LCpl James Ashworth VC, 1st Bn Grenadier Guards was killed in action on this day four years ago in the district of Nahr-E-Saraj, Helmand Province.
LCpl James Ashworth epitomizes the courage and professionalism of all British soldiers whose sacrifice in Helmand has been confounded by incompetence, corruption and deceit.
By tragic coincidence I learned today from a friend in the neighbouring district of Nad Ali that “Nahre Saraj all Taliban. Just Gereshk bazaar government”. This confirms reports from Kabul that much of Helmand Province is either under siege or already in the hands of the Taliban.
In 2013 Catriona Laing, the head of the Helmand PRT earnestly pronounced: “We have presented the people of Helmand with an opportunity. They have grabbed it enthusiastically, confidently… it’s now in their hands for the future.”
I wonder what she would say today?
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.