Operations in Afghanistan

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg, both from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 16 March 2010.

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg (All rights reserved.)

They were killed, while serving as part of the Household Cavalry Regiment Battle Group, as a result of an explosion which occurred in an area approximately 20km north of Musa Qal’ah district centre, Helmand province.

At the time of their deaths Lance Corporal Hardy and Private Grigg were on an operation inserted deep into Taliban territory, attacking the insurgents where they least expected it.

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy (All rights reserved.)
Lance Corporal Scott Hardy (All rights reserved.)

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy, aged 26, was born and raised in Chelmsford. A bricklayer before joining the Army, he excelled at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. He passed out of training in May 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 6 only three weeks later.

His age and maturity showed in Afghanistan and he was identified as a soldier with the potential to become a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer. He passed his Leadership Course in the winter of 2008 and was promoted shortly after.

His performance on this course was indicative of the man. In the swirling snow and sub-zero conditions and after four-and-a-half hours of tabbing up mountains he was still there, plugging away with a grim smile on his face. He soaked hardship up and got on with the job.

Lance Corporal Hardy arrived in Afghanistan on 19 October 2009 and was employed as a Section Second in Command in 3 Platoon of A (Norfolk) Company.

Lance Corporal Hardy’s family and girlfriend made the following statement:

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy was a proud professional soldier who courageously gave his life for his Country in Helmand Province.

He had previously served there in 2007. As an infantryman he brought a passionate enthusiasm to the job of Section Commander. Having already promoted quickly, attendance on his next promotion course had been planned for return from Afghanistan.

Possessing great inner strength and a powerful personality, Scott could be relied upon, even in the worst of situations, to lift his mens’ morale. They loved him - he loved them.

Whilst being a highly competitive man, his role as a dearly loved son, brother, uncle and partner, developed his gift for attentiveness towards those around him. His young nephews and nieces agreed that his presence, ‘brightened a room’.

His father, brother, sisters and childhood sweetheart, Charlene, feel words fail to express the sorrow only a heart-broken family knows.

To lose Scott, is to lose a huge part of life itself. But he will always be with us, making us smile, giving us pride and gratitude. We also wish to remember his Viking comrades with heartfelt sympathy. Rest in peace valiant friend.

Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment said:

Today the Battalion lost two fine young men, killed by an IED whilst conducting an Operation to rid the Taliban from an area to the North of Musa Qal’ah.

Serving as part of A (Norfolk) Company, Lance Corporal Scott Hardy has been part of a close knit team which has, through hard Infantry graft, created real improvements in the security for large numbers of people.

This security allows education, development and health care to flourish without the fear of retribution or intimidation. It is painful that such progress comes at such human cost.

Scott came to my attention soon after I took over command - a big man, with real gravitas and a natural leader of men. He was a stereotypical Junior Non Commissioned Officer - he could have been squeezed out of the mould that has been producing Infantry leaders for generations.

Always ready to see the bright side of life, always ready with banter when the situation allowed it. Mature and unflappable, he was one of those individuals who takes life in their stride.

He was earmarked to attend the Section Commanders Battle Course later this year and we expected him to pass with flying colours.

His performance leading men in the most demanding of circumstances in Afghanistan was notable - he was steadfast under fire and hugely brave. Blessed by a robust sense of humour, Scott was the first to laugh at life’s challenges and keep soldiering on.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Scott’s family and girlfriend at this tragic time. This man served as a Viking and died a Viking - we will remember his sacrifice for evermore.

Major Stuart Smith, Officer Commanding, A (Norfolk) Company said:

Lance Corporal Scott Hardy was a larger than life character with a great sense of humour but beside this he was a thoroughly professional JNCO.

He relished the challenges that came with the role of a light role Infantry Section Commander on Operations. Whether he was engaging with the local nationals or taking the fight to the enemy, his first thought were always for his men and they respected him accordingly.

With his previous Operational experience in Afghanistan in 2007 and with his current performance this year he had really shown his full potential and was highlighted as a real star of the future.

Snatched from us at the prime of his life, he will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family, girlfriend and friends at this very difficult time. He has left a hole in our ranks, but I know that he would want A (Norfolk) Company to keep continuing with our mission in Afghanistan. He was and always will be a true Viking.

Lieutenant Simon Broomfield, Officer Commanding, 3 Platoon said:

Older than most when he joined up, Lance Corporal Hardy was one of the rocks that 3 Platoon relied upon. He joined the Company half way through Op HERRICK 6 in 2007 and stayed with the ‘Fighting Ninth’ until he died.

Due to go on his Section Commanders’ Battle Course on return to the UK, he was undoubtedly going to achieve a strong pass - he was a good leader, a man that I trusted.

Perhaps most impressive was the way he motivated his men. He had a perfect balance of stick and carrot, which was ironic as he had the most striking ‘carrot-top’ hair.

He was a huge West Ham fan and loved football. Always smiling, always ready with a joke, he was one of those larger than life characters who was always looking for the next thing to take the mickey out of.

3 Platoon mourns his loss and he leaves a correspondingly huge hole in the Platoon. Our thoughts are with his family and his girlfriend Charlene.

Private James Grigg

Private James Grigg (All rights reserved.)
Private James Grigg (All rights reserved.)

Private James Grigg was born in Hartismere, Suffolk in January 1989. It was at his local school where he developed his first passion in life - the glorious game of cricket. After he left the school he continued to coach their team.

It was only later, once he had passed out of training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, that he developed his twin passion - being a ‘Viking’.

Private James Grigg was utterly loyal to The Regiment. He had only been in the Battalion just over a year when he deployed with ‘The Vikings’ to Afghanistan where he served in A (Norfolk) Company.

Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment said:

It is a grim day in the Battalion’s life when we mourn the loss of two of our fine young men. Private James Grigg was killed whilst taking part in an Operation to rid the Taliban from an area to the North of Musa Qal’ah.

He was killed by an insurgent laid IED; a cowardly tactic in a campaign which seeks to destroy peace and progress in Afghanistan. James and the other soldiers of A (Norfolk) Company have made huge strides in delivering security in Musa Qal’ah - whilst his death hits us hard, we remain resolute in our determination to complete our mission.

James came across to most as a quiet man who kept himself to himself, but engage him on the subject of cricket and you would unlock him. He was simply fanatical about the game and a great all-round player.

When he stepped up to bowl, you just knew he would start taking wickets. It was once suggested to me that I should commission him for a day, to join us in the annual Officers’ v Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess cricket match.

But he was passionate about soldiering too; he thought himself lucky to have found a job where he could combine the two things that he loved so much. In turn, we think ourselves lucky to have worked alongside him.

Friendly, polite and endlessly helpful, he was a real team player that you would want to have on your team. He was reliable - a man you could trust.

Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ parents and sister at this tragic time. His brother ‘Vikings’ and the Regimental family share their pain. Together we will ensure he will never be forgotten.

Major Stuart Smith, Officer Commanding, A (Norfolk) Company said:

Private James Grigg joined A (Norfolk) Company just over eighteen months ago and this was his first Operational tour and one he was rightly proud to be part of. A thoroughly professional soldier, he was also a real character with a sense of humour that ensured he was popular amongst his Platoon.

An all-round sportsman, he really excelled at cricket and his contribution to the team last summer ensured that the Company was victorious in the Battalion competition.

Always smiling and never complaining James will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts at this difficult time are with his family and friends. Despite leaving a hole in our ranks, I know he would want us to continue with our mission. He had quickly become and always will be a true Viking.

Lieutenant Simon Broomfield, Officer Commanding, 3 Platoon said:

Private James Grigg was a great soldier, a capable sportsman and an excellent cricketer. He was a joy to have in my Platoon. An intelligent and thinking soldier, he was quiet but well liked by his team mates.

He had a razor sharp wit. He and I followed the test matches religiously on BFBS and he could be found thumbing his way through my Wisden cricket magazine when ever I was not reading it myself.

Words cannot express the loss that 3 Platoon feel now that he has been killed, but it will not stop our resolution in the task we have ahead of us. I speak for the whole of 3 Platoon when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

I was so very sorry to hear of the deaths of Lance Corporal Scott Hardy and Private James Grigg. They were both courageous, dedicated men who died fighting to bring greater security to Afghanistan and the UK. It is clear to me that Lance Corporal Hardy was a natural leader of men and brought valuable maturity and experience to his role. Private Grigg was an intelligent young man whose passion for and skill at cricket had made him a popular member of his battalion.

Both young men had a bright future in the Army ahead of them and their loss will be keenly felt. My thoughts are with their family, friends and comrades at this very difficult time.