NOWAK, Benjamin James

Known as: 
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Wednesday, March 28, 1979
Died : 
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Killed in action or died of wounds
Local Roll of Honour: 
Cpl Ben Nowak 45 Commando

Corporal Benjamin Nowak was killed along with others in an attack on a Multi-National Forces boat patrol on the Shatt Al-Arab waterway.

They were; Warrant Officer Class 2 Lee Hopkins, Royal Corps of Signals, Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott of the Intelligence Corps, Corporal Ben Nowak of 45 Commando Royal Marines and Marine Jason Hylton of 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines.

All died as a result of injuries sustained following the detonation of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) mounted on a bridge on the Shatt Al Arab River on the eastern edge of Basra City. The incident took place at approximately 1350 hrs local time. All were onboard a Rigid Raiding Craft (RRC) which was part of a routine boat patrol travelling north towards the Shatt Al Arab Hotel, a British Army base on the river. Three other UK service personnel sustained serious injuries in the attack.

Ben Nowak joined the Royal Marines on 8 July 1996 at the age of 17 and joined 45 Commando Group Royal Marines (45 Cdo Gp RM) as a Rifleman on completion of recruit training. He spent only five months at 45 Commando Group Royal Marines before being drafted to 40 Commando Royal Marines (40 Cdo RM) where he served for three years, initially as a Rifleman and towards the end of his time there as a Section Second-in-Command.

He then served as a Section Second-in-Command at the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines for two years. During this time he deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf as part of the Fleet Standby Rifle Troop where he conducted boardings in support of anti-smuggling operations. In April 2003 he joined 40 Commando Royal Marines for a second time and it was during his time there that he attended and passed the aptitude tests to become a Physical Training Instructor.

He went on to attend and pass both a Junior Command Course and a Physical Training Instructors Course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines before being promoted to Corporal. He subsequently remained at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines where he instructed recruits for two years before being drafted back to 45 Commando Group Royal Marines in July of this year.

He was then given the opportunity to deploy with 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines to Iraq on Operation TELIC for which he volunteered. He was attached to 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines in September.

[Source: MOD]

Primary Roll of Honour: 

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