Guardsman Karl Whittle

Guardsman Karl Whittle from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Friday 7 September 2012 from wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

Guardsman Whittle sustained 12 gunshot wounds when his checkpoint was attacked by insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on 14 August 2012. Born on 26 January 1990 and raised in Bristol, Guardsman Whittle joined the Army in 2009. Having completed the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, where he conducted public duties at the royal palaces and participated in state ceremonial tasks. In August 2011 he joined 3 Platoon, The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, in Aldershot and immediately began training for the upcoming tour in Afghanistan. He went out on 5 April 2012 as part of the Operations Company for Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North).

Guardsman Whittle was one of the leading lights of his company. He was compassionate, selfless and, despite his comparative inexperience, a figure others would turn to in the face of adversity. Guardsman Whittle was a soldier whose presence inspired confidence in all who were fortunate enough to know and work with him.

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by Stephen Luscombe