Cambridgeshire soldier becomes 419th member of British forces to die in Afghanistan
A CAMBRIDGESHIRE soldier has become the 419th member of the British forces to die in Afghanistan.
Corporal Alex Guy – soon to have been made up to sergeant- was killed on Friday after being caught in an ambush in the Nad-e Ali district of Helman province. He had been leading his troops in a bid to help Afghan National Army soldiers who had been pinned down in a gun attack.
The 37-year-old was serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, known as The Vikings, which he joined in 1993.
Tributes have been paid to the “loyal, committed and thoroughly decent” Royal Anglian soldier.
Cpl Alex Guy was leading his section forward to assist a group of Afghan National Army soldiers, who were pinned down by enemy fire after their joint patrol was caught in an insurgent ambush in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
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Cpl Guy was born in Norwich, as his military family was stationed at RAF Coltishall at the time, but he grew up in St Neots in Cambridgeshire.
Since joining the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as The Vikings, in 1993 he had deployed on eight operational tours, including Bosnia, Iraq, three of Northern Ireland and three of Afghanistan. He had recently been selected for promotion to the rank of sergeant.
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Cpl Guy’s wife, Emma, said: “Alex was kind. A happy, full-of-life and kind-hearted man, with a passion for his work and family.”
He also leaves behind his two sisters Rebecca and Martha, his father Andrew and his mother Aileen, who said: “He left school in 1991 and eventually decided to join the Army in 1992. The comradeship and discipline and ‘sense of family’ meant everything to him.
“He was a wonderful and loving son, husband, brother, friend and comrade.”
The Vikings’ commanding officer, Lt Col Mick Aston, said: “A loyal, committed and thoroughly decent man, Cpl Alex Guy was a unique member of the Vikings. His honest, welcoming approach and impressive operational pedigree saw him achieve the ideal balance between good friend, wise mentor and tough commander. In his section he had forged a strong team which he led through the most dangerous of situations with nothing other than courage, selfless commitment and utter professionalism.
“When things got difficult Cpl Guy was exactly the person you would want by your side; he would quietly revel in the responsibility and never you let down. It is these attributes that have defined his career over the last 19 years and will remain in the memory of his fellow Vikings.
“Today we have lost a remarkable Viking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this impossibly difficult time.”
Major Bevis Allen, officer commanding, D (Cambridgeshire) Company, said: “Cpl Alex Guy was the epitome of a Viking soldier; professional, dedicated, brave, and dependable, yet also self-effacing, modest and approachable to even the most newly-arrived soldiers.
“Cpl Guy’s tragic loss leaves a huge gap in our team. He was one of the true stalwarts of D (Cambridgeshire) Company. Our grief, however, is dwarfed by that which will be felt by his wife, Emma and his parents. I hope some small comfort can be taken from the fact that he died doing the job he loved, surrounded by his Viking brothers, who held him in such high esteem.”
Company sergeant major, WO2 Nathan Love, said: “He was one of the real original characters of the company. He was a support weapons man through and through. A ‘jack of all trades’, Alex was equally happy behind the trigger of a machine gun, leading his boys on a challenging tab over the hills, firing a Javelin missile or at the wheel of an armoured vehicle.
“He was a proper Viking warrior and friend in every sense of the word.
“Every member of D Company knew Alex, and it is almost incomprehensible that he is gone. But I know he would not want us to be distracted from our mission – he would want us to go forward, to be strong and guide our young Vikings in battle on his behalf.
Colour Sgt David Mitchell, regimental signals warrant officer, said: “He had a genuine love for his work and his friends and was always up for a challenge. I truly admired his strength of character particularly during harder times; where a lesser man would have given up Alex would always persevere. He was a real honest man who could always be relied upon to do the right thing, always giving 100pc in everything he turned his hand to.”
Colour Sgt Nigel Rix, the battalion’s training warrant officer, said: “Alex has always been a great friend of mine and also to many more within the battalion. He was highly respected for his professional ability to get the work done to the highest of standards and nothing less. Alex will be dearly missed and never forgotten by everyone that knew him.”
Sgt Bloo McGee, D Company’s fire support section commander, said: “Alex, as he was known to us all, was loved. He was a true and loyal friend, and laughter was never far away when in his company. An expert in his field of anti-tanks, he transferred this excellence easily to fire support. He will be remembered for his endless banter with the blokes, which was as sharp as ever, and always appreciated by his many mates. A quality Viking, he will never be forgotten or replaced.”
Cpl David Evans, L/Cpl Gareth Waghorne, Pte Elvis Bell, Drummer Craig Everett, Drummer Stuart Harris, Pte Paul Johnson, Pte Mark Sellors and Pte Bethold Tjhero, members of Cpl Guy’s fire support section, said: “Those who knew Cpl Alex Guy would understand how much his death has been felt by each of us.
“Alex was a very experienced and highly motivated soldier, and he struck the perfect balance of being our leader, our mentor and our friend. As a leader he held us together through some difficult times, and kept us focused. He was always willing to share his knowledge with others, especially the newest members of his section.
“Our thoughts are with his wife Emma, his family and friends. They will know that the Vikings are so proud of his efforts. Alex, you will be greatly missed.”