Paratrooper from Colchester Garrison dies on duty in Afghanistan
PUBLISHED: 11:13 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2020
A British paratrooper from Colchester has died while serving his country in Afghanistan.
Private Joseph Berry, from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Colchester, died from "non-battle injuries" in Kabul on February 22.
The 21-year-old, originally from Crewe in Cheshire, passed out of training in April 2018 before being posted to 2 Para in Essex.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said he was one of only a few soldiers who completed their initial training in one attempt.
Upon completion of his training. Pte Berry was deployed in Afghanistan on Operation TORAL 9 last November, where he was based out of New Kabul Compound.
His role was to deploy to locations throughout the Afghan capital to provide security for a host of advisors.
It was Pte Berry's first operational deployment following a series of training exercises across the UK, Kenya and Belize.
Before his death, the MOD said he was a contender to attend the Potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre, where he would compete for promotion to Lance Corporal.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Taylor, Commanding Officer of Second Battalion, said: "The death of this exceptional and compassionate paratrooper is truly heart breaking and his loss will be felt deeply by his family, friends and those who served alongside him.
"We extend our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to all who knew and loved him."
Pte Berry's family paid tribute in a statement: "Joe was a much-loved son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson and friend.
"Joe's main aim in life was to help people in trouble. He was a kind, generous gentleman who would do anything for anybody.
"Although this is the hardest thing to write it is also the easiest because he was the sweetest most beautiful boy who grew to be the most incredible man who gave everything to his friends and family.
"He had a love of singing, animals, nature and exploring the world.
"Joe was proud and his family are proud of him becoming a paratrooper, it was his life's ambition.
"His family are devastated by his loss."
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