Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Am in No Doubt He Saved the Lives of Many of His Fellow Men; CO's Tribute to Soldier Who Laid Down His Life

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Am in No Doubt He Saved the Lives of Many of His Fellow Men; CO's Tribute to Soldier Who Laid Down His Life

Article excerpt

Byline: ALASTAIR CRAIG

TRIBUTES were paid today to a Tyneside soldier killed protecting his comrades in Afghanistan.

Rifleman Mark Turner, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died on Sunday after a roadside bomb blast in the Kajaki area of Helmand province.

The 21-year-old from Gateshead, leaves his fiancee Liesha, mother Anne, stepfather Joe, brother Dave and three sisters Lisa, Joanne and Julie.

The Newcastle United fan, nicknamed Turtle, worked as a panel beater before joining the army four years ago.

Today Rifleman Turner's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, hailed the "remarkable young man who took in his stride the toughest and most dangerous job available here in Afghanistan". He added: "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.

"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 died doing a job he loved and for which he had a prolific talent."

During a previous tour of duty in Afghanistan from September 2006 to April 2007, he was injured in a road accident, the Ministry of Defence said.

A family statement described him as a "Mammy's boy" and added: "He was a fanatical supporter of Newcastle United who looked forward to their imminent return to the Premier League.

"He boasted about the fact that he had managed to watch the recent match against Nottingham Forest whilst out in Afghanistan. …

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