13 December, 2006

Royal Marine Richard Watson

The Royal Marine killed yesterday in Afghanistan has been named as Marine Richard J Watson of 42 Commando, Royal Marines. The Ministry of Defence obituary paints a vivid picture of Marine Watson in life:

Royal Marine Richard Watson, from Caterham, Surrey, joined the Royal Marines on 13 June 2005. Richard, 23, was known by his friends as 'Richie' and joined 4 Troop K Company directly from training in April 2006. Following a period of intense training he deployed with the rest of the unit to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The aura surrounding Marine Watson was 'once touched, never forgotten'. He radiated an infectious sense of humour that established him as a widely held friend to all in Kilo Company. Never without a smile, even in the harsh conditions presented on operations, he strove to encourage all with his enthusiasm for a job he openly loved. It was this infectious fervour by which he led his Fire Team. His decision-making displayed a calm, level-headedness much beyond his years, which quickly identified him early as a candidate for promotion. He radiated confidence to those in his charge thus ensuring any task given to his Fire Team was diligently completed, with a reliability all came to trust.

Marine Watson was a passionate man who loved life. He strove to excel and see a task through, be it his doggedness in the field on operations, or physical training with his Troop. There was a natural edge to his character that underlined a competitive streak. He was always the front man on a run and the first to lead his Fire Team into the assault, his character inspiring those around him.

His passion for life was much in evidence to all that knew him. Marine Watson often talked frankly and honestly about his love for his family and girlfriend, and was an avid letter writer.

Marine Watson loved to play the joker, which made him popular with all his colleagues. He was always quick to play a prank on others but always first to laugh at a joke at his own expense. To lose a colleague like Richie is a heavy blow to all. He will be missed for his friendly approachable manner, his selfless diligent work ethic and above all his irrepressible sense of good fun.
The BBC, along with Metro and Marine Watson's local paper, icSurrey lead the tributes.

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