Major James Joshua Bowman 1 RGR
It is with great sadness that we record that Major James Joshua Bowman, Lieutenant Neal Turkington and Corporal Arjun Purja Pun from 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday 13 July 2010.
The three soldiers, serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), were killed in a suspected premeditated attack by a member of the Afghan National Army.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
“The despicable and treacherous act which has taken the lives of these three brave men will not dent the resolve of the colleagues they leave behind. The efforts of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles have directly improved the security situation in the Nahr-e Saraj district; their bold acts have improved the lives of the Afghan people and their mission to partner and train the Afghan National Army is vital to our success. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the servicemen killed in this atrocious attack, their sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Major James Joshua Bowman
Major Josh Bowman was 34 years old and from Salisbury. He started his career in the British Army as a rifle platoon commander in B Company 1st Battalion The Light Infantry having been commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1999. As a rifle platoon commander he deployed to Northern Ireland as part of the Rural Reinforcement Battalion. He operated from an isolated patrol base and for his outstanding performance throughout this tour he was awarded a General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland commendation. Following rifle platoon command he was posted as an instructor to the 3rd Battalion Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. He then returned to regimental duty in Paderborn, Germany, in the Armoured Infantry role as the Second in Command of D Company 1 Light Infantry. He deployed on Op TELIC 3 to Maysan Province, Iraq, before then taking command of the Mortar Platoon.
It was following his Mortar Platoon appointment that Major Bowman began to broaden his horizons with numerous overseas postings. From August 2005 he completed a year in the International Military Advisory Training Team (Freetown) Sierra Leone as the Operations Training Officer/ Battalion Operations Advisor. In September 2006 he returned to the UK as an SO3 instructor in the Junior Officers Tactics Division at the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster. On completion of this two year appointment he was selected for promotion to Major. Prior to attendance on the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) he squeezed in a five month tour as the Assistant Chief Instructor at the Iraqi Military Academy Ar Rustamiyah (IMAR), as part of an eight man training team supporting 600 Officer Cadets and 300 Iraqi Staff.
Major Bowman began his company command with 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in May 2009 immediately after ICSC(L), swapping the lecture halls of Shrivenham for the heat and humidity of Brunei. In August 2009 the Battalion conducted the Unit Move from Brunei to the UK and began the pre-deployment training for the Op HERRICK 12 deployment. His Gurkha soldiers developed a natural respect and affection for a leader who balanced the best traditions
of a rifle regiment soldier with humanity and hospitality that found him at home in A (Delhi)
Major Bowman had led his company through some of the toughest fighting experienced by the Battlegroup on Op HERRICK 12 thus far. He balanced the softer side of population-centric counter-insurgency with a genuine ability to motivate and lead his company onto the offensive when required. But above all, he was a gentle and thoroughly good man, who often spoke of his family and his girlfriend, Lucy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all during these tragic times.
Major Bowman’s family said:
He was the best possible son and brother who will be sadly missed by his family and many friends. He loved the Army and was very proud of the selfless work that he and his Company were doing.”