Operations in Afghanistan

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC killed in Afghanistan

With great sadness the Ministry of Defence confirms that Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC, both 42 Commando Royal Marines, were killed in Afghanistan on Friday 27 May 2011.

Ministry of Defence crest
Lieutenant Ollie Augustin and Marine Sam Alexander MC (All rights reserved.)
Lieutenant Ollie Augustin and Marine Sam Alexander MC (All rights reserved.)

Lieutenant Augustin and Marine Alexander were killed by an improvised explosive device whilst on patrol in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad ‘Ali district in Helmand province.

The patrol, which was led by Lieutenant Augustin, was tasked to disrupt insurgent activity in their perceived rear area and provide depth to the Clear, Hold, Build Operation occurring to the north in Loy Mandeh Kalay further to expand the influence of the Government of Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin (All rights reserved.)
Lieutenant Ollie Augustin (All rights reserved.)

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was born in Kent on 16 March 1988. He attended Dartford Grammar School before leaving aged 18 to spend a year travelling.

During this time he spent two months volunteering at a school in Kenya before travelling down to South Africa through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. He then flew on to Australia where he spent six months working, before concluding his travels in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

On return, whilst undergoing the application procedure to join the Royal Marines as a Commissioned Officer, he studied at Bexley College and was employed as a fitter and plasterer.

Lieutenant Augustin Royal Marines began Officer Training in September 2009, passing fit for duty in December 2010. His first appointment was in Command of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He leaves behind his father Sean, his mother Jane and his sister Sarah.

Lieutenant Augustin’s mum and dad, Jane and Sean, said:

Ollie was a much loved and cherished son. He was a beautiful boy who we were very proud of. He had many friends that he loved and who loved him in return.

His warmth and humour lit a room and infected all around him. He dealt with people in a thoughtful and compassionate way. His independence and sense of adventure meant that he embraced life and his chosen path.

Ollie we will all love and miss you forever.

Lieutenant Augustin’s sister, Sarah, said:

Oli, you were a one in a million. You were brave, you were funny and I couldn’t have wished for a better brother.

You were so very special and made a lasting impression on anybody lucky enough to meet you. I will love you forever. Lieutenant Augustin’s grandfather, Dick, said:

Lieutenant Oliver Augustin was a handsome, clever, talented young man and my beloved grandson.

He loved and was loved by his family and friends. He was always cheerful, respectful and kind. He travelled extensively during his gap year but never forgot to send his granddad a card to update his progress.

Oliver took a commission in the Royal Marines and threw all his energies into showing how much he supported and respected the service.

His tragic end is hard to bear but I will always remember him with pride and love.

Lieutenant Augustin’s Aunt Jane said:

For Ollie…

What can I say about Ollie that hasn’t already been said a million times over! He was a kind and generous man, warm hearted and full of fun…

He never tired of life - when we cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats at the end of a very long day in Scotland, 70 miles or so in he came back down a hill to see where I’d got to and to cycle back up with me… I remember him saying ‘when we finish this challenge what about signing up for another 100-mile race later in the month?’. The reply I gave wasn’t very printable, but he just smiled back at me and said he would ask me again after breakfast tomorrow!

That irrepressible love of life is what I will always take with me and the piece of my heart I have lost with Ollie’s passing…

Love always, Jane xx

Lieutenant Augustin’s Aunty Alison said:

For Ollie…

Ollie I loved you for your humour, your wit, your sense of fun, your bravado and the legendry ‘Augustin’ sarcasm.

You now leave us with a huge hole in our lives, we are all so proud of you, we love you and will miss you forever.

Love Alison xx

Lieutenant Augustin’s Uncle Adam said:

I am not sure whether I don’t know what to say, or if I just don’t know where to start, such is the hole the loss of Oliver has left in the lives of everyone who has ever known him. Not just his family, but also his friends and, I am sure, his colleagues.

His love of his sister Sarah, mum Jane, his dad Sean and Grandfather Dick was obvious to everyone, but for me the love of life that he demonstrated over the last few years is what made him truly remarkable.

His mischievous grin; as he witnessed me convince his father to buy an MV August motorcycle on a whim. How he boldly strode off into Africa and around the world on a gap year, or how he just calmly rode pillion as I rode the Antrim coast road as hard as I could, nothing appeared to faze him.

It was with this same apparent calmness he joined the Royal Marines. He gave his all during training. He didn’t just want to pass he wanted to excel and I cannot begin to tell you how proud I was of him when he was awarded his Green Commando beret.

I spoke to him before he joined his Unit at 42 Commando and he told me that he had met his new Sergeant during his training. The Sergeant had bemoaned having “no nothing Captains” in charge of the Fire Support Group and Oliver worried how he would react to a real “no nothing Lieutenant” straight out of training! He hoped his Sergeant didn’t remember the conversation or indeed him, but his new goal was to learn everything from his men and become the best Royal Marine that he could be.

I spoke to him again just before he was posted to Afghanistan and his concerns solely revolved around his mum and sister, whose hearts were breaking, and also for his men. He was determined not to let his men down and, despite his short time with them, he held them all in the greatest regard. He had great stories of training and was looking forward to testing himself in what he had trained so hard for.

I showed him a text that I had been sent that said;

Life is not a game that you aim to get to the finishing line in pristine condition, but one that you should slide over the line, battered, covered in dirt and grazes, but with a huge grin and shouting, Wow what a ride!

Oliver laughed and agreed, and then we hid it from his mum and the rest of the table.

I will miss Oliver for the rest of my life, but I will try every day to live up to his example and will chase every opportunity and challenge with the same drive that he did.

We will remember you and every one of the 367 that went before and those who will unfortunately follow.

Lieutenant Augustin’s aunt and uncle, Sally and David Barnes, said:

How do you come to terms with the tragic death of such a talented, good looking, family minded young man?

Oliver ‘Ollie’ Augustin achieved so much during his short active life. You cannot do him justice in a few short paragraphs. He touched the hearts of so many with his warm easy going personality and sense of humour.

He took a year off from studying and travelled the world. He helped at a school in Africa. He returned home a few days early to suprise his mum on her birthday.

Back in England he raised money for the African school by successfully cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats with his dad and aunt.

He helped his sister to train for a successful career in the police force by testing her knowledge and allowing her to practice handcuffing him for a small fee.

Ollie made light of the arduous training as a marine commando and wore his green beret and uniform with pride. We are all equally proud of him.

It is hard to believe after all that training and dedication he was only able to complete 107 days of active service.

The sadness of his death is unbearably painful. We just hope and pray our happy memories of Ollie will sustain us for the future, knowing he died what he wanted to do. He is greatly missed.

Lieutenant Augustin’s cousin, Mark, said:

Oliver,

A truly remarkable young man who had achieved so much during such a short life.

We are all shocked and devastated at the news of his untimely death. My overriding memories of him will be of a funny, talented, driven, committed and fun-loving man, loved and admired by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by all his family, friends and colleagues alike.

We are forever proud of him, and he’ll be forever in our hearts…

Viks, a family friend, said:

Ollie,

I cannot believe that you will no longer be in our lives. You will be missed…

Dinners out will never be the same without your mischievous grin, digging at someone or another. The world we inhabit is much diminished by your absence, you could have turned your hand to be anything.

Good, honorable, loyal and true.

Love Viks xx

Lieutenant Augustin’s best friends from home, said:

To Ollie,

Our best friend, our hero, our idol.

He was everything he wanted to be – and more! He touched the lives of everyone he met. He stood out from the crowd and always put others before himself.

So much to do in so little time! He will be sorely missed by us all.

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad ‘Ali (North), said:

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was a Troop Commander with considerable potential and a bright future ahead of him. Despite only passing for duty a matter of months ago, he had already made a considerable impact within Juliet Company and across the Unit. A charismatic young man, with a keen sense of humour, he was the life and soul of any gathering and he touched all those who had dealings with him.

As a leader he was inspirational, passionate and selfless, putting the welfare of his men above all else - they adored him and looked to him for direction, but looked on him as a brother in arms. As a Marine he was utterly professional, dependable and tactically astute. At the time his life was tragically cut short he was characteristically leading from the front, taking the fight to the enemy; his audacity, commitment and courage clear for all to see.

42 Commando have lost a brave, young warrior; the loss is keenly felt and the pain cuts deep. However, our grief is nothing compared to that of his loved ones; at this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Jane, his father Sean and his sister Sarah.

Major Steven McCulley Royal Marines, Officer Commanding Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin was the epitome of a Royal Marines Officer. Selected from training to Command a Fire Support Group due to his professional ability. I was immediately impressed by the way in which no task was too difficult or onerous for him. Utterly reliable, he clearly relished leading Marines and his lads loved him. It is truly tragic that his life has been cut short and I will always remember him.

Captain Rob Garside Royal Marines, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Having handed the Juliet Company Fire Support Group to Ollie Augustin, I was soon aware I passed on the Troop to a very professional, focussed and driven Royal Marines Commando Officer. He took his job very seriously and he looked after and cared for those under his command. A quality individual, an impressive Bootneck Young Officer, he will be sorely missed by all those who worked with him and knew him.

Lieutenant Lloyd Fallesen Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Ollie Augustin was a one in a million friend who will be missed by all that knew him. His ability to make all around him smile, even in the most adverse circumstances, meant that he was always someone you could turn to if you needed cheering up. A loyal friend, Ollie was someone you could count on regardless of the circumstances. This also earned him the respect of his men, a job which he not only loved, but lived and breathed. Ollie was a true Bootneck through and through, he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

Lieutenant Tom Phillips Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Ollie was simply an inspiration to those who had the pleasure of working with him. Always cheerful with a terrific sense of humour, he was a bastion of morale whenever times seemed hard. He was immensely proud of the job he did and the men that he had the honour of leading. His sense of humour was only topped by his professionalism and diligence in anything he did in life. He was a dear friend who will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

Sergeant Rob Driscoll, Multiple Commander 3, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I had the privilege to get to know Lieutenant Augustin, Boss, Ollie, during the latter half of Pre-Deployment Training and during Operation HERRICK 14. As a young officer he was top of his game, both physically and mentally. He was a natural leader who quickly gained the respect of the men under his charge. As a fellow Multiple Commander we deployed together and Ollie was always at the centre of any banter and had a quick wit about him. He will be sorely missed by Juliet Company and my thoughts are with his friends and family.

Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Lieutenant Augustin aka ‘Small Boss’ was such a nice bloke and would always dig out blind to help his oppos (opposite numbers). He was a brilliant Troop Commander and will be greatly missed.

Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

‘The Boss’; I think he enjoyed being called that and rightly so. He was easily the best all round Boss I have ever worked with. What a great bloke. He could easily be classed as one of the lads from his constant funnies, positive attitude and ‘dit’ spinning. He really knew how the lads worked and had an endless amount of patience with every single person in the Troop. I could easily call him a mate; he was never shy to dig into his deep officer pockets either, e.g. when he joined us in the Fire Support Group accommodation with as much alcohol as he could carry.

Out on the ground he definitely gave the lads a ‘warm and fuzzy’ and I was proud to be under his Command. He was a hands-on Boss who hated the computer but loved the adrenalin rush. I believe he would have excelled in the Corps and definitely saw him in a Special Forces role. He was also known as ‘Boss Biceps’ when he first joined us with his shirt sleeves rolled right up high. He could boast he was a very strong minded and physical bloke, and will be missed throughout the Corps.

Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Boss Augustin was a professional and organised soldier, an absolute role model for any young Marine. More one of the lads than an Officer; after going ashore several times with him he would never let the lads buy him a wet. An inspiration to me, he will be missed by all the lads in Fire Support Group. A great Boss and an even better mate. Cheers for all the wets, next rounds on me!

Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I can definitely say, and I know Fire Support Group agrees, that the Boss was easily the best Boss you could ask for. He was extremely professional and I always felt safe on the ground with him. He was, through and through one of the lads, always squaring us away and cracking funnies. The Boss was one of the friendliest people I have ever met in the Corps and as a new Boss; he would have gone very far in his career.

Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

‘The Boss’, as he was known to the lads, was like no other Boss and will never be replaced in any shape or form. He never separated himself from the lads whether we were in the room playing FIFA or chipping in on Sentry; he even came to the Fire Support Group accommodation for parties….a ‘hoofing man’. He used to sit with the lads and open his parcels in front of us, moaning about the value bags his family bought, showing us his single razor he got in every box. Brilliant shield for the lads as we are a bit ‘Over The Top’ in all that we do. He was one in a million and will always be remembered.

Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Boss, you will be missed by all; a brilliant Troop Boss. A massive blow to the Troop. Rest in Peace.

The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:

An inspiration to all who had the pleasure to work with him. A friend first and a Boss second. A tremendous loss to us all. You will not be forgotten. May you Rest in Peace.

Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

Lieutenant Augustin was a talented young officer with a promising career in the Royal Marines. He was a natural leader who led from the front and set a fine example for those that he worked with. His death is a loss to the Service and my thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time.

Marine Sam Alexander (All rights reserved.)
Marine Sam Alexander (All rights reserved.)

Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC

Marine Sam Alexander MC was born on 16 June 1982 in Hammersmith, London, where he grew up with his mother, Serena, father Stuart and sister, Sophie. He was married to Claire in November 2009 and their son Leo was born in July 2010.

He joined the Royal Marines in July 2006 and passed fit for duty in October 2007. On completion of training, Marine Alexander MC was appointed to the Fire Support Group in Mike Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He later moved to Kilo Company and deployed on Operation HERRICK 9, during which he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. On his return from operations he trained as a Heavy Weapons (Anti-Tank) specialist and was appointed to Juliet Company, before returning to Afghanistan for Operation HERRICK 14.

Claire, Marine Alexander’s wife, said:

Sam was so special. He was the gentlest of men but tough when he needed to be. He risked his safety for his friends but never batted an eyelid. It was his job and a job he did well. Sam was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was our rock and my best friend. He has been taken from me all too soon.

We both love him and will miss him very much. These are all special guys who, for whatever reason, join a very tough band of blokes who willingly die for each other without a second thought. I just hope his death was not in vain

Stuart, Marine Alexander’s father, said:

Sam’s professionalism was widely acknowledged, the award of a Military Cross is testament to his courage and care for those around him. But it is as a father and husband that he showed the same deep-rooted wish always to help and care for others. People say I must be very proud, but the respect in which I held him was more important than pride. He was a great guy with a great smile and a zest for life. I loved him very much.

Serena, Marine Alexander’s mother, said:

The legacy that Sam leaves is hope - hope for oppressed people all over the World. There are people like Sam who risk their lives for others. Wherever you are now Sam, keep on fighting. You will never be forgotten”.

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad ‘Ali (North), said:

Marine Sam Alexander MC was a truly remarkable young man. Decorated during his last tour of Afghanistan for gallantry, he embodied all the finest attributes of a Royal Marines Commando: he was courageous, selfless, resolute, loyal and cheerful in the face of adversity.

The loss of such a professional and well respected Marine comes as shocking news; he was a larger than life character and leaves a gap that cannot be filled. One of the more senior Marines in Juliet Company, he inspired those around him to reach the highest possible standards and in doing so was an exemplary role model for those younger and less experienced than himself.

He led by example and from the front and would have unquestionably had a promising future in the Royal Marines ahead of him. Sadly this will not be realised as his life has been tragically cut short. Instead, Marine Alexander now joins the legends, the bravest of the brave, who inspire us all forever with their courage, dedication and sacrifice; his memory will endure. On this the darkest of days, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Claire, their son Leo and his parents Stuart and Serena; may they somehow find the strength and courage to face the days ahead.

Major Steven McCulley, Officer Commanding, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Sam Alexander MC was one of Juliet Company’s most experienced and professional Marines. Not only was he a Heavy Weapons specialist, but also a Sharpshooter; a qualification he took much pride in. Having been awarded the Military Cross for bravery on Operation HERRICK 9, the lads looked up to him and he could be relied upon to galvanise them when required. An unbearable loss of life, he will be deeply missed by all of us.

Captain Rob Garside, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Alexander MC was one of the most experienced Marines in the Company. Having completed a previous HERRICK Tour, it was clear that more junior ranks looked up to him. A Bootneck that everyone would want to be by his side in a firefight, Sam Alexander was a true operational Bootneck who carried out his duties to the highest of standards. He will be sorely missed by all in Juliet Company and our thoughts are with his young family.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Andy Place, Company Sergeant Major, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Sam Alexander MC was always the first man to volunteer for any detail. His professional attitude towards all military skills was infectious to the junior Marines within Juliet Company. Always proud to be a part of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, ‘Jesters’; his attitude was that of a ‘big man trapped in a small body’. His tragic death will hit the Company hard, however he would not want to be the cause of any drop in excellence. My thoughts go to his wife, son and family. See you on the re-org Royal.

Corporal Phillip Willis, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Sam was one of those Bootneck’s who was able to have a smile on his face no matter what the situation. Most days he would have something funny to say; out here it was that my eyebrows looked awesome as they have gone bleached blonde. He would say I looked like a super hero which would always make us laugh. Sam was a good person, a Bootneck showing all the qualities that a good Bootneck should have; cheerfulness in the face of adversity, selflessness, courage and determination.

Lance Corporal Christopher Watson, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Sam was one of those men who due to his experience everyone looked up to and respected regardless of rank. He always made the time to help the more junior Marines, and treated them with the same level of respect they afforded him. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and will be fondly remembered as the perfect Marine, as a great laugh and as a Great Man.

Lance Corporal Adam Perkins, 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Alexander MC was a member of my Troop throughout training and ever since we have always crossed paths; since deploying on Operation HERRICK 9, and more recently Operation HERRICK 14. Sam was a character who never dropped his smile or charms, either on camp, in the accommodation or in the field. He was a lad who would never say no and would do anything for anyone. My thoughts are with his son Leo and wife Claire. Rest in Peace mate.

Leading Medical Assistant Chris Jones, Juliet Company Medic, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I first met Marine Alexander MC during Operation HERRICK 9 when I was attached to his section. I remember he made me feel welcome and we laughed and joked about me being a Matelot out in the field. Sammy was awarded a Military Cross during Operation HERRICK 9 which is a testament to his bravery.

Only a few days ago he jokingly said to me that we had a habit of being in sticky situations together. Apart from operations, I didn’t know Sammy as well as others but I do know he was a humble guy, a very proud Royal Marine and a man I will always look up to. No two ways about it, Marine Sam Alexander MC was a hero, a legend who will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in Peace Sam, you will be sadly missed.

Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Alexander MC, a true hero, always full of morale, a real inspiration to us all and he will be greatly missed.

Marine Ross McIlduff & Marine Joshua Best, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Alexander MC epitomised a Royal Marine, always looking out for an oppo (opposite number), always first to give a hand and always lifted morale. He always carried out his job to the highest standards. A true Soldier.

He always had some good ‘dits’ to spin to the lads and was a guaranteed ‘Hoofing run ashore’; there was never a boring night with Sam. Sam will always be remembered for what he has done and will always be a ‘Jester’. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.

Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I have only known Sam for about 6 months since joining Juliet Company, I was expecting a hoofing, courageous, selfless Bootneck after hearing about his Military Cross; and that is exactly what he was. He would always be the first to the stand-to position in order to protect everyone else. Even with so much to lose, i.e. his wife Claire and his future Formula One driver son, Leo.

He was perfect for all occasions, if it be for a one on one welfare discussion or generally being the centre of a conversation; although his Formula One dits were sometimes ideal for sending you to sleep! Not forgetting his run ashore dits, the Pringle saying ‘once you pop, you can’t stop,’ was a perfect way to describe his drinking style.

Although, he wouldn’t let the beer defeat him, he would always soldier on to sun-uppers, or was adamant of making his way home to annoy his wife Claire; If that was the case, he would come into work the next day with his tail between his legs like a naughty dog. He was a truly a great asset to the Corps and will clearly be missed by many. An absolute professional.

Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

To sum up Sam: A truly courageous and professional soldier.

Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Sam was one of the best and most professional Marines I have ever worked with. Having been in Fire Support Group with him since I arrived in the Unit 2 years ago after passing out, he was always on hand to give me advice on anything. I can say I have learnt a lot from him, especially from the time I spent with him on Operation HERRICK 14.

Sam was very courageous and always first to volunteer for anything. Aside from being a real hand grenade ashore, and his horrendous Formula One dits; it was an honour to work alongside him. He will be sadly missed and our hearts go out to his wife Claire and son Leo.

Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Sam Alexander MC was a credit to the Corps, he was always having a laugh and a joke with the lads and his daily complaints never failed to amuse. He thought the world of his wife and son, Leo, who Sam thought would be the next Lewis Hamilton; despite the fact he was still in nappies.

He was a very good mentor to the new lads. One of my last memories of Sam was just before we started this Operation, we were all sat in our room packing our kit and we were all laughing at the fact that Sam couldn’t pick up his Bergen. He was morale and he will be greatly missed amongst the lads.

Marine Matthew Smith, Headquarters, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Sam Alexander; what a bloke. As the Company Clerk, or spy as the lads like to call me, I get to know most of the lads pretty well. Sam was one of those who would always be a friendly face and always lots of morale. He would always come up with a witty one liner or ‘dit’ that would instantly make you smile or burst out with laughter.

The most recent memory I have of him is being in a resupply to his Check Point; with the stores being offloaded and Sam at the front, I can remember him breaking into song about nothing in particular, other than the fact that they were unloading stores. Quality. He was an amazing lad and a top Bootneck, with the medals to prove it, and I will never forget him. Corps legend through and through, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest in Peace mate. ‘Prove Jokers’.

Marine Owen Blake & Marine Dale Monk, Recce Troop, Command Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Both Dale and I had the pleasure of serving with Sam in Kilo Company for the duration of Operation HERRICK 9. We were both present on the day in Majah where Sam won his Military Cross for valiant action that heavily contributed to saving the life of his Section Commander.

The Officer Commanding afterwards said that all the men that day were worthy of the award but those that were present all knew that the courage required to do what Sam did was way above what can be expected of an ordinary man. To run into open ground in direct enemy fire, effectively suppressing the enemy, while his fallen Section Commander was extracted just proved what all his colleagues already knew, that Sam was an exceptional soldier with the heart of a lion.

During Post Operational Tour Leave and over a few ‘wets’ Sam casually played down his award stating he was only doing his job; in the years since he has never showed off or acted on his award. This sums Sam up to a ‘T’, a modest man and exceptional soldier and a Bootneck that many aspire to emulate. He will be truly missed.

Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Sam, the most inspirational Marine I have met. You will be missed by all. Rest in Peace.

The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

A selfless decorated Marine who all aspired to emulate. A true Bootneck in every sense of the word, and a proud father. Fiercely loyal to all lucky enough to be called his friend. You can never be replaced and will never be forgotten.

The entire 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

We can remember when he came back to work after the birth of his boy and telling everyone how proud it made him; and then there was the Friday night DJ sessions in the accommodation that everyone loved (Gen!). Or just his general enthusiasm for his job and the effort he put into the lads; the Military Cross awarded to him on Operation HERRICK 9 proves this tenfold. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time. Rest in Peace Royal.

Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

As a holder of the Military Cross for gallantry, Marine Alexander demonstrated some of the finest attributes of a Royal Marine Commando and was clearly held in high regard by his colleagues. The ultimate sacrifice that he has made for the safety of others will not be forgotten. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.

Published 29 May 2011