Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Private Robert McLaren from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed in Afghanistan. He had joined the army two years earlier, first training as a Royal Engineer before deciding to pursue a career as a Scottish infantryman. His C.O. gave this tribute: "Private McLaren has been cruelly taken from us after only four weeks of active service in The Black Watch. The battalion was conducting an offensive operation against the insurgents in one of the most dangerous parts of southern Afghanistan. His company had been engaged in close combat with the insurgents for several hours and Robert had displayed enormous physical courage during this battle for one so young. He gave his life for his friends with his selfless commitment, moving forward in the face of a determined and ruthless enemy. From the moment he arrived he threw his heart and body into everything he was asked to do. He completed three large operations with his company and he made an immediate positive impression with his JNCOs. Fit, keen to learn and easy company, Robert had so much going for him and was so proud to be on operations so soon in his career. Any death in this close-knit battalion delivers an emotional body blow, but the loss of this young man so soon after joining us has hit us particularly hard." He is remembered as a "Fierce, brave, loyal and proud highland soldier". Robert, from the Isle of Mull, was 20 years old.