Major Matthew Bacon – 01/08/1971 – 11/09/2005
Matthew was just 34 when he was murdered in Basra, Iraq. He had only completed five weeks of a six month posting. He was just reaching his full potential and had everything to live for. His life was full of happiness. It was one of his trademarks that whatever the situation, whatever the hardship, you would always find a smiling Matthew. He never let anything get him down.
He began his military life at just 17 as a Junior Leader passing out into the Army Air Corps. Seven years later, having seen service in the first Gulf War, Northern Ireland and the Former Yugoslavia, he was selected to enter RMA Sandhurst. In 1997 he was commissioned in to the Intelligence Corps and six years later he had risen to the rank of Major.
For Matthew life was for living and there was not a moment to lose in doing so. Relaxation to Matthew was either hurling himself down a piste on a snowboard at breakneck speed, scuba diving with sharks or skydiving. But he was also a useful boxer, a triathlon competitor and a mountaineer and rock climber. And in between times he could be persuaded to play rugby and football when he was not studying for an Open University degree in law.
Soldiering was his life and the men and women he soldiered with were all important to him. He was known as a “soldier’s soldier”. His enthusiasm was unquenchable and his concern for the wellbeing of those who worked with him was paramount.
Matthew was killed by a roadside bomb whilst travelling from Basra Palace to Basra airbase as a passenger in the rear of the leading Landrover “snatch” of a two vehicle convoy just after 11am on Sunday, 11th September 2005. The bomb was triggered by passive infra red for which there is no known counter measure. Three other soldiers were also severely wounded. He was the 95th soldier to die in Iraq since the commencement of the war on 20th March 2003 and the 8th to be killed by the use of passive infra red. The real tragedy is that he had been booked to go on the regular helicopter flight between those two places. If it were not for the breakdown because of a fault with the hydraulic systems of the Merlin helicopter that was due to collect him and 20 others from Basra Palace at 7am that morning he would be alive today.
To us, his parents, his brother and his soul mate he was truly a hero. We cannot imagine how life can go on without him.
It was a pleasure to of known you