Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Soldier 'was light of many lives'

Guardsman Karl Whittle died from wounds suffered during fighting in Afghanistan

A Grenadier Guards soldier who died from injuries suffered in Afghanistan a month ago has been praised by his family as a "light of many lives".

Guardsman Karl Whittle, 22, died on Friday in a UK hospital from gunshot wounds sustained during an attack by insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province on August 14.

Raised in Bristol, the member of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was described as one of his company's "leading lights" as tributes poured in tonight.

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, who died yesterday in Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, joined the Army in 2009 and had been deployed in Afghanistan since April this year.

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."

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