Photo of Corporal John Horn in Germany shared as ‘British general killed in Gaza war’

By: Ishita Goel
January 31 2024

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Photo of Corporal John Horn in Germany shared as ‘British general killed in Gaza war’

Social media posts claim that the image shows a British general killed in the Gaza war. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The image is cropped from a 2008 photo of British Army Corporal John Horn with his fiancé in Germany. It is unrelated to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Claim ID c67e9ea2

What is the claim?

An image of a soldier in a beret and combat fatigues is viral on social media, purporting to show "British General Alexander Emmanuel," claiming that he was killed in the Gaza war. Facebook and X users shared the image (archived here and here), claiming the soldier in the photo was leader of the "Claw" battalion, and "a hero of the Iraq war and a member of the battalion that captured President Saddam Hussein."

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that the image is old and unrelated to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

What are the facts?

Through a reverse image search, we found that the image dates back to 2008. 

Getty Images posted the original version of the viral image on December 12, 2008, with the caption "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards return to Wessex Barracks in Germany." This shows that the viral image has been cropped so that the soldier appears alone. Getty Images credited the image to PA Images photographer Andrew Milligan. 

The description of the image reads, "Corporal John Horn, an operator on a challenger tank from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, with Fiance Laura Mcgee at the Wessex Barracks in Bad Fallingbostel, Germany, after returning from Iraq." Alamy also posted the same image with the same caption.

A screenshot of the image on Getty Images (Source: Getty Images/Modified by Logically Facts)

The original photograph is on PA Images along with several other photos of Horn with Mcgee taken by Milligan on December 12, 2008.

Photos of the corporal on PA Images. (Source: PA Images/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also searched the British Army website and found no results for a general named Alexander Emmanuel or for the "Claw" battalion. We also found no credible reports about a general of such a name being killed in Gaza or elsewhere

U.K. and the Israel-Hamas conflict

There is no evidence of any British Armed Forces being involved in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

In December 2023, answering a question in the House of Commons on whether there would be deployment of British troops on the ground in Gaza, Israel, or the West Bank without the approval of this House, U.K. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said, "There simply is not going to be a deployment, so that will not be required." Shapps added that he sees "no circumstances in which British troops would be on the ground," including for peacekeeping or monitoring purposes.

According to the House of Commons Library, on October 13, 2023, the U.K. deployed military assets to the eastern Mediterranean to reinforce regional stability and prevent escalation. Further, the U.K. has pledged £87 million in aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territories for 2023. No U.K. aid is directed via Hamas but is instead arranged through U.N. agencies.

The verdict

An old image from 2008 of British Army Corporal John Horn with his fiancé in Germany is being shared with false context. Horn had returned from Iraq prior to this photo, and it is unrelated to the Israel-Hamas war. Therefore we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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