Rifleman James Backhouse
2nd Battalion The Rifles
10th July 2009

 

Rifleman James Backhouse, aged 18, from Castleford, Yorkshire, joined the Army in September 2007 and arrived in 2 RIFLES in April 2008 where he joined 9 Platoon, C Company. Rifleman Backhouse joined the Battalion as an Under-18 and was therefore unable to deploy to Kosovo in 2008. So, it was with great enthusiasm that he deployed to Afghanistan with his Platoon in March 2009. Rifleman Backhouse cleared the route ahead for his fellow Riflemen to follow. He was killed in action by an improvised explosive device, doing the job he loved, surrounded by his friends.

Rifleman Backhouse loved his fitness and was always striving to be stronger and faster than the next man. He leaves behind his parents Andrew and Sharon and his three brothers, Gareth, Dean and Ryan.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battlegroup said:

"One of four brothers, Rifleman Backhouse, was a natural soldier and this was his first tour. As part of 9 Platoon, he had endured some of the most austere conditions in Sangin – there was never a murmur of complaintand he was the sort who simply got on. He was a determined, rigorous and thoughtful young man who saw the lighter side of life. He loved his rugby and his football and his heart was set on being a PTI [physical training instructor] - it would have been right up his street. He was always at the front when we ran on the beach in Ballykinler. He had lungs big enough for the rest of his Platoon. We were jealous.

He was utterly selfless and always the first man in his company to welcome new Riflemen. He is sorely missed and his family are front and centre of our prayers at this unimaginably difficult time".