Operations in Afghanistan

Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron dies of wounds sustained in Afghanistan

It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron from 1st Battalion Scots Guards died on 31 March 2011 as a result of wounds he received in Afghanistan on 13 April 2010.

Ministry of Defence crest
Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron (All rights reserved.)
Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron (All rights reserved.)

Colour Sergeant Cameron received serious head injuries when he was struck by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol north of Lashkar Gah on 13 April 2010. He succumbed to his wounds and died suddenly at home in Livingston, Scotland, on 31 March 2011. He was 42.

Colour Sergeant Cameron, or ‘Cammy’ as he was known, had been making a good recovery from his wounds after undergoing a number of difficult operations. The post-mortem found that his death was directly attributable to the injuries he suffered last year.

Colour Sergeant Cameron’s family paid the following tribute to him:

The whole family is devastated by the sudden loss of a dear family member, who has sadly lost his battle to overcome injuries sustained on operations. Alan (Cammy) fulfilled his childhood dreams of becoming a soldier in 1989 when he joined the Scots Guards. He was very passionate about Army life and as a very experienced, professional soldier he loved the challenges involved in operating in an operational environment.

The family would like to take this opportunity to thank all the team medics and medical staff involved in saving Alan’s life initially as this allowed us a further year in the company of a great man.

The family would also like to thank the 1st Battalion Scots Guards for their continued support at this very difficult time.

Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Jopp, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Colour Sergeant Cameron was a real father figure in the battalion. Whether in Canada in charge of his beloved Javelin platoon or in Afghanistan in charge of the Fire Support Group, with his greying hair and knowing smile he was someone everyone looked up to and admired, particularly me. He was a gentleman in all the best meanings of that word.

When he was so severely injured last year, the battalion was totally shocked and many prayers were said for both Cammy and another Scots Guardsman who was injured in the same incident. The fact that both men lived was testament to their own inner resilience as well as the incredible medical support they were given; from the Guardsmen on the ground right up to the greatest consultants in the land.

Cammy was making incredible progress in his recovery and it was with huge pride that I stood next to him as he talked lucidly with HRH The Prince of Wales at our brigade memorial service last December and more recently when he was presented to HRH The Princess Royal at the Calcutta Cup. I was so proud of him.

He was an almost permanent fixture at Headley Court for months, but could not have been more generous in the praise he gave the staff there for his progress. He was an inspiration to many there, not least the younger soldiers suffering from similar head injuries whom Colour Sergeant Cameron buoyed up. Even when injured he remained a model Scots Guardsman.

And so it was out of a clear blue sky that we heard that he had collapsed and died in Livingston. It has hit us all very hard and our sincerest and deepest condolences go out to his son Dean, Dean’s mother Yvonne, his partner and constant companion Nicola, his parents, brothers, sister and all his wider family. We share in their sense of bewilderment and loss.

The only consolation I can take from this devastating news is that in the year we had with Cammy after he was blown up, he could not have been more loved or more supported. He will have died knowing just how much he was loved by us all. We honour our fallen.

Major Rupert Kitching, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Colour Sergeant Alan ‘Cammy’ Cameron’s tragic and untimely death is sorely felt. We have lost a true friend, an exceptional soldier and one of life’s true gentlemen. Our deep sense of loss must be incomparable to that of his family and the hearts, thoughts and prayers of every man in Left Flank are with them and his loved ones at this most difficult of times.

It is an exceptionally bitter pill to swallow almost a year after the horrific incident that so grievously wounded him and Lance Sergeant Gary Jamieson in Babaji last year. His recovery had been nothing short of remarkable and was testament to his true grit and determination and the tireless support of his family and friends. Selfless as ever, Cammy had, throughout his rehabilitation, provided advice and support to others, his own recovery providing inspiration and hope to so many.

I have known Cammy for almost my entire career and had the honour and pleasure of having him as one of my Platoon Sergeants within the Scots Guards Recce Platoon for three years. He was a stalwart, a hugely capable soldier, and always there with a supporting word and a cheery smile. Nothing was ever too much effort for him; his deep-seated sense of loyalty, professionalism and dedication was exemplary. I feel extremely privileged and lucky to have served with him and to have been able to count him as a friend.

Cammy will be truly missed but never forgotten. My thoughts and sincerest condolences and those of Left Flank are with his family and friends.

Company Sergeant Major Alan Lilley, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

He was a true gentleman and friend.

Major Hugo Clarke, B Company Commander, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Colour Sergeant Cameron has been part of B Company as far as I can remember back. He was a man who was respected by all, not only for his professionalism and experience, but also for his respect for others and loyalty. His loss after such a brave recovery is a massive shock to all of us in B Company. He will be remembered by us all as a model Scots Guardsman and a true B Company soldier. He will be sadly missed. Terrorem Affero.

Guardsman Dave Watson, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Cammy was a great man and this is a total shock to us all. Everybody who knew Cammy knew he was an excellent soldier. We became close friends at Headley Court when I was recovering from my injuries, and I shall miss him as will all those who knew him.

Captain John McCallum, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron is one of the most inspirational men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have known Cammy for around 20 years and nothing, no matter how bad, was ever a problem.

When Cammy came back from Afghanistan having been wounded in action things were touch-and-go but Cammy defied all the odds and pulled through. Despite his own injuries, he endeavoured to visit all the families of all the other injured personnel in Selly Oak and encouraged them to be positive while they were going through their most difficult and demanding times. None more so than the Fraser family, who with Cammy’s encouragement never once gave up, even when it looked like the doctors had. Young Robert is now making great strides in his recovery.

Cammy has left a huge void in the Scots Guards and will be missed by all. My thoughts are with Nicky and the family. Cammy, see you at the Re-org mucker.

Major Jock Dunn, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron was an inspirational man who enjoyed life to the full.

I have known Cammy for over 15 years; he was a loyal Scots Guardsman who never shied away from a challenge, always pushing forward and looking after his men first. When Cammy came off the back on the Chinook in Helmand, I was there at the Bastion Role 3 hospital to meet him, and despite his injuries he made great progress on his recovery.

Cammy has left a huge hole in the Scots Guards and will be missed by all. All our thoughts and prayers are with Nicky and the family at this sad time.

Warrant Officer Class 1 AI Mackenzie, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, said:

Cammy was a father figure, a calming influence, an honest friend to us all and a fine example of a true Scots Guardsman. From the Corporals’ Mess of the 2nd Battalion to the dizzy heights of the Sergeants’ Mess in the 1st Battalion, his cheery nature would make the worst of days that little more bearable.

A passionate rugby enthusiast, be it only from the side line with a pint or two, he could always be relied on for the banter. The ‘Calcutta Cup’ will never be the same again for me, having had the chance to spend the last one with Cammy, both of us hoping it was to be our beloved team’s finest hour. No such luck

Cammy will be sorely missed by all who have had the honour to serve with him, soldiers and families alike.

Mr Nicholas Brandram, a former Platoon Commander, said:

Colour Sergeant Cameron, as my second-in-command and as one of the regiment’s senior non-commissioned officers, epitomised the experienced mentor. He was a trusted advisor and good friend in the finest traditions of the Scots Guards. The sadness with which I mourn his loss is only matched by the joy and appreciation I had in working with and knowing him.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

I was deeply saddened to hear the news that Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron had died of his wounds, particularly after he had battled so bravely to return to full health. Colour Sergeant Cameron was injured in the course of his duty in Afghanistan delivering better security both for Afghans and us at home.

He was a soldier held in high esteem by all he served with and his loss will be felt keenly by his regiment. My thoughts at this sad time are with his family, friends and colleagues.

Published 9 April 2011