| |15th November 2010
For the past three months Doug has been living
and fighting in the Nad-e-Ali district of
Helmand. Based in the Saidebad area, he is
once again in the thick of the action.
Tragically one of his men - a young ranger
- was killed over the weekend by an IED.
Just before the incident Doug had penned
an article for The Times
describing what the 11th hour of the 11th
day of the 11th month means to those on tour
25th July 2010
Doug gets a mention from Max Hastings in
the Mail on Sunday
. In an article titled 'Why we should
salute Britain's warrior class' the
journalist and author says of Doug:
"Compare and contrast Chappell’s
misery with the words of Captain Doug Beattie
of the Royal Irish Regiment, who won a Military
Cross in the fight of his life in Afghanistan
‘The truth is, I went to Lashkar Gah
because I wanted to,’ he said.
‘I happily accepted the challenge.
I wanted the chance of some glory, the opportunity
to take the fight to the enemy…
‘In the heat of the battle, when I
was consumed by fear, when all I wanted to
do was turn away, I made my choices and I
got the job done.’
This is the authentic voice of a professional
warrior — which is, of course, what
the men of today’s British Army are.
Strange as it seems to many civilians in
our risk-averse society where health &
safety rules, some young men choose a life
of adventure in uniform — and accept
that it may cost them their lives"
1st June 2010
Doug defends the British mission in Afghanistan
in an article
penned for The Times
13th April 2010
"The lure of Afghanistan is too much
to resist for Captain Doug Beattie, the decorated
veteran, who plans to return to Helmand as
a reservist less than two years after quitting
This is how The Times announces
Doug Beattie's decision to return to
Afghanistan for a third tour, this time as
a TA soldier.
4th November 2009
Following the killing of five British soldiers
by a rogue Afghan policemen Doug, writing
in the Guardian
, describes his experience of mentoring the
ANP and how the Taliban have infiltrated
19th May 2011
The Queen's visit to Ireland - a perspective:
"For an Irishman 1916 is synonymous
with one event – the Easter uprising
during which courageous and determined men
fought to throw off the shackles of the British
Empire. At the time another group of equally
courageous and determined men in arms was
fighting for the British Empire. Amongst
the blood and filth of Belgian and French
battlefields a succession of volunteers –
for there was no conscription in Ireland
– risked their lives for King and Country.
"Many were members of the Ulster Volunteer
Force, a now-proscribed organisation. On
1 July 1916 thousands of them lost their
lives on the Somme as members of the 36th
Ulster Division struggled through the mud
towards German positions; soldiers of the
16th Irish Division perished elsewhere along
the front: men from both sides of what is
now the Irish border, fighting for what they
believed in, an ideal of a single great Kingdom.
Yet for those lucky enough to eventually
return home there was far from a warm welcome.
They had come to represent the worst of an
"Many of the regiments that fought during
the Great War have disappeared from the military
landscape: the Connaught Rangers, Dublin
Fusiliers, the old Irish Regiment, but their
sacrifice – and that of those from
Ireland who served with the British Army
during the Second World War even though their
nation remained neutral - continues to be
recognised and remembered.
"During the Queen’s landmark visit to Ireland she
lay a wreath in memory of Ireland’s
. But her actions were not without current
significance for even today, ninety odd years
since independence, men from the Republic
fight in Her Majesty’s name. In my
regiment – the Royal Irish –
there are well over 100 men from south of
the border serving. Most have recently returned
from Afghanistan, putting their lives on
the line for a British Monarch.
"They hold dual nationality
- possessing both Irish and British passports
- and they are an integral part of our history
and our flavour. The treacle accent of a
man from Belfast can be heard beside the
sweet sound of a Dubliner, both men serving
together, living together and fighting together.
The conflicts of the past, the hurt and injustice,
are absent from the relationship.
the Queen’s visit I am proud to say
I am an Irishman from Northern Ireland. I
can also say I am a British citizen and proud
to wear the Queen’s uniform. For me,
as for the majority of my Royal Irish colleagues,
there is no contradiction."
30th April 2011
Doug Beattie calls for battle honours to
be awarded to military units that fought
in the Helmand campaign. His comments are
reported by the Press Association and widely
covered in the media including by the BBC
Doug said that more than 50 Royal Navy ships,
Army regiments and RAF squadrons received
honours approved by the Queen for their involvement
in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but the fighting
in Helmand in southern Afghanistan was more
worthy of official recognition because, at
its worst, it was far fiercer than anything
seen in the initial phases of the Iraq war.
"It's quite strange, to a degree.
They don't give out battle honours for
things like we're doing in Helmand.
"Should they give out Helmand as a battle
honour, particularly for those who served
there in 2006? Yes, because it's clearly
the hardest fight we've had for the past
30 or 40 years."
Battle honours represent official acknowledgement
of the part played by ships, units and squadrons
in a successful campaign or engagement, and
become part of their historical record. They
are separate from the campaign medals awarded
to individual servicemen and women who deploy
30th March 2011Watch Doug
tell of his latest experiences in Afghanistan
- his 13th operational tour - on BFBS.
20th March 2011
Having completed his third (and final?) tour
of Afghanistan Doug has returned to the UK.
4th March 2011"The Taliban marksman was off his game.
The bullet landed short at the feet of a
young soldier it was meant to kill."
Doug writes his latest dispatch from Helmand for the Channel 4 News website. 28th February 2011
"A giant of a man."
These are the words used by Colonel Bob Seddon,
the former commanding officer of Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid, to describe the bomb disposal expert killed
in Sangin whose inquest has recently been held.
It is a fitting tribute to a fiercely brave
But for every one or two Improvised Explosive
Devices - so called roadside bombs - found
by specialist high risk teams several more
are unearthed by the skill and concentration
of the ordinary soldier, says Doug writing for the Channel 4 News
10th February 2011
As the war in Afghanistan approaches a milestone,
Doug writes from the Helmand frontline on how progress only comes with a price
paid by both soldiers and the local population.
18th January 2011For British troops in Afghanistan - and soldiers
everywhere - the first battle to win is with
. Doug writes again for Channel Four News.
23rd December 2010
As the war rages in Afghanistan Doug writes from the frontline for Channel 4 News on how efforts to provide
basic necessities for the local population
affect the success of the insurgency.
1st December 2010
Doug has been asked to start contributing
to the Channel 4 News website
. His first piece explains the difficulty
of leaving behind family and friends for
a tour of duty.