Saturday, 28 May 2016
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

Corporal James Oakland
Royal Military Police

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 22 October 2009.

Corporal Oakland died after being mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device on a foot patrol in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. He was conducting a route search to clear devices to allow the Battle Group freedom of movement.


Corporal James 'Jim' Oakland deployed two months early as a Battlefield Casualty Replacement, prior to the rest of the Company for Op HERRICK 11. On arrival he was deployed to a Forward Operating Base as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province.

Embedded within the Battlegroup, his duties included direct support to Improvised Explosive Device Disposal teams, scientific exploitation of devices and support to Battle Group patrols.

Corporal Oakland was an outstanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer with excellent prospects. He joined the Army in January 2002 and passed out into the Intelligence Corps. In 2003 he transferred to the Royal Military Police and attended phase 2 training at the Royal Military Police Training School, Chichester.

His first posting was to 156 Provost Company RMP in Colchester, where he conducted General Policing Duties. From there he deployed with the Spearhead Lead Element to operations in Kosovo and Beirut. Following this Corporal Oakland immersed himself in pre-deployment training for OP HERRICK 8 where he deployed with the Force Protection Company in KABUL.

After this highly successful tour he was posted to Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company and soon sent on his Level 2 Investigational course, qualifying him as a Class 1 RMP Investigator. He passed with a very high standard and a recommendation for the Special Investigation Branch.

On return to his unit he again became involved with pre-deployment training prior to deploying as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province.

Corporal Oakland was a personable, motivated and intelligent individual. He nurtured those under his Command whilst constantly striving to better himself by learning from his superiors. He was enthusiastic and energetic about his work.

Corporal Oakland is survived by his parents Steve and Christine and a brother, Daniel, who is in his final term at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He had a long term girlfriend, Lauren Bowyer, whom he loved dearly and enjoyed travelling the world with; Corporal Oakland was very close to his family who are from New Moston in Manchester.

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex, Royal Logistic Corps, Commanding Officer Counter IED Task Force said:

"Corporal James Oakland was an excellent soldier, a natural leader and extremely well thought of by all ranks. He was an inspiring character and his loss will be felt keenly across our close knit community.

"When a battle casualty replacement was needed two months ago, his professionalism made him the natural choice to deploy and he excelled in his operational duties.

"He always sought additional responsibility and had a very bright future ahead of him. His personal example and dedication is an inspiration to us all. At this sad time our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones."

Major Andy Lewis Royal Logistic Corps, Company Commander, Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company said:

"Corporal Jimmy Oakland was one of the brightest stars in my Company and it was an honour to serve alongside him. A giant in both mind and body he had a natural flair for his job.

"He was the man you wanted on your side in a difficult situation as he had been there many times before. A soldier's soldier, he was in his element in the field; robust, devoted and utterly professional, he epitomised the RMP soldier in every aspect.

"It was on that basis that he was selected to go out to Afghanistan in advance of the Main Body. Then, as always, he was in the lead, taking the Counter IED fight to the enemy.

"He understood the risks associated with his job in Helmand but he never wavered because he knew that he could make a difference to others.

"He was a central part of company life and he worked hard and played harder; his keen wit brightened many a dark moment. Always cheerful he was the steadfast rock that brought a calm and reassuring air to the Company and to those he worked with.

"Never a man for ceremony, he let his actions speak for him and they did. The Company is understandably shocked by his death and that such a pivotal character has been taken so cruelly. Our thoughts go out to his family and girlfriend at this awful time. He will be missed but never forgotten."

Major Danny Rea Royal Logistic Corps, Company Commander, Weapons Intelligence Company, Afghanistan said:

"Corporal Oakland was an outstanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer who joined WIS Company on HERRICK 10 mid way through the tour, under difficult circumstances, following injury to one of his colleagues. He immediately stood out as a talented, enthusiastic and totally reliable individual.

"Popular with his peers and highly respected by all who worked with him, Corporal Oakland was a credit to his cap badge and to WIS Coy and will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

Captain Laura Briggs, Second in Command, Weapons Intelligence Company, Afghanistan said:

"On first meeting Corporal Oakland it was clear from the outset that he had, in abundance, every attribute desired of an exemplary soldier. He was highly motivated, intelligent and physically robust.

"Corporal Oakland was an inspiration to his peers and those under his command and earned the greatest respect from his Commanders. His loyalty to his peers, the Company and to the mission was second to none.

"Corporal Oakland's mindset was selfless and professional in every way. He was a thoroughly decent individual who will be sorely missed by everyone in who knew him. My deepest condolences go to Corporal Oakland's family, friends and girlfriend Lauren."

Captain Miles Nettleship, Second in Command, Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company, said:

"Although I did not know Jim well, the overriding impression I have is of a highly professional, dedicated and popular soldier. He was stood up at short notice for this tour and he reacted as I was told he would – with enthusiasm and commitment.

"Our thoughts are with his family, girlfriend and his many friends both in the RMP and the Intelligence Corps.

"No longer will the camp have to suffer the awful sound of Jim trying to get his Lotus Elise over the speed bumps at the front gate; so we will just have to find another car and just keep on doing it!. You will be sorely missed."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Andy Peat, Company Sergeant Major, said:

"Jim was one of the Company's natural leaders, best soldiers and funniest guys. Never shy in coming forward or from speaking his mind, he was always reliable and I trusted him implicitly; he was a fantastic man.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, girlfriend and all that knew him. I for one was proud to serve and drink with him. We will miss him deeply but he will never be forgotten.

'Rest in peace, mate'."

Sergeant Phil Buchan, Platoon Sergeant, said:

"Corporal Oakland was not only a member of my platoon but a close friend. WIS Coy is a small unit and we have all been hit hard by this tragic loss, but our hurt is nothing to the devastation of his family. My thoughts are with Jim's family and his girlfriend Lauren. RIP mate. We will remember you."

Corporal Tom Hempsey, a colleague, said:

"No words can describe this loss to everyone but Jim was one of my closest friends who will be missed dearly not only by me but by all that knew him.

"He could put a smile on anyone's face in any situation. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. The world is a lesser place without him but he will never be forgotten. Soon, mate, we will dance together again and the turkey will be on me! Rest in peace; a man and a legend.

Corporal 'Polar' Morrissey, a colleague, said:

"The loss of Jimmy will leave a huge hole in the hearts of the people who were privileged to know him.

"Not only was he an outstanding soldier but he was also a fantastic friend. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten. The world won't be the same without you, Jimmy, and never will. Wherever you are, mate, have a glass of turkey on me."

Corporal Rick Lacey, a colleague, said:

"Jim was reliable, honest and not afraid to speak his mind. He was one of the funniest people I have ever met. He was loved by all who knew him and will be missed even more.

"Jim has left a hole in our company and our hearts that can never be filled. Our thoughts are with his mum, dad, brother and girlfriend Lauren.

"The memories we have especially the days and nights out, not forgetting the Army Navy weekends dressed as Smurfs in London will never ever leave us. Jim we miss you, gone but not forgotten. Rest in Peace Gypsy King."

Lance Corporal Becky Abbott, a colleague, said:

"Honest, dedicated and a good laugh are just a few words in which I would describe Jim. He was a great all round guy, who was an extremely strong character within a close knit company.

"He will leave a great void within our company that will not be filled. Jim will be deeply missed but never forgotten. The memories that have been made will be held dearly and will stay with us always. Rest in Peace Jim x."

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Latest from icasualties.org

  • CCTV- At least 11 killed as suicide bomber strikes bus in Kabul
    Afghan security force members inspect the site of a suicide bombing in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, May 25, 2016. At least 11 people were killed and four others wounded after a suicide bomber struck a bus carrying a local court employees in Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, police said. (Xinhua/Omid)
  • KP- 8 Afghan soldiers martyred during counter-terrorism operations
    At least 8 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces were martyred in fight against terrorism in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said. According to an operational update by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the soldiers were martyred while conducting counter-terrorism operations against the internal and external terrorists.
  • KP- 61 militants in latest air and ground operations of Afghan forces
    At least 61 militants were killed and dozens of others were wounded in the latest clearance operations of the Afghan National Security and Defense (ANSDF), the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said. According to a statement by MoD, the operations were conducted in the past 24 hours in various parts of the country with the support of the Afghan Air Force and Artillery units.
  • Reuters- Naming of new Taliban chief seen dimming Obama's hopes for Afghan peace talks
    The selection of a hard-line cleric as the new Taliban chief on Wednesday all but dashes U.S. President Barack Obama's hopes for opening peace talks before he leaves office, one of his top foreign policy goals, current and former U.S. defense and intelligence officials said. The Taliban leadership council tapped Mullah Haybattulah Akhundzada, a conservative Islamic scholar from the group's stronghold in southern Afghanistan, to succeed Mullah Akhtar Mansour, four days after Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
  • rferl- Pentagon - Slain Taliban Leader Was Threat To U.S. Troops
    The Pentagon has said U.S. forces killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur in a drone strike on May 21 because he posed "specific, imminent threats" to U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said on May 23 that the drone attack against Mansur in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan was carried out under U.S. rules of engagement that allow U.S. forces to conduct defensive strikes against people engaged in activity threatening U.S. and coalition personnel.
  • rferl- Roadside Bomb Kills Five In Southern Afghanistan
    Five civilians have been reported killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Afghan southern province of Kandahar. The governor's spokesman, Samim Khpolwak, said four other people were wounded in the attack in Shah Wali Kot district early on May 24.

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.