13/12/2006

MoD names Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence has named the Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday as 23-year-old Richard Watson.

Marine Watson, of 42 Commando Royal Marines, was part of a patrol in the north of Now Zad in the north of the Helmand province that came under attack from Taliban forces.

Marine Watson was hit by small arms fire and was fatally wounded. He was evacuated to the UK hospital at Camp Bastion where he was pronounced dead.

Marine Watson, from Caterham, Surrey, was known as 'Richie' to his friends. He joined the Royal Marines in June 2005 and joined 4 Troop K Company, directly from training in April 2006.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Holmes RM, said: "Marine Watson will be sorely missed, all the more because of the man he was. A strong and highly motivated Marine, Richie radiated enthusiasm for his work and was inspirational, leading his young team from the front into hostile territory.

"He had already made his mark within his fighting company as a natural leader and candidate for promotion, but he will also be remembered as a warm and passionate man who was ever cheerful, and who smiled through the hardships that he encountered, not least here on operations."

Marine Watson's mother, Tania Watson, also issued a statement which said: "Richard was devoted to both his family and his military service. He lived for each moment and was fanatically enthusiastic throughout every single day of his short life. He died doing his duty, he died amongst his beloved comrades. He died fighting as a Royal Marine, he died with the love of his family within him.

"In or our of his uniform, Richard was and remains our hero; a loving son, dedicated brother and devoted boyfriend.

"I know he would want me to tell his colleagues still fighting in Afghanistan that he was proud to serve with them and to take good care of themselves. This I do with great pride for my son Richard."

(KMcA/EF)


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