Pendle soldier shot dead in Afghanistan

Michael Foley
Michael Foley

A PENDLE soldier has been named as one of the two British servicemen shot dead by an Afghan soldier on Monday.

Lance Corporal Michael Foley, (25) of the Adjutant General’s Corps (Staff and Personnel Support) was killed at the main entrance to Lashkar Gah Main Operating Base in Helmand province, by an Afghan National Army soldier.

The father-of-three who was known as “Axel” leaves behind his wife, Sophie, and three young children, Calum, Warren and Jake, as well as parents, Craig and Debbie, sister, Lisa and brother, Jordan.

His family have paid tribute to the “proud” L/Cpl Foley.

“Michael passed away while on operational duty in Afghanistan where he was very proud to be serving his country in support of our combined forces in this theatre of operations.

“He will be sorely missed by his family and friends and everyone privileged to serve with him both on his last tour and during his military career.”

Sergeant Luke Taylor, of the Royal Marines, was also shot dead.

Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond MP, said: “I was very saddened to learn of the deaths of Sergeant Luke Taylor and Lance Corporal Michael Foley, brave and committed British servicemen who died in the most tragic of circumstances whilst on operations. They died in the service of their country; they were in Afghanistan to protect Britain’s national security.

“Both men were known to their colleagues for their professionalism and military qualities, but outside of their careers, it is clear that both were also true and devoted family men. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all those left behind.”

The former Colne Primet High School pupil enlisted into the Army on leaving school in 2003, joining the Royal Logistic Corps six months later.

Headteacher Mrs Janet Walsh said: “Michael was a popular young man, quite outgoing and full of character.

“From what I recall he had settled on a career in the forces at quite an early stage and was keen to do well. We are all very sad to learn of Michael’s death.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

“Coming just 18 months after the death of Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft, from Earby, this tragedy underlines the dedication and sacrifice of our servicemen and women, fighting to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.

“We should never forget the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our brave servicemen and women.”

There’s more on this tragic report in this week’s Leader-Times Newspapers. You can also leave a tribute to L/Cpl Foley below.