Marine James Robert Wright killed in Afghanistan
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine James Robert Wright, from Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, serving as part of Combined Force Nad ‘Ali (North), was killed in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan on Friday 5 August 2011.
On 5 August 2011, Marine Wright’s patrol was involved in a significant engagement with insurgents in the Shpazh Gerebian area of Nad ‘Ali district. After being pinned down by accurate fire for several hours, the patrol managed to extract themselves back to their base at Checkpoint KAMIABI. The checkpoint then came under attack from small arms fire and underslung grenade launchers. Marine Wright was wounded by a grenade which was fired into the checkpoint. He was extracted to the hospital at Camp Bastion where sadly, despite medical treatment, he later died of his wounds.
Marine James Robert Wright
Marine James Wright was born on 18 November 1988 in Weymouth, Dorset, where he grew up with his parents, David and Sallie, and younger sister, Katie. He attended Wey Valley School and Weymouth College before joining the Royal Marines in November 2009.
He passed fit for duty on 17 July 2010 and joined Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, making many close friends and carving a very successful career. He was an immensely proud Juliet Company ‘Jester’ and lived up to the true spirit of the Company; hard working, professional yet socially robust. Before deploying to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 14 he participated in many exercises and adventures including summiting Ben Nevis, conducting amphibious assault training in America on Exercise AURIGA and mastering the slopes during the Navy ski championships in France.
For James, being in the Royal Marines was the supreme job and he was looking forward to a long and successful career wearing the coveted Green Beret; he believed “it’s more than just a beret; it’s a state of mind”. James had a close family and long-term girlfriend, Shelley, who he cared for deeply, loved and enjoyed spending time with.
James will be sorely missed by his Grandparents; father, David; mother, Sallie; sister, Katie; and partner, Shelley, who is expecting their baby. He will be remembered as a loving son, a brother, godfather and friend.
James’s father, David, said:
“James was so proud to be a Royal Marine and we are so proud of him. He was determined to be the best.”
A superb sportsman, James overcame a shoulder injury to complete his Commando training at the first attempt. He was an inspiring example to his cousin Ross, who followed him into the Royal Marines.
James’s mother, Sallie, said:
“He was always smiling with a wonderful sense of humour. James never had a bad word to say about anyone and was so kind and considerate.”
Shelley, James’s partner, thought the world of him. Her parents said how proud their family were to have known him and how Shelley and James were so looking forward to becoming parents. James was very close to his younger sister, Katie. He was always looking out for her and making her laugh.
James’s parents said:
“James loved his family and was as proud of us as we are of him. He touched the lives of everyone who knew him.”
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines and Coalition Force Nad ‘Ali (North), said:
“Marine James Wright was an impressive young man with an insatiable appetite for life. A spirited and passionate character, he loved his job, his fellow Marines and his family and leaves behind a massive void in the lives of all those who knew him.
“An extremely bright prospect, he was renowned for his cheerfulness, no matter how dire the situation, and indefatigable loyalty and commitment to his profession. Tonight, as I sat with the tight-knit group of Marines with whom he has been working for the past four months in an austere combat outpost, the grief was palpable – a clear indication of the high regard in which he was held within Juliet Company and more broadly across 42 Commando – but so too was the resolve to continue with the challenging task in hand; exactly as he would have wanted, and in honour of his memory.
“Marine Wright has selflessly given his life in the service of his country and for the good of the Afghan people. Time and again he has displayed considerable courage, inner strength and physical robustness whilst taking the fight to the enemy; in doing so he has upheld the finest traditions of the Royal Marines. His personal contribution during what has been a demanding operational tour has been both extraordinary and humbling; he was a true Bootneck, a warrior and a consummate professional.
“His loss is another bitter blow to 42 Commando and he will be deeply missed, but his sacrifice will not be forgotten. He joins an illustrious list of fallen heroes whose bravery, selflessness, determination and dedication inspire us all. As we pick ourselves up and deal with this terrible tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Sallie, his father, David, his sister, Katie and his girlfriend, Shelley; may they find the strength to face the difficult days ahead.”
Click here or on the image above to read the full eulogy for Marine James Wright.