Wednesday, 07 October 2015
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


Guardsman Michael Roland, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards died on Friday 27th April 2012 as a result of a gunshot wound sustained in Afghanistan. Guardsman Michael Roland deployed to Afghanistan on 3rd April 2012 as a Rifleman in Number Three Platoon, part of The Queen's Company Grenadier Guards. He was based in Main Operating Base Price near Gereshk in the Nahr-e-Saraj North District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

On 26 April 2012 Guardsman Roland deployed with his Company on a three day operation to disrupt insurgent activity in a contested area in the north of Nahr-e-Saraj District. On the morning of 27th April 2012 he was fatally wounded during an exchange of small arms fire. He was extracted back to the hospital in Camp Bastion but sadly he died of his injuries.

Guardsman Roland was born on 5th August 1989 in Worthing, Sussex. After joining the Army, Guardsman Roland attended the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. Upon completion of his training in November 2009 he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards in London. He spent a year conducting public duties at the Royal Palaces and participating in state ceremonial tasks. Guardsman Roland joined 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in November 2010 and was placed in The Queen's Company. His first year in the Battalion included field training in the UK and an exercise in Canada. From September 2011 he undertook six months of preparatory training for his first tour of Afghanistan, before deploying in early April 2012.

Guardsman Roland's family paid the following tribute:

"Michael was a loving and caring son loved by his huge extended family and friends who are devastated by their loss. We are still coming to terms with losing him. Michael always wanted to join the Army and was so proud to be part of Queen's Company Grenadier Guards. Michael loved us all so much; with us he was not big and tough just gentle. We will miss him so much."

Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder MBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"Guardsman Roland's death is a tremendous loss to a close Battalion. Sparky, diligent and super-fit, he was a terrific soldier with a bright future. That he achieved so much in his short life is testament to his drive and ambition. He was an absolute pleasure to command and will be missed hugely by the Battalion and the Regimental family as a whole.

"We are all extremely proud of Guardsman Roland's selfless commitment to this important mission. Moreover, we are resolved to finish the job that he so bravely started. Finally, our prayers are with his parents, girlfriend and broader family; we share their great sense of loss and will never forget this most extraordinary of Guardsmen."

Major Piers Ashfield, The Captain of The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was one of the leading lights of The Queen's Company. His stoic devotion to duty and the generous friendship he offered to all those he met epitomised the man for whom no hardship was worthy of complaint. Guardsman Roland leaves behind a Company who will continue to cherish memories of shared laughter and happiness. The Queen's Company offers its most heartfelt condolences to Guardsman Roland's family and friends."

Lieutenant Alex Budge, Platoon Commander, 3 Platoon, said:

"Guardsman Roland epitomised a Grenadier Guardsman. Fit, tenacious and a character; he was liked by all for his sense of humour and respected by all for his skill as an infantry soldier. I would say he was one of the best Guardsman in the Company. His passing brings sorrow to us all, but we can take comfort that he died doing a job that he loved."

Sergeant Archer, Platoon Sergeant 3 Platoon, The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was a young and dedicated soldier who put his job before anything else. A fit, keen soldier and loyal to the end, Guardsman Roland was the template to which all Guardsmen should aspire. Never in trouble and never late, he was a model Guardsman who will truly be missed within the platoon. My deepest sympathies go out to his loving parents, who we are all thinking of at this difficult time."

Lance Sergeant Hendy, Section Commander, The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was a character to say the least, forever talking about himself in the third person which always made me laugh. He was my point man in the Section during pre-tour training, and was point man in the multiple out here. He was given this position for good reason. He was one of the fittest men in the platoon, very trustworthy and brave. He did everything to the best of his ability and would surely have gone a long way in the Grenadiers."

Lance Sergeant Mooney, Section Commander, The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was part of both my platoon and the Company Search Team. He knew he would be at the front of patrols and searching compounds. Even knowing the tasks he would be given would place him in danger, he never complained or even mentioned it for that matter. He was an integral part of the team and the platoon. He will be sorely missed by all members of The Queen's Company. Gone, but never forgotten."

Lance Corporal Clarke, Fire Team Commander, The Queen's Company, said:

"Mike was a caring bloke. He had so many ambitions. He took part in so many activities and was always up for a good laugh and a fair few beers with the boys. He was never afraid to lead the way, and we had a lot of good times together."

Guardsman Wates, Guardsman in The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was always happy to help and give good advice. He made me feel very welcome on joining the platoon, and I'm going to miss him very much."

Guardsman Churchill, Guardsman in The Queen's Company, said:

"Guardsman Roland was a pleasure to work with, as well as being a good friend. Everything he did, he did to the best of his ability. A true soldier who will be missed."

Add comment

Security code

Latest from

  • Tolonews- Clashes Erupt As Kunduz Battle Enters Its Ninth Day
    Fierce fighting broke out in the city center around the main traffic circle on Tuesday with insurgents once again lowering the Afghan flag on the roundabout. Reporting from the frontline, TOLOnews correspondent Karim Amini said the insurgents launched a massive attack early Tuesday morning at the roundabout and took control of the area.
  • ToloNews- Airstrikes Taking A Toll On Taliban
    Airstrikes carried out by the Afghan Air Force are starting to take a toll on insurgent numbers but this is pushing the Taliban into hiding. TOLOnews reporter Wali Arian, who joined the crew in one helicopter during an airstrike, says security forces say the Taliban is scared of such aerial attacks.
  • KP- Remains of two people found in Presidential Palace
    The remains of two people have been found in Presidential Palace, an official said on Tuesday. Sayed Zafar Hashimi, a spokesman for the Presidential Palace told a press conference in Kabul that the remains have been sent for forensic examination to identify them.
  • PBS- Top U.S. commander recommends revising Afghan drawdown plan
    Gen. John Campbell acknowledged at a Senate Armed Services hearing that a strike against a target that turned out to be a Doctors Without Borders hospital was an American decision, made within the U.S. chain of command. Campbell also said he's proposed extending the U.S. presence in Afghanistan beyond the 2016 deadline laid out by the president. Judy Woodruff reports.
  • AP- Taliban attack police HQ in embattled Afghan city
    Fighting erupted anew in the embattled northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Tuesday after the Taliban attacked a police headquarters overnight and officials warned that food and other emergency aid cannot get through to the city.
  • ToloNews- Taliban Kills 16 Members Of One Kunduz Family
    Kunduz residents have spoken out about their terrifying ordeal at the hands of the Taliban last week, with one resident telling how he lost 16 family members to insurgents in just one incident.
  • KP- Taliban Supreme Leader running businesses under fake names and owns a house in Dubai
    American daily newspaper the New York Times has published a report indicating that the Supreme Leader of Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is a businessman and running businesses in Dubai.
  • Reuters- Kunduz airstrike was a mistake: Top US general
    The decision to carry out a deadly airstrike that hit a hospital in the Afghan provincial capital of Kunduz was made within the US chain of command, the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan told lawmakers on Tuesday.
  • NYTimes- General Takes Responsibility for Afghan Hospital Airstrike
    The US commander in Afghanistan on Tuesday took responsibility for the sustained bombardment of the Doctors Without Borders hospital last week, which he said took place in response to an Afghan call for help
  • RFE/RL- UN, Charity Groups Flee Kunduz Amid Continued Fighting
    All international aid organizations have left the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz amid continued heavy fighting and the accidental bombing of a hospital there, the United Nations said October 6. "There are presently no humanitarian agencies left inside Kunduz city," said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency.

British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.