Thursday, 23 March 2017
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- Prominent religious cleric killed in East of Afghanistan
    A prominent religious cleric and former member of the provincial council of eastern Laghman province succumbed to his injuries he sustained during an attack by gunmen. The provincial government in Nangarhar said Qari Rohullah was shifted to Nangarhar for the treatment after he was critically injured in the attack.
  • AP- Aid group says millions of Afghan children are not in school
    An aid group says nearly a third of all children in war-torn Afghanistan are unable to attend school, leaving them at increased risk of child labor, recruitment by armed groups, early marriage and other forms of exploitation. Save the Children says more than 400,000 Afghan children, over 1,100 per day, are expected to drop out of school this year due to growing instability and the forcible return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, adding to the 3.7 million already out of school.
  • KP- 6 militants killed while planting bomb on a roadside in Helmand
    At least six militants were killed while planting an explosive device on a roadside in the restive Helmand in South of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants ere blown up as they were fixing the homemade Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Loy Bagh area located in Nad-e-Ali district.
  • AP- Pakistani troops clash with militants near Afghan border
    Pakistan's military says troops have clashed with militants during a raid in a tribal region near the Afghan border, with two soldiers and five "terrorists" killed. It says a local Pakistani Taliban commander was among those killed in Wednesday's raid in the Orakzai tribal region.
  • BNA- Mine Blast Wounds 4 Kids in Urozgan
    four children were injured due to a mine blast in Urozgan province this morning. The event occurred in Khas district, Urozgan province while the children playing in the site. A local police commander of Urozgan province told BNA, in the event four children have been injured.
  • VOA- US Forces Vow to Defeat Islamic State in Afghanistan This Year
    U.S. forces in Afghanistan are upping the fight against an expanding Islamic State offshoot based near the Afghan-Pakistan border and are determined to defeat the extremist group in the country this year, U.S. military officials tell VOA. "Our goal in 2017 is to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan," U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, the spokesperson and director of public affairs for Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, told VOA's Afghan service.
  • ToloNews- US Delivers 4 Super Tucano Attack Aircraft to Afghan Forces
    U.S officials delivered four Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft to the Afghan defense ministry this week in an effort to help embattled Afghan security forces carry out their counter-insurgency missions in the volatile country.
  • AP- Afghanistan wants more US help in fight against Taliban, IS
    Afghanistan wants the United States to send more forces to help meet shortfalls in the battle against the Taliban and the Islamic State group, the nation's top diplomat said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani welcomed a recent call by U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan, for a few thousand more troops from the U.S. or other coalition partners to help break the stalemate in the war-torn country.
  • Bostonglobe- 6 killed as suicide bomber rams Afghan militia base
    At least six members of a militia belonging to the Afghan intelligence agency were killed in a suicide car bombing at their base in the southern province of Helmand, Afghan officials said Tuesday. The attack late Monday was in Gereshk District, just outside the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, which has been largely besieged by Taliban forces for more than a year.
  • VOA- Conditions in Afghanistan Deteriorating, Kids at Great Risk
    The United Nations reports humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan are deteriorating, with children at great risk of dying at an early age from lack of health care and proper nutrition. The United Nations reports 9.3 million people in Afghanistan will need humanitarian assistance this year. The world body has appealed for $550 million to support 5.6 million of the most vulnerable people.

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.