Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett M.C., 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), was killed in Afghanistan. He had been investigating an IED when it exploded, injuring him and two other soldiers; he passed away from his injuries before reaching hospital.
Acting Sergeant Lockett had joined the army in 1996, and served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and on three tours of Afghanistan. A machine gunner, he also held other qualifications, including Military Tracking Instructor and Jungle Warfare Instructor. In 2008 he was awarded the Military Cross; he had led his platoon to rescue the bodies of Private Johan Botha and Sergeant Craig Brelsford and four wounded comrades trapped in a Taliban ambush.
At the time of his death he was working as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battle Group, alongside the Warriors of the Afghan National Army in the Upper Gereshk Valley. Acting Sergeant Lockett was known for being a professional and inspirational leader, a man of humour and compassion who earned the respect of all ranks. Although close to the end of his tour, he had volunteered to stay on to help the incoming soldiers learn about the local area and benefit from his knowledge and experience.
Major Bob Moorhouse said of him: “It is always humbling to meet someone who has been honoured for gallantry, but to be given the opportunity to serve alongside such a person is a privilege. I was afforded that privilege with Sergeant Lockett MC. Soldiering came naturally to Sergeant Lockett and he made it look easy. Not only did he possess a strong understanding of his profession but he was also a superb exponent; every man in C Company, from Private to Major, benefited from watching him operate. In command he was unflappable and retained a strong grip in the most difficult circumstances; during one of our final exercises before deploying to Afghanistan the Exercise Controllers tried relentlessly to overload Sergeant Lockett but failed miserably. Sergeant Lockett’s raw bravery and selflessness cost him his life but undoubtedly saved that of one of his soldiers. He didn’t have to be the man at the front but that was the Lockett way.”
Michael, from Monifieth in Angus, was 29 years old and left behind three children, aged five, seven and eight.