Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Joseph Etchells of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 19 July 2009.
Corporal Etchells, aged 22 from Mossley, Greater Manchester, was killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a foot patrol near Sangin, northern Helmand Province.
Corporal Joseph Etchells
Corporal Etchells, or "Etch" to his mates, was born on 23 March 1987. He joined the Army in December 2003, and on successful completion of his infantry training at Army Foundation College, Harrogate, was posted to 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers later that year. He was always eager and proud to be a Fusilier and Infantryman.
On arrival in the Battalion, Cpl Etchells joined B Company 6 Platoon in Palace Barracks, Belfast subsequently moving to with the Battalion Cyprus. Whilst in Cyprus he deployed with A Company Group to Now Zad, Afghanistan in 2006 as a Fusilier in 6 Platoon. He returned to Cyprus from Afghanistan and in June 2007 he passed his Junior NCO cadre moving to A Company on promotion.
Whilst in Cyprus he represented the Battalion and Garrison side at cricket and was an active member of the Battalion cross country team. In late 2007 Cpl Etchells deployed to Jordan on Exercise Saffron Sands and showed huge potential for the future in his Army career. On the Battalion's return from Cyprus to UK he secured a place on the Section Commander's Battle Course in June 2008 a course he passed with ease and was promoted to Cpl soon after.
When called on to deploy to Afghanistan again, he was the ultimate professional ensuring his Section were fully prepared for their role in Helmand. His dedication and loyalty to his men was evident from the moment he took over his Section. Cpl Etchells was an enthusiastic and dedicated individual who loved his job, cared about his men and was the consummate professional. He will be sorely missed.
Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers said:
"Corporal Etchells was a remarkable young man. He showed a gift for soldiering that touched all who worked with him. His enthusiasm, determination, loyalty and professionalism would have seen him progress with ease through the ranks. Above all he will be remembered for the friendships that he easily made; at home, in barracks or facing daily adversity in Afghanistan.
"The Battalion; his friends mourn his loss. However our loss is nothing compared to the loss sustained by his fiancée, and his family. Our prayers are now for them, Julie and their daughter."