Bournemouth, England, UK
Army, CPT, 2nd Btn The Rifles
8/13/2009, Afghanistan, Sangin
Captain Mark Hale was born on 9 April 1967 in Bournemouth. He joined the Army in 1983, aged 16, as a Junior Leader and embarked on an exceptional career with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment that took him on operations to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and then, with 2nd Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES), to Afghanistan
One of the outstanding soldiers of his generation, he found his calling in the Reconnaissance Platoon, where he spent much of his career. He was promoted to Company Sergeant Major in London on ceremonial duties and then had a brief spell as Regimental Serjeant Major.
Selected for a commission, he managed the careers of almost 1,000 soldiers in 1st Battalion The Rifles as four regiments merged to form The Rifles in 2007. He then moved to 2 RIFLES as the Motor Transport Officer and then became the Battle Group Logistics Officer for operations in Afghanistan this summer.
Captain Hale was fiercely fit; he loved cycling, rowing and rugby. He was a genuine thinker, had studied at the Open University for a degree and then took a Masters in Psychology.
He was a devoted husband, adored by his wife Brenda, and a loving and exceptional father to his two daughters. He died in hospital at Camp Bastion on 13 August 2009 after being caught in an IED (improvised explosive device) blast helping an injured soldier to safety whilst on patrol near Sangin.
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson, Commanding Officer, 2 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
“It is almost impossible to know where to start when writing a tribute to a man as brave, huge and full-on as Mark Hale. He oozed quality, humanity and had a tremendous and mischievous sense of fun, which frequently lightened the load of this extraordinary tour.
“He was ‘undentable’ and we in 2 RIFLES have invented this new word in honour of Mark. Nothing fazed him, however demanding the situation, and his ability to absorb work, pressure and other people’s worries was genuinely legendary. That is what ‘undentable’ now means.