Soldier killed in road tragedy
A YOUNG soldier with a promising career ahead of him has been killed in a tragic accident which also claimed the lives of two of his friends.Brendan Mitchell, 20, a sapper with 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, was killed in a car crash in Paderborn, Germany.
A YOUNG soldier with a promising career ahead of him has been killed in a tragic accident which also claimed the lives of two of his friends.
Brendan Mitchell, 20, a sapper with 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, was killed in a car crash in Paderborn, Germany.
Mr Mitchell, who grew up in Clacton, was a passenger in a car with three other young soldiers. A 19-year-old and a 25-year-old, both from Scotland, were also killed in the crash on October 26. Another passenger, a soldier from Maidstone, is in hospital in Germany with serious injuries.
The soldiers, who were all friends, were off duty and were on a shopping trip. The car they were travelling in left the road and crashed into a tree. No other cars were involved.
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Yesterday Mr Mitchell's mother, Julie, paid tribute to her son. A former pupil at Colbayns High School, his achievements included a Chief Scout Award and Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards. He was a senior greenbelt judo instructor and a black belt in Kung Fu.
"He packed a lot into his 20 years," said Mrs Mitchell, who lives in Arnold Road, Clacton.
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"He had lots of friends. There will be a full military funeral. I think the church will be packed. We've had 140 cards and they just keep coming every day.
"I've had youngsters from judo and scouts contacting me and it's just so comforting to hear from them. He made a very big impact on their lives."
Mr Mitchell joined the Army two years ago, after first spending one year on a plumbing course at Colchester Institute. He always wanted to join the Army and was in the cadets when he was at school. He was expected to have a long and prosperous career.
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rider, said: "Sapper Mitchell was a robust character with his determination and tenacity coming through when times were hard. A keen judo instructor, he had a sense of humour that kept those around him smiling."
Mrs Mitchell last saw her son on September 12 when he returned to the regimental base in Paderborn after completing a carpentry course in Chatham.
Mr Mitchell leaves his mother, father, Brian, and two older brothers, Simon and Stephen.
His funeral is on Armistice Day, at Trinity Methodist Church, Clacton, at 12 noon. Donations can be made to the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund, care of Lesley Barlow, Clacton Funeral Service, 98 Station Road, Clacton, CO15 6AA.