Warwickshire, England, UKArmy, PVT, 4th Btn The Parachute Rgt6/24/2008, Afghanistan, Helmand
Private Joe Whittaker was born on 11 January 1988. He attended Warwick School and then Stratford Upon Avon College. He played hockey for Stratford Hockey Club and ran for Stratford Athletic Club. Joe joined the TA in Stratford in 2005.
He eventually joined 4 PARA in October 2007, after transferring from 37 Signal Regiment, having completed his basic training with the Royal Signals in June 2006. He was highly regarded throughout his time with them and was considered to be one of their top recruits. He was a particularly fit soldier; able to complete the one and a half mile run in a time of 8.09 minutes. His field craft and personal skills were considered the best in the platoon.
Joe had a wicked sense of humour and was usually the ringleader in the fun and games out of working hours. His natural ability and enthusiasm for adventure and challenge channelled his aspirations towards applying to join the Parachute Regiment Reserve. He completed the Combat Infantryman Course and P-Company with 4 PARA in November 2007. He gained a strong pass after working extremely hard on the course.
Joe Whittaker operated from 10 Company, 4 PARA based in London. He established himself quickly and it did not take him long to volunteer to serve with the Regiment on operations in Afghanistan. He mobilised in April 2008 and after completing all the necessary training joined 2 PARA in May.
Joe Whittaker was an outstanding young soldier who possessed all the qualities that one would expect from a young paratrooper. He had a flair for life, was fun and had a great sense of humour. His fitness was astonishing, and he possessed the courage, discipline and loyalty of a man many years his age.
Private Whittaker was tragically killed by a suspected Improvised Explosive Device on Tuesday 24 June 2008.
In the time he spent with 4 PARA it was clear that Joe Whittaker had a bright future and he had the intellect and character for great things. Joe Whittaker was a kind and considerate soldier and he will be sadly missed by all his friends and colleagues in 4 PARA.