St Asaph, North Wales, UK
Army, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) B (Malta) Company
6/4/2010, Nahr-e Saraj District, Afghanistan
Lance Corporal Alan Cochran deployed with B (Malta) Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), part of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup, which forms the Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) area of Helmand Province in March 2010.
B (Malta) Company have improved the quality of the lives of hundreds of local nationals around the villages of Nahr-e Saraj by providing reassurance to the Afghans and improving local freedom of movement to promote Afghan economic development. It was during a foot patrol aimed at dominating the ground around a known enemy movement corridor that Lance Corporal Alan Cochran was killed in action during an exchange of fire with insurgent forces.
Lance Corporal Alan Cochran was 23 years old and born in St Asaph, North Wales. He enlisted into the Army in 2006, was trained at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick and posted to the 1st Battalion The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment in 2007. He had previously served in Northern Ireland and on operations in Iraq.
Lance Corporal Cochran’s mother Mrs Shirley Jane Cochran & family said:
“Alan was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Alan who was a loving son, grand son and brother. We are proud of the fact that Alan was prepared to do his duty helping the people of Afghanistan.”
Lance Corporal Cochran’s fiancée Claire Brookshaw said:
“I have known Alan for over 2 years. He was a fantastic fiancé. He has been a great part of my life and always will be. Sadly missed but never forgotten. Rest in peace Darlin, Love you always and forever.”
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) said:
“Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, known to his friends in the Battalion as ‘Cockers’, or ‘The Colonel’, was serving with B Company when he died. He joined the 1st Battalion the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment in 2007, and quickly established a reputation as a strong and committed Infantry soldier.
“It is no surprise to anyone who knew him that he was to the front when his patrol came into contact and, as was always his way, he was committed to the safety of others to the end. Alan had been in the Army for four years and had served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kenya prior to deploying to Afghanistan with the Battalion.
“A committed career soldier Alan loved the Army and his friends within it, and was probably the most selfless of men, always looking out for others and helping them to give their best. His friends described him as having a heart of gold, being totally unselfish, and having the worst dress sense in the Battalion.
“He had recently promoted to Lance Corporal following completion of a demanding qualification course conducted in the harsh British winter. When I gave him his chevron and asked him if he was ready to take responsibility for the lives of his fellow men, he looked me straight in the eye and answered ‘yes’. And he did, right up until the very last.”