Captain Walter Barrie killed in Afghanistan

Captain Barrie was taking part in a football match between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army at his base when he was shot at close range by a member of the Afghan Army. He was fatally injured in the attack.

Captain Walter Barrie

Captain Barrie deployed to Afghanistan on 31 August 2012 as the 1st Kandak Advisor Team Second in Command, D Company, 1 SCOTS. As the Brigade Advisory Group, 1 SCOTS’ role involves mentoring and advising 3/215 Brigade of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to take the lead in security responsibilities in their area of southern Afghanistan. Captain Barrie advised the Executive Officer of the 1st Kandak of 3/215 ANA Brigade, based in Forward Operating Base Shawqat in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province.

Captain Barrie was born on 5 February 1971 in Glasgow. He joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers on 26 October 1987. During his 25 years Colour Service he served on operations in Iraq (on both Operation Granby and Operation Telic), Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland as well as completing a tour of Afghanistan in 2008. As a Non-Commissioned Officer he was immensely talented, instructing at the Army Training Regiment Glencorse and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 2007 he was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One and became the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS). He excelled as an infantryman and leader of men.

Captain Barrie commissioned as an officer in 2009, becoming the Unit Welfare Officer of 2 SCOTS and was subsequently posted to 1 SCOTS as D Company Second in Command in 2011. His future aspirations were to promote to Major and attend Staff College. Captain Barrie was renowned as an approachable and compassionate officer, he cared deeply for the wellbeing of those around him and had unparalleled rapport with all ranks. The Regiment has lost a truly gifted and devoted officer, who was yet to reach his full potential.

Captain Barrie will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege to meet him. The thoughts and prayers of the Battalion are with his wife Sonia and son Callum (15).

Captain Barrie’s wife, Sonia said: "Captain Walter Barrie was great man, a doting and amazing father and a fantastic husband. He was much loved and will be missed by many. The family would ask that their privacy is respected during this very difficult time."

Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Wrench, Commanding Officer The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "My Battalion and our Regiment have lost both a soldiers’ soldier and an officers’ soldier. Captain Walter Barrie was a dedicated husband to his wife Sonia and a loving father to his teenage son Callum. As a soldier he was an experienced and highly professional infanteer. As a fellow officer he was a loyal, enthusiastic leader of soldiers and supportive brother officer.

"His career was dominated with deployments on operations and training our future soldiers and officers. He served his country on operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and he was currently deployed on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. His youthful drive and zest for life played out through his participation in many sports. As a keen skier and a Football Association Coach he not only played sport for his own satisfaction but also to spread the passion for these sports. His role as an advisor to the Afghan Army was one he trained for, looked forward to and performed superbly. His ability to build relationships and rapport has always made an impact on those who met him. This was down to his enthusiasm for life, for youth and humanity. As can be seen from the many tributes, he enriched the lives of everybody he came across. His winning personality and Glaswegian wit will be sorely missed as will the banter we often had as a result of his fanatical support for Glasgow Rangers.

"It is almost impossible to express the sadness we as a close Battalion are experiencing at this time. I know the impact of his tragic loss will be felt across our Regiment, amongst the soldiers, officers and in particular the Late Entry Commissioned Officer community. But we remain committed in our role and mission in Afghanistan and we will do so knowing that Walter would expect nothing less of us all.

"All of our thoughts, prayers and love remain with Sonia his wife, Callum his son and his wider family at this very difficult time."

Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond said: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Captain Walter Barrie, an Army officer who had come up through the ranks and, in a long and distinguished military career, earned a reputation as a formidable soldier and valued colleague to so many. Having served his country on many operational deployments over the years, he died on his latest: serving in Afghanistan to protect the security of the United Kingdom and its people.

"It is clear from the tributes paid to Captain Barrie that his men, peers and seniors had the utmost respect for him and will miss him greatly. Of course, the pain is hardest to bear for his family and friends and my deepest sympathies are with them at this time."