Marine Sam Alexander Honoured at Wootton Basset
And family pay tribute to Hammersmith hero
Sam Alexander, 28, a Royal Marine Commando from Hammersmith who was killed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province on Friday May 27 has been honoured by the people of Wootton Bassett along with Lieutenant Ollie Augustin, who died with him when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off during a routine patrol.
After the bodies of the two men were repatriated to England on June 2, hundreds of people paid their now traditional tribute by silently lining the streets of the Wiltshire town as the cortege was driven through.
Sam, who lived in Skelwith Road in Hammersmith, was given the Military Cross in 2009 for saving the life of an injured colleague on a previous tour of Afghanistan. He launched a single-handed attack on a Taliban compound which enabled his medics to treat the wounded soldier.
He leaves a wife, Claire and ten-month-old son Leo.
His family have paid moving tributes to Sam, including his father Stuart, a journalist with the Independent whose description of his devastation at hearing of his son's death and his questioning whether this is a price worth paying brought a huge response fromtehh newspaper's readers.
Stuart said: " Sam's life has not been wasted, because he was so damned good at what he did. The testimony from that most valuable of analysts, his own peer group, was alpha plus for him, humbling for me. My respect for him far outweighed any pride.
" But, God knows, I loved you Sam and always will. And, if a faraway nondescript patch of rock and dust has claimed your flesh and blood, it can never claim your spirit, never destroy the bonds we had."
And he added: " It is time the politicians were as professional as the men, including you, and the women they send to their deaths."
Wife Claire said: "Sam was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was our rock and my best friend. He has been taken from me all too soon. We both love him and will miss him very much."
Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Rolf Kurth originally announced the deaths, saying: "It is my sad duty to inform you of the death of two Royal Marines from 42 Commando Royal Marines in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province. The two Royal Marines were on patrol, disrupting insurgent activity when they were killed by an explosion caused by an IED.
" Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends in their time of grief."
June 9, 2011