Thursday, February 11, 2010

WO2 David Markland killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Warrant Officer Class 2 David Markland from 36 Engineer Regiment who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 8 February 2010.

Warrant Officer Class 2 David (Dave) Markland deployed on Operation HERRICK 11 as a Royal Engineer Search Advisor with the Joint Force EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Group, as part of the Counter-IED Task Force.

WO2 Markland was born in Euxton, Lancashire, in 1973 and was 36 years old when he was tragically killed in an IED blast whilst on a task in support of Battle Group (Centre South).

WO2 Markland enlisted in the Army in June 1989, joining the Corps of Royal Engineers as a Plant Operator Mechanic. As a 'Sapper' he proved himself a highly capable and adaptable soldier who was keen to expand his engineering knowledge. He rose through the ranks to become a Military Plant Foreman in 2005.

An excellent instructor, he had numerous trade qualifications and his passion for instruction was evident in the zest and enthusiasm he brought to every training opportunity.

This was WO2 Markland's eighth operational tour of duty during his distinguished 20-year service, having completed five tours in Bosnia between 1995 and 1998, one in Iraq in 2003, and this his second tour of Afghanistan.

He was posted to 70 Gurkha Field Support Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment, in Maidstone, Kent, in October 2007. Having completed the Royal Engineer Search Advisor course in spring 2009, he carried out training with the Joint Force EOD Group prior to deploying on Operation HERRICK 11 in October 2009. As part of the Counter-IED Task Force, WO2 Markland led a team of Royal Engineer Advanced Search Specialists responsible for conducting route clearances in support of the Battle Groups.

Such was the quality of the man that he was recently selected for a Field Squadron Sergeant Major's post which is a rare occurrence in the plant specialist trade. WO2 Markland strove to constantly better himself and, having completed a Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering, he was studying to complete his full degree.

A robust and fit individual who had a passion for camping, mountaineering and trekking, WO2 Markland loved to organise adventurous training for soldiers worldwide as well as enjoying both rugby and basketball. A devoted family man, WO2 Markland leaves behind his wife Corallee and their two sons Keelen, aged 10, and Logan, aged 7.

WO2 Markland's family said:

"Dave was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother. His family and friends all loved and adored him. Keelen and Logan will always remember how funny and playful Dad was. He was proud to be in the British Army just like his Dad.

"We are very proud of Dave's achievements in his Army career; his soldiers, friends and officers all respected his selflessness and admired his style of leadership. He would have made the best Squadron Sergeant Major in the world!

"He will be sadly missed and leaves behind a family who he loved and loves him very, very much. We are all very proud of our hero."

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