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inmemoriam

CORPORAL MICHAEL JOHN PIKE

A COMPANY,THE HIGHLANDERS,4TH BATTALION, THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF SCOTLAND

Corporal Michael John Pike deployed to Afghanistan on 3 April 2011 as aMultiple Second-in-Command in 2 Platoon, part of A Company, 4thBattalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland. He was based at Check PointPEGASUS with Combined Force Lashkar Gah attached to B Company, 3rdBattalion, The Mercian Regiment (The Staffords) in Maiwand Province.

Corporal Pike was from Huntly, Scotland. He joined the Army as a JuniorSoldier in 2002. After a tour of Iraq, he served with B Company, 4SCOTS in Helmand Province in 2008, when they were deployed as theArmoured Infantry Company. A tough and respected field soldier, hesailed through his Section Commander's Battle Course and qualified as aPhysical Training Instructor in 2007; a qualification he used to thefull as he put his Company through a demanding period of physicaltraining prior to deployment.

On 3 June 2011, Corporal Pike deployed with his multiple in the area ofPupalzay along the main route of Highway 601. He was taking part in anoperation to prevent the insurgents from intimidating the localpopulation and attacking the Afghan Police Check Point. Corporal Pikewas leading the patrol in a contact with a group of insurgents when hewas killed in action.

Corporal Pike was the perfect example of a Highland Soldier - loyal andfiercely courageous. Due to be posted to train the next generation ofrecruits at the end of the tour, he was a role model to his soldiers anda marvellous leader. He had been marked out for a bright and successfulcareer.

He was a hugely popular figure, a dedicated father to Joshua and Evelynnand a loving husband to Ida; he will be greatly missed by all.Corporal Pike's wife, Ida, said:

"My husband would want everybody to know that he died doing a job heloved and that he loved our children with all his heart and soul"

Lieutenant Colonel A J Aitken MBE, Commanding Officer of Combined ForceLashkar Gah and The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment ofScotland said:

"The loss of Corporal Mike Pike has been felt deeply by all ranks of theBattalion. He was an enormously popular, charismatic and engagingcharacter; a natural leader in every way. As a junior commander he wasentirely dedicated to his soldiers, leading from the front with everystep and they would follow him anywhere. A natural practical joker, hisinnate sense of fun was a constant source of amusement and relief forthe whole Platoon. He was marked out by his constant wry smile whether leading his company from the front at PT or pushing his section on whenunder pressure; simply unflappable.

"As one of the brightest stars in the Battalion, he had already beenearmarked for having potential for the very highest promotion. Whetheras a commander or as a friend he was the perfect role model. As asoldier, he was one of the most professional I have known, and he wasthe very epitome of a Highland soldier: fierce in battle, compassionateto all and unswervingly loyal to his friends - a code he lived by to thevery end.

"Our thoughts and prayers are entirely for his family, and especiallyIda, Joshua and Evelynn in Germany; above all else he was a deeplyloving and caring family man. His loss has left a hole in theBattalion, in his company and especially his platoon. However, I have astrong suspicion that he would not want us to dwell on his loss, Isuspect that he would simply put his kit on, make a joke about it andcarry on in the same dedicated, professional manner."

Major Neil Tomlin, Officer Commanding A Company, The Highlanders, 4thBattalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:


"Corporal Pike's death is a huge loss to all those who knew him. He wasa loving father to Joshua and Evelynn and a dedicated husband to Ida.We cannot comprehend their loss but consider ourselves very fortunate to
have had such a good friend and colleague. As a soldier he was highlyprofessional, motivated and an inspirational leader."

Captain Phil Morgan, Operations Officer, The Highlanders, 4th BattalionThe Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was an outstanding individual. Having served with him onOperation HERRICK 8 and now on Operation HERRICK 14 we shared many finemoments. It is a tragedy that his life has been taken from his family
and the Battalion on his second tour of Afghanistan. An infectiouspersonality which won over his peers and all ranks; he will be trulymissed by all. His professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm to teachyounger members of the platoon and company were a tribute to hisability. His courage and valour will always be remembered. May hisbody and soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences and sympathy to hisfamily."

Captain Angus Steele, Regimental Career Management Officer, TheHighlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Mike Pike was a calm, confident Highland soldier who washighly respected by all those under his command and indeed by those thathad the pleasure to command him. A model professional soldier to his
subordinates, he led his men from the front in all aspects of command.Fit, enthusiastic, highly motivated and full of humour, he was destinedfor a very bright future within The Highlanders and indeed The RoyalRegiment of Scotland. He had recently been selected to train recruitsin the Infantry Training Centre post HERRICK 14, a post he desired toundertake and would have relished as a gifted and knowledgeableInstructor. I regarded him as one of the best section commanders of hisgeneration; he was undoubtedly a Company Sergeant Major of the future.His loss will be felt across the Regimental Community but mostly by hiswife and family, our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."

Warrant Officer Class 1 Euan Philbin, Regimental Sergeant Major, TheHighlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"I was fortunate to have had Corporal Mike Pike in my Company as aSergeant Major and as a Junior Non Commissioned Officer within theBattalion as the Regimental Sergeant Major. Corporal Pike was theepitome of a Section Commander; he was often the one I would ask to getthings done. He was respected by all ranks within the Battalion andwill be sorely missed. He was a true professional and a great characterwho had a wicked sense of humour. He was the heart and soul of hisPlatoon, a good friend and dedicated leader to the Jocks and Junior NonCommissioned Officers that he worked alongside on operations. Mylasting memory will be the image of him at the front of the Companyduring PT, leading his section and looking after the Jocks. He lovedthe job and maintained an infectious level of enthusiasm and team spiritthat will be irreplaceable. He was a family man at heart who lived tospend time with them. My deepest sympathy goes to his wife Ida and hischildren Evelynn and Joshua.

"Corporal Pike was a Battalion character who will be missed by all; thelist of friends and well wishers will be endless. A true Highlander."

Captain Dave Robertson, Company Second in Command, A Company, The
Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"When I first arrived in the Battalion, Corporal Pike quickly proved
himself to be one of the shining stars under my command in 5 Platoon.
Intelligent, professional, supremely fit and motivated, he took no time
to prove his abilities, whether in the field or in barracks, in the
turret or on his belt-buckle. I was fortunate enough to command
Corporal Pike on Operation HERRICK 8, when B Company, 4 SCOTS deployed
to Musa Qal'eh in 2008. Hugely capable and confident in his own
abilities, Corporal Pike spent most of the tour as my, and the
Company's, point vehicle commander; unfazed by the responsibility and
utterly dependable throughout. Calm and confident under fire, he set
the standard to his juniors and seniors alike, helping 'The Mighty
One-Zero' scrape itself out of countless dangerous situations.

"Gifted with a mischievous and razor sharp sense of humour, Corporal
Pike could always be relied on to keep his comrades' spirits up, even if
it was at his Platoon or Company Commander's expense. Whether it was
teaching the local kids the 'Fast Food dance' from his turret, or
nurturing the platoon chicken all the way into the cooking pot, I will
never forget his enthusiasm and boundless energy. Unfazed by anything
that was thrown at him: blown up, bogged in and under heavy fire
Corporal Pike never let any of the Jocks down once. He was a pleasure
to have known and a privilege to have commanded; a true professional and
a dedicated husband and father. His death is felt by all who knew and
served with him and our thoughts at this time go out to his family.
Words cannot express their loss."

Lieutenant Robert Grant, 2 Platoon Commander, A Company, The
Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"The loss of Corporal Pike, one of the funniest, most life affirming and
professionally diligent men I have ever had the privilege to meet,
strikes deep in to the heart and soul of all those who knew him. An
exceptional soldier and inspirational leader, Corporal Pike will be
forever missed. His death, saving the lives of the men he was devoted
to, marks the tragic end of a life that has touched so many, so deeply
that it seems almost unreal. At this awful time, the thoughts of every
member of 2 Platoon are with the young family he leaves behind; the
family to which he was eternally devoted. For as long as I live it
shall be my greatest honour and privilege to say that 'I knew Corporal
Michael Pike, my colleague and my friend.'"

Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary Main, Company Sergeant Major, A Company,
The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"A gentleman in all respects. Well respected by all those who served
with and knew him. A genuine character who was a very capable
individual and had a great future ahead of him. He thrived on educating
and training those who had the pleasure of serving alongside him. He
will be sorely missed."

Sergeant Lee Smith, 2 Platoon Sergeant, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"A brother, best friend, and comrade. Michael Pike was easily the
funniest guy in the Battalion; like a mischievous, adopted little
brother. It goes without saying that he was the prankster of the
Platoon. The Platoon will no doubt still have some bricks in daysacks
or shower gel in toothpaste tubes yet to be found. He will be sorely
missed and can never be replaced. The lads from 2 Platoon will miss you
mate."

2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said collectively:

"Corporal Pike will be sadly missed and is a great loss to the
Battalion. He passed away doing the job he loved but he didn't go down
without putting up a fight. He was suppressing the enemy in order to
cover the lead wagon, the ground call sign and to allow other callsigns
to manoeuvre out of immediate danger. As well as a soldier, he was a
great father, loving husband, a best friend and a great leader of men.
Mike was always good for morale, keeping all of us happy and when it
came to the serious stuff, he was 100% professional."

Corporal Ian Marr, Multiple Second in Command, 2 Platoon, A Company, The
Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"The first friend I made in the Highlanders when I arrived from 3 SCOTS.
He was warm, friendly, easy to get along with and a notorious character;
among the best practical jokers I know and I will miss torturing the
Platoon Commander with him. A 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' master, I will
miss the battles we had. A true leader of men and he will be sorely
missed and never replaced."

Lance Corporal Steven Teale, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was an inspiration to the men he led. He was the epitome
of what you'd expect of a soldier and of a section commander. He led
his men by example in a professional manner. Held in the highest
regards by his subordinates and superiors, he thrived in his role as a
section commander, always getting the best out of his men, and himself.
Even during the hardest stages of pre-tour training he always maintained
the highest degree of professionalism and maintained morale the only way
he knew. Mike will be missed by all; I classed him as the best mucker
both in and out of work. My sincerest condolences go to Ida and his two
children. I hope we did you proud, Mike. See you in the re-org."

Highlander 'Davo' Davidson, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Not only was Mike a good commander, he was also my good friend. He was
one of the most professional and brave people I have ever had the
pleasure of working with. As a commander he taught me everything I
know. He also helped me through difficult times in my Army career.
When the contact happened, his reaction probably gave myself and Rhys
Fraser enough time to react and I thank him for that. My condolences to
his family, his wife and kids who had the bravest father and husband in
my eyes. Mike will never be forgotten, and will be massively missed by
all."

Highlander Calum Fraser, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike, you were my first Section Commander. I had always looked up to
you as a great commander, a leader, a mate and a brother. When my
morale was low I looked to you to lift my mood and you always made me
laugh. He was always playing pranks on the Platoon Commander and
Platoon Sergeant. Everyone always thought highly of him. He was easily
the heart and soul of 2 Platoon. He will be truly missed. Goodbye
mate, you will never be forgotten."

Highlander Daniel Chisholm, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike was easily the life and soul of the Platoon - always making people
laugh and bringing us together at work. He was always there to help and
out of work, at home, was a brilliant friend: 'Thank you for everything
Mike, keep your chin up Ida and I'll be thinking of you, Jay-Jay and
Evelynn and will be there if you need anything.'"

Trooper Raymond Arnold, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards attached to 2
Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of
Scotland said:

"Mike was different to everyone I met whilst attached to 4 SCOTS. His
family came first. He is the only person from 4 SCOTS that I knew that
spoke nearly fluent German. His wife was like him; always funny, always
trying to get a laugh out of every situation. I made the mistake of
making good coffee and therefore I always had to make him one. He
wasn't just a neighbour; he was also a friend and I trusted him with my
life. I will miss him and never forget him."

Highlander Mark Osborne, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike Pike was a good friend, a great Section Commander and someone who
was never low on morale, regardless of the situation and always looked
to play practical jokes. My great regrets go to his family and kids; it
couldn't have happened to a funnier man."

Highlander Ian Burns, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was an excellent leader and just an all-round good guy.
He was quite the joker, a great personality who was always trying to
raise the spirit of the people around him whilst upholding immense
professionalism and ability to get the job done. There aren't many
words that can explain what he meant to people and how greatly he will
be missed. I am sure we will be finding out the pranks and jokes that
made up a lot of his personality for a while to come, and his memory and
the role he played in most of our lives, especially mine, will last
forever. I know his kids and wife will be proud of what he has done and
I wish them all the best for the future. So, to such a good guy that
was Corporal Mike Pike, rest in peace."

Lance Corporal Matthew Hayward, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders,
4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was the chief organiser of shenanigans in Check Point
PEGASUS. He always had a smile on his face and was always thinking of
tricks to play to keep the morale of the boys high. He will be sorely
missed by anyone who knew him: Cheers mate for making my time at PEGASUS
with you enjoyable."

Highlander Alexander Wishart, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was a good Junior Non Commisioned Officer who always
looked out for the Jocks. He loved playing pranks on the Jocks and
other Non Commissioned Officer's, even the Platoon Sergeant and Platoon
Commander, and was always up to something. He will be missed everyday."

Highlander John Reid, 2 Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th
Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike was a great man who always listened to the needs of his men, and
they were truly his men. One of the last things he said to me was:
'you're on the Junior Non Commissioned Officers' cadre, and anything at
all you need come and see your old da'. That basically sums up the
fun-loving and courageous leader he was. Mike, mate, I am going to miss
you but we'll never forget you. RIP Mike Pike."

Corporal 'Watty' Watson, Multiple Second-in-Command, D Company, The
Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike Pike; good friend, excellent soldier. You will be sorely missed
brother, and will forever remain in all our thoughts."

Trooper 'Scouse' O'Neill, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards attached to 2
Platoon, A Company, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of
Scotland said:

"Mike made me smile all the time. He always gave our Section morale.
In the short space of time I knew him, I found him to be a commander who
cared for his lads. We came first, he put himself second. Right up
until the end he put his life on the line for our safety. There are no
words you can put on paper to say how much of a hero he is to us. He
will be truly missed by his section and by the whole Regiment. One
thing I can say is: 'What a leader'."

Corporal Michael Barr, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said:

"Mikey Pike was my friend and colleague for many years. His loss is a
sad day for the Battalion. He was a great guy both in and out of work,
and I will miss his laugh and smiles. He was a professional of the
highest calibre and I am proud to have been his friend. My thoughts go
out to Eda, JJ and Evelynn. Cuidich 'n Righ."

Corporal Ben DeJonge, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said:

"Mike has been my best friend now since Operation HERRICK 8. I will
always remember Mike by his mischievous personality, like when he put
Laxatives in a guy's juice on Juniors who then suffered severely. He
was also a great family guy, I went with him on his son's, JJ's, first
camping trip. He loved the German summers and always wanted to get out
and do something. You will be truly missed pal - I miss you so much
already."

Lance Corporal Ryan Grant, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike is one of my best friends and it's heart breaking to know he's
gone. I've known him since I was a pad brat in Fally and he helped me
settle into the Battalion when I arrived; mainly taking me out drinking.
He was a ringleader, always up to something and always winding people up
and blaming others, mainly me. He was on Operation HERRICK 8 with me in
the same platoon where he proved himself as a good soldier and
commander. My thoughts go out to his wife, JJ and Evelynn. Mike will
be sorely missed and never forgotten."

Corporal Brian Genter, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said:

"I have known Michael Pike for many years, we were Jocks together. He
was always bright and hardworking, and pushed himself at everything he
did. We used to get up to all sorts of antics and he loved to make all
those around him smile. He knew exactly what he wanted in life and had
great potential. He took pride in everything he did. We did loads of
courses together and I have happy memories of all of them. Michael Pike
was a good man who will be missed and remembered through all my life.
RIP mate. Cuidich 'n Righ."

Lieutenant Dan Herlihy, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Michael Pike was a hardworking, inspirational leader who
inspired confidence in those under his command and in those who served
alongside him. Whilst dedicated to the Army, he was utterly committed
to his family, and a devoted father to his two children. Our thoughts
and prayers go out to our fallen brother and his loving family. Rest
now, your work is done. Cuidich 'n Righ."

Private Matthew Noakes, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Being a reservist from a different Regiment can sometimes be tough;
settling in to another to go on tour with. From day one Mike made me
feel so welcome and part of the team. I was lucky enough to meet his
wife and children, to whom my heart goes out. Mike was a good friend in
the short time that I knew him, someone you could trust and confide in.
He will be missed by many, especially me. Thanks Mike. Rest in Peace."

Lance Corporal Matty Burns, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"I first met Mike when I joined the Battalion two years ago. He was an
instructor on my Non Commissioned Officers' Cadre but became a friend
when I came to A Company. Whether we were on a night out or playing
Call of Duty, he was the centre of the shenanigans and always a source
of morale. He will be sorely missed by everyone."

Corporal Dean Devine, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said:

"Alright Brother, take care of yourself up there, say hello to Scott
Bain for me. I will pop down and see you when I get back and will make
sure to see the family. Gone but never forgotten."

Lance Corporal Steven Wilkinson, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The
Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Mike was not only a work colleague but a friend. He will be missed by
everyone, my thoughts are with Ida and the children. Keep Strong."

Corporal Kevin Milne, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment
of Scotland said:

"I've known Corporal Pike many years. He was a tremendous soldier and
colleague. His death is a great loss to 4 SCOTS, but most of all to his
wife and his children. My thoughts are with his family and always will
be for him. Cuidich 'n Righ."

Lance Corporal Steven McPhee, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Michael Pike was a character loved by all his colleagues and
friends. It is a sad loss to his family and the Regiment. He was the
life and soul of any social gathering. It was a great honour knowing
him as a colleague and close friend. My thoughts go out to his family,
his wife Ida and two children."

Highlander Vinny Spiewak, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was the heart and soul of 2 Platoon. There was never a
dull moment when he was around. He will be sadly missed by all who had
the pleasure of knowing him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his
family throughout this tragic time."

Captain Ben James, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of
Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was a truly professional soldier and a devoted family
man. I first met him when I joined the Battalion and he was my team
second-in-command for the DORD Patrol Competition. He was fit, yet
smoked like a chimney; respectful, but able to point a young officer in
the right direction. He was a big part of the team's success. I also
worked with him on the Pre Junior Non Commissioned Officers' Cadre where
his instructional abilities and expertise were first rate. The Jocks
shared my huge respect for the man. My thoughts and prayers are with
Ida and his young family at this time. A man who encapsulated the
essence of being a Highlander, he will be hugely missed, but never
forgotten."

Highlander Steven O'Neill, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland said:

"Corporal Pike was a great Corporal and someone to look up to for a
young Jock like myself. It is tragic that he has passed away and he
will be truly missed. My thoughts are with his family."

Captain Steve Harrington, Regimental Administration Officer, The
Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"I only had the pleasure of knowing Corporal Pike for a short period of
time. But during this time I was struck by his cheerful, mischievous
nature and also his total professionalism. I knew him to be a devoted
husband and father, a natural leader, a key member of the 4 SCOTS
Corporals' Mess and a rising star within his Battalion. Sadly, he was
taken from us whilst conducting offensive operations against a ruthless
and determined enemy. He was wounded doing the job he loved - taking
the fight to the enemy and leading his men in contact. His tragic loss
has been a massive blow to both his Platoon and to the Company. However,
we will continue with our mission as we know he will be watching over
us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during
this very difficult time."

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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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