Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, was killed in Afghanistan - mistaken for an insurgent by a British sniper.
He had enlisted into the Adjutant General’s Corps in 2007 and on completion of Phase 1 and 2 Training was posted to 160 Provost Company, 4th Regiment RMP in Aldershot as a General Police Duties JNCO. He deployed to Afghanistan two months before his death, attached to 4th Battalion The Rifles. From a press report: “No single mistake led to his death, but a catalogue of missed opportunities, and a lack of basic equipment such as radios, created an extra layer of confusion on top of the usual fog of war in which his commanding officer was trying to establish some order. He described the incident as "the worst we had in Afghanistan. It remains by far and away the one that has concerned me most."
His Platoon Commander said of him: "A larger than life character, Lance Corporal Pritchard was a popular individual and a sure source of morale within the Company. He was a professional soldier and a fantastic Military Policeman with the potential to go far. A remarkably fit and robust individual, he was always someone I could rely on during field exercises. It was a privilege to command a soldier of Lance Corporal Pritchard’s calibre. He will be sorely missed and has left a gap in my Platoon that no one will be able to fill. He sadly died doing a job he loved and for which he had trained hard. He set a fantastic example for others to follow."
Michael, from Eastbourne, was 22 years old.