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Major Lex Roberts - a hero dies; government incompetence plays role


Major Lex Roberts
Image: MoD

From the Telegraph -

Susie Roberts paid tribute yesterday to her husband, Major Alexis Roberts, killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, as "the most wonderful husband and deeply loving father to Alice and Freya". She also told how, in a letter received just days before he died, Major Roberts wrote of how much good he felt he was doing for the people of Afghanistan and his pride in serving with his beloved Gurkhas.

A friend and mentor to Prince William during the young Royal's training at Sandhurst, Major Roberts was. . . selected as the Prince's platoon commander because he was a man of "profound integrity and courage".

Major Roberts died when a bomb exploded under his Pinzgauer vehicle. The government had more than a year to replace the inadequate Pinzgauer with vehicles that would protect its soldiers from small or large bombs. It did not. We hope the persons responsible will be held to account.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonny Bourne MBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, wrote about Major Roberts -

He had only been back with this Battalion for a short period, but had already established himself as one of its mainstays – conscientious, always willing to selflessly muck in and with a keen sense of duty. . .From the very beginning his compassion and concern for his soldiers shone through. He immediately made his mark as an officer whom the Royal Gurkha Rifles would be proud to call one of their own – a true Gurkha. In all that he did he put his soldiers first, but at the same time both he and his wife through their warmth and kindness, immediately became treasured friends of all those whose lives they touched.

As his Commanding Officer, I couldn’t have asked for a finer Company Commander. He wanted to be involved, led from the front and inspired those with whom he served. He will be desperately missed by all Gurkhas.

It is not always easy to explain the close bonds that develop between soldiers, particularly on operations, but it is a form of love, and a Gurkha community is especially close-knit. Lex was loved by us all.

Major Roberts was returning from a successful operation and was in the lead vehicle when the bomb exploded.