Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rifleman Mark Turner killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Rifleman Mark Turner from 3rd Battalion, The Rifles was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 4 April 2010.

Rifleman Turner was killed as a result of an explosion that happened while he was on a foot patrol against insurgents near Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge, in the Kajaki area of Helmand Province.

Rifleman Mark Turner

Rifleman Mark Turner was born on 11 October 1988. He grew up in Gateshead and was educated at Thomas Hepburn Community School and then went to work as a panel beater before joining the Army.

Rifleman Turner joined the Army in January 2006 at the age of eighteen, completing phase one training before joining Second Battalion the Light Infantry in the summer of 2006. Rifleman Turner was a trained Assault Pioneer and Team Medic and had been on several overseas exercises including Kenya and Belize. He had already been on one previous tour of duty in Afghanistan from September 2006 to April 2007 during which he was injured in a road traffic accident.

Rifleman Turner was killed on 04 April 2010 when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was patrolling with his platoon to the north of Kajaki, in Helmand, Afghanistan. He leaves behind his family and fiancée.

Rifleman Turner's family made the following statement:

"Mark was a proper Mammy's boy described by his loving family as being ‘daft as a brush'. He was a fanatical supporter of Newcastle United who looked forward to their imminent return to the Premier League, boasting about the fact that he had managed to watch the recent match against Nottingham Forest whilst out in Afghanistan.

"Mark loved to play poker and he also enjoyed listening to all types of music, having a distinct like of Dean Martin songs. He loved his food and regularly took up his passion of devouring cheese pizzas; however in food terms, nothing could surpass his desire of yellow Telly Tubby biscuits, sent out to him by his family.

"His fiancée said that he always insisted on perfection and referred to their affection when Mark said they were both like ‘peas and carrots'. Mark will be dearly missed by his mother Anne, fiancée Liesha, stepfather Joe, brother David and three sisters Lisa, Joanne and Julie."

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:

"Rifleman Mark Turner was a remarkable young man who took in his stride the toughest and most dangerous job available here in Afghanistan. Daily he took responsibility for the lives of his friends by putting himself out in front and clearing the ground of the deadly devices left by insurgents with nothing to call on but a metal detector and his own instincts. It typifies the selfless can-do, the unflinching get-on-with-the-job attitude of our Riflemen to see young men such as he carrying out this task willingly, without thought for their own safety, merely for that of their friends and comrades.

"Rifleman Turner was a much loved and respected member of his Company and of this Battle Group. His conduct and talents were nothing short of exemplary and he was blessed with a smile and a joke for every occasion. The kind of stoicism, humour and determination he showed on a daily basis is something of which our nation can be very proud. He has made an invaluable contribution to the marked achievements of his Company around the strategically crucial area of the Kajaki Dam in the very north of Helmand.

"Rifleman Turned died doing a job he loved and for which he had a prolific talent. His brothers in arms will miss both the security and confidence he provided and the warmth of his wit and friendship. His loss is a tragedy and is felt most keenly by all in the Battle Group. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fiancée Leisha at this terrible time. We know that they will remember him as we do; as an exceptional soldier and a loving, loyal friend."


  1. R.I.P. Mark.

    And thank you for making my family's and my life safe.

  2. You are a HERO.....May you Rest In Peace.

  3. R.I.P. Mark

    Italian Carabinieri WO III A. Pugliese