It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, part of Combined Force Nad 'Ali, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 21 August 2010.
Lance Corporal Bancroft deployed to Afghanistan in March 2010 as a Section Second-in-Command with 1 Platoon, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
The soldiers of Anzio Company have undoubtedly improved the lives of hundreds of local Afghans during their five months in Nad ‘Ali by conducting frequent joint security and reassurance patrols with their Afghan National Army colleagues.
On Saturday 21 August 2010, as part of the ongoing ‘hold’ and ‘build’ phase of Operation TOR SHEZADA in Sayedabad, central Helmand, Lance Corporal Bancroft’s platoon was providing essential outer security in order for a shura to take place between ISAF troops and local village elders. Sadly, during an exchange of fire with insurgents, Lance Corporal Bancroft was shot and killed in action.
Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft
Lance Corporal Bancroft, aged 25, was born in Burnley on 13 March 1985. He joined the Army in September 2001, initially carrying out his Phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn, before finishing at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick.
On completion of his training he was posted to 1st Battalion The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment before its amalgamation on 1 July 2006. Throughout his time in the Army he served with distinction - this was his third operational tour, having deployed twice to Iraq on Op TELIC 2 and 11.
He was a highly professional and capable Junior Non-Commissioned Officer - one who relished life in the Army. He possessed loyalty ‘in spades’ and he had an absolute dedication to the regiment, to the battalion, to his company, and to the men he served with.
However, more importantly he will be long remembered for his love for his family and girlfriend - they held a special place in his life and were his first love.
Tragically killed doing the job that he loved and excelled at, he will leave a huge hole. He was the epitome of a Duke of Lancaster’s soldier - diligent, selfless, caring and with a profound sense of duty.
He will be sorely missed by all members of the battalion as a comrade and as a much loved friend - there are few like him.
The family of Lance Corporal Bancroft have made the following statement:
We will always remember Jordan loving a challenge, in particular outdoor pursuits. He was a keen snow skier and often skied for the regiment. He loved all water sports and took any opportunity to ride a jet ski or drive a speed boat. We will miss Jordan so much and it will leave a huge hole in all our lives.
You will always be in our hearts, Jordan - Mum, Dad, your brothers Paul and Leighton, your sister Toni, and your girlfriend Lauren.
Lieutenant Colonel Frazer Lawrence, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Bancroft died doing the job he loved, whilst playing his part in improving security for the people of Afghanistan. He was one of the biggest characters within the regiment - an exceptional soldier and a very talented Junior Non-Commissioned Officer.
Lance Corporal Bancroft was a true soldier, excelling during his time in Afghanistan - loyal, brave, compassionate and honest. He had a natural ability to lead from the front, his men instinctively looked to him for advice and direction.
Ever cheerful, his humour was infectious - he possessed an unparalleled ability to work with a smile on his face. His potential was endless and he was due to attend a promotion course on his return from deployment, a course I know he would have ‘aced’.
The Army, his regiment, the battalion, and most importantly his mates meant the world to Lance Corporal Bancroft - he would do anything for them. But, he held his family and girlfriend above all else - they were his life.
We mourn the loss of Lance Corporal Bancroft and we offer our deepest condolences to all of his family and his girlfriend, Lauren, in this dark time - our thoughts are with them. The battalion has lost one of its finest - a true ‘Lion of England’ and he will never be forgotten.
Major Jon Fry, Officer Commanding Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft was a Section Commander in 1 Platoon, Anzio Company, who was tragically killed in action by a gunshot wound whilst on patrol in the southern Nad ‘Ali district.
He was an utterly professional and highly capable man with an infectious sense of humour who enjoyed life to the full - an all round good bloke. He was a key (and extremely popular) member of the company who always looked out for his mates; as a result he was highly regarded by all, regardless of rank.
He had an aura which produced a calming influence on all those around him. I could not have asked for more from one of my Junior Non-Commissioned Officers.
During the build up to and whilst serving in Afghanistan Lance Corporal Bancroft proved to be one of the strongest Junior Non-Commissioned Officers in the company. In pre-deployment training he worked tirelessly to nurture the younger soldiers under his command and fully absorbed himself in any training opportunity available.
On Operation HERRICK 12 he found himself operating in difficult and dangerous circumstances in an extremely challenging area of operations, but this is what he did best. He took it all in his stride with a courageous and selfless manner, whilst at the same time remained calm and balanced, with a great sense of humour - what more could a commander ask for.
He was highly capable either operating on the ground or indeed coordinating operations from the platoon operations room. He was being lined up for his Section Commander’s Battle Course on return from Afghanistan and his future career prospects looked extremely promising.
I know that he was looking at other career options following the tour and he would have succeeded in anything that he turned his hand to.
Lance Corporal Bancroft was an unforgettable character, full of life and confident in his ability; his loss has left a gaping hole in the company. But, whilst we reflect in Afghanistan, our thoughts must be with Lauren and his family and friends at this tragic time.
Everyone should be proud of him and everything that he has achieved in his life. He will never be forgotten and will always be remembered by the men of Anzio Company - he will be sorely missed.
Lieutenant Tom Millns, 1 Platoon Commander, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft was a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer in 1 Platoon, Anzio Company. He was a polite, professional and dedicated soldier who would have done anything for the men under his command.
Whilst on operations in Afghanistan he was a sure hand within the platoon, and could be relied upon to produce the goods in any and all situations. He was a commander of real promise and his presence will be missed during the rest of our time on tour.
The void he leaves behind will be difficult to fill. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and girlfriend at this tragic time and I hope they can draw some comfort from the knowledge that he died doing a job he had a real passion and flair for.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Rodge ‘Mooch’ Moore, Company Sergeant Major, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft was a young and enthusiastic Junior Non-Commissioned Officer who loved his job. The main thing that struck me about him was what a polite young man he was - he was a true gentlemen.
A keen soldier, he strived to achieve the highest professional standards for himself and the men in his section.
He had a likeable character and was adored by all in Anzio Company, he will be sadly missed. My heart and deepest condolences goes out to his family and his girlfriend. Good night, Rest in Peace, Lance Corporal Bancroft.
Sergeant Lee Calvy, 1 Platoon Sergeant, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft was a true professional, a very good Non-Commissioned Officer and friend. I have known Jordan for many years since we were soldiers in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, he led from the front, he was a professional and courageous soldier and an outstanding commander.
To have had him as one of my Non-Commissioned Officers and a friend has been an honour and a privilege. His leadership and duty of care to the soldiers in 1 Platoon was nothing less than outstanding.
Over the last few years our friendship has grown, especially the last five months in Afghanistan - the platoon and I will miss him deeply. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all his family and his girlfriend Lauren who he loved and adored so much. We will miss you Jordan, Rest in Peace mate.
Lance Corporal Alex Winterburn, 1 Platoon, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Jordan was an extremely professional Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. I have known him for over seven years, and in all that time one of the main things you notice about him is that he always had time to help others out with anything; he always put others before himself.
He took pride in his job and was always determined to complete any task set, whatever that might be, to the highest of standards, occasionally this would be long after others had given up.
He always applied the values and standards of the Army in everything he did. Jordan possessed a wide range of infantry skills; there were very few fields that he was not proficient in.
On this tour he did an excellent job, often stepping up to assume positions of command above that of the rank he held. He was a good friend and colleague and I will always remember him. Rest in Peace Jordan.
Corporal Shaun Walsh, Kingsman Jordan Preston, Kingsman Gary Kenny, Kingsman Daniel Harrison, Kingsman Luke Moore, Kingsman Ashley Harvey, 1 Platoon, Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said:
Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft - ‘A True Hero’. We have been good mates with Jordan, ‘J’, for many years. His death is a massive loss to the platoon, his company, the battalion, and to his family, friends and his girlfriend Lauren.
He loved to talk about his brothers, his family and his plans for the future with Lauren. J was always there when others were in need, he could bring a smile to anyone’s face.
He was a natural born leader who always led from the front. On countless occasions he has helped us through difficult times, especially over the last five months in Afghanistan.
J was a very adventurous person and was up for any challenge, he was the heart and soul of 1 Platoon, Anzio Company. We have all had the privilege to work and be around him, our hearts go out to his loved ones, and he will be sadly missed. Rest in Peace. You’ll never be forgotten mate.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft. His selfless bravery and sense of duty have been highly praised by his colleagues. His contribution to the improving security situation in Helmand has been invaluable to our mission in Afghanistan.
“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones during this most difficult of times.”