After a short pause i thought it was time to honour a hero recently passed on in tragic circumstances.
Sergeant Paul McGeogh Royal Marines Special Boat Service.
In 2001 Paul was one of the heroes of the operation at the Qala-I-Jangi jail near the town of Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan. He was a very well respected sergeant in the SBS who was famously pictured on several occasions with his face covered by a shemagh and wearing a green civilian vest. He was also filmed standing firing a GPMG over the walls of the jail. He was one of an eight man team, working with an attached SEAL (who although he has been named under other circumstances i won't for OpSec reasons) and a CIA agent. He was one of the first wave of SBS men sent to Afghanistan when the deployment began.
Paul's story and that of the team are to be told in a book recently released called 'Bloody Heroes'. I'm certain it will be a great read and a fitting tribute to all who served during the operation. (In the book Paul is identified as 'Stevie 'Ruff' Pouncer'. His nickname to the lads was 'Scruff' in real life.
Sad to say that Paul was killed on holiday in a hang-gliding accident whilst on holiday with his family a couple of months ago following his retirement from active duty.
Paul was the SBS Marine who was nominated for the Medal of Honour and was infamously refused it by the then British defence secretary. He was awarded a 'Mention In Despatches' for his part in the op.
Paul was 41 when he died and leaves a wife and children.
(As an aside, it was his pictures and appearance Cpl Ho used to form the basis for his kitbash a couple of months ago, so ironically it was a very timely and fitting tribute).
He will be much missed by his 'oppo's.