Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 18:10 UK

'Popular' marine lost to 'friendly fire'

L/Cpl Mathew Ford
L/Cpl Ford lived in Dundee with his fiancee Ina

Royal Marine Commando Mathew Ford, who died in Afghanistan in a so-called friendly-fire incident, was "popular and respected" say his colleagues.

The thirty year old Lance Corporal, who had served for six years at the time of his death, was killed by a shot fired from a British Viking armoured vehicle, in an advance on a Taleban fort in Helmand on 15 January 2007.

He was three months into his Afghanistan deployment with 45 Commando's Zulu Company when he took part in the storming of the enemy stronghold Jugroom Fort.

'Popular and gregarious'

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar, described him as "popular and gregarious" and said his "professionalism, reliability, and selflessness as well as his sharp wit marked him out from the crowd".

He said: "He was an excellent Royal Marine and promising junior commander who died doing the job he loved and will be sorely missed."

L/Cpl Ford's Marine career began with 1 Assault Group Royal Marines in Poole after he passed out from the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, where he earned the coveted Green Beret.

He will be remembered for his ability to lift the spirits of those around him with his sharp wit and his ability to see the lighter side of life
Major Nick Holloway

He went on to complete military driver training at Leconfield before joining the Commando Logistic Regiment near Barnstaple in Devon.

He then returned to Lympstone to be trained as a heavy weapons specialist before joining 45 Commando in Arbroath, Scotland in October 2004.

During his time in 45 Commando, he was sent to Norway where he completed the arduous cold weather warfare course at the beginning of 2006.

Major Nick Holloway, Rear Party Commanding Officer of 45 Commando at RM Condor in Arbroath, said L/Cpl Ford was "popular and well respected" and "an excellent example of a Royal Marine".

"He will be remembered for his ability to lift the spirits of those around him with his sharp wit and his ability to see the lighter side of life."

L/Cpl Ford was brought up in Immingham, Lincolnshire, where his mother Joan and stepfather "Bootsie" still live.

He has two younger brothers, Thomas and Scott. He lived in Dundee with his fiancee Ina, a student.




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