104th British soldier: death in Iraq

Lt Palmer, 27, from Ware in Hertfordshire, died of his injuries on Saturday after the vehicle he was commanding was caught in an explosion near Dayr, north-west of Basra, the Ministry of Defence said.

I switched on the TV at some time over the Easter weekend and watched an interview with this unfortunate soldier’s parents. His father was a military man and delivered his piece with a quintessentially British stiff upper lip – he showed no emotion when talking about his recently deceased son.

It was a strange media moment, all the more because the death was so recent and the delivery so uncoloured. Maybe this is what Sandhurst produces – people with bizarre eyebrows and no emotion. His mother said nothing during the interview, but since she was wearing sunglasses we can assume she was as moved as any mother would be, at the same time trying not to betray her loss.

Yesterday his father, Brigadier John Palmer, said in a statement that his son had been proud to be a soldier. “He was very well aware of the dangers that he and others faced in Iraq, but he believed that the work they were doing was gradually making life better for the Iraqi people.

“Richard was a very talented and popular young man who achieved a lot in his life. We are immensely proud of him, whilst nothing can make his loss any easier, we are just thankful that the other members of his troop, of whom he thought so much, were not seriously injured.”

One Reply to “104th British soldier: death in Iraq”

  1. Funny I saw that interview too – twice actually. I was astonished at how much the two smiled, both in the cliched walking-towards-the-camera episode and the subsequent interview.
    It felt surreal that the two could smile given the tragedy that has hit their lives.
    This surely is ‘stiff upper lip’ gone mad!

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