Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, aged 22, from Pontardawe in Swansea, died as a result of an explosion near Musa Qaleh in Afghanistan on the morning of Saturday 14 March 2009. He was part of a foot patrol from C Company the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh who are working to help extend and enforce the writ of the Government of Afghanistan.
LCpl Harkett was trained at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate and subsequently at Catterick before joining the Battalion in March 2004 in Paderborn, Germany. He started in B (Rorke's Drift) Company and soon afterwards deployed with them to Iraq where he did exceptionally well.
He trained as a Team Medic so that he could look after his mates if they were injured, trained as a Warrior Gunner so that he could defend himself and his colleagues, and later qualified as a signaller so that he could ensure that critical information was passed to the Headquarters as soon as possible.
Being an intelligent man LCpl Harkett was always quick to learn, but he was also very dedicated and keen to help. He showed great promise and earlier than normal, was selected for a promotion cadre in September 2005. He was promoted to Lance Corporal the following January.
LCpl Harkett then transferred to the elite Reconnaissance Platoon as he was an experienced and very able soldier, and deployed with them on a very demanding and dangerous tour in Iraq in 2007 where again he did very well.He was one of the first to volunteer to deploy with his mates to Afghanistan as a sniper. He had already had a full and successful career and had a very bright future ahead of him, just like his father and grandfather before him.
LCpl Harkett was very much a son of the Regiment and has been known by many as a boy and now as a man. His grandfather joined the 2nd Battalion the South Wales Borderers in 1946 and earned a commendation on operations in Malaya; his father joined the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1984 and had an excellent career over 26 years reaching Warrant Officer Class 1.
LCpl Harkett was born only two years after his father joined the Regiment in 1986 and has grown up with many of today's soldiers or their children. He was always at the centre of the fun and was always liked by those who met him.He was a keen and active boy gaining all sorts of awards for outdoor pursuits and playing football in a local league. It was natural for him to join his father's Regiment as soon as he could which is what he did as a boy soldier in December 2002.