Lieutenant Paul Mervis
2nd Battalion The Rifles
12th June 2009

 

Lieutenant Paul Mervis, born on 30 September 1981, grew up in London and was educated at King's College Wimbledon. He then spent a gap year in China and Israel before going on to study philosophy at University College London.

Summer holidays were invariably spent in Africa in the Namibian bush. Post graduation, his passion for geo-politics and travel led him into the world of journalism where he was involved with 'The Week' and 'The Spectator'. But it wasn’t long before his thirst for adventure drew him into the British Army.

Lt Mervis was one of the very first officers to commission into the newly formed RIFLES in April 2007. After the testing Platoon Commanders' Course at Brecon, he was posted to 2 RIFLES as the Platoon Commander of 10 Platoon and he was straight into the mix.

He led his platoon with distinction on a demanding TESEX (Tactical Electronic Simulation Exercise) before deploying with the Battle Group to Kosovo, where he thrived on his first operational tour. He was in his element in the diversity of that place and it soon showed that he was an operational soldier who relished overseas deployments.

2 RIFLES then entered an intensive period of pre-deployment training for HERRICK 10 (Afghanistan) and, for Lt Mervis, the operation could not come soon enough. Lt Mervis' unique character and leadership forged a veryspecial platoon.

Every exercise and training serial, whether platoon, company or battalion, was tackled with the vigour, thoroughness and professionalism of someone who cared passionately about his Riflemen and who was prepared to strain every sinew in preparing for the demands of operations in Helmand. During his first two months of the tour, based out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Gibraltar as part of Battle Group (North), Lt Mervis was atthe forefront of all his company's operations.

He fought hard and led his platoon through tragic times; when Rifleman Thatcher was killed in action he was a rock to those he commanded. It was typical of the man that he led from the front in one of Afghanistan's most demanding and dangerous districts. Tragically, Lieutenant Paul Mervis was killed whilst on a foot patrol by an explosion north of FOB Gibraltar on 12 June 2009.