Ann-Marie Spittle


Sergeant Barry Keen: KIA Afghanistan 29th July 2007
Sergeant Barry Keen: KIA Afghanistan 29th July 2007
I saw a picture today
That caused my blood to run cold
A face to my poem
I did not wish to see in remembrance

Not this father, husband, son
Not this old forgotten friend
From the mists of the other country
Called the past

The past returned
The life attached
The remembrance began
With it came realisation
For if the words and voices do not remember
Who will?

Author’s Note: Dedicated to Sergeant Barry Keen: KIA Afghanistan 29th July 2007

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Sergeant Barry Keen of 14 Signal Regiment, killed by a mortar attack in Afghanistan on Friday 27 July 2007.

Sergeant Keen was serving as a communications specialist with 245 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals, attached to Battle Group (South). The Battle Group is currently deployed on Operation CHAKUSH (or ‘hammer’), a deliberate operation to defeat the Taliban in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

The operation was in its fourth day of fierce fighting when Sergeant Keen was killed in an indirect fire attack on a compound near the village of Mirmandab. He and his team were reorganising themselves in a secured area after acting in support of the Afghan National Army, when a single mortar round landed next to Sergeant Keen.

Despite being located with the Regimental Aid Post and receiving immediate medical treatment, sadly Sergeant Keen’s injuries were too severe and he died.

Sergeant Barry Keen, aged 34, was from Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, and had spent nearly 18 years in the Army having joined in August 1989; his long and industrious career included tours in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.