Mne Samuel Giles William Alexander

Mne Samuel Giles William Alexander

Hammersmith, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Greater London, England
Death 27 May 2011 (aged 28)
Helmand, Afghanistan
Burial Bickleigh, South Hams District, Devon, England
Memorial ID 70591150 View Source
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Recipient of Military Cross

Juliet Company
42 Commando
Royal Marines
British Naval Service

He was deployed with the UK contingent of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Marine Alexander was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during a 2009 tour of duty there.

Mne Alexander MC and Lt Oliver Augustin were killed by an improvised explosive device while on a patrol in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e Ali (North) district of Helmand province.

Aged 28, he was from Hammersmith, west London and grew up in Hampshire. Sam joined the Royal Marines in 2006, qualifying as a sharpshooter. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 with Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines and was decorated for bravery in drawing enemy fire away from an injured colleague. Having used all the ammunition in his machine gun, he continued his assault with his 9mm pistol until that too was empty – forcing the enemy to retreat. The citation for his award said he carried out his brave actions "despite being completely exposed to heavy and accurate enemy fire".

He had recently trained as a heavy weapons specialist in anti-tank operations before returning on his second tour. Colleagues described him as a big man trapped in a small body, always the first to volunteer for any detail and a mentor to more junior Marines.

Mne Alexander MC leaves behind his wife Claire, their young son Leo, his mother Serena, father Stuart, and sister Sophie along with other relatives and friends. "Sam was so special. He was the gentlest of men but tough when he needed to be. He risked his safety for his friends but never batted an eyelid. Sam was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was our rock and my best friend". His faither expressed his pride and respect for "a great guy with a great smile and a zest for life". His mother said, "The legacy that Sam leaves is hope - hope for oppressed people all over the World. There are people like Sam who risk their lives for others".

Funeral with full military honours was held on June 17, 2011 at the Minster Church of St Andrew's, Plymouth, followed by a private burial.

*Sincere thanks to Rhonda C. Poynter for her generous sponsorship of this memorial.
*Thanks to Martin Devon for the grave photos