Tragic Marine had newborn baby
Published 31/08/2011 | 18:02
A Royal Marine killed by a roadside bomb as he led a patrol in southern Afghanistan had just become a father for the third time.
Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, of 42 Commando, died on a foot patrol in Sukmanda in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Tuesday.
His family said they were "devastated" by their loss and paid tribute to a "caring, loving husband and son and a devoted father".
Sgt Weston, known as "Baz", who was born in Reading, leaves behind his wife, Joanne, and their three daughters, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose.
He joined the Royal Marines in 1991 and served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq before volunteering to deploy to Afghanistan in May on attachment to 1 Rifles Battle Group.
The marine joined a small base called Check Point Saqra, where British troops partnered with Afghan police have battled insurgent gunmen and faced the threat of improvised explosive devices throughout their tour.
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison, commanding officer of 42 Commando Royal Marines, said Sgt Weston was "like a father figure" to the men in his charge.
He said: "He was selfless and courageous to the end and when his life was tragically cut short, he was leading his men in an extremely high threat area with his trademark professional dependability.
"On the cusp of promotion, he still had so much to give and we have tragically been deprived of one of our finest Royal Marines senior non-commissioned officers."
A total of 380 British troops have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.