Journal of soldier who foretold his death to go on public display

October 5, 2010 | by | 3 Comments

The touching journal of a soldier who foretold his own death due to severe kit shortages before being gunned down weeks later will go on public display, it emerged today.

Tragic Lieutenant Mark Evison wrote of his fury at how ”disgraceful” kit shortages were putting his and comrades’ lives at risk.

His fears were raised in a diary which he meticulously recorded every day from the front- line in the weeks leading up to his death.

Among his concerns were kit shortages coupled with a life-threatening lack of radios, water, food and medical equipment.

Just weeks after his chilling premonition, Lt Evison, 26, of 1st Battalion, The Welsh Guards, was shot in the shoulder in Helmand Province.

He died three days later in May last year due to complications developed from severe blood loss at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.

Now, for the first time, his moving diary is set to go on public display at Tewkesbury Museum, Glos., as part of an exhibition into the lives of frontline soldiers.

”As it stands I have a lack of radios, water, food and medical equipment,” he wrote on April 21 last year.

”This with manpower is what these missions lack.

”It is disgraceful to send a platoon into a very dangerous area with two weeks’ water and food and one team medic’s pack.

”Injuries will be sustained which I will not be able to treat and deaths could occur which could have been stopped.

”We are walking on a tightrope and from what it seems here are likely to fall unless drastic measures are undertaken.”

Just three weeks later, on May 9, Lt Evison, was gunned down while on routine foot patrol.

An inquest into his death heard how his death came during some of the most ferocious fighting since the Second World War.

Lt Evison’s platoon was on patrol in the Haji Halem area of Helmand Province when they came under fire in a compound.

He was immediately treated by one of his men, Guardsman Thomas James, who did not have a medical pouch containing special bandages designed to stop heavy bleeding.

It later emerged the supplies had not arrived in time before the platoon was deployed that day.

The delay meant that Hemcom bandages which act as a ”glue”, forming a seal around a bleeding artery, were not available.

The only such bandages available were in the team medical pouch which was being carried by Cpl Benjamin Lacey who was patrolling nearby.

Lt Evison, of Dulwich, London, was evacuated to the field hospital at Camp Bastion and then flown back to Britain for further treatment but died at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham on May 12.

He suffered late complications including low blood pressure which was caused by bleeding in his right shoulder.

Lt Evison’s diary opens with an optimistic tone at the prospect of trying on new Osprey body armour, good pizzas and high-speed internet, it soon becomes more downbeat.

He goes on to reveal his feeling of ‘isolation’ in the high walls of Camp Bastion and concerns that commanding officers are more concerned with ‘how they look’ rather than safety.

Before his death, he was described by his company commander as ”an exceptionally impressive young officer who combines real talent with great humility and charm and who displays more potential than any officer with whom I have worked”.

His journal is going on display next month after Tewkesbury Museum curator Maggie Thornton contacted Lt Evison’s mother Margaret in London for permission.

His incredible journal will go on display alongside letters penned by another soldier, Fred Moon – a British soldier from the Bahamas, who served Britain in WWII.

His hopes and fears are strikingly similar to Lt Evison’s, even though they fought in wars nearly 100 years apart.

Both refer to looking forward to receiving letters and food parcels from loved ones back home and will appear side-by-side next month.

Letters from a British survivor of one of the Germans’ World War II prisoner of war camps will also go on display.

Curator Mrs Thornton said: ”I want to put together an exhibition that makes people think about the human side of war and what the soldiers are actually thinking.”

The exhibition can be seen at Tewkesbury Museum from November 2 to 28 as part of an exhibition to remember soldiers killed or injured in wars.

Category: News

Comments (3)

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  1. Txladay706 says:

    I was an American USArmy Soldier. I am a civilian now. My best friend is in Afghanistan now. I’m sure that the services are not so different. I’m not aware of any such medical kit, although, I have been out for over 13 years. This is sick, the way that they are handling this – this – whatever it is. It’s not a war. This thing is an outrage. If I were in the military, at this time, I would have left as soon as humanely possible. How sad. What a handsome young man. This is what the Communists and the Muslims want. They want to bankrupt us and demoralize us.
    PS. I’m a female.

    • Abc123 says:

      Great reasoning… 1/5 of the entire planet (Islam) wants to bankrupt and demoralize us. Please use a little more thought before you demonize 20% of the population of the world. This is a fanatical group, not unlike the KKK or Nazis, both of whom considered themselves Christian.

  2. pessimisticows says:

    “who served Britain in WWII…wars nearly 100 years apart.”

    Umm… Math anybody?

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