Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Lieutenant Paul Mervis, 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan.
Educated at King’s College, Wimbledon, and University College, London, he went on to work as a journalist for The Week and The Spectator. He travelled widely and was then commissioned into the Rifles in April of 2007, his first operatonal tour being in Kosovo. Lieutenant Mervis is remembered as a professional and dedicated officer who cared passionately about his Riflemen. On the day of his death he had been on foot patrol near Sangin when he was killed in an explosion.
Major Alastair Field said of him: “Paul Mervis was a one in a trillion. I have never met a more passionate and engaging young officer in my twelve years in the Army. His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. I could not have wanted more of him as a Platoon Commander. Full-on, intelligently so, he was caring and understanding in the best way. He had a sharp intellect and immediately got the bigger picture faster than most of us and did so without a trace of arrogance. He also had that ingredient of plain old presence and leadership which only a few genuinely possess. The reputation Paul had personally engineered for his platoon was enviable in the battalion. No one signed off under his command - a true testament to the high morale he had created. We could all see his longer term potential, both on the staff and later in command. Sadly his raw talent will not have the chance to flourish”.
Paul, from London, was 27 years old.