Sunday, 23 November 2014
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

inmemoriam

Lance Corporal James Ashworth from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 13 June 2012. In March 2013 it was announced that he was to be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for the actions leading to his death. You can read his full obituary below.


Lance Corporal James Ashworth joined the British Army in 2006 when he was 17 years old. Following his training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick he joined Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards and completed a stint of ceremonial duty in London.

He was quickly identified as being a fit, capable soldier and thus suitable for the Guards' Parachute Platoon, part of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. He spent three years with the Guards' Parachute Platoon, deploying on Op HERRICK 8 and exercising in Belize, Norway and Kenya.

On returning to the Grenadiers during the build up for Op HERRICK 16, Lance Corporal Ashworth deployed to Canada with The Queen's Company before moving across to the Reconnaissance Platoon for the remainder of Mission Specific Training for Op HERRICK 16.

A talented football player, he represented the Battalion, most notably during their successful recent French military tour.

Lance Corporal Ashworth came from a strong lineage of soldiering: his father was a Grenadier, and one of his brothers, Coran aged 21, is currently serving with the Army in Northern Ireland.

Brought up in Kettering, he continued to live there with his mother and girlfriend. When at home he played football for his local team and loved spending time with his girlfriend and friends.

"Lance Corporal Ashworth's death leaves a hole in the Battalion - we have lost one of our very best soldiers."
Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder

Lance Corporal Ashworth was an excellent soldier with a bright future ahead of him. He was an exceptional individual with a great deal of proven combat experience. Although only recently promoted as a Non Commissioned Officer, he was already working hard to further progress his career by assuming greater responsibility.

He was a very fit, popular young man and will be remembered for his strength in the field and his sense of fun when back in barracks. Lance Corporal Ashworth was a typical Grenadier: fit, capable and a professional soldier to the core.

The gap left by his loss will be difficult to fill, and he will be sorely missed by all who served with him. The thoughts and prayers of the Regimental family are firmly with James' family during this difficult time.

Lance Corporal Ashworth leaves behind his mother, Kerryann, father Duane, sisters Lauren and Paige, brothers Coran and Karl, niece Darcie, aged 4, and his girlfriend, Emily. His family paid the following tribute:

"We are devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and boyfriend. He meant the world to everyone and has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts.

"We ask that we are given time to grieve and we sincerely thank everyone for their condolences."

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

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was an outstanding soldier whose loss has moved us all. A real self-starter, he excelled in everything that he undertook. Fit, strong and brilliant at his job, he set the bar very high. Indeed, such was his calmness under pressure, his charisma, and his selflessness that he made an exemplary junior leader.

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was a pleasure to command and I will sorely miss his calming influence on the battlefield."
Captain Mike Dobbin

"Lance Corporal Ashworth had fitted a great deal into a relatively short time. Having already served with distinction in the Guards' Parachute Platoon, The Queen's Company and then most recently in the Battalion's Reconnaissance Platoon, he was destined to go a long way in the Army.

"Lance Corporal Ashworth's death leaves a hole in the Battalion – we have lost one of our very best soldiers. The Battalion, and indeed the broader Regiment, will never forget this quite exceptional man. Moreover, our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times."

Captain Mike Dobbin, Commander, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was killed while fighting his way through compounds; leading his fire team from the front, whilst trying to protect his men and he showed extraordinary courage to close on a determined enemy. His professionalism under pressure and ability to remain calm in what was a chaotic situation is testament to his character.

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was a pleasure to command and I will sorely miss his calming influence on the battlefield. Softly spoken, he stepped up to every task thrown in his direction. As the section Second in Command in the ISAF/Afghan National Army partnered section, Lance Corporal Ashworth regularly commanded the section while the Section Commander worked with the Afghan Army. This he did with absolute professionalism and an ability that surpassed his rank.

"As a platoon, we have lost a strong commander, outstanding soldier and dear friend who was popular throughout the Battalion. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his girlfriend, who should be extremely proud of the courage he displayed and the life that he led.

"I am humbled by what I saw of Lance Corporal Ashworth's actions and will never forget him."

Colour Sergeant Andy Austin, Second in Command, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was an exceptional soldier and a shining example to both his peers and subordinates alike; always leading from the front with a smile on his face. No situation would faze this man; whatever challenge he faced he would tackle at full tilt and with pride, both on the battlefield and on the football pitch.

"His great love of the beautiful game was shared by myself and others in the Platoon. After every match day in the Premier League we would discuss the day's events with great interest, especially the fortunes of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. These conversations I will miss terribly.

"This was a man destined for great things in the Army and whose potential I watched flourish in the Platoon. He would always strive for excellence in absolutely everything and if it didn't work out, he always made sure that it would the next time. He was always determined to learn more and be the best.

"This Platoon has lost a leader and more importantly a friend, I will miss him dearly and my thoughts are with his family and girlfriend."

Sergeant Vandell McLean, Platoon Sergeant, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"James Ashworth was one of the Reconnaissance Platoon's most promising Lance Corporals. He was a person who so enjoyed his football that on many occasions he tried to change me from a rugby fan to a football fan.

"Lance Corporal Ashworth was loved by everyone within the Platoon. He was always able to bring a smile to everyone's face and be seen by the Platoon as being some sort of follower of fashion!

"Lance Corporal Ashworth commanded well above his rank, a person who only had to be told once. He truly led from the front; his place in my heart and of the rest of the Platoon's will never be filled.

"My sorrow is with his family at this time of great loss. Please take comfort in knowing that Lance Corporal Ashworth died protecting me, his mates and the rest of the Platoon."


Guardsman Jordan Wint, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"Jimmy, a friendship that I will never forget. You were a top bloke, and an even better soldier. I looked up to you as a man, a commander, but most of all as a mega mate. Words can't describe how you will be missed, but I've given it a bash anyway. Watch over the rest of us. Love you mate. RIP."

Guardsman Gareth Loftus, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:

"Selfless, brave, courageous; words like these don't come close to what Ash demonstrated that day. He will be missed by all as a commander, but most of all a good mate.

"A memory I will always treasure is getting ready to go out, we played FIFA, and for each goal conceded we had a shot of alcohol. We drew 7 -7!

"A really good bloke and great soldier. At this time our thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP mate

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Latest from icasualties.org

  • KP- Salahuddin Rabbani resigns as Afghan high peace council chief
    Salahuddin Rabbani has resigned from his position as the Afghan high peace council chief. Unconfirmed report suggest Rabbani has resigned due to disagreements he had with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
  • AFP- Female Afghan MP injured but defiant after suicide attack
    Afghan women’s rights campaigner Shukria Barakzai speaks in a tired whisper as she recovers in hospital from an assassination attempt that nearly killed her a week ago, but her message is strong and clear. “I don’t want the women of Afghanistan to be scared,” she told AFP at her bedside in Kabul. I am waiting for my recovery and I will go back [to work]. And this time I will work even harder than before. This attack was an attack on all women in Afghanistan — this is not only on me.”
  • AP- Afghan base attack kills 8 militants, 1 soldier
    An Afghan official says that one soldier and eight insurgents have been killed in an attack on an army base in the country's volatile east. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the assault Saturday in Afghanistan's remote Nuristan province along the country's mountainous border with Pakistan lasted almost three hours. He says a large number of insurgents tried to overrun the base, but were turned back.
  • KP- 5 Afghan army soldiers martyred in roadside bomb explosion
    At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Saturday. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 48 hours.
  • WaPo- White House gives commanders broader authority to support Afghan troops
    The Obama administration has authorized an expanded U.S. military response to insurgents in Afghanistan following the conclusion of U.S. and NATO combat operations in December, a U.S. official said Saturday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the planning, said the White House had made a decision in recent weeks to provide the U.S. military with expanded powers for Afghanistan in 2015.
  • NBCNews- War of Words Between al Qaeda and ISIS Continues With Scholar's Smackdown
    Escalating a war of words between terrorism’s old and new schools, an Islamic scholar with al Qaeda’s Yemen-based offshoot on Friday accused ISIS of “planting … disunity” among the various Islamic extremist factions fighting to topple the Syrian government and rejcted the authority of the Iraq- and Syria-based group’s self-declared caliphate.
  • ABCNews- US Military Conducts 30 Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq
    The U.S. military continued its attack against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, launching 30 more airstrikes between Wednesday and Friday. According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), six of the strikes were in Syria, near Kobani. They destroyed four staging areas, two buildings and two tactical units, and suppressed a fighting position.
  • KP- Teenager bride murdered three days after her marriage in Baghlan
    A teenager bride was mysteriously murdered three days after her marriage in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan. The victim was reported to be 17-year-old and was strangled to death, her relatives said.
  • abcnewsradio- Afghanistan Amusement Park a Relief for War-Weary Residents
    Despite an upswing in insurgent attacks, Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, has a new milestone: The country’s first-ever amusement park -- Kabul City Park. Nestled between the muddy, polluted Kabul river and the city’s snow-covered mountains, it resembles the kind of smaller amusements parks that dot towns and cities across Europe and North America.
  • WaPo- A breakdown of all the weapons the U.S. wants to give Iraq to fight militants
    Top U.S. officials said earlier this month that they would ask Congress to spend $1.6 billion in fiscal 2015 to help equip security forces across Iraq, as the country continues to grapple with how to expel Islamic State militants from cities and towns in controls. A new Defense Department document outlines what that money will go toward — and underscores just how much firepower Washington wants to send Baghdad in its bid to help.

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.

 

Cookies
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 www.aboutcookies.org 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.