Operations in Afghanistan

Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter killed in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that 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.

Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (All rights reserved.)

All three died following an explosion while on patrol near Sangin in Helmand province.

Lance Corporal James Fullarton

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 2nd 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 he moved with the battalion to Cyprus as part of the Theatre Reserve Battalion commitment. During this time he deployed on Exercise Saffron Sands in Jordan and again on operations to Iraq.

Lance Corporal Fullarton distinguished himself early, earning his place on a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) cadre and subsequent promotion to Lance Corporal in 2006. His love of sport and fitness saw him 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, he 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 (improvised explosive device) 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, 2 RRF, said:

Lance Corporal James Fullarton had established an enviable reputation as a Section Commander and Section Second-in-Command. 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, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES) Battle Group, said:

Lance Corporal Fullarton 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, Officer Commanding, 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 focused, 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, 3 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, attached to 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 3 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.

Sergeant Matthew Palmieri, Sergeant Mark Taylor and Corporal Wayne McNamara said:

Ful-Dog… a strong man who was fit as a butcher’s 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, said:

I have known Lance Corporal Fullarton for about four 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 fazed, 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 any way 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, Section Commander, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, 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 Second-in-Command. 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, said:

I’ve known Jay all my life since I started primary school, he was a typical lads’ 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 [Coventry City Football Club] ‘til I die. God Bless mate, Love Kielan.

Lance Corporal James Fullarton (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal James Fullarton, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (All rights reserved.)

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 a 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 knew 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’. It’s been an honour to have worked and known Fully as well as I have and he is the soldier all of 3 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 [Regimental Sergeant Major].

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 Second-in-Command, and when he unfortunately passed away we were together on the ground. My deepest thoughts go to his family and fiancée. 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 Second-in-Command, Section Commander or even Valon man, which he did on this tour. He led 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 knew 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, 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 a 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, said:

I have known Fully for over four 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, 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 [Non-Commissioned Officer]. 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 Hurley. 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 into the platoon and welcomed us with a barbecue 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 (All rights reserved.)
Fusilier Simon Annis with his wife Caroline whom he married in February 2009 just a few weeks before he deployed to Afghanistan (All rights reserved.)

Fusilier Simon Annis

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 six-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 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 3 Platoon, serving as a Light Machine Gunner. Fusilier Annis’ sense of humour and positive attitude helped to inspire the men of 3 Platoon through some dark days, including the death of his friend and colleague Corporal 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, 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, Commanding Officer, 2 RIFLES Battle Group, 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, Officer Commanding, 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, 3 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, attached to 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 [Light Machine Gun], 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 too busy to stop and talk, he has touched a lot of hearts within the Battle Group. 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 [casualty evacuation] 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, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, 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 Catterick. 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 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. Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, Commanding Officer 2 RRF

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 Platoon and now 3 Platoon. Annis was a pain in the arse at times, 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 3 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 off 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 wifeys, 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 as 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, 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, 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 have known him. Goodbye my friend, RIP.

Fusilier Lawrie Stevenson, 2 Platoon, A Company, 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, 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, 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 (All rights reserved.)
Fusilier Louis Carter, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (All rights reserved.)

Fusilier Louis Carter

Fusilier Louis Carter was born in Nuneaton in 1990. He joined the Army in January 2007, and on successful completion of Army Foundation College Harrogate and his infantry training at ITC Catterick, was posted to 2nd 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 would go and watch his beloved team.

Fusilier Carter’s life was tragically cut short when he was killed 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, 2 RRF, said:

Fusilier Louis Carter gave his young life just as he was embarking on his career with the Fusiliers. Thrown into 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, Commanding Officer, 2 RIFLES Battle Group, said:

One of the youngest men in 2 RIFLES Battle Group, 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, Officer Commanding, 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, 3 Platoon, A Company, 2 RRF, attached to 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. It’s 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, it’s 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 [electronic countermeasures] 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, Fire Support Group, 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.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

These three brave soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the security of all of us in the United Kingdom. Their deaths are truly heart-rending and their families are in my thoughts; the loved ones they have lost are true heroes.