Acting Sergeant Sean Binnie, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Acting Sergeant Sean Binnie, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed during a fire fight with insurgents near Musa Qaleh in southern Afghanistan. He had been in a foot patrol which came under enemy fire - he threw a grenade into a doorway through which insurgents were hiding, and as he moved back to take cover he was shot in the chest by one of them with an AK-47 assault rifle. The grenade then killed the shooter and the others hiding with him.
Acting Sergeant Binnie attended primary and high school in Kircaldy, and joined the army from Fife in 2003. He served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and the Falkland Islands before being deployed to Afghanistan as a mentor, just a few weeks before his death. Tributes to him speak of a fine man of immense soldiering ability, fearless and professional, but balanced with a soft side as he spoke so lovingly of his wife and family.
Major Angus Philp said: “He was obviously a young man with a mature head on his shoulders, who had ambition, resolve and energy. He loved his work and he was going to do his best to make the most of his chosen career. He volunteered for numerous courses and excelled on all of them, most recently the arduous Section Commanders’ Battle Course. However, it was far from being a case of all work and no play. Sean was a sociable man with a deprecating sense of humour and a wide circle of friends. His soldiers liked him, but they also respected him - as we all did. The manner of his tragic death was typical of the man. The ANA he was mentoring were in trouble and, with no thought for his own safety, he went forward to engage the enemy and get his comrades out of danger. It was an act of great courage and selflessness, in the finest traditions of The Black Watch Battalion, but no less remarkable for that and for which he made the ultimate sacrifice. I feel privileged to have known him and served alongside him.”
Sean, born in Dublin but raised in Fife, was 22 years old and recently married.