Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Soldier killed in Afghan blast named as Sgt John Amer

Acting Sgt John Amer
A/Sgt Amer's wife said her husband was "her world"

A soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named as Acting Sgt John Amer.

A/Sgt Amer, 30, of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, died from his wounds after an explosion in the Babaji area, in central Helmand Province on Monday.

The Sunderland man's widow Sue said: "I am devastated by the loss of my loving husband John. I have lost my true love, my heart has been broken."

His death brought the number of UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 236.

A/Sgt Amer, who was based in Aldershot, Hampshire, was the 99th British casualty of 2009.

'Overwhelming pain'

Mrs Amer said: "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."

A/Sgt Amer was fatally wounded as he went to help a colleague who had been wounded in another explosion moments earlier.

The word 'legend' is used far too often but for my friend John it describes him perfectly
Sgt Mathew Nichol

His commanding officer, Lt Col Toby Gray, described A/Sgt Amer as a man with an "enormous heart" who was "cherished by his friends and respected by his seniors".

Lt Col Gray said: "He was like the benevolent uncle, respected and loved by them all. His soldiers were happy and proud to serve with a man with integrity, honour and one of the keenest senses of humour in the Battalion.

"We have lost one of the very finest soldiers in the regiment. He died saving a comrade and doing the job he both loved and excelled at. To the last, he was thinking of others."

Sgt Mathew Nichol said he considered himself "one of the luckiest men alive" to have worked alongside A/Sgt Amer for the past 13 years.

'Best friend for life'

Most recent UK fatalities

Total deaths 2011: 32

Updated: Dec 18 2011

He said: "From the first moment we met all those years ago on the way to Germany to join the Battalion, I knew I had a best friend for life. John really was one of a kind and left a lasting impression on anyone that knew him.

"The word 'legend' is used far too often but for my friend John it describes him perfectly. A completely selfless man who would do anything for his blokes and would never put himself before them, he was loved by all."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, said: "I was extremely saddened to learn of the death of Sgt John Amer, a soldier described by all those who knew him as an outstanding senior non-commissioned officer.

"He was respected equally by his men and his seniors, all of whom will be feeling his loss greatly.

"My deepest sympathies are, of course, with Sgt Amer's family, friends and colleagues at this most painful time for them."

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific