Wednesday, December 2, 2009
It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death in Afghanistan, on Monday 30 November 2009, of Acting Sergeant John Paxton Amer, of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
Acting Sergeant Amer died from wounds sustained as a result of an explosion that happened in the Babaji area, in central Helmand Province.
Acting Sergeant John Amer
Sergeant John Amer was an excellent soldier. His profession was ingrained in him and from the start of his career, he showed nothing short of enormous promise.
A Sunderland man, he enlisted on 17 October 1996 and after training joined Number 2 Company based at that time in Munster, Germany as part of an Armoured Infantry Battlegroup.
After cutting his teeth in the Armoured world he moved with the Battalion back to Windsor in 1998 to experience his first of many State Ceremonial occasions and Public Duties.
At the end of the year he deployed with his Company to the Falkland Islands to conduct a four-month tour. The tempo of life was fast and he learnt quickly. At such an early stage of his career he quickly marked out his plot as a future Non-Commissioned Officer.
A tour of Northern Ireland preceded promotion and he deployed to South Armagh on the Millennium Tour over the winter of 1999/2000. This was a busy tour for the Battalion and Sgt Amer conducted himself in an exemplary fashion.
Shortly after returning to Windsor he passed the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre and set his career on the rails of success.
Whilst more Public Duties followed, the Battalion was soon preparing for operations once again, this time for a two-year residential tour to Londonderry in Number 1 Company.
This tour saw Sergeant Amer in his element and after a very short period as a Lance Corporal he attended the challenging Section Commanders' Battle Course in Brecon, a course he passed with ease.
On completion of the tour in Londonderry Sergeant Amer was promoted to Lance Sergeant and his presence in the Sergeants' Mess has been huge ever since.
He was posted to train recruits in Pirbright and after returning from there he passed the Platoon Sergeants' Battle Course before taking over his Platoon, once again in Number 1 Company. It was with this Platoon that he deployed to Afghanistan in early October 2009.
Sergeant Amer was a huge personality and a natural soldier. He was loved by his men, respected by his seniors and cherished by all.
Whether on parade at Buckingham Palace, teaching recruits in training, socialising in the Mess or, most recently,
training his Platoon and leading his Multiple on complex counter-insurgency operations, Sgt Amer was the consummate professional.
He was the epitome of a modern, caring, intelligent and hugely courageous Senior Non Commissioned Officer and he was forever a Coldstreamer.
It was fitting that Sergeant Amer died saving the life of one of his men, for it was for them that he served. Sergeant Amer will be missed forever and remembered for the many happy times.
The loss of his comrades is huge but nothing in comparison to his beloved wife Sue and his daughter Lisa, who are now coming to terms with their loss at this incredibly sensitive and difficult time.
Acting Sergeant Amer's widow, Mrs Sue Amer, paid the following tribute:
"I am devastated by the loss of my loving husband John. I have lost my true love, my heart has been broken. The whole world should know that John was the best father that our daughter could have wished for.
"This cruel world has taken a hero who touched the hearts of everyone he met, a very special man who brought joy and laughter. The Army was John's world, he was mine. He was my best friend, the pain of losing him is overwhelming."