Corporal David Hardman, the Parachute Regiment
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1982, Corporal David Hardman, the Parachute Regiment, was killed at the Battle of Darwin and Goose Green, during the Falklands War.
The youngest of four children, he had enlisted at the age of sixteen, and served with 2 Para in Germany and Northern Ireland. His partial colour-blindness prevented him from his original career choice, which was to be a pilot in the R.A.F.. He narrowly escaped death at Warrenpoint, where an IRA bomb killed fifteen Paras and three Queen’s Own Highlanders. His sister said that the Warrenpoint tragedy did not deter him, and that he was “rarin’ to go” to the Falklands. At the time of his death he had passed the testing required for entry to the SAS. He was intelligent, well-read and funny - described by a comrade as inspiring, tough and selfless.
He was one of seventeen members of 2 Para to die; Lieutenant-Colonel “H” Jones needed help to wipe out an enemy machine gun position and Corporal Hardman was the first to volunteer. During the assault he broke cover to attack and was killed by small-arms fire. For his bravery that day he was Mentioned in Despatches.
One of the members of that ad hoc assault team, Dilip Dey, said: “In a conversation I had with Corporal Hardman prior to the advance of the assault, Corporal Hardman told me he was very aware he would probably not survive the tactics ordered by the C.O.. But as ever Corporal Hardman put himself to the front and followed his orders until the end; not for his personal glory, but as an inspiration to the men he commanded in the objective ahead. He embodied the Parachute Regiment spirit and motto: Ready for anything!’ Corporal Hardman was a consummate professional who led from the front in words and deeds, and would never ask of those he commanded something he was not prepared to do himself. There was no doubt he was destined for a bright future had he survived.”
David, from Hamilton in Scotland, was 22 years old.