Soldier killed in Afghanistan named
A COLCHESTER-BASED soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named as Captain Jim Philippson.The 29-year-old was described by his commanding officer as a “top quality” officer and a “gifted commander”.
By Roddy Ashworth
A COLCHESTER-BASED soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named as Captain Jim Philippson.
The 29-year-old was described by his commanding officer as a “top quality” officer and a “gifted commander”.
Captain Philippson became the first British solder to be killed in action in Afghanistan when his patrol was involved in a firefight with suspected Taliban troops in the Helmand Province.
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He was a member of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery based at Kirkee McMunn barracks in Colchester.
The Plymouth University graduate joined the Army in 2001 and trained at Sandhurst before being posted to the Royal Artillery.
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In Afghanistan Captain Philippson, who was from St Albans, was involved in training and mentoring the Afghan National Army.
Yesterday Major Matt Crisp, second in command of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, paid tribute to the dead captain.
Speaking at Colchester Garisson, he said: “James's death has been a tremendous shock to the Regiment and particularly those serving in Afghanistan.
“However, they remain focused and determined to achieve their challenging mission. I feel sure James would have wanted and expected nothing less.
“However, our thoughts are most importantly with his family and many friends at this incredibly difficult time as they are with those injured and their relatives.”
Captain Philippson's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel David Hammond, said: “Jim was a top quality officer in the best traditions of the regiment and the British Army.
“Those around him were influenced not only by his commitment, passion and drive but also his enthusiasm and ready wit.
“A gifted commander, he had the self-confidence of an assured professional yet was also modest and willing to learn.”
He added: “All of this earned him the respect of all those he touched. The commitment he showed to his task in Afghanistan and every challenge he undertook was an inspiration.”
Captain Philippson's father, Anthony, also paid tribute to his “wonderful and brave” son.
Speaking from his home in Hertfordshire, Mr Philippson said his son had loved being in the Army.
“It's what he lived for. It's our only consolation. He was killed doing exactly what he wanted to do. He could never have worked behind a desk.”
- Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne visited Colchester-based troops in southern Afghanistan yesterday.
Mr Browne met with British soldiers across Helmand province.
His tour included stops at Kandahar, Lashkar Gah and Camp Bastion.
Whilst at Lashkar Gah Camp, Mr Browne met soldiers from 216 Signals Squadron and 16 Close Support Medical Regiment, all part of Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade.