Swansea, South Wales, UK
Army, Fusilier, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (Royal Welch Fusiliers)
4/7/2010, Nad e-Ali district Showal, Afghanistan
Fusilier Burgess, of 3 Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, died as a result of gunshot wounds following a small arms engagement in the Nad ‘Ali area of Helmand province. At the time his Multiple (half a platoon) was on patrol to disrupt insurgents who were focused on stopping the British soldiers and their Afghan partners from protecting local communities within the area.
Fusilier Jonathan Burgess was born in Swansea, South Wales, on 9 July 1989. He was brought up in Townhill where he attended the local Primary School and Bishop Gore Comprehensive. After school he studied catering and worked in a restaurant.
On completion of the Combat Infantryman Course at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, he joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in May 2008. He was initially posted to Episkopi Garrison, Cyprus. Since joining the Battalion, Fusilier Burgess has conducted a demanding overseas exercise to Kenya and also the pre-deployment training package, prior to deploying on Op HERRICK 11.
During his four months in Afghanistan Fusilier Burgess had been a key member of 3 Platoon and had conducted both aviation assault and ground holding operations.
Fusilier Burgess was engaged to be married to Kelly Forrest. He leaves behind father, Royston, mother, Susan, sisters, Tracy and Suzanne, and brothers, David, Christopher and Ashley.
The family of Fusilier Jonathan Burgess, and his fiancée, Kelly, paid the following tribute:
“Jonathan was a loving and caring man who enjoyed life to full. He had an infectious smile that would brighten up anyone’s day. We were all very lucky to have had such a wonderful person in our lives. he was a much loved son, brother, friend and fiancé and would have been an amazing father to his baby girl. He will be greatly missed by us all. He will always be our hero.”
Major Shôn Hackney, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, said:
“Fusilier Jon Burgess was one of those soldiers who once you met him you would never forget him. He was the epitome of a cocky, confident and capable young soldier. Always the centre of attention, Fusilier Burgess had an answer for everything and everybody. Fusilier Burgess had performed excellently throughout our tour in Afghanistan.
“His true abilities came to the fore and it was obvious that he had a bright future in the Battalion. He had proved himself on numerous occasions during our various missions. Courageous, strong, fit and cunning, Fusilier Burgess was everything a commander could want of an infantry soldier. He was without doubt an asset to his platoon and the company as a whole. I consider it a privilege to have known and worked with Fusilier Burgess.
“My condolences and those of all of the Company Group go out to his family. Whilst we grieve here in Afghanistan, we can only guess at the pain and anguish felt by his family and friends. In particular our thoughts are with his fiancée and their unborn daughter. What I can say with confidence is that Fusilier Burgess was a credit to his family, to the Regiment and to his country. He died fighting alongside his mates. Together, they had made a difference in one small part of Afghanistan.