Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Gave All: Sergeant Barry John Weston

A Military Operations news article

31 Aug 11

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Barry John Weston, from Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Tuesday 30 August 2011.

Sergeant Barry Weston with his daughters, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose
[Picture: via MOD]

Sgt Weston was killed while leading a patrol operating near the village of Sukmanda in southern Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province.

The patrol was participating in an operation to draw insurgents away from the civilian population in order to disrupt their activity and further expand the influence of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

During the patrol, Sgt Weston was fatally injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Sergeant Barry John Weston

Sgt Barry 'Baz' Weston was born in Reading on 27 February 1971. He joined the Royal Marines on 30 September 1991 where he impressed from the outset as one of the fittest members of his Recruit Troop.

Upon successfully completing six months of arduous training, Sgt Weston was passed fit for duty on 22nd May 1992 and joined Mike Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He went on to enjoy a varied career which saw him serve in many operational theatres including Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq. He distinguished himself as a Reconnaissance Operator, Platoon Weapons Instructor and Recruit Troop Sergeant, amongst many other talents.

Sgt Weston joined Kilo Company, 42 Commando in May 2011 as part of 1 RIFLES Battle Group, Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) in Helmand Province.

He leaves behind his wife, Joanne, and their three daughters, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose.

Sgt Weston's family paid the following tribute:

"We are devastated by the loss of Baz; he was a caring, loving husband and son and a devoted father. He died doing the job he loved and we are very proud of him."

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE Royal Marines, Commanding Officer 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad 'Ali (North), said:

"Sgt Baz Weston joined 42 Commando shortly after the start of the tour. He was seconded from 30 Commando, where he had been a lynchpin in the unit and extremely dedicated to his mates and his job. Such was his commitment to the Royal Marines he volunteered, at short notice, to deploy to Afghanistan as a battle casualty replacement.

"Parachuted in as Multiple Commander in to an extremely demanding area with Kilo Company, he rose to the challenge with considerable ease and had an immediate and decisive impact.

"His passion for the men in his charge was obvious and he looked after their interests and welfare with a dogged determination; he was like a father figure to them and they looked on him with the utmost respect. One of life's real characters, he will be remembered for his dry, sharp sense of humour and canny ability to make light of the direst of situations.

"A hugely experienced individual and a weapons and reconnaissance specialist of note, Sgt Weston was an ardent custodian of the highest standards and the finest traditions of the Royal Marines.

"He was selfless and courageous to the end and when his life was tragically cut short, he was leading his men in an extremely high threat area with his trademark professional dependability.

"On the cusp of promotion, he still had so much to give and we have tragically been deprived of one of our finest Royal Marines Senior Non-Commissioned Officers.

"Gone but never forgotten, he will be remembered amongst the great and good and his memory will live on forever. Sgt Weston had two great passions; the Royal Marines and his family; a loving husband and doting father of three, you could never meet a more committed family man.

"At this unbearably difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Joanne, and his children, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose; may they somehow find the strength to face the days ahead."

Lieutenant Colonel James de Labillière DSO MBE, Commanding Officer, The First Battalion, The Rifles, Coalition Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), said:

"Sgt Weston had been with Kilo Company 42 Commando Royal Marines, attached to the 1 RIFLES Battle Group in Nahr-e Saraj (South) since May. He made an instant impression and quickly placed himself at the heart of the team of 'Black Knights' in Check Point SAQRA.

"The Company has been fighting a constant and pernicious close-in battle against IED layers and gunmen throughout the tour, partnered with the Afghan Police in a crucial area for the Battle Group's campaign.

"Sgt Weston showed his natural leadership and grit when the Multiple suffered casualties, guiding and supporting his team during some tough times. His natural character always shone through; enthusiastic always, laughing – almost constantly, he inspired by his selfless example and was utterly dedicated to the men he commanded.

"He was possessed with the type of humour and approach to life that never went unnoticed and had an instant effect on those around him. He also displayed dedication and commitment that inspired confidence in his men and epitomised the professionalism of the Royal Marines Commando.

"He will be sorely missed but our loss is nothing to that of his family, to whom he was so obviously devoted. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joanne and his beloved girls at this most tragic time.

"Swift and Bold."

Go here, spend some time with this fallen hero, in the words of those who love and know him the most.

Rest in Peace, Sir.

ALWAYS honoured and remembered - with gratitude and respect.

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