Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tribute to a Brit Soldier, "'He disobeyed a direct order so that he could render life-saving first aid to a colleague..."

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

This was demonstrated by this British Soldier who gave his life, disobeying a direct order to save his friend's life and sacrificing his own.....

This is why I see the British as our greatest allies. We share a kindredship with them that transcend politics. POTUS acts like a petulant child towards them but all true Americans admire the Brits for their steadfast support for the " Colonies " as they like to call us.

To the Family of Private Martin Bell, you have our thanks, condolences and undying support. We too mourn the loss of this brave soldier.

'Epitome of courage': Mother's grief as soldier who defied orders to save injured comrade is buried By Richard Hartley-Parkinson
UK Mail - 26th February 2011

A paratrooper who died while disobeying a direct order so he could help a wounded friend was described at his funeral today as 'the epitome of courage and the finest example of what makes this country great'.

Private Martin Bell, 24, was the 350th UK military fatality in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

Pte Bell, from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was fatally wounded by the blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) to the south of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province on January 25.
He was struck as he moved to help a comrade injured by another device.

Today, hundreds of mourners packed Bradford Cathedral for a funeral service with full military honours.

The mourners were led by his parents Elaine and Simon, along with his brothers Oliver and Philip.

They were told about Martin's bravery and how, without his bravery, his friend would have died on the battlefield.

He was killed moments later when an IED exploded south of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand Province a month ago.

One mourner laid a wreath of red chrysanthemums and roses nestled inside a pair of black Nike trainers - symbolic to his friends since he was known to lose his training shoes.

With it, a card that read: 'Dear Martin, Just in case you lose your trainers again. I'll never forget you and will love you always. Miss you already.'

Shortly before the funeral, Lt Col Andrew Harrison of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment paid his respects to Martin
He said: 'He was a great soldier, a great family man and a great friend and he died in the most courageous of circumstances.

'He disobeyed a direct order so that he could render life-saving first aid to a colleague and for that exceptional valour he paid the ultimate price.

'He will always be remembered as a true hero.'

Martin's coffin, which was carried by eight colleagues from his regiment, was draped in a Union Jack flag and adorned with his maroon beret, a belt, and a wreath of poppies.

His mother, Elaine, is hugged by a soldier. She wrote: 'I love you so much Marts, my heart is in pieces and the pain is unbearable.'

As his coffin was slowly taken inside, it was followed by 20 family members, including mum, Elaine, dad, Simon and brothers Oliver and Philip, who comforted their parents
All of the family members wore burgundy silk scarves as a mark of respect to their fallen hero.

A lone piper played "Amazing Grace" as four hearses, including one carrying a wreath that read "Marts", as he was affectionately known by his family, entered the Cathedral grounds.

Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of Bradford Cathedral, led the service which lasted just over an hour. The moving service began with The Lord of the Dance hymn and included readings from Martin's parents, brothers, and Lt Col Harrison.

"The Climb" by Joe McElderry could be heard echoing from the cathedral as mourners wept.

Mum Elaine told the congregation that despite being nervous to do a reading, she took strength from the courage her son had shown during his time in service.

She thanked his regiment for the support they have provided the family and said: 'I now know why Martin was so proud to be part of such an incredible force.

'Martin told me that if anything were ever to happen to him, we were all to celebrate his life and that's what we're doing now.'
Before the service the family said: 'He had a wicked and infectious sense of humour that would have served him well in difficult times.

'We are a very close knit family and although we are grieving for his loss, we hope that other soldiers out there will keep safe.

'Pte Martin Bell's name will be carved into the chronicles of history.'
As 12 soldiers from Martin's regiment fired three shots into the air in honour of their fallen comrade, the sounds of Brian May's 'No-one but you' could be heard playing inside the Cathedral.

Martin's proud dad, Simon, wrote on a tribute of white flowers that lay next to his son's coffin: 'My darling Martin, my son, my brother, my best friend, my hero, my everything.'

Elaine wrote: 'To mummy's little soldier, what does a mum put to her son? I love you so much Marts, my heart is in pieces and the pain is unbearable. I am so proud of you, please look after us. Love Mum.'

A touching tribute, laid by friend Sarah, said: 'You stole my heart a long time ago, now you have taken it with you and it will be forever yours. I will always love you and never forget you. A true hero, my hero, all my love.'

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