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  • Christina Drummond

WO2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011 Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett of 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan. Based at Patrol Base Folad in the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand province, he was fatally wounded by an IED which detonated as he was moving into position to cover his fellow patrol members. They were on an operation to interdict the movement of insurgents into Shaheed, a village on the Nahr-e Bughra canal.

He had joined the Army in 1990 and after training was posted to 3 PARA. He was recognized as having outstanding command ability, excelling on anti-tank and rifle command courses as he swiftly moved up the ranks. He had served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq, and twice before in Afghanistan. He is remembered as “inspirational and iconic” with natural warrior instincts.

Captain Ed Withey said: “WO2 Beckett is a great example of what a truly professional paratrooper should be; he was tough and dedicated, but also had a level of understanding and compassion towards his men that is rare to find. As a Company Sergeant Major, WO2 Beckett offered me invaluable support and advice along with a professional friendship that I look back on with fond memories. He had a sense of humour that would brighten up even the most stressful of situations, never letting any event get the better of him. The loss of a Company Sergeant Major will always be hard for a company, but I believe that the memories and legacy of such a fine individual will strengthen its resolve for the remaining months of the tour. I know that WO2 Beckett died doing exactly what he loved; leading by example and taking the fight to the enemy. His actions have been an inspiration to the men who have worked alongside him over the past months. His presence in C Company will be sorely missed.” Colin, from Peterborough, was 36 years old and married with his first child due two weeks later.

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