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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 06:19 GMT
Family hail 'truly amazing' marine
Jason Ward
Major Jason Ward: "Revelled in job"
A Royal Marine officer who died in a helicopter crash during the war in Iraq was "a truly amazing man" his family have said in a tribute.

Major Jason Ward, 34, was among eight Royal Marines and four US servicemen killed in the crash in Kuwait last Friday.

Major Ward, from south Devon, was attached to 3 Commando Brigade, based at Stonehouse barracks in Plymouth.

His family said in a statement: "Jason was the epitome of a Royal Marine.

"He was respected and revered by all who knew him.

"He volunteered for any type of active service and had worked all around the world.

'Miss him terribly'

"Jason was truly an amazing man."

Major Ward, a former pupil of Plymouth College, had always wanted to be in the Royal Marines and had been in the corps 15 years.

The family said: "He revelled in his job and would not have swapped his place on board the helicopter with anyone.

"He was proud to lead his troops into battle rather than follow from behind."

Major Ward's family said he always cared for the man in the uniform rather than the rank the man stood for, and was always prepared to say if he thought things were not right, many times at personal cost.

Floral tributes

"We will miss him terribly, choosing to believe that he had, once again, volunteered for more active service that, this time, has taken him to a far-flung corner of the globe where, in his selfless style, he was still doing his part for Queen and country."

Captain Philip Guy, 29, from north Yokshire, father-of-three Sergeant John Cecil, from Plymouth, and Lance Bombardier Llewellyn Evans, 24, from Llandudno, north Wales were also among the servicemen from 3 Commando Brigade who died.

Floral tributes have been continuing to grow outside Stonehouse barracks.

In one tribute, a single bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale was left for Sergeant Cecil with a card which read: "Dear John, I love you so much.

"This drink is on me (makes a change). Thinking of you always. Lots of love, Wendy."

She also left him a bouquet of flowers signed: "Your loving wife, Wendy."

Sergeant Cecil's daughter Paige also wrote her father a letter which read in part: "I love you so much and I am missing you.

"I wish you were here and I wish you'd come back to me... I don't want to go back to school."

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