Soldier's mum speaks of his 'selfless sacrifice' a; Steve Bagnall Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org.
Byline: Steve Bagnall
THE devastated mum of a brave soldier killed in the line of duty told how she believed his "selfless sacrifice" had helped the people of Afghanistan. Guardsman Jamie Shadrake, from Llanharan, near Bridgend, died on August 17, 2012, just days after his 20th birthday, defending a temporary checkpoint (TCP 40) in Helmand Province. The checkpoint came under a minute of ferocious grenade and gun fire from the Taliban. Gdsm Shadrake suffered a number of wounds to the head and chest in the attack and died from his injuries. Paying tribute to the bravery of Gdsm Shadrake and his colleagues, Coroner John Gittins recorded in a narrative conclusion that he was "unlawfully killed whilst on active service". In an emotional statement read after the inquest, Gdsm Shadrake's mum, Catherine Griffiths, said: "Jamie was a brilliant son, tremendous brother, friend. "He was always laughing and joking around but was a dedicated soldier and proud of his uniform. "We believed that Jamie would have gone far in the Army. "He will never be forgotten and is loved and remembered every day, he is in our thoughts and in our hearts. We believed in Jamie and what he was doing in Afghanistan. "We know his selfless sacrifice has helped the people of Afghanistan. I am so proud of my son and what he has achieved in his short life. "As a family, we are grateful for the help and support that we have received from the Grenadier Guards through this difficult time and understand how diffi- cult it has been for Jamie's colleagues over the last couple of days."
The family asked for privacy so they could "reflect on what has happened and take the time to grieve". The inquest heard Gdsm Shadrake was serving with the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards at TCP 40. There was a heightened sense of alert in the wake of an attack at the nearby Narquil TCP a few days earlier where another solider was killed. In his narrative conclusion, Mr Gittins said: "At around 16.00 hours on that date, intelligence was received from a local person of an attack by insurgents and although that information was relayed to TCP 40, this attack began almost immediately by way of the simultaneous use of small arms fire, grenades and underslung grenade launchers, from a number of different firing points. "At this time Gdsm Shadrake had just taken over the sentry duty in a sangar at the front entrance to the compound and although there were no eye-witnesses to the confrontation, it is possible that an insurgent succeeded in getting close to the sentry position along the adjacent highway known as route pink." Wing Commander Lee Taylor earlier told the inquest that lessons had been learned following the death of Gdsm Shadrake. As a result, TCP could now no longer be occupied for more than 72 hours unless signed off by a Brigadier. Mr Gittins said he was satisfied that lessons had indeed been learned, in the wake of Gdsm Shadrake's death. Addressing the family, Mr Gittins said: "There is so much to be proud of in Jamie's life and his military career and it is that sense of achievement and pride that I hope will carry you forward after today."