon Annis was one of my best mates. We got to Battalion at roughly the same time and have spent all three and a half years in 1 Pl and now 3 Pl. Annis was a pain in the arse at time, but I wouldn't have changed him for any other way. Going to your stag do was one of the best nights of my life and was gutted I couldn't get to your wedding. Reading your eulogy at your Vigil Service was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but one of the proudest, telling everybody how awesome a friend you were and how much you meant to me and the Three Platoon lads. The good guys always die young and that's an understatement for you mate. Been a pleasure mate and I'm sure you'll always be watching over us, keeping us safe. Gone but not forgotten Si!" Fusilier John Jones, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Si was a good friend of mine, I spoke to him now and then in Hounslow and he made me laugh back then, but it wasn't till we came on tour that I started to know him a lot more. He was always morale for the section and even if he did wind everyone up now and then, he could always take it when the joke was on him. He was a big fan of poker and always loved taking money of us when we lost. Well, rest in peace my friend, and I'll never forget you or the good times we had. Specky." Fusilier Jay Connolly, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "'Si' was an awesome soldier and a very loyal friend. If I was to describe Annis in one word, that word would be “legend ”, he would always know how to make you smile, however bad you felt. "As a friend I couldn't ask for any better than Si. Me and him were going away over Christmas, with the wifey's and he kept saying that he couldn't wait to get minging at the 24 hour bar even though it would only take him two pints. He was always talking about his wife “Caz” who he loved with all his heart. He couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with her. Si you will always be a great friend. I will miss you mate. My thoughts and sympathies go out to your wife Caroline your family and friends. RIP mate, see you on the other side." Fusilier Andrew Evans, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Si was a person that everyone liked, he had a heart of gold and never had a bad thing to say about anyone, unless it was banter, which he gave out as well took. He always had a smile on his face and had a way of putting a smile on everyone else's face, no matter how bad things were. "As a soldier, he knew when to be the joker and when to be a soldier, which he did extremely well. He could be given any task, which he would always do, and smiling whilst doing it. He will always be missed but never replaced all our thoughts now go to his family and wife Caroline." Fusilier Adam Gregg, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "I can't think of many words to describe his sense of humour, which everyone knows was second to none, but if I was to describe him as a soldier and a friend the list is endless. He was honourable, loyal, brave, honest and a true hero, one in a million, just a few that could describe this true hero. He was a true Fusilier and no one could have asked more of him. My thoughts are with his wife Caroline, his family and friends." Fusilier Craig Ashwell, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "I've had the privilege to have known Simon for about three years since he first rocked up to Battalion in Cyprus. In the time that I've known him he always put a smile on my face. Some of the stuff he would come out with was unbelievable - put it this way, there was never a dull moment with him. He was definitely the joker of the company. He made a lot of friends with his time spent in A Company, you couldn't do anything but love the guy but that was just typical of his nature and the way he did things. "I'm not just speaking for myself but for the whole of A Company he will be sorely missed and I still can't believe he's gone but I know he will be watching over us all for the duration of our time left in Afghanistan. My heart and sincere condolences go out to his devoted wife Caroline, his loving family and to whom to have known him. Good bye my friend, RIP." Fusilier Lawrie Stevenson, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "Since the start Annis was one of those characters who always made you laugh and we all loved him when he arrived at Battalion. In Cyprus I got the privilege to know Annis quite well, he had the ability to make anyone laugh with his dry sense of humour and I'm sure that right now he is watching over the Company and most importantly his wife and family. Farewell mate you will always be remembered." Fusilier Jonathan Hooley, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "Good friend and a brilliant soldier. He was laid back and always had a smile on his face no matter what. Annis kept spirits high and he was always there to listen and give a helping hand. He would put others needs first. He was a brilliant man full of life and will be sorely missed." Fusilier Ryan Hyndman, 2 Platoon A Company Group, said: "There are so many words that could describe Annis; that's the sort of person he was, full of character. He was one of the friendliest people to meet in this Battalion and I am privileged to be one of his many friends. His sense of humour was pure morale and he always made me and the lads laugh. He had this cheeky way about him that you just had to admire. It's a massive loss to this Battalion and Regiment. He is in all of our thoughts and our hearts and I can only offer my deepest sympathy to his family and his beloved wife." Fusilier Daniel Swales, 9 Platoon C Company, said: "Simon and I first met on a diving expedition. He was a very good diver and was always cracking jokes, messing around and had a smile on his face. He was the life of the group and I will truly miss him." From all the men at Patrol Base Woqab: "Fallen but not forgotten. Good memories of another great man and… once a Fusilier always a Fusilier."

[ Fusilier Louis Carter  ]

Fusilier Louis Carter was born in Nuneaton in 1990. He joined the Army in January 2007, and on successful completion of AFC Harrogate and his infantry training at ITC Catterick, was posted to the Second Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in April 2009. He was always eager and proud to be a Fusilier and Infantryman. On arrival in Battalion, Fusilier Carter was immediately sent out to join 3 Platoon, A Company, attached to the 2 RIFLES Battle Group serving in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Despite the daunting task of deploying straight to a war zone Fusilier Carter adapted himself well to life on operations and very quickly became a respected and popular member of 2 Section, 3 Platoon. A keen footballer, rugby player and cricketer he did not have time to establish himself in any of the Battalion teams. His football form on Op HERRICK 10 suggests he was not far off the mark. He was a keen Coventry City supporter and whenever possible go and watch his beloved team. Fusilier Carter’s life was tragically cut short when he was killed whilst extracting his section commander whilst on patrol on the morning of 16 August 2009. It is a testament to this young man’s character that in the face of great danger he died trying to save his fallen commander. A young life and fledgling career cut short due to his selfless act in trying to save his friends. The family of Fusilier Carter said: "Louis Carter was a loving and caring son to Mick and Denise Carter, and a great older brother to Sam, and younger brother to Lee. "Louis’s childhood dream and ambition was always to join the Army and ultimately serve his country. His dream was fulfilled but tragically cut short. "Louis had many, many friends and relatives and was loved by all. He was also very aware of our love for him. We are all so proud of him. "Louis will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He will live in our hearts forever." His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, CO 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Louis Carter gave his young life just as he was embarking on his career with the Fusiliers. Thrown into to the thick of it right from the start he quickly became a key member of his platoon. He sacrificed his life attempting to save his section commander. This act of selfless commitment from one so young should be a shining example to the nation. His family have suffered a great loss and the heartfelt condolences of all Fusiliers in Afghanistan go to his family at this tragic time." Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, CO 2 RIFLES Battlegroup, said: "One of the youngest men in 2 RIFLES BG, he had been right in the mix from the off. Unostentatious, thorough, he was a meticulous Fusilier who everyone adored and trusted on their flank. He was a bright prospect, quick-witted and full of ideas. Like all his comrades he was thriving on the challenge of this place. There is a gaping hole in our lives left by his death but our first thoughts are for his parents and his younger brother. They are firmly in the centre of our prayers." Major Jo Butterfill, OC A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Carter had not long been with A Company, but had already made a considerable impression. Slotting straight into an experienced and battle-hardened Platoon, his obvious soldiering ability and concern for others quickly made him a trusted member of the team. A quiet, considered character, his pride in being a Fusilier and deployed on operations was nonetheless there for all to see. He showed stacks of promise for the future and his death is a monumental loss to the Company. Our thoughts are with his loving family. We will remember him." Lieutenant Alan Williamson, Platoon Commander, Three Platoon A Company 2RRF, Attached 2 RIFLES, 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." "Although he was only with the Platoon for a short period of time, Fusilier Carter has touched the hearts of all who knew him. He can be best described as a ‘genuinely nice bloke, ' nobody ever had a bad word to say about him. 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. My thoughts are now with his family who have lost a young son who died trying to save his friends. A true hero, rest in peace."  Fusilier Jake McDougal, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fusilier Carter was a quiet, but bubbly character, who was always there for those that needed him. He was one of my closest friends, along with other members of the Platoon. He always enjoyed going out for a good pint or two, even though it was Worthingtons! Even though he was only a Fusilier for a short period of time, I know he loved being part of the family, which especially showed whilst he was in training. Its very hard to sum up a good comrade and especially a close friend. All I can say is RIP my friend and all our thoughts are with you and your family. Sleep tight mate and I’ll see you soon x." Fusilier Kenny Cootes, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Fusilier Carter can’t be summed up on a piece of paper, because he was a great lad, who always had time for everyone. He was the type of lad to always get on with the job he had been tasked with. He will leave a big hole in a lot of people’s lives and will be missed, but never forgotten by all that knew him." Fusilier James Burke, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "I only knew him for the short time he spent with 3 Platoon. He joined us straight from training and made an impression straight away. He settled into 3 Platoon straight away and was beginning to become a valuable member of the platoon, always eating something but always with a smile on his face. Still find it hard to believe you’re gone mate, its been too short a friendship. Like I’ve said about everybody else, you’re gone, but always in our thoughts and minds." Fusilier Sam Cotton, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Although I only knew Carter for a short period of time, we clicked almost instantly. With his bubbly personality and his chubby charm, how could you not become close friends with a character like that, particularly when you live a metre away from each other? He always had a smile on his face, even if he hated the job in hand. All I can say is, it was an honour to have met you friend and you will be in my thoughts until we meet again. Sleep well." Fusilier John Jones, 3 Platoon A Company, said: "Louis was the youngest member in our section, but for the short time I knew him, I can say he was always up for a laugh. He never held anything against you and always had a smile on his face. He never once complained about getting ECM on his back and going out on patrol. It is such a shame he had to pass away in the way he did, doing a job he loved. I wish I could have got to know him a lot more, but still he was a good friend, let your soul rest mate. Specky." Fusilier Matthew Hayward, B Company Group FSG, said: "Fusilier Louis Carter was a best friend and a great infantryman. All he ever talked about was joining up and making a difference. He was always up for a laugh and always there to talk to if you needed him. "My thoughts go out to his mum Denise and his younger brother Sam. Fallen but never forgotten, rest in peace, your mate Matthew Hayward." Fusilier Peter Jewkes, 9 Platoon C Company, said:  "A true mate, beyond mates. He loved his job and going home won’t feel the same without my friend. You will be deeply missed." From all the men at Patrol Base Woqab: "Fallen but not forgotten. Good memories of another great man and... once a Fusilier always a Fusilier."

[ Fusilier Shaun Bush ]

Fusilier Shaun Bush from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers died at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Selly Oak, on Tuesday 25 August 2009. Fusilier Bush died of wounds he had sustained in Afghanistan. He had been taking part in a foot patrol in Sangin district, Helmand province, on Saturday 15 August when an explosive device detonated, killing his colleague Sergeant Simon Valentine. Fusilier Bush was attempting to rescue Sergeant Valentine in the aftermath of this, when there was a second explosion. Fusilier Bush sustained serious injuries and was returned to Selly Oak for treatment. Sadly, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he lost his fight for life ten days later.

Fusilier Shaun Bush was born on 17 May 1985 and grew up in Warwickshire. At 21 years of age he joined his local regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. On completion of his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick he passed out as a Fusilier and reported for duty to 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF) in Cyprus. Fusilier Bush, known as 'Bushy' to his friends, saw his first operational tour in Afghanistan when his platoon went to Kabul as part of the Theatre Reserve Battalion in early 2007. On return to Cyprus, Fusilier Bush went on to complete a sharpshooter course, the first step to becoming a sniper. He then returned home to Warwickshire for a few months where he worked in the recruiting office in Bramcote and helped recruit the next generation of Fusiliers. Fusilier Bush then returned to the Battalion who had subsequently moved to Hounslow in West London and immediately started to return to form as a Battalion boxer. Having been an indomitable boxer in Cyprus, where he won his fight in the annual Regimental Boxing Competition, he returned to the team and spent many hours training hard for his next fight. His real passion in life though was football. A life-long Coventry City fan, he also cut an impressive figure on the pitch whilst playing with the Battalion football team. Fusilier Bush, a keen soldier, worked hard in the field and especially in the build up to his second tour of Afghanistan. After several hard live firing exercises in Otterburn, and other pre-deployment training, Fusilier Bush deployed with his Platoon to Sangin in Helmand Province. Fusilier Bush was from Coventry. Shaun's father, Carl, paid the following tribute: "Shaun was an extremely brave soldier who died while doing the job that he loved, He wanted to serve with the Army from a very young age. Shaun was a tremendous athlete who excelled at both football and boxing. "He was a kind and generous man who was very family orientated and he would not hesitate to help others in need. He was extremely proud of his sister Hannah and brother Lewis. He will be sorely missed by both his friends and family."

Shaun's girlfriend, Amy, said: "Shaun was more than just my boyfriend, he was my best friend. He was my first and only true love. He taught me what true love is. I'll never stop loving him and I know he'll always love me, because he was true to his word and would always say what he thought. "I feel lost without him already, his gorgeous face; his beautiful eyes; the smell of his hair and the sound of his voice. I'll never forget any of these things and there are so many more things that I have to remind me of him. "I don't know what I will do without my soul mate, the man of my dreams, my perfect match. I am devastated to have lost him, but so proud to have known him; to have shared part of my life with him and to say that he was mine. My beautiful brave hero. Xxx" Fusilier Bush's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, 2 RRF, said: "Showing outstanding courage and dedication to duty, Fusilier Shaun Bush was severely wounded by an IED trying to move forward to save his Platoon Sergeant. "It is a great tragedy that despite the best efforts of everyone in the medical chain his injuries were just too great for him to recover. It is small comfort to know that he died in the company of his closest family. "He is remembered as a true friend to many, a talented boxer and a rock solid soldier. The most sincere and heartfelt condolences from everyone in 2 RRF go to his family at this most difficult time." Major Darren Denning, Chief of Staff 2 RIFLES Battle Group, said: "Fusilier Bush was at the heart of his platoon and company and was in every sense a fighter. Demonstrated by his prowess in the ring and evident in his willingness to 'grasp the nettle', he acted decisively and courageously, coming to the aid of his comrades. "That he was to die of wounds received whilst demonstrating such courage is typical of the man. He will be remembered for his wicked sense of fun and 'can do' attitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends who we pray will find the strength to face this unimaginably difficult time." His Company Commander, Major Jo Butterfill, Officer Commanding A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Blessed with a quiet maturity beyond his years and a truly kind and generous nature, Fusilier Bush was liked and admired by all who knew him. A stalwart of 2 Platoon since I took over the company, he impressed me from the first with his extraordinary willingness to do the right thing by others, even at the expense of his own interests. "He had been right at the very front of the company throughout this tour, putting his own life on the line on a daily basis to protect his friends. It is absolutely typical of him that he received the injuries that were eventually to result in his death while moving forward into danger in the attempt to rescue a grievously wounded comrade. "His tragic death, which has occurred some time after he was injured, has come as a particular shock and sadness. It is of some comfort that, thanks to the efforts of his friends in 2 Platoon and the medical chain, he died in the UK in the company of his family. They are in our thoughts at this dreadful time." Captain Clive Musson, Company Second-in-Command C Company Group, 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Bush was one of those rare men that did not have a single bad bone within his body. From the moment he joined the Army and reported for training at Catterick he was instantly well liked by all those fortunate enough to encounter him. "It is no surprise that this continued when he joined the Battalion in Cyprus. A keen soldier, he rapidly developed and proved himself time and time again, earning the respect of all Fusiliers, no matter their rank. "A keen boxer, who represented A Company at the inter-Company Battalion boxing competition on several occasions, he showed true grit, strength and determination; qualities he had in abundance. "I last saw Fusilier Bush in Bastion on his return from R&R, where he lost no time in reminding me of his quick wit and fantastic sense of humour. It is this I will remember most. "His love of his family was clearly evident, he always placed them first, ensuring they were well looked after and cared for. It is to them that my deepest condolences and prayers go to at this most devastating time. The Fusilier family will sorely miss Fusilier Bush, but we will never forget him; Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier." Lieutenant Chris Shaw, Platoon Commander A Company Group 2 RRF, Attached 2 RIFLES, said: "Fusilier Bush was one of 2 Platoon's brightest, and a most popular young man. Even before I became his Platoon Commander, Fusilier Bush was someone I would hope to bump into during the course of the day. "His dry but sharp sense of humour always kept you on your toes, and without fail he would always manage to put a smile on my face. It is testament to his character that at the time of the blast, although well aware of the severe IED threat, he was moving forward to help with the extraction of his seriously injured Platoon Sergeant. "He wouldn't have thought twice about the danger to himself before stepping off at the front, as he had so often done throughout the tour. We are all shocked and saddened by the terrible news, and the whole Platoon's thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time." His Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2 Wayne Caffrey, A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Bush was an extremely popular and well respected member of A Company 2RRF. He was a keen soldier who put in 100% effort in everything he did and was lined up to participate on the next Platoon Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre. "He was a great sportsman, terrific boxer, and talented footballer. Fusilier Bush was immensely proud of where he came from, and I can remember always seeing him wearing a Coventry City shirt. "A Company will not be the same without him, we will all miss him. Our thoughts are with his family and his friends at this difficult time. God bless." Sergeant David Barton, 10 Platoon C Company 2 RRF said: "I first met Fusilier Shaun Bush at ITC Catterick, where I had the pleasure of training him. From Day 1 he was a remarkable character, who not only had the capabilities of looking after himself, but would also do his upmost to ensure his mates were looked after. "Quiet, well mannered, he was a pleasure to train. Shaun would often see me out of working hours to talk about his family and how much he cared for them. This summed up the man, always thinking of others. "A keen football fan, he would often talk about his beloved Coventry City and wear his Sky Blues shirt with pride. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends who he cared for so much. Rest in peace Shaun, once a Fusilier always a Fusilier. You will never be forgotten." Lance Corporal Steven Murphy, C Company 2 RRF said: "I have known Bush since he turned up in Cyprus when I used to be in A Company. We got on straight away, as he was an awesome lad. We both competed in the boxing team representing A Company and he was a great fighter picking up boxing straight away, we had some great laughs, me, him, Keelan, Fully, Jonny Rodgers, Walks, Egg and the rest of the team. "All of us gelled well and fought well in the competition. It was all a great laugh to us all. Out of the ring, he was a good soldier, quiet bloke but the type you could trust. "He was also a big Coventry city fan, he liked his footy, was a good player and he always had his Coventry top on around camp. "Well my thoughts go out to his family and friends, you're gone but never forgotten, rest in peace mucka." Lance Corporal Loz Chiesa, Royal Military Police attached to 2 Platoon, said: "Although I've only known Fusilier Bush since the start of the tour I found it easy to get on with him. "He was one of the characters of the Platoon and made me feel welcome even when I was 'the monkey' he said I was one of the lads. My heart goes out to his family and friends. He will always be remembered. Rest in peace Bushy." Fusilier Lawrie Stevenson, 2 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Shaun was a good friend who you could always trust and count on. I shared a room with him here in Afghanistan and as I have known him for over three years we were good friends and became closer during this tour. "He always had a lot to say and between all of us the banter was morale and it really helped me through this tour. He gave his life trying to get us out of an IED field and he will always be remembered as a hero. "As we all write our eulogies we were talking about the funny times and jokes we used to play on each other, all really good memories of a good friend. "2 Platoon will always be there for his family and girlfriend. Rest in peace mate, miss you already. 'I canny'." Fusilier James Turnbull, 2 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "I have known Bushy since he joined the Battalion. We became very close friends as we were from the same area and supported the same football team and when we moved to Hounslow we became even closer friends. I would take him home at most weekends and pick him up. "We would always chat about our girlfriends and how we would leave the Army and join the Fire Service. We both agreed that we hated the drive back to camp. "Once we deployed to Afghanistan we managed to share a room, where everyday he complained of how hard it seemed. I always used to say it would be alright and he hated to hear it. "We used to go for a sunset can on the Helicopter Landing Site, where we would sit and watch the sun go down and say' there's another day gone'. I think one of the best memories of Bushy out here was when we set up a paddling pool in his bed space, he came off stag and didn't know what was going on. "He didn't talk to us for two days afterwards, although he then got me back by mine taping my bed space and writing abuse on the floor with cyalumes. "There are so many other things to say though I just don't know where to start. I will never forget you Bushy, I will always remember you and how I could talk to you about anything. My heart goes out to your girlfriend Amy and all your family. Take it easy mate." Fusilier Ricky Wright, 2 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "I had only known Bushy for just over a month but we got on well straight away. He seemed like the kind of bloke anyone would get on with; funny and he could always tell a good story. "He was so easy to wind up, which the lads would do often and he would get annoyed with them, but I think he liked it deep down. Knowing him for such a short time was sad but also a pleasure. "My thoughts are now with his girlfriend and family. Bushy will now be with his mother, who I know he loved and missed dearly. God Bless, Rest in peace mate." Fusilier Nathan Sweeney, Mortars A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Fusilier Shaun Bush, a star, a hero, a friend. Fallen but never forgotten, we will miss you mate. We had good times in A Company. I'll see you at the re-org mate. My thoughts are with your family at this sad time." Fusilier Adie Harrison, 11 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "I first met Bushy two years ago when we were recruiting in Birmingham. After about 20 minutes of chatter we soon became pals and have been good mates ever since. "He was one of those guys who would take time out to talk to anybody but best of all nobody would ever have anything bad to say about him. I can honestly say hand on my heart he was one of the nicest and most genuine lads I have ever met. "You will be sadly missed pal but never forgotten. All my love and thoughts go to his family." Fusilier Neil Shimelt, 2 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "I've not known Fusilier Bush long at all really, but what I do know of him will stick with me forever. "Fusilier Bush treated me as one of the lads. He never looked down at me, he said what he meant and meant what he said and was never scared to speak his mind. "We will miss his hilarious sense of humour and the actions to go along with it. What a legend you are Bushy! We all miss you dearly, RIP mate." Fusilier Kieran Connolly, 2 Platoon A Company Group 2 RRF, said: "Another young soldier stolen from his family, friends and comrades. He was one of the most charismatic people I have ever met. "He made anything funny even when he moaned about things his sense of humour made us all laugh. I never once saw him scared or dodge hard work. "These are a few reasons why I looked up to him and respected him and why we will all miss Fusilier Shaun 'Bushy' Bush."