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Corporal John Harrison
The Parachute Regiment

It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence confirms that Corporal John Harrison from The Parachute Regiment was killed in Afghanistan in the early hours of Wednesday 9 September 2009.

Corporal Harrison, aged 29, was part of an operation to free hostages from Taliban captivity. Stephen Farrell, a journalist of dual British/Irish nationality, was freed in the operation, which was supported by the Afghan authorities and our NATO allies. Sadly, it was not possible to rescue Mr Farrell's Afghan interpreter, Sultan Munadi.

Corporal John Harrison's Commanding Officer said:

"Corporal John Harrison was an immensely capable, self-effacing and highly likeable soldier with an irrepressible humour. His hallmark was an undemonstrative, yet profound, professionalism; he cared deeply about his work, and more deeply still about those he commanded and served alongside. He was an unflinching and inspirational man with a deep, deep pool of courage, who died as he lived, at the forefront of his men.

"He gave his life for his comrades and The Parachute Regiment, both of which meant so much to him. Although his passing is a sad day for us, every member of the Unit counts themselves privileged to have known such a tower of strength and we all are deeply honoured to have served alongside him.

"Our thoughts and prayers now turn to his family and friends at this most difficult time. We hope that in the midst of their profound loss, they can draw strength from the fond memories that we all share of this remarkable man."

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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


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