Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, Corporal Mark Cridge, 7 Signal Regiment, took his own life at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
He had joined the Army in 2001as a Technician. After his trade training he served with 3 (UK) Divisional Signal Regiment and deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. He moved to 7 Signal Regiment in 2005 and deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2006, on attachment with the Royal Engineers and working as part of a small team providing communications from Camp Bastion in Helmand Province. At the time of his death he had already signed himself out of the army and was serving for the last time. He wrote "I'm sorry" on the wall before shooting himself. The Coroner recorded a verdict of suicide, and stated that she could find nothing to explain why he took his own life: "I have heard thousands of inquests and I don't think I have ever done a case where I am left without any answers at all. There is always something you might be able to put your finger on in their personal life or work life but there is absolutely nothing in this case that we can turn up at all. I am sorry to you, his family, to have waited all this time for answers and come to this inquest and I don't think it's going to help. Sadly Mark Cridge will take them with him."
Lieutenant Colonel Alan Blackwell paid this tribute: “Corporal Mark Cridge was an instantly likeable young man. Well respected by all ranks, he was a good all round soldier who clearly enjoyed his trade. Mark was a natural athlete and was always among the first to volunteer to play sport for his Troop or Squadron; he often turned in a good score on the cricket pitch. Mark trained hard with the Regiment in preparation for the deployment to Afghanistan and was excited about the tour. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We have all lost a soldier and friend who was very capable, good company and widely respected.”
Mark, from Barford St. Martin in Wiltshire, was 25 years old.