Kent-based Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

9 February 2010, 12:35 | Updated: 10 February 2010, 10:58

The Ministry of Defence say a soldier from the 36 Engineer Regiment based at the Invicta Barracks in Maidstone was killed in Afghanistan yesterday.

David Markland was born in Euxton, Lancashire in 1973 and was 36 years old when he was killed in a blast whilst on a task in support of Battle Group (Centre South).

Warrant Officer Class 2 Markland enlisted in the Army in June 1989, joining the Corps of Royal Engineers as a Plant Operator Mechanic (POM).

This was Warrant Officer Class 2 Markland's eighth operational tour of duty during his distinguished 20 year service, having completed five tours in Bosnia between 1995 and 1998, one in Iraq in 2003 and this his second tour of Afghanistan.

He was posted to 70 Gurkha Field Support Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment RE, Maidstone, Kent in October 2007.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, said yesterday:

"It is my sad duty to inform you that a soldier from 36 Engineer Regiment, part of the Counter-IED Task Force, was killed by an explosion this morning in Nad 'Ali district.
"He was leading a team conducting route clearance operations at the time, making the way ahead safe for others to follow. His indomitable courage and fortitude, the hallmark of his profession, will not be forgotten."

A devoted family man, Warrant Officer Class 2 Markland leaves behind his wife Corallee and their two sons Keelen, aged 10 and Logan, aged 7.

WO2 Markland's family said:

"Dave was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother. His family and friends all loved and adored him. Keelen and Logan will always remember how funny and playful Dad was. He was proud to be in the British Army just like his Dad.

"We are very proud of Dave's achievements in his Army career; his soldiers, friends and officers all respected his selflessness and admired his style of leadership. He would have made the best Squadron Sergeant Major in the world!

"He will be sadly missed and leaves behind a family who he loved and loves him very, very much. We are all very proud of our hero."