Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lincs lad dies fighting Taliban...

A Lincolnshire lad has been named as the Royal Marine killed yesterday during a ten-hour battle with Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan.

21-year-old Jonathan Wigley, who grew up in Grantham, was on a UK Task Force operation in the Helmand province according to the BBC.

British troops attacked a Taliban-held valley but fighters withstood air-strikes and gunfire and launched a strong counter-attack.

Marine Wigley, who joined the Royal Marines when he was 17, was wounded and airlifted to the UK military hospital at Camp Bastion, but died of his injuries.

Another Marine injured in the operation underwent surgery at Camp Bastion and is now in a stable condition.

Prime Minister Tony Blair who recently visited British troops at Camp Bastion led tributes to Marine Wigley in the House of Commons today.

Marine Wigley’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar RM, said:
Jonathan was an outstanding young Royal Marine whose tenacity, determination and professionalism shone through in everything he did. Extremely popular, with a lively sense of humour, he was very highly thought of by everyone who worked with him.

He was an excellent Marine who died doing the job he loved and will be missed by all his friends in 45 Commando. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this difficult time.
British Forces are deployed in Afghanistan in support of a UN-authorised, NATO led mission to help the Afghans rebuild their country and keep the terrorists out.

I have always had the utmost respect for Royal Marines as among the most professional of British soldiers. Jonathan's death is a real loss, not only to his relatives and friends in Grantham, but also to the whole Royal Marine family.

4 comments:

Michael Oakeshott said...

Losing the people we are in Afghanistan and Iraq is an absolute tragedy. These people are the best we have, especially when you consider some of the dross left at home(and that is just in Whitehall).

How many more of our soldiers are going to die before Blair and his cronies are held to account for sending our troops into battle on a lie, and without the equipment they deserve?

Anonymous said...

Both Bush and Blair should be tried in the Hague for war crimes.Before US/UK leave combined deaths of troops will be in excess of 6000.The US numbers will be 3000 alone by Xmas if not earlier -For what,but Bushs ego and the neo Con presumption that only they have the authority in the world supported by a poodle of a Prime Minister - As the General said in the Dimbleby lecture - Our fighting lads on 12,000 a year - Lions led by political donkeys in Whitehall,at least the General spoke the truth.I am profoundly depressed and it will leave a scar on the world for decades to come and that is assuming an exit strategy succeeds otherwise it will be a running sore,infecting the entire region and the world.

Brynley said...

Interesting how both Michael and 'anonymous' make no distinction between Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the decision to invade Iraq was wrong and avoidable, we've never really had a proper account of what the Helmand, Afghanistan mission is all about. I have read the short parliamentary debate, prior to the deployment earlier this year, and you wont find the answer there. One or two MPs, Chris Mullin (Sunderland) and Peter Tapsell (Horncastle) showed some interest, but for the most part this doomed incursion was taken on trust.

Well, there's no trust any more.

fairdealphil said...

michael:

You seem to have forgotten that Blair and Labour have been re-elected at a Generral Election since the decision to send troops to Iraq - a decision which Blair had the backing of the Cabinet and also the House of Commons in a democratic vote - probably the first in British history where MPs voted on a troop deployment.

Lies? The whole world including ther UN believed Saddam had WMD - no-one disputes the fact that he had used them on his own people at Halabja.

Equipment? Of course our troops deserve the best kit. The reality of the world is that no army has ever had enough kit - I once met an old soldier who landed at Suvla Bay in the First World War without a rifle - he's never fired one - and was told to pick one up from a dead soldier when he landed on the beach.

There's countless examples of soldiers not getting the kit they need over countless wars - most recently in the Falklands, our Army did not issue high-leg boots for example, because they still had a warehouse full of old boots DMS.

The result was that there were more of our soldiers taken out of the battle with trench-foot than from damage inflicted by the enemy.

anonymous:

I agree with Jacko that our squaddies are under-paid and not valued enough by the rest of us - it has always been so.

Hitler's soldiers were treated far more generously by the German Government following the 1939-45 War than British veterans.

Getting out of Iraq...: Jacko also said it would be crazy to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan before the job is done. He said we can't cut and run. He's right on that point.