Friday, April 2, 2010

Guardsman Michael Sweeney killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Guardsman Michael Sweeney from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards was killed in Afghanistan on 1 April 2010.

Guardsman Sweeney died as a result of an explosion that happened in the Babaji District of central Helmand province.

The last three and a half months saw Guardsman Sweeney deploy on the full range of complex combat operations in the Babaji area.

As well as conducting daily patrols he was involved in the security of Check Points near his Patrol Base.

It was whilst on patrol to one of these Check Points with a resupply for his comrades that Guardsman Sweeney trod on a hidden bomb which took his life.

Guardsman Michael Sweeney

Guardsman Michael Sweeney joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards after training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. He was posted to Number 2 Company in May 2008 for a short time before being posted to Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards based in London.

In his short time in the Army Guardsman Sweeney achieved a huge amount. In June 2008 he paraded on the Queen's Birthday Parade followed by a jungle Exercise in Belize later that same year. With a short turnaround in the UK he soon deployed to Kenya in January 2009 for an extended exercise before returning to London to take part, once again, in the Queen's Birthday Parade.

Surrounding his time in Number 7 Company was the knowledge that he would most likely deploy to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 11 and he therefore participated in elements of the Battalion's pre-deployment training. In December 2009 Guardsman Sweeney was posted back to the 1st Battalion and deployed to Helmand Province.

Guardsman Sweeney was posted to Number 2 Platoon in Number 1 Company, based in Patrol Base 4 in the Babaji Area of Operations. He deployed on the full range of complex combat operations. As well as conducting daily patrols he was involved in the security of Check Points near his Patrol Base.

Guardsman Sweeney aspired to join the Signal Platoon on return from this tour and then attend a Junior Non Commissioned Officer course. He was a young but very motivated Guardsman who thrived in the environs of Helmand Province. He was a highly likeable and respected member of a very close knit company.

Guardsman Sweeney was aged 19 and came from Blyth in Northumberland. He leaves behind his parents Michael and Kimberley, brother Shaun and fiancée Michelle.

Guardsman Sweeney's family paid the following tribute:

"We are devastated by the loss of Michael. He was the greatest son, brother and fiance to Michelle you could possibly ask for. Michael was a proud Guardsman and we are immensely proud of what Michael has achieved in such a short lifetime.

"Michael loved to spend time with family and friends which meant so much to him and he was extremely giving to all. He touched so many people's hearts and he will be greatly missed."

Lieutenant Colonel T W Gray (Toby), Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, said:

"A true son of the north country; proud Northumbrian, true Coldstreamer and outstanding soldier. Beyond this, he was simply a super bloke. Michael Sweeney was selfless amongst his friends, dedicated to his duty and utterly professional at all times. His self effacing humour and generous nature were the hallmarks of his service in the Regiment and values by which he lived his life. He improved the lives of all he met.

"He crammed much into his short time in the military, more than many do in a full career. A born enthusiast, he was a net contributor to the team and to all who worked alongside him. His star was rapidly rising and the foundations of a highly successful career lay before him. He served his Battalion, Company and Platoon bravely and honourably.

"He fought bravely on the battlefield and brought light into the hearts of his comrades. His tragic and untimely death has robbed us of one of the brightest young guardsmen in the Regiment. We take solace in the fact that he died in the course of doing the job he loved and was passionate about.

"Always smiling, always happy, always thinking of others; he will be most sorely missed by his comrades in the Coldstream family. Our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with Michael's fiancée Michelle and parents as they attempt to come to terms with their loss at this most tragic time."


  1. R.I.P Hero: Words will never be enough to ease the pain your family, friends and colleagues will endure but my prayers and thoughts are with you All. May God give you the strenght to carry on: x

  2. My name is Michael Sweeney and I live in Essex I am 60. I am so proud of our forces and what they do in the most difficult circumstances. When I heard the news of Michaels death at the weekend I was away with my grandaughter and family and realised even more that my namesake and many other such young men will never experience what I have. But it is not a waste as with the right leadership they keep our doorstep safe. My feelings go out to him and his family and friends

  3. I never knew you and I'm unsure if we have even ever met.

    Chances are we have done though, as I reside in Blyth. Born & bred.

    My <3 goes out to your family & friends and I'm so sorry you had to pay the ultimate sacrafice for your country.

    You've achieved more in your 19yrs than I will ever achieve.

    R.I.P. Blyth's Hero.

  4. Stand Easy... , young Hero , Time to leave the square You have honoured your Uniform, & paid the ultimate sacrafice in Laying down your Young life for your "oppoes" In time you would have made a good CSM.

    R.I.P. Micky Sweeny

    Para instructor, ITC, Catt Gsn

  5. I am Michael's father and I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts. We will never forget Michael because of all of the lives he touched with the love and respect he had for everyone around him. Michael was a tremendous young man, he always went out of his way to give support and friendship to all.
    I am so sad that the world will always seem poorer for his loss, we will never know the man, husband and father he would have become.
    Rest in peace my son - I shall see you again my beautiful boy