Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2008, Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was killed in southern Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Joe O'Sullivan said of the incident: "X Company was conducting a patrol North West of FOB ZEBRUGGE, and as the Patrols Platoon cleared a key piece of high ground Lance Corporal Nicky Mason was killed by an explosive device. The story of the Kajaki Dam is the Company that patrols it daily, to ensure that the Taliban cannot bring heavy weapons within accurate range, so that the power station can continue to function. The ground X Company patrol is limited and predictable, and the risk of attack from IEDs is very high. X Company’s task was essential to the operation to move the turbine up to Kajaki, and it is now essential for the work to install the turbine to begin. Nicky Mason knew these risks very well, he and the rest of X Company have demonstrated a special kind of courage to face this threat each day." Lance Corporal Mason joined the Army in 2001, completed his training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and was posted to 2 PARA. Within a year he applied to join the specialist reconnaissance platoon, the Patrols Platoon, and performed extremely well on the selection cadre successfully joining the Platoon in 2003 ahead of his peer group. He completed the Regimental JNCO course in 2005 and was promoted to Lance Corporal shortly after in recognition of his qualities as a junior leader and an outstanding soldier. He had completed an operational tour of Northern Ireland as well as two tours of Iraq, and this was his first operational tour of Afghanistan. He is remembered as the archetypal paratrooper: tough, resilient, confident in his ability, courageous and quick-thinking - yet humble and with a great smile and infectious sense of humour. Nicky, from Aveley in Essex, was 26 years old.