Wednesday, 31 August 2016
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      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- 4 suicide bombing vests, large cache of explosives seized near Kabul
    A large cache of explosives and weapons was seized in Kapisa province close to capital Kabul by the operatives of the Afghan intelligence. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the cache was discovered during an operation conducted in the vicinity of Kapisa province but no further details were given.
  • KP- Explosion in Ghor province leaves 3 dead, 8 others wounded
    At least three people were killed and eight others were wounded in an explosion in central Ghor province of Afghanistan, local officials said Monday. The incident took place late on Sunday night in Maidan Bara Khana area of Ghor province after a vehicle struck with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
  • KP- Taliban bomb kill own commander and 4 comrades in West of Afghanistan
    A Taliban commander was killed in an explosion in western Herat province of Afghanistan along with four other Taliban insurgents. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the slain Taliban commander was identified as Taj Mohammad and fell prey to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by fellow militants.
  • Reuters- 4 Haqqani commanders killed in east Afghanistan
    US air strikes in Afghanistan have killed four commanders of the Haqqani network, a militant group affiliated with the Taliban, as government forces try to retake a district captured by insurgents last week, Afghan officials said on Tuesday. Naqeeb Ahmad Atal, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, said 120 militants were also killed in the strikes in Jani Khil, a strategically located district at a crossroads on a major route into Pakistan.
  • AP- US evaluating Taliban video of captive couple in Afghanistan
    The State Department said Tuesday it is evaluating a video released by the Afghan Taliban showing a Canadian man and his American wife warning that their Afghan captors will kill them and their children unless the Kabul government ends its executions of Taliban prisoners.
  • KP- Explosion in Ghor province leaves 3 dead, 8 others wounded
    At least three people were killed and eight others were wounded in an explosion in central Ghor province of Afghanistan, local officials said Monday. The incident took place late on Sunday night in Maidan Bara Khana area of Ghor province after a vehicle struck with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
  • KP- Deadly attack foiled in North of Afghanistan, 5 suicide bombers killed
    A deadly attack plot by the anti-government armed militants was foiled by the Afghan security forces in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said at least 5 suicide bombers were killed in connection to the attack plot by the Special Operations Forces of the Afghan National Police (ANP) forces.
  • KP- Afghan intelligence rescued Australian aid worker during a special raid
    The Australian aid worker was released during a special military operation conducted by the operatives of the Afghan intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS). NDS said the special operation was conducted in Nangarahr province but did not elaborate further regarding the exact location.
  • Afghanistantimes- 43 insurgents killed, five heroin factories destroyed
    Forty-three Taliban insurgents including five suicide bombers were killed, and fifteen others wounded in different operations lunched by security forces across the country within past 24 hours, security officials said on Monday. In astatement issued here,the Ministry of Defense (MoD), said that the Afghan National Army in collaboration with Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security operatives had conducted a joint operations against insurgents in different area of Ghazni, Paktia, Kandahar, Zabul, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Sar-i-Pul, Jowzjan, and Helmand provinces, in which 30 insurgents killed and 15 injured. In addition to that eight insurgents were also arrested in the raids.
  • KP- Ghazni police chief Aminullah Amarkhel has reportedly resigned
    The provincial police chief of southeastern Ghazni province General Aminullah Amarkhel has reportedly stepped down from his post. Gen. Amar Khel is among the prominent security officials of the country and has reportedly resigned from his post due to the lack of support by the central government.

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.