Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua
Guardsman Apete Saunikalou Ratumaiyale Tuisovurua deployed to Afghanistan on 13 April 2012 as a member of a Police Advisory Team within the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group.
Guardsman Tuisovurua was born on 16 July 1983 in Fiji. He started his training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick on 14 November 2010. He passed out from Catterick in 2011 before joining the Welsh Guards on 13 June 2011 at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow.
Guardsman Tuisovurua was an exemplary member of the Welsh Guards. His wonderful smile and relaxed attitude ensured universal popularity from all who met him. His professionalism and commitment to his duty meant that he was an extremely popular and respected member of his company and platoon. Guardsman Tuisovurua had a bright future ahead of him - his professionalism, determination and unswerving sense of duty would have carried him far. He will, justly, be remembered among the ranks of the bravest of the brave.
Guardsman Tuisovurua leaves behind his mother, father, four brothers and three sisters.
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua was a gentle and decent man who was defined by his love of sport, his uplifting company and his willingness to go out of his way to help anyone. One of Nature's true gentlemen, he had a deeply moral outlook on life and enduring principles by which he lived. He was extremely fit and robust but without show or arrogance. Everybody liked him - one could not fail to - and his infectious smile broke down barriers wherever he went.
"His ambition was to be selected to play for the Battalion's First XV rugby team, turning up to training regularly though he knew he would struggle to make the cut. He played for the love of the sport and for the friends that he won on the pitch and off it. Guardsman Tuisovurua was an intensely loyal man who was very much part of his team. He leaves a gap in its ranks as he does in that of his Company and of the wider Welsh Guards.
"Our feelings now rest with his family whose loss makes ours seem insignificant in comparison. We hope that God gives them the strength to endure their grief and the knowledge that Apete died in a just cause doing his duty with pride, honour and skill. We will remember him. Cymru am Byth!"
Major Julian Salusbury, Company Commander, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Guardsman Tuisovurua had only been with 1st Battalion Welsh Guards for a little over a year but had proved himself to be dedicated, loyal and thoroughly decent. In his own words, he joined the Army to be 'disciplined and truthful to himself'; he was all of this and more.
"Guardsman Tuisovurua was a quiet, hard working and willing guardsman. He enjoyed life as a soldier and made many friends in the Company. A committed rugby player, fit and eager to learn, he was a pleasure to command. It was his selflessness, ready smile and unfailing courtesy that caught the eye - he approached everyone the same and earned wide respect. Guardsman Tuisovurua was keen to progress in the Army - I have no doubt that he had a bright future.
"He looked forward to deployment to Afghanistan in the challenging Police Advisory role. His kind, friendly and relaxed approach ensured an immediate rapport with the Afghan Police. Determined to tackle any task given to him, he had steely determination and was an absolutely reliable and key member of his Police Advisory Team.
"Guardsman Tuisovurua's death has hit us all hard in Number 2 Company but we are determined to continue to defeat the enemy. Acts like this bring us closer to our Afghan National Security Force brothers. The differences Guardsman Tuisovurua made to security for the ordinary Helmandi people are felt daily.
"At this saddest of times, our thoughts and prayers are with Guardsman Tuisovurua's mother, father, four brothers and three sisters. Cymru am Byth."
Lieutenant John Scarlett, Coldstream Guards, Police Advisory Team Commander, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Guardsman Tuisovurua joined the team in early May. He was a quiet, but jovial soldier. He always had a smile on his face and he always had a beat in his step. He fitted in immediately and became one of the boys without hesitation. He was a steadfast guardsman and was always committed to the task in hand. The men were always impressed with his rigidity when it came to sentry duties. He was always ten minutes early and I am confident that he would watch his arcs for eternity.
"Guardsman Tui had forged a close bond with the other Fijian soldiers in our FOB. Thinking back to two days ago, I watched him entertain his friends over lunch. He was at the centre of the group, cracking jokes and making those around him laugh and smile. That is how I will remember him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this sad time. I want you all to know that Tui was fighting for a good cause, and the role he played has made a genuine difference to the future of this country.
"Tui, this world will be worse off without you. I know that you are in a good place and that you will watch over the lads. Make sure that they wake up for relief. You were a great addition to the team and the lads will miss you and think of you always. I promise you that we will continue with our good work and make sure that your loss was not in vain. You are an honorary Welshman 'butt'. Carry the leek wherever you go. Get things prepared for our arrival, I expect a rugby ball to be ready for a game of touch."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Dunn, Company Sergeant Major, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Guardsman Tuisovurua was an excellent soldier; hardworking and dedicated to the Company and his friends. His smile would light up the room. He was a giant of a man both on the rugby pitch and on operations. He never gave in and always gave 100% to everything. He was a credit to No 2 Company and we will all miss him dearly. Our thoughts are with Tui's family. Rest in Peace, Guardsman."
Lance Sergeant Laurie Challenger, Police Advisory Team Second-in-Command, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"A great asset to the team, a proud man who enjoyed working for us and never complained. Tui was a very gentle guy and loved rugby and loved throwing the ball with us. He always had a smile on his face and always laughed. I loved his laugh; to me it's what I will always remember about him. His hard work for his team made it a very good team, we all worked hard for each other and we all classed each other as top friends or brothers from other mothers.
"Guardsman Tui came out to us a month in and when I got the news it was him I smiled and thought I couldn't have had anyone better. Tui had a special relationship with the Afghans and I've always noticed it. To me he was like the leader of them, as we entered check points the Afghans were drawn towards him, he had a special thing about him which I will never understand. My thoughts go out to all his loved ones and he will be missed by many who had the pleasure of knowing him.
"Rest in Peace my big man, will miss you always and will always remember your laugh my friend."
Guardsman Mark Edwards, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Tui was a great person to everyone he met. Loved by us all; he was quiet when he first came to us, but then he grew into the life of the team. Every time I was with him, he brightened up my day. Tui, mate, I will miss you always and forever, mate."
Guardsman Tommy Everett, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Tui was a massive character, was a great bloke and made everyone in the team laugh. He'd always crack on with the job and never moan. Although he'd always be coming back late from chilling with his fellow Fijians, he'd always be up and ready to go again in the morning.
"He'll be remembered as a great rugby player and always remain a legend to the team and the Company. Sleep peacefully Bro; you'll always be remembered."
Guardsman Stewart Harris, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Tui, a gentle giant, never said no. A happy chap who meant so much to our team, we miss you dearly."
Guardsman Joshua Niebling, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Tui was such a good kind man I can't remember a single time he got angry or complained about anything. He was a good friend to everyone he knew and taught me a few Fijian words and a few bad ones too. He was a big lad but you would never have guessed it by his high pitched laugh which was very infectious around the team. He loved sport and was always found where there was a rugby ball being thrown around.
"He will be missed among Number 2 Company. Rest in Peace, mate."
Guardsman Jac Richardson, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Tui came to the Battalion about the same time as me and since then we have been good friends. If you ever needed Tui there were only two places he would ever be; with his Fijian mates or in his pit, he enjoyed his sleep! He always worked hard and grafted, if anything needed doing he'd do it, anybody needed volunteering he'd do it- all of this without complaint. He was a good rugby player and it's a shame I won't be able to play alongside him. Tui's laugh was probably one of the best laughs I have ever heard and always picked the boys up when they heard it. He was such a nice guy and it is a shame to lose a friend like him. Rest in Peace, brother."
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
"I am saddened to hear of this cowardly act which has taken the lives of three very brave British soldiers. My thoughts are with the families of Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Thomas, Guardsman Craig Roderick and Guardsman Apete Tuisovurua whose lives were cut short in such tragic circumstances. They gave their lives protecting Britain's national security; their efforts will not be in vain and we will always remember them."