Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett MC, of 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 21 September 2009.
Acting Sergeant Lockett was on a dismounted patrol near Patrol Base SANDFORD in the Gereshk district of Helmand province when an explosion detonated, killing him before he could be extracted to hospital.
He was investigating and confirming the find of an Improvised Explosive Device when it exploded. Two other soldiers were injured in the same incident.
Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett MC
Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett, from Monifieth in Angus, joined 1st Battalion the Worcester and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (1 WFR) in Tidworth in 1996. The WFR became 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) in 2007.
Sergeant Lockett took part in every operational deployment and exercise the Battalion undertook; he served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and in 2009 he returned for his third tour of Afghanistan.
At Garmsir in 2007, as Platoon Sergeant in A (Grenadier) Company he displayed selfless commitment and unshakable bravery fighting and leading his Platoon to rescue wounded comrades trapped in a Taleban ambush. For his actions that night he received one of the nation's highest awards for gallantry, The Military Cross.
He spent the large majority of his career as a Machine Gunner but he held many other qualifications including Jungle Warfare Instructor and Military Tracking Instructor.
His deployment to Afghanistan in 2009 was as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battlegroup. He was working and operating alongside the Warriors of the Afghan National Army at Patrol Base Sandford in the Upper Gereshk Valley. His professionalism set the finest example to the Afghan Warriors. He was an inspirational leader.
Locky, as he was known to his friends, will always be remembered for his infectious laugh and prominence as a man. His leadership style was the exact mix of compassion and steel which garnered the respect of both those he led and those he served.
He was nearing the end of his tour when he died. He volunteered to stay on at his patrol base to ensure that the incoming soldiers knew as much as they could about the local area and they could reap the benefits of his vast local knowledge.
Leading men and setting an example was a familiar position for Sergeant Lockett, he died doing a job he loved and he earned the highest respect from all those who knew and worked with him. Sergeant Lockett leaves behind his children Connor (eight), Chloe (seven) and Courtney (five), family, and his girlfriend Belinda.
His Girlfriend, Belinda English, said:
"For Queen and Country."
His parents, Mal and April paid the following tribute:
"We are immensely proud of Mike - he was everything that we could ever have wanted in a son and was a devoted father to Connor, Chloe and Courtney. He was always positive, and always seemed larger than life.
"Words simply cannot express what he meant to his close and wider family and his many friends. His passing has left a huge void in all our lives that can never be filled. We can only take solace in the fact that he died doing a job that he was born to do with his 'boys' in 2 MERCIAN Regiment.
"He would want us all to celebrate his life by remembering the many good times, with a cold beer, broad smile and looking forward to the future."