At around midnight on Friday 21 March 2003, 24 hours after the invasion of Iraq by the Coalition commenced, a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border. On board were eight servicemen from 3 Commando Brigade and four aircrew from the United States Forces. All twelve were killed by the crash.
Amongst the eight British servicemen who died was Mark Stratford. Mark, aged 39, was a Warrant Officer Second Class in the Royal Marines.
Mark Stratford climbed South Georgia's highest mountain Mt Paget in 1995, and in 2004 his widow made a personal pilgrimage to the Island following Mark’s death. Mark was a Royal Marine Mountain Leader. He was stationed in South Georgia for a five-month tour from October 1994 to February 1995.