Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh, died as a result of an explosion near Musa Qaleh in Afghanistan while on foot patrol.
Known as a well-liked, dedicated and intelligent soldier, he trained as a team medic, a Warrior gunner, and a signaller. After promotion to Lance Corporal, he transferred to the elite Reconnaissance Platoon and deployed with them to Iraq in 2007. He was one of the first to volunteer to deploy to Afghanistan as a sniper. His grandfather joined the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers in 1946 and earned a commendation on operations in Malaya; and his father joined The Royal Regiment of Wales in 1984 and had an excellent career over 26 years.
Major Sid Welham said: “Lance Corporal Harkett personified the spirit and character of The Royal Welsh. ‘H’ was ever smiling and always motivated whatever the situation. At the heart of his platoon, he was essential to their high morale. Having grown up as a ‘son’ of the battalion he was known and liked by all, dealing out constant banter to all ranks. His infectious humour and enthusiasm ensured that he provided the best form of leadership to some of the company’s youngest soldiers. A highly motivated soldier he had been quick to volunteer to serve on the battalion’s first deployment to Afghanistan. ‘H’ took immense pride in his consummate skill as one of the company’s snipers, always reassuring his platoon that he would cover their ‘6’ [backs]. It was just such a situation that led to his passing, when he selflessly moved into a fire position to cover his mates’ advance. He is a huge loss to C Company and the regiment as a whole. ‘H’ Harkett, a huge character, professional soldier, Welsh to the core - a true Welsh Warrior.”
Christopher, from Swansea, was 22 years old and newly married.