Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard, No 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard of No 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, died in Basra, southern Iraq. He was taking part in a routine foot patrol in the Al Waki district north of the British Base at Basra Air Station when the patrol came under attack; he was shot, evacuated by helicopter to the field hospital but sadly did not survive. His C.O. remembers him: "Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard had been with the Squadron since September, when he graduated from basic training with flying colours; an extremely proud day for his whole family but particularly for his sisters to whom he was especially close. Better known to the Squadron as ‘Beardy’, he was outwardly a quiet man but this concealed a wicked sense of humour which would emerge at the most unexpected moments, usually when morale on his Flight needed a lift. Strong, fit and an exceptionally gifted infantryman, he had such a bright future and had already set his sights on selection for special forces. I have no doubt whatsoever he would have succeeded in that as he did in all else." Martin, from Rainworth in Nottinghamshire, was 20 years old.