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Bris

LE
Letter written by a severely wounded British soldier – Lt Alex Horsfall

Ha ha ha.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am writing to you from Selly Oak hospital after a somewhat surreal couple of weeks where some chap with an evil-looking beard killed five of my fellow riflemen and injured another four. I would like to quickly let you into the picture, set the story straight (although I understand my brother has done well in keeping the public in the light).

Around 12 days ago I was caught up in a Taliban bomb whilst conducting a foot patrol in Sangin town with the Afghan National Army (these are generally thoroughly nice soldiers who haven’t yet decided whether they would like to kill you or not). My platoon did magnificently to get me on a helicopter where someone could assess my injuries. I have managed to acquire the following:

1. Amputation of left leg (below the knee).

2. Amputation of three fingers to the left hand.

3. Tissue damage to the left arm (at this point I’d like to state that it has been decided that to speed up recovery, my left arm would be better-placed inside my belly. I can feel something grow inside but it may just be a Haribo sweet my brother dropped down there!).

4. Severe lesions to the neck.

5. Tracheotomy (hole in neck to allow breathing. Very odd, yet ever so slightly intriguing to touch).

6. Hearing impaired slightly.

7. Shattered jaw.

8. Broken right elbow and wrist.

9. Severe tissue and muscle damage to the right leg (looks like a bright-purple, plump-breasted guinea-fowl trussed up at your local butchers).

But due to some fortune I have unwittingly earned, I am able still to compose this rather long message. I also have it from good sources that the gentlemen responsible were themselves subjected to a combination of Apache helicopter and Special Forces playtime. Their IED “factory” was destroyed and they met their maker after a relatively brief hellfire missile battle which they lost.Ladies, gentlemen, all to say I am most gratefully alive and most sporadically, temporarily and morphine-gratifyingly pain-free.

Morale has been boosted by the multitude of you who have found time to do some good old-fashioned granny-visiting here in Birmingham, and for that I am forever thankful. Get-well-soon cards and messages of condolence I have growing out of my ears and it is thoroughly and most deeply and sincerely touching. Life here at Selly Oak is great, but everyone must find the fill for each day, so if you do find yourself near, come and reminisce about the days when people had two legs. Unfortunately, my mobile is not yet with me (doing a full tour in Sangin), but I will send you a number where you can get in touch directly.

To all of you, I sign off by saying a big thank you, and that I have realised that there is a huge amount to life that is unappreciated until limbs are lost. You will be chuckling when I am running faster than Usain Bolt on some ridiculous, metallic, spring contraption.

All the best and keep safe

Alex
 

Bris

LE
There's some good articles on that site - the one before describes a number of the wounded soldiers (inc Alex) wheelchair jousting. Worth a read.
 

Bris

LE
Maybe they could write to Knob4 to help him deal with his anguish ..the to55er
To be fair to him (or others suffering) PTSD can affect people in different ways. He really needs to find a new hobby, on top of blaming anyone higher than Cfn for all the Army's failing, past present & future, real & imagined.

I know that when Alex was in hospital recovering, the bloke that ended up in the bed next to him was the Pl Comd who was sent to replace him. A nasty, vicious place - I was fortunate not to have to visit that part of the province.
 
I was at uni with one of those in the bottom photo - an absolute top bloke. He wrote quite a funny piece about the IED that took his leg - I'll try and dig it out.

See below. He also did a photo shoot for GQ once able!
Jeez, I didn't recognise him!! Did a lot of joint work with him when he was in whitehall!! Excellent bloke. Open to chatting about the incident, he said he would love to have a cup of tea with the bombers when it had all calmed down. Really genuine bloke!
 

Bris

LE
Jeez, I didn't recognise him!! Did a lot of joint work with him when he was in whitehall!! Excellent bloke. Open to chatting about the incident, he said he would love to have a cup of tea with the bombers when it had all calmed down. Really genuine bloke!
Agreed - an Etonian to the core, but in the very best 'old-school affable gent' manner.
 
To be fair to him (or others suffering) PTSD can affect people in different ways. He really needs to find a new hobby, on top of blaming anyone higher than Cfn for all the Army's failing, past present & future, real & imagined.

I know that when Alex was in hospital recovering, the bloke that ended up in the bed next to him was the Pl Comd who was sent to replace him. A nasty, vicious place - I was fortunate not to have to visit that part of the province.


How the feck is he suffering PTSD?.. and if he is, it's by proxy and of his choosing. he saw feck all, experienced feck all, lost feck all from his unit, picked up feck all re remains of his buddies, probably never helped on a medivac, never once did Barma man or took effective incoming, ...whinges about Toms firing off a few mini flare or lobbing stones at local scrotes ( yet won't consider it was done to keep potential suicide bombers away) yet somehow has come across all grief whore ...feck him.
 

No.4 Mk.1

On ROPS
On ROPs
The more i read about Musa Qala, the more i see ex-General Richard's (the Baron) fingers in the pie:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Musa_Qala
Butler exposed his views to the new Chief of the General Staff of the British Army Sir Richard Dannatt, when he visited Afghanistan, and to the Permanent Joint Headquarters who left him free to make his own decision. Accordingly, on September 8, Easy Company received news that they would be withdrawing in the next few days. However the plan met with strong opposition from General Richards
And one of the ex-general's biggest concerns at the beginning of September (worthy of 1/2 a page of his diary) was being told he couldn't take his R&R to see his children off to big school... he'd only just started his ISAF command on 1st Aug
 

X59

LE
I think you'll find (the great great grandfather of) General Richards was in charge of damage control on that ship. Totally his fault.

Actually, it was Cap'n Richards who shouted "Icebergs? Boll0cks, full steam ahead!".
 
To be fair to him (or others suffering) PTSD can affect people in different ways. He really needs to find a new hobby, on top of blaming anyone higher than Cfn for all the Army's failing, past present & future, real & imagined.

I know that when Alex was in hospital recovering, the bloke that ended up in the bed next to him was the Pl Comd who was sent to replace him. A nasty, vicious place - I was fortunate not to have to visit that part of the province.

I always thought those rifles tours on H10-11 were the hardest unit deployments during Herrick. Made me profoundly grateful that we weren't doing ground holding.
 

Bris

LE
I always thought those rifles tours on H10-11 were the hardest unit deployments during Herrick. Made me profoundly grateful that we weren't doing ground holding.
Everything 8-11/12 was pretty nasty. I was on 9, down in Garmsir with D Coy 2 RGR for half of it. Luckily, the AO was quite calm; 16X (and the 1st half of those on H9) had done an excellent job in the place. Some of my soldiers were pretty much everywhere else though - not pleasant times.

It's always hard to quantify how 'hard' a tour was in comparison to others - you can certainly get a gauge through certain statistics, but ultimately it's an individual judgement.
 
Everything 8-11/12 was pretty nasty. I was on 9, down in Garmsir with D Coy 2 RGR for half of it. Luckily, the AO was quite calm; 16X (and the 1st half of those on H9) had done an excellent job in the place. Some of my soldiers were pretty much everywhere else though - not pleasant times.

It's always hard to quantify how 'hard' a tour was in comparison to others - you can certainly get a gauge through certain statistics, but ultimately it's an individual judgement.

Combat top trumps.

Yeah I know what you mean. I just remember hearing of some of the incidents 2 rifles were involved in when we were there and a couple of locs that were sitting at 20% casualties and thinking they were brave men and women.

We found ourselves in proper IED belts a couple of times and i found it hard. I'd have struggled to do that every day for a whole tour. Moral wise I always thought one of the best things we had going for us was the amount of "normal" fighting we were doing. This meant that whilst we had our bad days like everyone else we had good opportunities to kill the enemy.

Anyway, bit of a diversion but I had a lot of respect for those guys.
 
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