Wigan (Greater Manchester), England, UK
Royal Marine, Corporal, Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines
12/31/2008, Sangin, Afghanistan
Corporal Liam Elms, or ‘Elmsy’ as he was known, was born on 28 October 1982 in Wigan. He joined the Royal Marines on 7 May 2001. After completing training at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) at Lympstone in Devon, he served with 42 Commando Royal Marines for two years.
During this time he saw active service in Northern Ireland (Op BANNER) in 2002, and then again in Iraq in 2003 as part of the UK contribution to Operation TELIC. Returning to the UK Corporal Elms completed his Junior Command Course, and Skill at Arms course where he was awarded top student. He subsequently trained as a Platoon Weapons Instructor Class 2 at CTCRM.
Remaining at CTCRM he was responsible for the training of recruits, a task in which he took immense pride, ensuring the next generation of Royal Marines were ready to take their place in a Commando Unit. His hard work and professionalism was rewarded when he was given his preferred appointment to Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, based in Faslane where he was able to further his passion for shooting and represented the Royal Marines as a member of the Corps (Royal Marines) Shooting Team. He joined 45 Commando Royal Marines on 7 January 2008, deploying to Norway with the unit before commencing pre-deployment training for operations in Afghanistan.
A physically strong and powerful man he was a keen fan of rugby league and played for the Corps’ rugby league team. Corporal Elms had a great sense of humour and despite his professional pride he could never take himself too seriously; he always had a ready laugh and liked nothing better than to reminisce about the lighter side of being a Royal Marine with his friends.
Liam was a dearly loved son to his father Michael, of whom he often spoke and was in constant touch. He also spoke lovingly of his fiancée, and he was busy making plans for the future with her during this deployment to Afghanistan.
Corporal Elms was killed in action by an explosion on 31 December 2008 in southern Helmand whilst on operations with Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines. His death will be felt by all who he influenced but mostly by his family and by those he served alongside. All who knew him will mourn the passing of a dear friend and an exceptional Royal Marine.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Morris Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 45 Commando Group, said:
“Corporal Elms was an outstanding Royal Marine and a huge personality. Fit, strong, courageous and very good humored he died leading his section from the front, doing the job he loved in the company of his friends who had tremendous trust in him and a huge respect for his abilities as a commando and as a leader. The determined commitment and bravery that he has shown throughout the conduct of numerous operations over the last few months has been an example to all and his loss has been felt very deeply throughout 45 Commando. He will be remembered for the energy and enthusiasm that he had for his profession but also for the generosity of spirit that he extended to all. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten and his tragic death will serve to further strengthen the resolve and determination of his comrades throughout these challenging times.”
The family of Cpl Elms have released the following statement:
“A true mans man. Liam always strived to be the best, his proudest achievement was receiving his beloved green beret. All who knew Liam loved and respected him. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his lads in Zulu Company and their families.
“Liam will leave a huge hole in our lives and he will always be missed.”