It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Alex Guy, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, was killed in action on Friday 15 June 2012.
Corporal Guy, aged 37, commanded a fire support section in Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province. His section was conducting a partnered patrol with elements of the Afghan National Army when they were caught in an insurgent ambush. Corporal Guy was leading his section forward to assist a group of Afghan soldiers who were pinned down by enemy fire when he was fatally wounded.
Corporal Alex Guy
Corporal Alex William Guy was born on 13th September 1974 in Norwich and grew up in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. He enlisted into the British Army aged 18 and joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, 'The Vikings', in 1993. He was quickly identified as a talented young leader and was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1995.
In 2000 he was selected for training as a specialist in the Anti-Tank Platoon and was promoted to corporal in 2003. After a spell as an Army recruiter he returned to the Battalion in 2010 to begin preparations for deployment on Operation HERRICK 16. He deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 where his section was attached to B Company of the Estonian Scouts Battalion, part of the 1 Royal Anglian Battlegroup.
During his nineteen years of loyal service he deployed on no fewer than eight operational tours, including Bosnia, Iraq, three of Northern Ireland and three of Afghanistan. He had also been recently selected for promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
Corporal Guy was a proud member of the Vikings, much loved by all who knew him. He was a natural soldier and a hard-working and popular leader who cared deeply about those in his charge. He threw himself into everything he did and his humble yet consummate professionalism set the example for others to follow.
He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife Emma and a friend to so many within the Regimental family. In every respect he embodied the strong family ethos of the Regiment and his loss will be mourned by all.
Corporal Guy leaves behind his wife, Emma, mother and father, Aileen and Andrew, and sisters Rebecca and Martha.
Corporal Guy's mother Aileen said:
"Alex was born on Friday 13th September 1974 at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital into a military family, as the family was stationed at RAF Coltishall at the time. We went to live in St. Neots in 1979 and Alex went to Bushmead Infant School in 1980.
"He was a happy, friendly child who loved joining in with any activities – in and out of school. He went to Ernulf Community School (now Academy) in 1986. As a teenager he was in the St. Neots RAF Cadets and loved it.
"He left school in 1991 and eventually decided to join the Army in 1992. The comradeship and discipline and 'sense of family' meant everything to him.
"He was a wonderful and loving son, husband, brother, friend and comrade."
Corporal Guy's wife Emma, whom he married in 2006, said:
"Alex was kind. A happy, full-of-life and kind hearted man, with a passion for his work and family."
Emma's mother, Glencora Todd, said:
"A gentle, kind-hearted, generous much missed son-in-law who was devoted to our daughter."
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aston MC, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"A loyal, committed and thoroughly decent man, Corporal Alex Guy was a unique member of the Vikings. His honest, welcoming approach and impressive operational pedigree saw him achieve the ideal balance between good friend, wise mentor and tough commander. In his section he had forged a strong team which he led through the most dangerous of situations with nothing other than courage, selfless commitment and utter professionalism.
"When things got difficult Corporal Guy was exactly the person you would want by your side; he would quietly revel in the responsibility and never you let down. It is these attributes that have defined his career over the last 19 years and will remain in the memory of his fellow Vikings.
"Fiercely proud of his Battalion and intensely devoted to his wife Emma and his family, his loss will be felt deeply across the Battlegroup. Today we have lost a remarkable Viking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this impossibly difficult time."
Major Bevis Allen, Officer Commanding, D (Cambridgeshire) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"Corporal Alex Guy was the epitome of a Viking soldier; professional, dedicated, brave, and dependable, yet also self-effacing, modest and approachable to even the most newly-arrived soldiers. I had the privilege of serving in the same platoon as Corporal Guy on two operational tours a decade ago, where he and I were both crew members in the same armoured vehicle. As such I got to know him very well and it was such a genuine pleasure to return to the Vikings and see his friendly face, dishing out a banter-filled welcome back to the Company.
"I knew that no matter what the odds on the upcoming tour of Afghanistan, I had in him an NCO who could be trusted to tackle the most challenging of tasks, remaining cool under pressure and resolute in the attack, yet compassionate and mindful of his soldiers' welfare.
"Corporal Guy's tragic loss leaves a huge gap in our team. He was one of the true stalwarts of D (Cambridgeshire) Company. Our grief, however, is dwarfed by that which will be felt by his wife, Emma and his parents. I hope some small comfort can be taken from the fact that he died doing the job he loved, surrounded by his Viking brothers, who held him in such high esteem."
Major Eero Aija, Officer Commanding, B Company, Scouts Battalion, Estonian Defence Forces, said:
"Corporal Alex Guy was a true warrior who gave his life helping fellow soldiers. His selfless commitment to put others before himself is a mark of a true 'Viking'. All the Estonian soldiers of B Company are immensely proud to have served alongside him. He was always ready to help out when needed and never turned his back on anybody. We will never forget him. All our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Warrant Officer Class II Nathan Love, Company Sergeant Major, D (Cambridgeshire) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"I have served with Alex since I joined the Battalion. He was one of the real original characters of the Company. He was a support weapons man through and through. A 'jack of all trades', Alex was equally happy behind the trigger of a machine gun, leading his boys on a challenging tab over the hills, firing a Javelin missile or at the wheel of an armoured vehicle.
"In all the years I served with him, on various operational tours, ranging from Northern Ireland, to Iraq, to multiple tours of Afghanistan, I would always be happy to cross the line of departure into an attack with Alex by my side; he was a truly dependable man. He was good fun, but I could always enjoy a meaningful conversation with him. He was a proper Viking warrior and friend in every sense of the word.
"Every member of D Company knew Alex, and it is almost incomprehensible that he is gone. But I know he would not want us to be distracted from our mission – he would want us to go forward, to be strong and guide our young Vikings in battle on his behalf.
"Goodbye Viking – your friend, Nathan."
Colour Sergeant David Mitchell, Regimental Signals Warrant Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"I have known Alex for 20 years, since the day he joined the Battalion. Even in those early times he was a larger than life character, someone who had a good sense of humour and enjoyed a laugh. He had a genuine love for his work and his friends and was always up for a challenge. I truly admired his strength of character particularly during harder times; where a lesser man would have given up Alex would always persevere. He was a real honest man who could always be relied upon to do the right thing, always giving 100% in everything he turned his hand to.
"Those that knew him also know that he had a softer side under the tough exterior he tried to portray. His family was his bedrock; he adored them and forever kept them close. He was a good friend to me and shared some of the best experiences I have had in the Army. I am grateful to have been his friend. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. Thanks for the good times, rest in peace."
Colour Sergeant Nigel Rix, Training Warrant Officer, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"I have had the greatest privilege of knowing and working with Alex for 20 years and through all that time he could always make me and many other people smile and laugh with his great sense of humour. Alex has always been a great friend of mine and also to many more within the Battalion. He was highly respected for his professional ability to get the work done to the highest of standards and nothing less. Alex will be dearly missed and never forgotten by everyone that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and loving family."
Sgt Bloo McGee, Fire Support Section Commander, D (Cambridgeshire) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"Alex, as he was known to us all, was loved. He was a true and loyal friend, and laughter was never far away when in his company. An expert in his field of anti-tanks, he transferred this excellence easily to fire support. He will be remembered for his endless banter with the blokes, which was as sharp as ever, and always appreciated by his many mates. A quality Viking, he will never be forgotten or replaced."
Corporal Wayne Cole, Regimental Signals Detachment Commander, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"I have known Alex ever since we arrived at Bassingbourn on day one of recruit training in 1992. Since then Alex has been the best mate you could possibly have, generous with his time and incredibly loyal.
"Alex, I will miss you more than I can describe. My heart goes out to your lovely wife Emma, your family and many friends. You may be gone but I for one will always remember you as a true Viking. Stablis."
Corporal David Evans, Lance Corporal Gareth Waghorne, Private Elvis Bell, Drummer Craig Everett, Drummer Stuart Harris, Private Paul Johnson, Private Mark Sellors and Private Bethold Tjhero, members of Corporal Guy's Fire Support Section, D(Cambridgeshire) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said:
"Those who knew Corporal Alex Guy would understand how much his death has been felt by each of us. Alex was a very experienced and highly motivated soldier, and he struck the perfect balance of being our leader, our mentor and our friend. As a leader he held us together through some difficult times, and kept us focussed. He was always willing to share his knowledge with others, especially the newest members of his section. When the team came together shortly before the tour Alex took the time to find out more about everyone he was working with, which we appreciated. Most of all, Alex was supportive, helpful, and someone we could trust.
"Alex will never be forgotten. He always managed to make people laugh with his sense of humour, and he has left behind only happy memories. Our thoughts are with his wife Emma, his family and friends. They will know that the Vikings are so proud of his efforts. Alex, you will be greatly missed."
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Corporal Alex Guy, a committed professional soldier who served his country with bravery and courage for over 19 years. It is clear from the tributes of his colleagues that he was a selfless and dedicated man, a true leader who was liked and respected by those with whom he served.
"His family, friends and colleagues have my deepest sympathy at this difficult time."