Monday, June 28, 2010

Bombardier Stephen Gildert dies of wounds sustained in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Bombardier Stephen Raymond Gilbert, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, died in hospital in Birmingham on 26 June 2010 of wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

Bombardier Stephen Raymond Gilbert

Bombardier Stephen Gilbert was 36 years old and joined the Army in August 1999.

He enlisted into the Royal Artillery and was posted to 6/36 Battery, 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners) based in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

Bombardier Gilbert started his career in the gun group before re-roling to become an Observation Post Assistant, working on the front line in a Fire Support Team and deploying to Kosovo in 2001. He then deployed to Iraq in 2003 and again in March 2005 as part of an infantry ground holding multiple.

His vigour, professionalism and dedication shone through and he was selected to become an instructor at the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. Bombardier Gilbert typified the ideal instructor; dynamic, proficient and with an infectious sense of humour which motivated the young recruits.

If ever there was a role model for young soldiers to emulate it was him.

In January 2010, Bombardier Gilbert was posted to 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, which had replaced 40th Regiment Royal Artillery in Topcliffe.

He joined 88 (Arracan) Battery during Mission Specific Training as a Fire Support Team Assistant and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2010 in support of G Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) based in Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah in Nahr-e Saraj (North) operating under the Danish Battlegroup.

Bombardier Gilbert has spent the last three months in the region providing security to the local population, preventing insurgent intimidation and supporting the Afghan National Army.

He was on a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army on the afternoon of 10 June 2010 when he was injured by an explosion.

He was transferred to the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where he sadly died of his wounds on the afternoon of 26 June 2010.

He leaves behind his wife Jackie and sons Connor and Kristian.

Jackie Gilbert has made the following statement:

"We as a family are so proud of Steve and everything he believed in. He was a fantastic father and Connor and Kristian has not only lost their dad but their best friend.

"Steve was a devoted husband and we lived and laughed everyday we shared. I do truly believe I was lucky enough to find my true soul mate.

"Steve will always be in my heart and will live on through his family and many close friends. Rest in peace my darling; I love you so much."

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Squier, Commanding Officer 4th Regiment Royal Artillery said:

"Bombardier Stephen Gilbert was a rising star. A fit, robust Scotsman, he was a man of great compassion and moral purpose.

"His family were everything to him. He and his wife Jackie were central to life at our home in Topcliffe.

"His loss has had deep and profound reverberations across the Regiment and our local community.

"As a soldier he was the epitome of the Gunner Fire Support Team Assistant. Knowledgeable enough to teach and mentor his team, strong enough to support his commander, fearless enough to lead them in the fight, courageous enough to lift his head from the ditch and call for fire and compassionate enough to treat his team as his own family; men like him are truly rare.

"He fought for the final days of his life as he had lived; with true passion and spirit. He never woke from the blast that so cruelly took him from us and he sadly passed away with his wife Jackie by his side. My thoughts go to her, their sons Connor and Kristian, his parents Ray and Helen and his brother and sisters.

"Theirs is the true loss we can only imagine; he will remain always, Forever Fourth."


  1. Ill remember you Mr Gilbert.


  2. Never forgotten, Great man - Best friend

  3. Dad loved and missed every day, Stay low and move fast Connor