It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Signaller Ian Gerard Sartorius-Jones from 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200) on Tuesday 24 January 2012 at Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones died at Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Signaller Ian Gerard Sartorius-Jones
Signaller Sartorius-Jones, aged 21, from Runcorn, Cheshire, enlisted in the Royal Corps of Signals in February 2007. Following his basic training, he attended the Royal School of Signals, Blandford, where he enjoyed a promising start to his career as a Communications Systems Operator.
He joined 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200) in May 2008 when this talented and intelligent soldier deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC 13. While in Iraq he contributed to the provision of communications and the closure of Contingency Operating Base Basra. He showed the raw talent on tour to be plucked from his duties in the Contingency Operating Base to serve with one of the Military Transition Teams providing communications and mentoring to the Iraqi forces.
He took part in many exercises, including a three-month deployment to the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada and a string of mission specific training exercises in Germany, Denmark and the UK. His sterling performances during these exercises and genuine aptitude for field soldiering saw him selected to work as a Rear Link Detachment Operator on Operation HERRICK 15.
Initially detached to C Company, 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Staffords) [3 MERCIAN], and latterly D (Delhi) Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), this outgoing and charismatic signaller was responsible for the maintenance of vital communications links from a forward operating base in Nahr-e Saraj as well as conducting patrols alongside his infantry counterparts.
Signaller Sartorius-Jones leaves behind his wife Kellyanne and young son Dylan, as well as his parents Robert and Amanda Sartorius-Jones, and brother Alan, 26.
The family of Signaller Sartorius-Jones said:
Ian was a lovable character, a devoted father to Dylan, who is eight months old, husband to Kellyanne, a wonderful son to Robert and Amanda, and brother to Alan. He will always be missed and loved by all his family and friends.
Major Stu Whittley, Officer Commanding 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
Signaller Sartorius-Jones was a gregarious, immensely respected and highly capable signaller. One of the longest serving members and biggest characters in the squadron, he had accrued a vast amount of experience in his short career.
That he was one of the first volunteers to extend his time with the squadron to deploy on Operation HERRICK 15 was little surprise to those who knew him. Given his abilities, attitude and experience, he was an automatic choice for the demanding role of a Rear Link Detachment Signaller with D (Delhi) Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
I will remember Signaller Sartorius-Jones for his dedication to his mates, upbeat nature and cutting sense of humour. A hugely popular soldier, notorious for his own individual style and taste in music, he was always to be found at the centre of any activity with a smile on his face. His love of dance music resulted in various members of the squadron having memorable nights in far flung parts of Europe.
A former British national Tae Kwon Do champion and an able footballer, he was relaxed and easygoing in work, and his unbounded energy and ability to motivate others were an inspiration to us all.
As a senior signaller he took his role of mentoring and developing those around him seriously, especially in the build-up to and deployment on operations. It is a mark of the man that he rarely took the credit for or acknowledged these actions, it was simply what he did.
The squadron is deeply moved by Signaller Sartorius-Jones’ passing. It is a privilege to have served with him and we have lost a true friend. Our thoughts are with his wife Kellyanne, his young son Dylan and his family. He is sorely missed.
Major Spiro Marcondonatos, Officer Commanding D (Delhi) Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said:
I first met Signaller Sartorius-Jones on arrival in Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah in October 2011 as he had been in place with C Company, 3 MERICAN, as their Rear Link Detachment. Working out of the Company Operations Room, Signaller Sartorius-Jones was always at the hub of everything we did, ensuring all our communications systems were up and running.
Knowledgeable, bright and dedicated, Signaller Sartorius-Jones added value in his work on a daily basis, working all hours to ensure the company was supported to the utmost. He frequently patrolled on the ground to ensure the communications in our checkpoints were updated and working, enabling the company to maintain its footprint and security in the Khar Nikah area.
Sociable, with a good sense of humour, he mixed in well, making many friends in D (Delhi) Company. Signaller Sartorius-Jones will be sorely missed by all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Captain Jamie Thomas, Tigris Troop Commander, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
Signaller Sartorius-Jones became a stalwart of the Troop during my tenure as Tigris Troop Commander. An immensely likeable and humorous individual, he was one of my most experienced signallers. Always one to rise to a challenge, I was constantly impressed by the professional qualities and leadership abilities he frequently displayed, often during times of hardship.
He showed a great enthusiasm for field soldiering and combined this with evident intellect and good trade skills. A talented footballer, who was keen to re-establish his burgeoning Tae Kwon Do career with the Army, he always gave his all during sports and competitions. A lively and energetic soldier, Signaller Sartorius-Jones had a great deal of potential and no doubt a good career ahead of him.
A popular Troop member with a large social circle, he will be sadly missed, but never forgotten, by those who served with him. It is with heartfelt sadness that Tigris Troop extends their sincerest condolences to his family, wife Kellyanne, young son Dylan and his extended family.
Staff Sergeant Paul W Griffiths, Tigris Troop Staff Sergeant, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
Signaller Sartorius-Jones, ‘S-J’, was one of the Troop’s characters; a much liked and popular member of the Signal Squadron as a whole. Performing well throughout mission specific training, he was a natural choice to serve as a Rear Link Detachment Operator providing communications support for D (Delhi) Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, at Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah in the Nahr-e Saraj (North) District.
S-J had a promising career ahead of him, whichever path he chose. A popular lad both in work and outside, he fitted in well with the small, tight-knit team. He will be sorely missed by all those in the squadron and not easily replaced. His death has been a shock to us all; our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Sergeant John Binks, Nahr-e Saraj (North) Rear Link Detachment Commander, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
Signaller Sartorius-Jones was always an upbeat individual who always had a smile on his face; he had a huge passion for music and often thought that he would become a great DJ. He loved trance music and was often off on trips with other members from the squadron across Europe to see his favourite DJs play.
S-J received great praise from the people that he worked with, always going out of his way to improve the comms systems and making sure faults were rectified immediately. He thought nothing of sacrificing his own time to help others. He spent what little spare time he had to improve the welfare within Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah by setting up a Wi-Fi system for the men and women who lived there.
S-J will be greatly missed by everyone within 200 Signal Squadron. Our condolences go to his family for the loss of a great husband, father, son and brother.
Signaller Craig Billins, Queen’s Royal Hussars Rear Link Detachment, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
S-J was one of my most devoted friends. A lively and fun person to be around, he always had something to say. Knowing him closely for over three years, he became a dear friend. Prior to S-J getting married and moving in with his wife, we shared a room together at 200 Signal Squadron and shared many good times over a beer.
I will always miss him and the good times that we shared; my heart goes out to his wife and young son. S-J may you rest in peace.
Signaller Anthony King, Queen’s Royal Hussars Rear Link Detachment, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200), said:
S-J was the sort of person who always cracked a joke or had something to say when he walked into a room. Everyone knew him and he was liked by everyone whose life he entered.
I have known S-J for a relatively short period of time, but in that time he has become a very close friend. I am extremely proud to say that I have known him; he would always make me smile, and he was a pleasure to be around.
My thoughts go to all of his family, friends and especially his wife and young son Dylan. He will be missed by all who knew him and will never be forgotten.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, said:
I was saddened to hear of the death of Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones. I understand that he was at the start of a promising career and showed real dedication to his fellow servicemen and women. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.