Exmouth Royal Marine saves life before he was killed

Selfless Exmouth Royal Marine Stephen ‘Whiskey’ Walker saved the life of one of his troop hours before his own death, it has been revealed. Corporal Walker died on May 21 2010 while on foot patrol in Sangin, Helmand Province.

A heroic Exmouth Royal Marine, who was killed in an Afghanistan roadside bomb blast, saved the life of one of his troop hours before his death.

Corporal Stephen ‘Whiskey’ Walker, of Taunton’s 40 Commando, died in an explosion in Sangin on May 21, while on foot patrol, shortly after saving the life of Marine Wayne Gately.

The 26-year-old has told of the moments he was on patrol in the Green zone of Sangin, Helmand Province, and cheated death thanks to the selfless bravery of Cpl Walker.

Marine Gately has revealed how the two minutes spent tangled up in the wires of a homemade bomb - while Cpl Walker freed him - were the longest moments of his life.

He said: “I stopped and, when I looked down, I saw a purple tripwire caught around my Osprey [body armour] and bayonet.

“I was terrified, but Whiskey told me not to move. I didn’t breathe or anything. Whiskey came over and he plucked the wire out of my Osprey, then gently I started moving back.”

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Marine Gately and his unit had been on morning patrol through farmland when, chest high in wheat, Cpl Walker bellowed ‘stop’.

Following Whiskey Walker’s orders, Marine Gately slowly moved back as Cpl Walker carefully removed the purple tripwire – which would have set off an improvised explosive device (IED).

Marine Gately said: “I had about a minute or so just to come to terms with what could have happened. I moved to the back of the patrol and sat there for a couple of minutes to get my breath back.

“The moment I saw I was tangled up in the wire, my heart stopped. It was the longest two minutes of my life. Whiskey definitely saved my life that day. “It was quite a weird moment, because normally, when someone shouts ‘stop, stop, stop,’ we would drop to our knees. If I’d have done that this time, it would have pulled the trip wire – who knows what would’ve happened.

“Many of us owe a lot to Whiskey, He was a legend and we miss him more than words can say.”

Corporal Whiskey Walker, from Northern Ireland, lived in Exmouth with his wife, Leona, and daughter Greer.

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