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Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett killed in Afghanistan.

February 6, 2011

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment was killed in Afghanistan on the morning of Saturday 5 February 2011.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett

Company Sergeant Major Beckett deployed to Afghanistan on 15 October 2010 as Company Sergeant Major C Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA). He was based at Patrol Base FOLAD in the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province.

On the morning of 5 February 2011, he was deployed on an operation to interdict the movement of insurgents into Shaheed, a village on the Nahr-e-Bughra canal where C Company have been developing a protected community. At 0834 Company Sergeant Major Beckett was fatally wounded by an improvised explosive device which detonated as he was moving into position to cover his fellow patrol members.

Company Sergeant Major Beckett, known as ‘Tom’ in the Army, was born on 20 February 1974 in his home town of Peterborough. He joined the Army in July 1990 and was posted to 3 PARA on completion of his training. A strong performance on the Anti-Tank Cadre in 1993 saw him take the first steps down a specialisation in which he would become a master, leading Anti-Tank soldiers at nearly every rank. Company Sergeant Major Beckett’s outstanding command ability was recognised early and he moved up the ranks swiftly, excelling on Anti-Tank and rifle command courses as he went, all fitted around operational deployments to Northern Ireland and Kosovo.

It was as an Anti-Tank Section Commander that he deployed to Iraq during the first Operation TELIC in 2003 but he had been promoted by the time he deployed as a Platoon Sergeant with C Company on Operation HERRICK 4, 3 PARA’s first deployment to Helmand in 2006. He was soon back in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 8, again at the forefront commanding his soldiers, this time as a Fire Support Group Second In Command during 3 PARA’s tour as Regional Battle Group South. After promotion to Warrant Officer Class 2 in 2009, Company Sergeant Major Beckett took over as Company Sergeant Major C Company in the vital lead-up to operations. It was in this most challenging role that he deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010 as part of 3 PARA Battlegroup, Combined Force Nad-E-Ali (North).

An inspirational and iconic leader with a staggering amount of operational experience, Company Sergeant Major Beckett was known and respected across the Parachute Regiment. In a career that spanned two decades, he spent only a handful of months away from the Battalion in which he was a central figure, one of the Non-Commissioned Officers that make up its unyielding core. In C Company, his company, and within the Anti-Tank specialisation his contribution of over 20 years of service is the stuff of legend and he will be profoundly missed.

He leaves behind his parents Del and Kim and his wife Rachel who is expecting their first child mid-February 2011.

Mrs Rachel Beckett, said:

“Anyone whoever met or knew Colin ‘Tom’ would have been touched by him in a big way and he will never be forgotten. He was a fantastic soldier, a great son, a good brother and friend and a truly special husband. My bestest friend, my soul mate, my absolute world. We love him and shall miss him so very much. May his love for life, strength, humour and strong character, live on forever in his baby girl Freya.”

Read the full Eulogy here

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Francis permalink
    February 7, 2011 16:21

    Rest in peace Tom.
    This country should be eternally indebted to you for your sacrifices.
    What a huge loss to the British military.

  2. ukcowgirl permalink
    February 7, 2011 16:43

    R.I.P., brave hero…a true para and a true legend. deepest sympathy to del and kim, and rachel and freya, who will not meet you, but will always know her dad was a hero. god bless. keep the faith. xo

  3. Julie Ann Wells -Stubley permalink
    February 7, 2011 16:52

    Hold your wings high hero & fly high above us all with the gods, as their gain is our loss…Never in vain always Fly High Hero xxx From an airborne daughter from long ago xxx

  4. February 7, 2011 17:23

    R.I.P. Hero and Fly high with Honor and Respect for you are not alone with your wings held high. Thank you from my heart and soul for making our world a safer place for all.
    My deepest condolences for his wife, parents, family and friends.

  5. neil permalink
    February 7, 2011 17:25

    R.I.P.Brave be to the family.He is and was the best offthe best.

  6. Joy permalink
    February 7, 2011 20:59

    How sorry to hear about this soldier such a shame, so sorry for his wife & there unborn baby girl..
    My condolences to you & all his family….

  7. Barry Sheridan permalink
    February 7, 2011 22:12

    This is desperately bad news, the second of our forces in two days. My thoughts go out to his wife and the child he will never know, thoughts that must include all those this fine soldier served with. You do us proud and no matter what anyone says, many of us think of you all constantly.

  8. Helen Came permalink
    February 7, 2011 23:16

    So sorry for your loss. God bless you all.

  9. Daisydot40 permalink
    February 9, 2011 22:25

    R.I.P Sgt Colin you were a true hero and we as a nation are thinking of your family and friends at this very sad xx

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