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Guardsman Karl Whittle dies of wounds sustained in Afghanistan

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Guardsman Karl Whittle of The Queen's Company, 1st BattalionGrenadier Guards died in Queen Elizabeth Hospitalhaving previously sustained gunshot wounds when his checkpoint wasattacked by insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Provinceon 14 August.

Born on 26 January 1990 and raised in Bristol, Guardsman Whittle joinedthe Army in 2009. Having completed the Combat Infantryman's Course atthe Infantry Training Centre at Catterick he moved to Nijmegen Company,Grenadier Guards, where he conducted public duties at the Royal Palacesand participated in state ceremonial tasks. In August 2011 he joinedThree Platoon, The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards inAldershot and immediately began training for the upcoming tour inAfghanistan. He deployed on 5th April 2012 as part of the OperationsCompany for Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North).

Guardsman Whittle was one of the leading lights of his Company. He wascompassionate, selfless and, despite his comparative inexperience, afigure others would turn to in the face of adversity. Guardsman Whittlewas a soldier whose presence inspired confidence in all who werefortunate enough to know and work with him.

Guardsman Whittle's family paid this tribute:"Karl was one in a million. He was a proud and caring man who took pridein whatever he did. The family are obviously devastated. Karl was thelight of many lives and touched all who knew him. He will be especiallymissed by his baby daughter Grace, who has lost her number one man."

Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder MBE, Commanding Officer, 1st BattalionGrenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was one of our very best. A great soldier and a
young man of rare character, he was destined to go a very long way inthe Army. Big, strong and full of fight, he battled hard against hisinjuries right to the very end. His loss has been keenly felt in aclose Battalion, and our prayers are with his family at this mostdifficult of times.

"I am immensely proud of what Guardsman Whittle achieved out here inAfghanistan and more broadly during his military career. He was utterlycommitted to his fellow Guardsmen, his Company and the mission. He willnever be forgotten by either the Battalion or the broader Regimentalfamily. Moreover, we are determined to maintain the high standards setby this most talented of Grenadiers."

Major Piers Ashfield, The Captain of The Queen's Company, 1st BattalionGrenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was one of the toughest soldiers in the Company and aloyal friend to everyone he met. His dedication to his duty throughgreat adversity was of the highest order. The Queen's Company has losta great soldier, who will forever be remembered for his inspiringbravery and sacrifice. The Queen's Company offers its most heartfeltcondolences to Guardsman Whittle's family and friends."

Lieutenant Alexander Budge, 3 Platoon Commander, 1st Battalion GrenadierGuards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was without doubt a shining light in the Platoon. On
arrival at the Battalion, shortly before tour, he immediately assertedhimself and showed his true talent. He was kind, compassionate and anexceptional soldier, always ready to help others less proficient thanhimself. He was a mountain of a man with an extremely bright future,which makes his passing even harder to bear. I think it is a testamentto his strength and determination that he fought this long against allodds. He was a professional to the end and our thoughts are with himand his family."

Lance Sergeant Matthew Mooney, Section Commander, 3 Platoon, 1stBattalion Grenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was the type of soldier every section commander wantsin his section. He was always willing to do any task no matter howdangerous or laborious - his loss is a massive blow to the Platoon andto the Company. All our thoughts are with his family at this difficulttime. Gone but never forgotten."

Lance Corporal Ashley Hendy, Section 2nd in Command, 1st BattalionGrenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was one of the best, if not the best Guardsman in our
Platoon, fearlessly taking the fight to the enemy at every opportunity.He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him."

Lance Corporal Tony Reuben, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was a massive part of the Platoon. If anything neededto be done he would be there to do it. He will be sorely missed by usall and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.I worked with Guardsman Whittle throughout training and on deployment toAfghanistan; he was an inspiration to us all. He was a dedicated,strong person always at the front. Gone but never forgotten."

Guardsman Christopher Keay, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"You were one of the best soldiers I have ever worked with and an evenbetter friend and I am so proud that I could call you so. You made thePlatoon what is it, you will be sadly missed and forever in our hearts."

Guardsman Sam Emmett, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"A good friend and passionate about the things he loved especially hisfamily. His personality was as big as he was and he was a gleamingbloke to be around."

Guardsman Grant Churchill, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was a strong, kind hearted person, who was alwaysthere to give others help. Never shy to step forward and do your share,you were a good friend who will be sadly missed."

Guardsman Robert Froggatt, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"The fun, the laughter and good times we had will never be forgottenKarl. You will always be greatly missed and never forgotten. I hope youare up there showing the angels how to party. Sweet dreams mate."

Guardsman Austen Wates, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"Karl was a good friend and was always there for me whenever I neededadvice. I will miss you very much as will the rest of the Platoon."

Guardsman Lamin Ceesay, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"Guardsman Whittle was a true professional soldier, who was dedicated tohis duty and every single member of The Queen's Company, particularly 3Platoon. In addition, he wasn't only my fellow soldier but my gym mateas well. He loved his weights, gym time and was very fit; a verydetermined fella. Finally, he really will be missed and my heart feltcondolences go out to his family, daughter and friends. You will neverbe forgotten. May your soul rest in peace."

Private Steven Bridger, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:"I have only known Karl since January, when I joined The Queen'sCompany. He was the best soldier I had ever worked with. He wasfriendly, funny and committed to his work and the Company. He willnever be forgotten."

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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.


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