Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sergeant John Amer 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards killed in Afghanistan

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."


  1. Sincerest condolences to the family.
    Thank you.

  2. RIP john my mum knew you and she is extremely devastated over this we all pay our respects to you

  3. I am a close friend of the medic's father who worked on A/Sgt. Amer and his comrades during that engagement. My deepest condolences goes to his loved ones and my gratitude and respect go to the brave Coldstream Guards and all allied soldiers in theater.

    - A friend in the US


  5. I am very proud to say that A/Sgt John Amer was my cousin. He was such a loving person nd our hero.He will be sadly missed and loved by all his family. R.I.P toJohn Amer, to all the hero soliders that have lost their,lives and to the soliders who are still fighting.

  6. Sue is my sister and john was a one in a million Brother-in-law! Thanks you for a heart felt article. They say he died a hero but all those who knew him know he LIVED a hero. RIP Conky !

  7. he trained my sister at pirbright and i know all the trainees thought the world of him,we were fortunate enough to meet him i could see why. My heart goes out to his family.God bless.x

  8. John was a top man, I had the pleasure of going through training with him, he alway made me smile and laugh and want to stay when i felt low and wanted to quit, I have not seen him since we left training in 97 and i went to my old battalion the welsh guards. but I've never forgot him and am gutted for his family . you will be missed mate

  9. I worked with John in Pirbright in the same training team. He was an excellent instructor and one of these guys that burns a memory in your mind. I've not seen the big man since leaving in 2005, however today his picture came up on the military intranet and I just couldn't take it in for a few minutes. John was a true Gentleman, soldier and friend and my heart goes out to his Wife and family. Ne Obliviscaris mate.

    Sgt Colin Dunn
    Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
    5 SCOTS

  10. I have worked with John many times as I am in the Coldstream Guards as well, John was a very good man to work with always working hard and fun to be with. He is a true Sergeant not an acting one, he did the job, done the course.

    Sgt Lewis

    1 Coldstream Guards
    (8 CTT)

  11. RIP Blue,Red,Blue all the way through.

    Kenny ex 1SG

  12. Sad to hear of John being killed in action.
    A true hero.
    Thoughts and prayers to his family.

    Bri from Sunderland

  13. was a very big shock although i havnt seen u for a while u were always thought of a very brave man a very caring cousin always will be loved forever love cousin julie missed by us all

  14. It was a privilege to have worked with you John. You will be missed. R.I.P my friend xx

  15. It was a privilage to have met you on seniors mate, you will be sadly missed. Gone but not forgotten pal RIP until we meet again friend

  16. I met John on senior Brecon and can honestly say he had a brilliant personality and was always willing to help others out. My thoughts are with his family. Gone but not forgotten John RIP friend.

    Sgt J Harrison

    1st Bn Welsh Guards

  17. RIP John mate. I will always remember the good and usually outrageous times we had growing up.

  18. sgt john amer was one of our section commanders at pirbright, everyone loved him, he never abused his seniority and made us all laugh when we really needed it. An inspiration and someone we all looked up to (literally). thanks for making basic training a great memory.

  19. My sincere condolences for your loss, I do not know this man but I thank everyone who knew him for his service to us all.

    MM1 Joseph Cannon,
    US Navy

  20. Another "Bonny lad" paying the ultimate price, his life, never will he be forgotton...Artist John Allsopp, Washington.

  21. RIP John, I was his instructor when he was in training he stood out from the crowd then and it seems continued to do so. My heart goes out to his family and fellow Coldstreamers rest assured you will be remembered

  22. This came as a big shock to myself, Sgt Amer was my section commander during basic training in Pirbright, and this is the first loss of anyone i'v known so far in my first 4 years, and although he wasnt even a close friend, nor did i know him that well, if it shocks my system this bad i can't even bare to think how the family are feeling. RIP John lad, ill always remember that it was you who made me want to try harder and if it wasn't for you, i wouldn't be as good at drill as you! ;) Deepest condolences to the Family.

    Cfn Garner 26 Reg RA LAD

  23. R.I.P John you where a mint cousin and will always be remembered by everyone in ryhope

  24. i too had the privelage of having john amer as my section commander he was an inspiration to all i was out in afghan when he died and read it in the solider mag was devastated to read that he had made the ultimate sacrafice my deepest condollences to his family and friends this man was a true hero and legend. when i am at home i will tell them you gave your today for there tommorow .Rest in peace sgt john amer. pte dixon RLC