Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier
Fusilier James Wilkinson
2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Fusilier James Wilkinson, from Whitefield, Manchester, joined the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (RRF) upon completion of Phase 2 Training in May 2011. Originally posted to C Company 2 RRF, he volunteered for Fire Support Company and joined Fire Support Group (FSG(C)) in July 2011. He completed the FSG Cadre in October 2011 with an exemplary pass. He was deployed on his first Battalion level exercise, Ex ASKARI THUNDER, in Kenya with the 2 RRF Battle Group when he was tragically killed in a training incident on the 26th November 2011.
James was one of those unique individuals, liked and admired by all; he was happy, enthusiastic and immensely popular across all ranks. Always smiling, he genuinely loved the Army and is warmly remembered by his friends. He was highly regarded for his willingness to work hard and having completed his own duties he routinely volunteered to help others. He had made a distinctly positive impression as a young man full of life and eager to do the right thing. Exceptionally fit he relished the physical challenges of his chosen trade. Rarely without a smile, even in the midst of the most arduous challenges, he was often heard cracking a joke to lighten the mood. An avid Manchester United supporter, he was a highly capable footballer with aspirations to play for the Battalion Football Team.
As a FSG operator he had enthusiastically embraced his new role and was considered a consummate professional, extremely capable, with obvious long-term potential. He demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to learn from his fellow soldiers. He had an inquisitive mind and a determination to progress. From the outset, he set an example for others to follow. An exceptionally hard worker he always gave his best and was never found wanting.
Recently married, James was a devoted husband and it was obvious to all that he deeply loved his wife (Sarah). James often spoke about his wife, their future daughter, his step son and their future plans together.
Fusilier James Wilkinson embodied the traditions of the Regiment and his soldiering was an inspiration for all to follow. This tragic event and the loss of James have been felt deeply throughout the Battalion and the Regiment and the thoughts and prayers of all Fusiliers are with his family. He will be forever remembered.
Fusilier Wilkinson's family paid tribute to him and said:
Anybody who knew James had the utmost respect for him - he was simply treasured by all that knew and loved him.
His wife Sarah is taking hope from the part of James which will live on in their baby girl, who is due to be born in February 2012.
The love that James' family and friends will always have for him will never end and precious memories never be forgotten."
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Butterwick, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers said:
"Fusilier James Wilkinson was the epitome of a Fusilier. He was robust, fit and was dedicated to his profession. Even though he had only been with us for a relatively short time he had already made his mark on the Battalion. His personality was infectious and his professionalism was absolute. He had already been identified as a potential future leader and would have attended a fire team commander's course in 2012. I am sure this would have been but the first step on his career ladder. Starting in C Company he volunteered to become a member of the Battalion's Fire Support Groups. In Kenya he showed that he had mastered his new role. Determined, keen and always ready to take the initiative his performance on the exercise was simply outstanding."
He was immensely popular and everyone who knew him knew how much he loved his young wife Sarah and her son Connor. He was a wonderful role model for Connor. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sarah and his parents Rob and Jan at this tragic time."
"The Battalion has been rocked by James' death and a gaping hole has been left in his Fire Support Group. James was a true Fusilier and we will always remember him."
"Once a Fusilier - Always a Fusilier."
Fusilier James Bellis (1 Platoon, A Company, 2RRF) said:
Fusilier Chris Shilson (3 Platoon, A Company) said:
Fusilier Jordan Durham (3 Platoon, A Company) said:
Just some of the messages that have been left
Emma Walsh R.I.P. James, love and prayers go to James's
wife Sarah, all his extended family and friends and the lads he served
with. OAFAAF. Xx
Nigel Parry RIP james, Gods speed
Stuart Annis R.I.P James.
Martin Bannatyne he Lord bless him and keep him
Jimmy Carry RIP JAMES
Anthony Pickering R.I.P james yet another soldier dead-at
ease jame,s ur job is done
David John Flynn A sad loss
Ann Annis R.I.P james xx
David Spicer RESPECT - R.I.P Fusilier Wilkinson
Malcolm Byrne Rip James Wilkinson
Jim Chilcott Rip James
Jimmy Thorneycroft Rip James Wilkinson
Paul Taz Jeff R.I.P james
Wayne Traynor R.I.P james
Jimmy Lufc Townsend RIP James
Sheila Dootson R.I.P James a sad lost thoughts and prayers
to all the family x
Glynn Tobin R.I.P James
Michael Graham R.I.P Fus Wilkinson, thoughts are with
your family oafaaf
Steven Fitt Rest easy James from all the fusilier Family
Tony Rostron RIP James.
John-Coco Pop Cave R.I.P James
Paul Mornington RIP young James our thoughts are with
Sarah, family, friends and comrades.
Tora Allen RIP xxx
Peter Abbott RIP XXX
Dave Oliver RIP xx
Andy Entwistle r i p james
Stephen Holden God bless u james r.i.p deepest sorrow
to his family from ex 1st battalion fus oafaaf
Glyn Jackson Rip
Dorothy Maley R.I.P.MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOUR FAMILY
AND FRIENDS X
Mark Warrington RIP James
Simon Mills R i p james.
Craig Whitehead R.I.P James, my thoughts are with your
wife and family. OAFAAF
Theresa Isherwood R.I.P. James my thoughts and prayers
go out to u and your family god bless u all x
Kit Carruthers R I P James
Kimberley Williams-Little RIP Fusilier Wilkinson another
great soldier from the finest of Regiments you shall be missed but never
Wayne Hobson R.I.P oafaaf
Craig Highley R.I.P. bro god bless
Paul Davey rip oafaaf
Steve Mcfc Young Rip James you will be sorely missed
but never forgotten by your brother in arms past and present. OAFAAF.
Paul Bell Absolutely tragic, Condolences to his family
and friends R.I.P
John Rambo Ramsey rip young man oafaaf
Tom Molyneux On behalf of the royal warwickshire regiment
/royal warwickshire fusiliers 63/68 I would like to convey our condolences
to the family and friends of james
Anthony Dale So sad RIP james thought with all family
and freinds OAFAAF
Michael Mick McCarthy Sad news. RIP. Thoughts with Mrs
Wilkinson and family.
Les Barnes RIP James. Deepest condolences to family
and friends. OAFAAF.
Mark Tennant I never knew him, but he was a Fusilier
thats all I need to know. R.I.P Fus Wilkinson.
Martin Mashton Ashton RIP James miss you mate we all
Richard Duckett RIP Once a fusilier always a fusilier
Gary Gannon Heartfelt sympathy to James' family. This
just goes to show how hard the training our lads are going through these
days is. A death in training for combat is no less tragic than a death
in combat, and in some aspects is all the more so.................!
Henry Lynch A sad loss
Mark Lawson I didnt know the young man but our throught
s from us in australia are with his wife and family and friends, RIP
Carol Smith r.i.p james
Anthony Southern R I P james
Phil Powell Rip James oafaaf my deepest sympathy to
Dave Calder Rip james we will rember u fusilers alway
Mel Richards RIP James
Jill Stuart Watson RIP
Lela Korb RIP
Andy Fulcher RIP
Philip Ccfc Smith RIP, and comfort to his family, any
idea what regiment?
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sarah and his parents, Rob and
Jan, at this tragic time.
As Chairman of Shiny D Branch I would like to add our
condolences to the young mans family.