Bristol soldier Karl Whittle dies after Afghan attack
A BRISTOL soldier has died in hospital, three weeks after being shot by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Grenadier Guardsman Karl Whittle, 22, from St Werburgh's, was praised by his family as "the light of many lives".
He died on Friday at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, from gunshot wounds sustained during an attack by insurgents on the checkpoint he was manning in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province on August 14. He is the second soldier from the city to die from wounds sustained while serving in Afghanistan.
Raised in Bristol, Guardsman Whittle was a member of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and was described as "one of the best" by his comrades.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
His family said in a statement: "Karl was one in a million. He was a proud and caring man who took pride in whatever he did. The family are obviously devastated.
"Karl was the light of many lives and touched all who knew him.
"He will be especially missed by his baby daughter Grace, who has lost her number one man."
Guardsman Whittle joined the Army in 2009 and had been deployed in Afghanistan since April.
His battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder MBE, said he was a "great soldier and a young man of rare character, one of the regiment's very best and destined to go a long way in the Army".
Lt Col Bowder said: "Big, strong and full of fight, he battled hard against his injuries right to the very end.
"His loss has been keenly felt in a close battalion, and our prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times.
"I am immensely proud of what Guardsman Whittle achieved out here in Afghanistan and more broadly during his military career.
"He was utterly committed to his fellow Guardsmen, his company and the mission.
"He will never be forgotten by either the battalion or the broader regimental family."
Officers and fellow soldiers in 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards offered praise for Guardsman Whittle, who was described as a "strong, kind-hearted person".
Lieutenant Alexander Budge, commander of 3 Platoon, said the 22-year-old had been without doubt a "shining light" of the unit.
Lance Corporal Ashley Hendy said: "Guardsman Whittle was one of the best, if not the best Guardsman in our platoon, fearlessly taking the fight to the enemy at every opportunity.
"He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him."
Good friend Guardsman Sam Emmett highlighted the soldier's passion for his family.
"A good friend and passionate about the things he loved, especially his family," he said. "His personality was as big as he was and he was a gleaming bloke to be around."
Guardsman Robert Froggatt paid tribute by saying: "The fun, the laughter and good times we had will never be forgotten, Karl. You will always be greatly missed and never forgotten. I hope you are up there showing the angels how to party."
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he was saddened to learn of Guardsman Whittle's death.
He said: "Guardsman Whittle died for his country, fighting to protect the people of the United Kingdom from the threat of terror."
Guardsman Whittle died the day after the funeral of Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman, from Stoke Bishop, was held at Bristol Cathedral.
The 26-year-old officer was shot by insurgents on August 9, as he battled to gain control of an ambush after a vehicle in the patrol he was commanding struck a roadside bomb.