Saturday, October 10, 2009
It is with extreme sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal James Hill of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in Afghanistan on 8 October 2009.
Lance Corporal Hill was killed as a result of an explosion that happened near to Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.
Lance Corporal James Hill
Lance Corporal Hill, aged 23 from Redhill in Surrey, was an outstanding Junior Non Commissioned Officer with excellent prospects. He started training in Autumn 2005 and passed out into the Battalion in Spring 2006.
He conducted State Ceremonial in London District throughout the summer of 2006 from Windsor before moving to the Mortar Platoon in time for Exercise African Thorn in South Africa during early 2007.
Lance Corporal Hill then immersed himself into pre-deployment training for OP HERRICK 7. He was quickly identified as an excellent mortarman and he soon became a No 1 in a Section, the senior post for a mortar number. It was in this post that he deployed on OP HERRICK 7 and he spent the tour in FOB KEENAN with No 3 Company Group.
This was a busy tour and his mortar section was fully involved in numerous engagements in support of the Company as they fought the enemy in that part of the Upper Gereshk Valley . After this highly successful tour he was sent on a Junior Non Commissioned Officer’s cadre and passed with a very high standard.
In January 2009 he was sent on his Mortar Standards Course for which he received a Highly Competent pass proving his considerable abilities. During the summer he qualified as a Joint Fires Coordinator proving his understanding of the wider Joint Fires battle that is often fought in Helmand Province .
He was again very involved with the pre-deployment training prior to deploying as a Mortar Fire Controller ‘B’ for No 1 Company Group.
Lance Corporal Hill was a personable, motivated and intelligent warrior. He nurtured those under his Command whilst constantly striving to be better by learning from his superiors. He was enthusiastic and energetic about his job and was excited by the prospect of serving in Afghanistan as a Mortar Fire Controller. He was every ounce a model Coldstreamer.
Lance Corporal Hill was engaged to Anastasia Newman. He was an only child and very close to his family.
His loving parents, Brian and Claire, said:
"James was the finest son we could have possibly asked for, we are immensely proudof who he is and all that he has done. James was immensely caring and always there for us and everyone who needed him, spending time with family and friends was what meant the most to him."
His fiancée, Anastasia said:
"James was the most wonderful, caring and loving man you could ever meet and touched the lives of every person he met. James is and always will be the love of my life and I feel so grateful to have had the time I had with him. He will live on forever in my heart and memories until we are together again."