In Memory Of...

Private Ben Ford

of the Mercian Regiment

Private Ben Ford, who died on 5 September, 2007, aged 18, was serving in Afghanistan with the newly-formed Mercian Regiment when he was tragically killed by a roadside bomb.

Pte Ford was originally from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, but had been living in Derby before going to Afghanistan on his first overseas tour of duty.

His hometown remained important to him and colleagues described him as a proud "Chessie Boy". He loved his job in the Army and was seen by his superiors as a highly capable soldier with a bright future ahead of him.

A talented and determined boxer, who competed in Battalion boxing tournaments, he was described by colleagues as the “life and soul of the party.”

Almost 200 people attended his funeral on September 18, 2007, at Chesterfield crematorium.

Pte Ben Ford, affectionately known as "Fordy", joined the Army on 29 July, 2005. He trained at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick and was posted to Hounslow, West London, to join the 1st Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment on 20 February, 2006.

Pte Ford took part in public duties and pre-deployment training before being deployed to Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan.

On 5 September, 2007, Pte Ford was participating in a routine reassurance patrol in the Lashkar Gah region when a roadside bomb exploded, hitting the WMIK Landrover he was travelling in.

Pte Ford and his friend and colleague Pte Damian Wright from Mansfield were both killed instantly. Another soldier, Lance Corporal Ryan Knight, and an interpreter who were injured in the explosion were flown by helicopter to the ISAF medical facility at Camp Bastion for treatment. The interpreter later died of his injuries.

Their regiment - formerly the Sherwood Foresters - had just merged with two other units to form the Mercians and the two soldiers were the first fatalities for the newly formed Battalion. Their deaths bring the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan to 76.

Pte Ford leaves behind his family and girlfriend.


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