How Royal Anglians killed 1,000 Taliban


The intensity of combat in Afghanistan has been laid bare as one Army regiment revealed that it had fired one million rounds, killed 1,028 Taliban and lost nine men in a six-month tour of duty.

At times, fighting saw 1Bn of the Royal Anglians having to "winkle out the Taliban at the point of a bayonet", said Lt Col Stuart Carver, the commanding officer, at the battalion's medal ceremony.

At times the fighting was on a par with that experienced in the Second World War and the casualty rate was similar, with nine men killed and a further 135 wounded.

In a moving speech given by a former commander of the Anglians, Major Gen John Sutherell said they had completed the "most demanding tour" ever asked of the regiment.

"In spite of the heat and privations you have taken on a hard and fanatical enemy on their own grounds and driven them back. The fighting has been remorseless in its intensity and often at very close quarters.

"You have shown courage, endurance and professional skill and comradeship of a very high order.

"But you have also shown the intelligent restraint and humanity to discern between those who have been trying to kill you and the people we are in Afghanistan to help."

The conflict had not come "without costs" but the battalion should be "incredibly proud" of itself.

The general, who also served in the SAS, said: "You are truly comrades in arms, a band of brothers and you have our deepest gratitude, respect and admiration."

After he finished a woman from the crowd of almost 2,000 family and friends shouted "three cheers for our boys". She was met with a rapturous response.

Lt Col Carver said his men had fought conventional trench warfare, engaging a well-trained enemy from, at times, 15 feet away.

"There was some pretty fierce fighting in conditions you would sometimes see in World War Two, clearing buildings and trenches."

The enemy was highly trained and well equipped, although others were poorly trained fanatics.

"The good ones are extremely good, religiously motivated and will stay and fight until the last," Lt Col Carver said. "Sometimes they had to be winkled out of buildings at the point of a bayonet."

He said the Taliban mounted more than 350 attacks on his troops.

"By the end of the Anglian tour, three quarters of shop fronts had been restored to Sangin, which had previously been a ghost town. A school for 500 boys and girls had opened and the population had electricity. The security threat had also dropped to 'Northern Ireland levels'."

Despite the heroism of the tour, one third of the battalion received no recognition for the fighting they experienced.

Although General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, had indicated that a "Southern Afghanistan" clasp would be added to the Afghanistan campaign medal, it appears the MoD is dragging its feet over the issue.

The entire back row of three on parade at Pirbright Barracks, Surrey, did not get a medal as they had already received one during the "benign" Anglian tour of 2002.

Yesterday, the soldiers called for a recognition of the fighting they had experienced.

"It is chronically unfair that this has not been the case," said one soldier.

Well done the Anglians


Book Reviewer
Well deserved praise, congratulations to the Royal Anglians for a job well done.

So, who's going to write THEIR book then eh?


And from the local press:
SOLDIERS from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, have today been presented with their campaign medals after returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan.

More than 500 soldiers marched onto the parade square in front of families and friends at Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, in Surrey.

It comes as defence chiefs were due today to name a British soldier killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The soldier, who was serving with the 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was caught in a blast south of the district centre of Sangin in Helmand Province.

During the Royal Anglians' campaign in Helmand Province, the troops from the 1st Battalion played a key role in four Battlegroup operations and more than 100 Company level operations in their six-month tour.

They were in direct engagement with the enemy Taliban forces more than 350 times as they fought to improve security and stability in Afghanistan.

The battalion lost nine soldiers killed in action and sustained about 120 casualties, including 57 directly from battlefield action.

Privates Aaron McClure, 19, of Ipswich, and John Thrumble, 21, from Mayland, Essex, were killed in August in a friendly fire incident in the turbulent Helmand province.

Lance Corporal George Russell Davey, aged 23, from Beccles, was also killed in the campaign.

The Commanding Officer of The 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Carver, paid tribute to the “tremendous support” received from families and friends, and communities in Pirbright and East Anglia.

He said: “While our return from Afghanistan is a very happy time for the soldiers, their families and friends, it is tinged with sadness as we remember the soldiers from our own and other Regiments and Battalions who have been killed and wounded whilst serving in Afghanistan.”

Next Friday, a poignant homecoming parade for the soldiers will be held in Bury St Edmunds where the regimental headquarters is based. There is another homecoming parade in Norwich next Thursday.

Anyone wanting to give to the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment's memorial fund can make cheques payable to CB 1 R Anglian and send them to Major R C Barrett, Treasurer, 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0DT. Nov 2007 14:37:44:877
Well done the Vikings, you are a credit to the army. Might I also add that you are a great regiment and I am proud to have served in the old 3rd Btn. All the fours!.
Well done Vikings..

Well done indeed!


More local coverage for TA element:

Part-time soldiers who have faced the dangers of war in Afghanistan, were presented with their Operation Herrick campaign medals following their recent return from active duty.
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, based in Bury St Edmunds, were on parade at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, this week, watched by 200 proud family members and friends.

In a special ceremony, 24 were awarded their medals.

They were presented by Richard Ashton, director of the Imperial War Museum, Martin Bell, broadcaster and former member of the Suffolk Regiment, Brigadier Groves chairman of the Regimental Museum at Duxford, and Michael Marshall, chairman and chief executive of Marshall's of Cambridge.

Private Michael Kimpton, 24, who in civilian life is a tree surgeon, said: "It was heart-warming to see so many people turn out to watch us on parade.

"It shows people do appreciate what we do."

He added: "It was my first tour and a great experience. Now I am back, I miss the camaraderie.

"While deployed you don't worry about the little things that would probably bother you back home. You just get on and do the job."

The soldiers were based in Kabul, where they spent their six-month tour attached to 27 Transport Regiment RLC carrying o
ut force protection. Their main duties were convoy protection and maintaining camp security.

Private Simon Cullinan, 21, is planning to join the Armed Forces full-time.

He said: "Being in the TA has given me the opportunity to experience things I would never have done otherwise.

"It has helped me to mature and it has definitely shaped my future. I already miss being out there and making a difference.

"It was hard not seeing family and friends while I was away but they were totally supportive and are backing me 100 per cent in my chosen career in the RAF."

Praising his men, platoon commander Lieutenant Alex Horner, 29, said: "They are a credit to our regiment.

"They have worked in inhospitable terrain where temperatures reached up to 50 degrees Celsius.

"What they have done speaks volumes for their professionalism. They all deserve our heartfelt congratulations."

Well done the TA

Edit to add Bury Free Press link
Well done the Vikings, I am swollen with pride at your achievements and humbled by the actions of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Regiment and comrades.
quoteMajor-General Sutherell's speech in full
Last Updated: 2:37am GMT 16/11/2007

Speech given by Major Gen John Sutherell at the medal parade for the Royal Anglians

There is no doubt that the tour you have just completed is the most demanding operational tour experienced by any Royal Anglian Regiment since its formation in 1964.

For those involved this will live forever in the memory.

advertisementIn spite of the heat and privations you have taken on a hard and fanatical enemy on their own grounds and driven them back. The fighting has been remorseless in its intensity and often at very close quarters.

You have shown courage, endurance and professional skill and comradeship of a very high order.

But you have also shown the intelligence, restraint and humanity to discern between those who have been trying to kill you and the people we are in Afghanistan to help.

As a result you have made a very important contribution to a campaign that is strategically hugely important to the UK, its allies and all the countries in that region.

This considerable success has come at a cost. We are all mindful of the nine who died and so many of you who have suffered the pain of wounding, including the unseen wounds that are so hard to bear.

But the families that stayed at home, separated from their loved ones, also deserve a medal. No one who experienced this year shall forget it. This year, our regiment has come of age.

You all have served our country, our regiment, your families and each other magnificently.

All of us are incredibly proud of you.

The coming weeks, months and years will not be easy. You are truly comrades in arms, a band of brothers and you have our deepest gratitude, respect and admiration.quote

I must admit that it was a wonderful day yesterday and the speech that Major General Sutherell made was wonderful too. Made you feel so proud to be a part of it all. Got the tour book to read now and the dvd so no doubt be more tears later.

Well done to all the Royal Anglians and thanks to the regiment for making yesterday so special for us all.

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