Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Sergeant Barry Keen, 14 Signal Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan, while serving as a communications specialist with 245 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals. Attached to Battle Group (South) they were involved in the fierce fighting of Operation CHAKUSH in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand province. On the fourth day, a single mortar round landed next to Sergeant Keen causing him grievous injuries, and despite receiving immediate treatment, he could not be saved.
Sergeant Keen had joined the army in August of 1989, and served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. He is remembered as inspirational; a respected and well-liked soldier who believed in leading from the front, and a colourful character who relished making people laugh.
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Vickery said of him: “During his six month tour in Afghanistan, Barry had thoroughly proved himself as a dedicated soldier with a flair for helping others. This trait had been strongly evident throughout his career and typified a man who always thought of others before himself. Modest to a tee, he was respected by all who met him. He died doing the job he loved - helping his fellow soldiers perform their duties in Helmand Province. It is also a mark of his quality that he had recently been selected to attend specialist communications training. The news of his death has been received here in the Regiment with great sadness, but also with a fierce determination to complete our tasks and to be a force for good in Afghanistan. This Regiment and the Army are a close-knit family which has pulled together in this difficult time.”
Barry, from Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, was 34 years old