Operations in Afghanistan

Guardsman Jamie Janes killed in Afghanistan

It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Jamie Janes, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, in Afghanistan on Monday 5 October 2009.

© H Szymanski. All Rights Reserved.
© H Szymanski. All Rights Reserved.

Guardsman Janes was killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a foot patrol near to Nad e-Ali district centre in central Helmand province. He was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device, which also wounded three of his colleagues. The explosion was followed up by an insurgent ambush which the patrol then had to fight off before evacuating the wounded soldiers. Unfortunately Guardsman Janes died en route to hospital.

Guardsman Jamie Janes, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards

Guardsman Janes was a Guardsman in 6 Platoon, 2 Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Born on 16 May 1989 in Stafford, his family moved to Brighton when he was two. He attended Hove Park Comprehensive School and began his Army career at Harrogate Foundation College when he was 16, before moving to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick.

Guardsman Janes joined Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, in Woolwich, aged 17, where he carried out numerous state ceremonial and public duties. In 2007, on turning 18, he deployed to the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards who were in Afghanistan. He spent four months on operations before returning to England. Between tours he deployed to the Falkland Islands and also conducted training exercises in Kenya with the Battalion.

Guardsman Janes leaves behind his beloved girlfriend, Kate, three brothers (one of whom is serving in the British Army), two sisters, and his mother.

Guardsman Janes’ experience and professionalism from his previous tour of Afghanistan ensured he was a reliable and dependable individual whatever the circumstances. He was a natural soldier, comfortable on operations in testing circumstances, and he had a very promising career ahead of him.

Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, Commanding Officer of the Grenadier Guards Battle Group, said:

So early in our tour, the tragic death of one of our brave young men comes as a shock. Jamie was a soldier to his heart, and a friend to all. He knew the dangers he would face in Afghanistan but he had the courage to keep soldiering. He stood tall amongst his fellow men as an experienced hand who willingly stepped forward to take on the difficult task of clearing routes, and he gave the less experienced soldiers in his section huge confidence. He leaves behind a strong impression and his memory will inspire us. I am hugely proud of him, and humbled by his sacrifice.

Major Richard Green, Guardsman Janes’ Company Commander, said:

Guardsman Janes was an integral member of 2 Company, both on a professional level and as a constant source of morale. His experience and cool head reassured the younger, less experienced Guardsmen and set their minds at ease as they began to come to terms with the task at hand. He died in the way he lived; protecting his friends from danger; a true Grenadier. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his girlfriend Kate, whom I know he cared deeply about, and all his friends both here and at home.

Lieutenant Alexander Rawlins, his Platoon Commander, said:

I worked with Jamie since joining the Battalion in late 2007. He was an enthusiastic, passionate man who took both his job and his friends very seriously. Never afraid to speak his mind, he was painfully honest and always had something to say. Professionally and socially, he was an integral part of 6 Platoon, good at his job and was always up for a laugh. He would speak often of his girlfriend, Kate, whom he loved very much and with whom he was hoping to start a family. He died as a result of wounds he received whilst on patrol, clearing safe passage for his comrades. He will be sorely missed by the platoon and all who knew him.

Company Sergeant Major Matthew Boak, his Company Sergeant Major, said:

I’ve known Guardsman Janes since I took over as Company Sergeant Major 2 Company in October 2008 and it became very apparent that Jamie was one of the likely lads, the one that would chance his arm in camp, trying to get away with whatever he could. In the field he more than made up for the extra work he created when in camp. He was an asset to his Section, his Platoon and to the Company. Guardsman Janes will be sadly missed and my thoughts go to Kate, his family and friends.

Lance Sergeant Arron Harris, his Section Commander, said:

I met Jamie in Wellington Barracks shortly before we deployed. I was aware of his previous operational experience and he very quickly proved his worth during the final stages of our training. Jamie was a person I relied on heavily. His position in my section meant he created a safe passage for me and the rest of the lads whenever we went out on patrol. He was totally professional in everything he did and was a role model to the other lads who didn’t share the same operational experience. As a Section Commander I know I will struggle to find somebody as capable and reliable as Jamie. As a friend and comrade, although I didn’t know him for long, I know the atmosphere won’t be the same without him. He will truly be missed.

Guardsman Bradley-Dean Jones, a close friend in his section, said:

I’ve known Jamie Janes since we began training in 2005. He was a friend who was always there for me, as I was to him. We joked saying how when one of us was sent somewhere within the Army, the other was sure to follow through no fault of our own. We were well known as being like a married couple with all the arguments and disagreements we had over the littlest subjects, but we always ended up laughing about it, normally with a massive hug of some sorts. I wish Kate, his girlfriend, all my support in the coming times, as we have lost someone very close to us both.

Guardsman Stephen Loader, a close friend, said:

I met Jamie when I had just got to the Battalion just after Op HERRICK 6 and, being the new boy in town, it was hard to try and fit in, being one of the only people who had not gone on the tour at the time. Jamie made me feel appreciated and was always there for me when things weren’t looking good; he was a unique person who really knew how to treat his friends with respect and joy. He was a good friend and will always be with all of us; I wish the best for his family and girlfriend, Kate. It is a terrible tragedy.

Guardsman Jason Goucher, a close friend, said:

I first met Jamie at Harrogate in 2005. He came across straight away as a very confident person. When we moved into the same section during our training in Catterick, he instantly tried to gel the blokes together and always wanted to have a laugh and live his life to the fullest. Even when times were hard he never stopped smiling. It was a total blessing to have known him and I will never forget him. And my heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Guardsman Jamie Janes, a soldier who I’m told had given exemplary service since joining the Army at 16 and had a promising career ahead of him. He had already shown his bravery, professionalism and dependability on a previous tour of Afghanistan and was an integral part of his company. He also clearly cared deeply about his family and my thoughts are with them at this very sad time.