A soldier killed in an Afghan suicide attack has been named as father-of-two Ian Fisher, from Barking.
The 42-year-old Warrant Officer class 2, who served with the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, yesterday.
Nicknamed ‘The Colonel’, he died on the final day of an operation to disrupt insurgents in the Kamparack area, 25 miles north-east of Lashkar Gah in Helmand. The MOD said he was killed by a suicide “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device” during a meeting with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
He leaves his wife, Emma, and two sons, James, seven, and William, five, and his parents, Simon and Helen.
Emma said: “Ian will always be the centre of my life, he will be remembered as a doting father, loving husband and a true professional soldier.
“He loved being a soldier, that’s what he lived for. We are all so proud and always will be.”
WO2 Fisher was born on October 6 1971 in Barking, east London, and grew up in Elm Park, Hornchurch, Essex. He attended Ayloff Primary School, Sanders Draper School, and Havering Technical College before going on to Staffordshire University, where he read physics and geology, obtaining a Bachelor of Science honours degree (BSc(Hons)) in 1993.
His colleagues described him as the “epitome of an infantry sergeant major; straight talking and obsessive in his pursuit of excellence and gaining the most from his subordinates while ensuring their wellbeing.”
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Davies, Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, said: “To lose a soldier in combat is a tragedy that hits any unit hard but to lose a Warrant Officer of WO2 Ian Fisher’s calibre and standing in such a tight knit family regiment is a huge blow that has left the whole battalion numb.
“His reputation as a tough talking, no nonsense Sergeant Major belied his quick wit and mischievous sense of humour and his men loved him for it. A larger than life character, he played a pivotal role in battalion life, always at the forefront where there was fun to be had. His nickname of ‘The Colonel’ epitomised him; he was the consummate professional, never happier than when leading from the front and making things happen. Hugely popular, he is already sorely missed.”
On Monday WO2 Fisher deployed with his company on a two-day operation to disrupt insurgent activity to the north east of his patrol base. The following day, as a meeting was being conducted with the ANSF, his vehicle was subjected to a vehicle-borne suicide attack. WO2 Fisher was evacuated by air to the military hospital at Camp Bastion, where it was confirmed that he had been killed in action.
He had been deployed in August as the Warrior fighting vehicle Sergeant Major for the Task Force Helmand Armoured Infantry Company of A Company, 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment.
He had completed four previous tours – one to Northern Ireland, two to Iraq and a previous tour of Afghanistan in 2011.
WO2 Fisher enjoyed hill walking, climbing and camping with his family and friends. He loved to travel at every opportunity.
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