It is with great sadness that Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Group Royal Marines, must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Steven Fellows Royal Marines, known to all as 'Jamie'. He was killed in action on Friday 12 December 2008 in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Shortly before 0900 hrs on Friday 12 December 2008 1 Troop Whiskey Company was conducting a foot and vehicle patrol in the Green Zone south of Forward Operating Base Jackson when a Jackal vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Helmand River Wadi. All three of the vehicle occupants were wounded with LCpl Fellows’ position as the vehicle commander taking the full brunt of the explosion. Despite a rapid withdrawal to the Forward Operating Base’s medical facility, and subsequent evacuation by helicopter, LCpl Fellows was pronounced dead without regaining consciousness.
Lance Corporal Steven ‘Jamie’ Fellows
LCpl Fellows was born in Sheffield on 15 May 1982. Having joined the Royal Marines in November 2006 at the age of 24, he excelled in training, being awarded the King’s Badge as best recruit in his Troop. In May 2007 he joined Whiskey Company, 45 Commando, and immediately threw himself fully into life in the Royal Marines. His sporting prowess was quickly noticed and in keeping with his tough, resilient nature he was selected to represent the unit in the Royal Marines Boxing Championships and was subsequently invited to enter the Royal Navy Boxing Championships to represent the Royal Marines.
Despite continued success, LCpl Fellows was single-minded in his determination to improve his skills as a field soldier and elected to concentrate fully on his professional development. Strong performances followed on exercises in both the UK and Norway. As a measure of his maturity and capability he was promoted to Lance Corporal in April 2008, just 11 months out of training - a very notable achievement. A further measure of his precocious talent was his selection and subsequent success on the Royal Marines Sniper Course, for which he was given just two days’ notice prior to attending. Since deploying to Sangin, LCpl Fellows excelled with his understanding of both low level tactics and the aims of the deployment of British troops to Helmand, performing faultlessly.
Jamie Fellows was a tough, compassionate man; highly motivated and mature, he typified the finest qualities of a Royal Marine Commando. A very popular member of his company, he could engage in lively conversation with anyone; his wit, patter and comic timing were always underscored by a sharp and incisive mind. He was above all things devoted to his family and to his wife Natalie. Unabashed when he spoke of her, Jamie revealed such a deep love and affection for Natalie; all that heard him were touched by it. Jamie Fellows was proud to be a Royal Marine and fiercely loyal both to the Corps and his friends. He will be sorely missed by all.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Morris Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 45 Commando Group, said:
Lance Corporal Jamie Fellows was one of the great talents amongst the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers currently serving in 45 Commando and we have lost a future leader of undoubted potential. Since the start of his career Jamie Fellows excelled. Whether it was winning the King’s Badge as the best recruit in his Troop, gaining early promotion to Lance Corporal, becoming a sniper of great distinction or representing the unit and subsequently the Royal Marines at boxing, he has made a huge contribution to this Commando Group. Intelligent, determined, tough and very good-humoured, he was one of the mainstays of his Troop and Company. He died whilst providing support to other members of Whiskey Company who were conducting an important ground-domination patrol in the Sangin area. 45 Commando has lost an outstanding junior leader and friend and I send my deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends of whom he was so proud.
Major Ross Preston Royal Marines, Officer Commanding Whiskey Company, said:
I consider myself very lucky to have known and served with Jamie Fellows. In my view he embodied everything that it is to be a Royal Marines Commando. Tough and courageous under fire, Jamie Fellows was an example to his comrades, fearlessly taking the fight to the enemy. In happier circumstances his self-deprecating sense of humour was infectious and his wit merciless. I’ll not forget his ability to talk freely with everyone regardless of rank or background on any manner of subjects. Jamie Fellows engendered trust and faith in all those he met in life and his decency and tenacity ensured he never let anyone down. In everything he did Jamie Fellows had passion, most clearly seen in his evident devotion to his family and love for his wife Natalie; my thoughts are very much with them at this time. Jamie Fellows will be greatly missed and he will never be forgotten.
Lieutenant Tom Winterton, Officer Commanding 1 Troop, Whiskey Company, said:
LCpl Fellows was an awesome marine who gave his very best to everything he did. I first met Jamie in Norway at the start of the year and he immediately impressed with his supreme physical fitness and the professionalism he applied to his soldiering. He spent the rest of the year completing the Sniper Course before rejoining the Troop to deploy to Afghanistan. He was a courageous man who was never fazed and was always there to inspire and lead his Section. He was a big character within the Troop and was respected by every man who met him. It’s a privilege to have worked with Jamie, may he Rest in Peace.
Sergeant Tim Fulton, 1 Troop Sergeant, said:
Jamie was an asset to his Section and his Troop. Although he had only been in the Corps a relatively short time he had already proved himself as a Royal Marine Sniper, on the Boxing Team and through promotion to LCpl. Jamie was always very outspoken, and always voiced his opinion even if you didn’t know you wanted to hear it! He would always ensure that his Section was looked after and as the Troop Sergeant I knew that if Jamie was content, the whole troop was. Jamie had lived life to the full, having been a holiday rep before joining the Royal Marines, and took hold of every advantage the Corps had to offer. First and foremost Jamie was a very proud husband, which he talked about often. Jamie will be missed by the whole of Whiskey Company and our thoughts are with his family, especially his wife Natalie who he loved so much.
Close friend Marine Josh Green said:
Jamie/Jay was always the most outspoken person in the Troop, if not the Company! Needless to say, he was one of the most popular as well. The reasons for his popularity are far too numerous to mention in full but it was his ability to live life to the max that sticks out the most. He was never one to let life pass him by and he had had a full and eventful life before ever becoming what he was to us in the Marines. It was so recently that we were swapping stories about his time as a rep in Ibiza . His confident and fun loving personality shone through with his sharp tongue and wit. There was also another side to Jay, one that he wasn’t afraid to share with the lads, and that was how much he loved his beautiful (and didn’t we know it) wife Natalie. He was besotted with her and spoke about their future at length. On a personal level Jay was a great friend right from our very first week at 45 Commando and in Whiskey Company together. We were completely comfortable in each other’s company and would never hesitate to share our problems. In short, he was a colossus and will always be remembered as the wonderful and impressive man that he was. Our hearts go out to his wife Natalie and his friends and family. They are in our prayers.
Friends Marines Ben Gallagher and Rory Mair said:
Jay will be remembered by us as a fun loving joker whose humour was greatly appreciated and helped everyone through the hard times. He was a remarkable friend and a unique bloke who never failed to impress. We feel so much for his wife and family; we will never forget him.
Natalie Fellows, LCpl Fellows’ wife, said:
Jamie was my childhood sweetheart and he meant the world to me and I am devastated. He was kind, supportive and he put everyone before himself. He was a wonderful husband and also my best friend. He would do anything for his family and friends and I will miss him always.
John Hutton, Secretary of State for Defence, said:
Lance Corporal Jamie Fellows has been described as an outstanding, determined junior leader. His death is a tragic loss for all his colleagues in 45 Commando and my thoughts are with them. At this difficult and distressing time, my sympathy is also with his wife Natalie and the rest of his family.