Corporal Mark Palin, 1st Battalion The Rifles
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Corporal Mark Palin from 1st Battalion The Rifles died in Afghanistan. He had deployed to Afghanistan three months earlier and was based at Checkpoint Jeker in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. He was killed by an IED while guiding a patrol in an operation to clear a cache of nearly complete IED components. The tributes paid by his comrades point to a man who was well-liked and respected, with a strong sense of humour and some quirky ways, referring to his being the "king of banter," an "awesome leader," a "genuinely nice guy." These words from his CO: "Corporal Palin was a battalion personality through and through. He thrived on the friendship of many, and was generous to a fault in the friendship he gave in return. Indeed this was the very essence of the man; always putting others first, and taking huge enjoyment in making others smile and laugh, no matter how difficult the circumstances. He died leading from the very front, as was his way. He had a fearless bravery with which he just made things happen...he made himself the pivotal part of the team. He was hugely respected by his Riflemen and greatly relied on by his commanders. A more selfless man you could never meet. He overcame injury through dogged determination to be with the Riflemen on the tour. Their patrol base is testament to his industry; rustic furnishings made by his hand, a team who are quite evidently bound by his enthusiasm, and a small poignant memorial he made for a fallen comrade, with whom he now joins, both never to be forgotten. We will miss him dearly. Corporal Palin was the epitome of the spirit of the battalion; relaxed, professional, committed, brave." Mark, from Plymouth, was 32 years old, married with a young son and a baby on the way.