Michael Lockett

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Michael Lockett
Birth nameMichael Christopher Lockett
Nickname(s)Locky
Born(1980-06-11)11 June 1980
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Died21 September 2009(2009-09-21) (aged 29)
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Buried
Linn Cemetery, Glasgow, Scotland
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1996-2009
RankSergeant
Service number25061301
UnitWorcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment
Mercian Regiment
AwardsMilitary Cross

Sergeant Michael Christopher Lockett MC (11 June 1980 – 21 September 2009)[1] was a British soldier, killed in action in Afghanistan aged 29. An improvised explosive device which he was investigating exploded injuring Lockett and two other soldiers. Lockett died before he reached hospital. In June 2008 Lockett was presented the Military Cross by Queen Elizabeth II, for his efforts in an attempt to recover the bodies of Pte. Johan Botha and Sgt. Craig Brelsford, as well as successfully rescuing four other injured soldiers. He is the first soldier to die on operations who has been awarded the Military Cross since World War II.

Early life[edit]

Lockett studied at Longcroft School in Beverley. He had spent the majority of his career as a machine gunner,[2] when, in 1996, he joined the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in Tidworth Camp. At this time he held many qualifications, such as the Jungle Warfare Instructor and Military Tracking Instructor.[2][3]

Military Cross[edit]

While fighting in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick VI in September 2007, Lockett, then a corporal,[citation needed] and the rest of his unit, were commanded to penetrate enemy lines, and ruin their posts.[3] The soldiers dubbed the mission 'Operation Certain Death', but carried it out nonetheless.[citation needed] However, they were ambushed by Taliban troops. The ambush caused the death of Private Johan Botha and Sergeant Craig Brelsford, as well as inflicting injuries on four other soldiers. Michael led the remaining soldiers in an attempt to retrieve the bodies, and rescue the four injured soldiers.[3] For his "leadership, command, control and supreme courage", Lockett was awarded the Military Cross on 7 March 2008, which he later received from Queen Elizabeth II.[3][4]

Death[edit]

At the time of his death on 21 September 2009, Lockett was working with the Afghan National Army, at Patrol Base Sandford.[5] He had volunteered to stay at the base because new soldiers were due to arrive, and he wanted to ensure they knew as much about the local area as possible.[6] He was investigating an improvised explosive device, when it detonated, killing him, and injuring two nearby soldiers. As well as being the 217th British soldier to die in Afghanistan since October 2001, he is the first soldier who has been awarded the Military Cross to later die there.[7][8][9]

Memorial and tribute[edit]

Lockett's body was flown back to Britain on 29 September, where hundreds filled the streets to pay tribute to him.[10] Lockett's school friends Kate Atkinson, Rochelle Booth, Kelly Jackson and Rebecca Knowles started up The Lockett Fund, which has raised hundreds of pounds for the charity Help for Heroes.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Lockett, known as "Locky" to his comrades,> was the father of three. He was in a relationship with Belinda English.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personal Details: Lockett, Michael". Armed Forces Memorial roll of honour. GOV.UK. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Military Cross hero, Sergeant Michael Lockett, killed in Afghanistan". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Hero Scot killed in Afghanistan was 'most impressive soldier I've ever met', says his commander". Daily Record. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  4. ^ "No. 58633". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 March 2008. p. 3613.
  5. ^ "Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett MC killed in Afghanistan". Defence News. Ministry of Defence. 22 September 2009.
  6. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (22 September 2009). "Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Has Been Awarded Military Cross". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Military Cross Holder Killed In Afghanistan". Sky News. Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Medal hero Michael Lockett, 29, dies in action in Afghanistan". Daily Mirror. UK. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Afghanistan: Hero-sergeant decorated by Queen is killed". AGI News On. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Schoolfriends' tribute fund to Sgt Lockett". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 September 2009.

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