Operations in Afghanistan

Trooper Jack Sadler killed in Afghanistan

It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Trooper Jack Sadler of the Honourable Artillery Company in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday 4th December 2007. He was serving with 4/73 Special Observation Battery, Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

Ministry of Defence crest

Just after 1300 hrs local time the soldiers were on a tactical patrol to the north of Sangin, Helmand Province, when the vehicle they were travelling in was caught in an explosion. Two other soldiers were also injured as a result of the blast.

Trooper Jack Sadler, Honourable Artillery Company (All rights reserved.)

Trooper Jack Sadler, Honourable Artillery Company (All rights reserved.)

Immediate medical treatment was given prior to all three soldiers being evacuated to the field hospital at Camp Bastion. Despite the best efforts of the medical team, sadly Trooper Sadler died as a result of his wounds. The other soldiers’ injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Trooper Jack Sadler, Honourable Artillery Company

Jack Sadler was born on 19 February 1986. He was from Exeter in Devon, but more recently lived in London. From an early age it was clear that Jack Sadler was destined for a military career.

Service in the Combined Cadet Force, University Officer Training Corps and a keen interest in outdoor activities led him to join the Honourable Artillery Company as a recruit in October 2005. He subsequently completed Recruit Training and went on to pass the arduous Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrols Course, becoming a Patrol soldier on 11 October 2006.

Having completed his extensive basic training and obtained a degree in War Studies at the University of London, Trooper Sadler was keen to put his new found skills into practice and so he volunteered for mobilisation and deployment to Afghanistan.

On 7 May 2007 Trooper Sadler was posted to 4/73 Special Observation Battery and immediately threw himself into the comprehensive pre-deployment training package required of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. Although a reservist, he had no difficulty fitting in and soon became an integral member of a highly effective and close knit patrol. He was ready and looking forward to the testing operations that lay ahead.

Trooper Sadler put everything he had into his training and into the operations that followed. He was a dedicated and professional soldier who had proved himself to be a reliable individual during demanding tactical patrols and in the face of the enemy. Trooper Sadler truly enjoyed his experiences as a soldier. An intelligent man, he was possessed of a keen wit and a dry sense of humour which he used to great effect whenever the going became tough. He was a key member of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

Trooper Sadler remained determined to join the regular army following his operational tour in Afghanistan. He leaves behind his loving parents.

Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Caie, Commanding Officer, Honourable Artillery Company, said:

Whilst Trooper Jack Sadler has served with the Honourable Artillery Company for a relatively short period his decision to volunteer for mobilised service at such an early stage in his career was typical of his commitment to the Regiment and the Reserve Forces.

“Jack will be sorely missed by those who served with him and all serving and veteran members of the Regiment.”

Captain Jim McCaffery Royal Artillery, Troop Commander of 4/73 Special Observation Battery, said:

Trooper Sadler was an extremely capable patrol soldier who was going from strength to strength in this demanding environment. He was a very intelligent individual who would always offer suggestions after working through a problem or difficult situation. He rapidly became an integral part of the troop despite only being with us for a few short months prior to deployment. He was always keen to be in the thick of the action and would not countenance being left behind.

His dry wit and his resilient character will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

His close friends Warrant Officer 2nd Class Dave Lakin HAC and Trooper Lorna Kelly HAC said:

Jack loved the Army, and whilst the rest of us were still struggling with how to fit all of our new kit into our bergens, Jack somehow managed to combine sitting his University Finals in War Studies with 4/73’s pre-deployment training. As I recall, there was a fine balancing act between attending his graduation ceremony and the never-ending calls of OPTAG exercises and epic journeys to training areas up and down the length of the A1. Jack often spoke of pursuing a full-time career in the military as an officer, and relished the life experience to be gained on this tour.

Jack was known by all for his love of personalised military kit, and the generosity with which he would help to procure such kit for his mates. As a friend, Jack was loyal, kind and considerate, always judging people on merit alone and standing true to his convictions. His wry laughter and his sardonic grin will be missed by many.

Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

I was deeply saddened to learn of Trooper Sadler’s death and my thoughts and sympathy are with his family at this difficult time. His dedication and bravery in volunteering for service in Afghanistan is in the highest traditions of the Army. He was clearly a very talented and promising young man and I am sure that his loss will be felt by all who knew him.

Updates to this page

Published 5 December 2007