Private Martin Bell GM, 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Private Martin Bell GM from 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan, fatally wounded by an IED as he tried to reach a comrade injured by a separate device.
Prior to joining the Army, Private Bell had been a Police Community Support Officer in the West Yorkshire Police. He completed basic training early in 2009 and was posted initially to 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, then to 2nd Battalion in 2010, not long before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Leun Wetherall, 8 Platoon Commander, C (Bruneval) Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment said: “Private Martin Bell was a giant among men. A true airborne warrior. With his sharp sense of humour and unwavering professionalism, he left his stamp on everything he touched. He brought so much to the Platoon; he was great to have around and I really enjoyed having him under my command. I shall miss him deeply. As his commander I found it incredibly hard to maintain distance as he was, quite simply, such a great bloke. He was a true companion to the other soldiers and a constant source of morale; he always found the positive in any situation no matter how tough. I will forever remember him not just for professionalism but also for his sense of fun. I will never forget the outfit he wore on the last platoon night out before we deployed. My thoughts are with his mother and father, his brothers and his injured colleagues for whom he sacrificed his life to save. Private Bell, you are gone but never forgotten. Our Airborne brother.” Private Bell was posthumously awarded the George Medal: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/8796912/George-Medal-for-paratrooper-who-risked-life-in-minefield-to-resuce-wounded-comrade.html
Martin, from Bradford, was 24 years old.