Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some Gave All: Sapper Richard Reginald Walker

 Sapper Richard Walker

 Sapper Richard Reginald Walker killed in Afghanistan 

  It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sapper Richard Reginald Walker from 28 Engineer Regiment, attached to 21 Engineer Regiment as part of the Task Force Helmand Engineer Group, was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 7 January 2013.

Sapper Walker was shot in an apparent ‘insider attack’ by a member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at Patrol Base Hazrat in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Monday 7 January 2013. He was working on a construction task with other military engineers from his Troop, as part of the preparations to hand the camp over to Afghan security forces, when the Afghan soldier turned his weapon on ANA and ISAF soldiers at the base. The incident resulted in a number of casualties, all of whom were extracted to the Bastion Role 3 medical facility where Sapper Walker was pronounced dead.

Sapper Richard Walker was born on 7 February 1989 in Leeds. He worked as a technician for Vauxhall before joining the Army in July 2008. Upon joining the Royal Engineers he completed his basic training at the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn before moving on to Gibraltar Barracks, Minley, where he completed his Phase Two Combat Engineer Training. He then moved to the Defence School of Transport Leconfield where he completed his trade training to become a driver.

He joined his first unit, 28 Engineer Regiment in Hameln, Germany, in September 2009, deploying with them to Canada and then Kenya on major exercises. His Troop, from 42 Field Squadron, was attached to 73 Armoured Engineer Squadron (73 AES) based in Ripon, North Yorkshire for Operation Herrick 17. His Troop joined 73 AES in August 2012 and deployed with the Squadron to Afghanistan at the start of September as part of the Task Force Helmand Engineer Group.

Sapper Walker was a valued member of 73 AES and deployed on every single Troop task. He was a popular and well respected member of his Troop and upon joining the Squadron he quickly gained friends across the spectrum of ranks; a testament to his likeable character and willingness to join in.

An avid football fan, Sapper Walker represented his Regiment at football and spent endless hours in the gym. He even managed to spend some time trying to learn to play the guitar albeit one chord at a time. Above all he was a devoted father and would talk for hours on end about his love for his daughter Lilly-Faith who sadly he only knew for 18 months before his deployment.

Sapper Walker was destined to go on to greater things – his willingness to learn, unswerving sense of duty and personal motivation to pursue a successful career would have seen him progress far. Above all he will be remembered for his charisma and team spirit; a true all-rounder, his loss will be felt for years to come.
Sapper Walker’s family paid the following tribute to their son and brother:

Richard held two things close to his heart – his daughter and his colleagues in the Army. A proud, patriotic man, he died doing a job he loved, supporting his friends.

Lieutenant Colonel Chas Story RE, Commanding Officer, 28 Engineer Regiment, said:

Sapper Walker was the epitome of a true Sapper, one who would roll up his sleeves and get on with the task in hand no matter what, but importantly he would do it with great humour. He made sure that he made the most of every opportunity, both in the Army and at home; it is without doubt that he had a lot to offer and a bright future. He was hugely respected as a fit, professional soldier with a massive character. This was his first tour of Afghanistan but anyone would have thought he was a seasoned expert, such was his ability and professionalism.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, including his young daughter Lilly-Faith, at this very difficult time....

 Go here and spend time learning how Sapper Walker lived and loved, in the words of those who know and love him.

From the Telegraph:

He added: ''I knew Richie for three years and was privileged to be able to call him my best mate. He was thoughtful, funny and a big character in any group he found himself amongst, but he always put others first.

''He was very wise and mature for such a young lad. I have so many good memories from over the last three years but the one that stands out the most for me was the day that he christened his daughter Lilly-Faith.

''He was so proud of her; that day I remember him standing that extra inch taller and his smile beaming more than usual.

''You will be sorely missed brother, gone but never forgotten until we meet again at the bar in the sky.''

Always remembered.  ALWAYS honoured.

Rest In Peace, young Warrior.

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