Topic: Cpl Douglas Grant (1970 - 2011)

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An obituary appearing in the 65th Hauraki News (November 2011).

6th Hauraki Insignia About 1500 people gathered at Linton Camp on 29 August to farewell SAS soldier Corporal Dougie Grant, who was killed inaction in Afghanistan on 19 August. CPL Grant died when he was hit by a bullet fired by insurgents while trying to rescue civilians following an attack on the British Council building in Kabul. Despite the efforts of New Zealand and Coalition medics at the scene he died en route to Bagram Air Base hospital.


Cpl D Grant Order of Service cover

The Prime Minister, John Key, gave a eulogy at the funeral, as did CPL Grant’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Parsons, his father, brother, and wife, Tina Grant. His friends also spoke of their mate who adored his wife and children, and loved being a soldier, a motorcyclist and a devoted son, brother and friend. Tina, a sergeant in the New Zealand Army Education Corps, said her husband loved many things—being an SAS soldier, being a member of the Defence Patriots Motorcycle Club, being a carpenter—“but the most important thing in his life was his children,” she said. Alluding to his love of words, she spoke of how on the Saturday following his death she found an essay Dougie wrote in the fourth form. The essay was about how he saved his school from attack and took part in an imaginary SAS mission. He had aspired to becoming a member of the elite’ quad since his childhood. "We will all miss him very much—he’s now on his next mission,” she said.

The Prime Minister John Key said CPL Grant was doing what he loved when he died. “He was serving his country, and he died for his country. ”SAS soldiers were, he said, amongst the bravest, the most resourceful and the most resilient in the military. LTCOL Parsons spoke about how he and CPL Grant began their Army training together in 1996. He recalled how they were mounted troopers together, how they had been shot at together, and how they had been together with their Australian counterparts when they helped rescue 600 East Timorese from the militia. "The last photo we have of Doug was captured by the international media. It is of him running into the fire fight to rescue innocent civilians.

Dougie – as the Prime Minister said, is a hero! Not just here in New Zealand, but also in the UK. To underscore this – Prince William as well as the British Prime Minister have added their voices to the many messages of condolence. "But in the end, it is that one last photo that sums Douglas Grant up for me. Like the rest of his SAS mates Doug approached life head on. And when Doug stood at the last, he stood that others might live. And knowing Doug – when he fell he would have been all business – organising someone or something – selfless, fearless, a free spirit going the extra mile. That is Doug that was our mate. "I think if Doug was able to speak for himself at this juncture he’d explain to us why he and many others like him, from across the Defence Force choose to leave safety and civilisation behind and stand in the gap for others. But before he did he’d probably call your attention to the sacrifice of 1stSergeant Adbul Rahman who was also killed in action and the nine Crisis Response Unit, or CRU, members who were wounded during the same rescue.

Cpl Douglas Grant photo essay

LTCOL Parsons said he had been in a Kabul restaurant with Doug the night before he died, “and he was full of enthusiasm for the mission, and to be once again on operation with his SAS mates. He said CPL Grant had told him he believed the SAS’s contribution in training the Afghanistan Crisis Response Unit and passing responsibility on to that unit was “doing it right”. “It is often tempting to ask ‘can we win or not?’ and thereby weigh up the merits of helping the Afghans. Perhaps there is a more important question to be asked – who are we if we do nothing to avert brutality?

In many ways this goes to the heart of New Zealand. Long has New Zealand been a country which has stood by principle, long have we been a people who roll our sleeves up and help others less fortunate. As a nation our finest hours have been when we have calculated the need instead of the odds. “It was in this sense of purpose that Corporal Dougie Grant epitomised the indomitable Kiwi spirit. Knowing Doug, he was wistful for adventure, no doubt – but there as a serious side also. He didn’t shirk his duty because he was a dad. To the contrary, Afghan kids need to have a chance too and Jemma and Jaden you can be proud that your Dad saw that need.

Cpl D Grant children farewell letter 

In training the Crisis Response Unit he was helping develop one of the best, if not the best Afghan Police Unit – so that when we are gone it will be able to continue to protect the people. “In his time with us, Dougie served four proud Regiments, the Hauraki’s, the Infantry, the Engineers, where he qualified as a carpenter, and the SAS. Doug, your actions speak for you.

That one last photo is printed forever on our memory. "You went well Pilgrim – Rest in Peace – we will remember you." 

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Tags: 6 Hauraki, SAS

Cpl Douglas Grant (1970 - 2011)

First Names:Douglas
Last Name:Grant
Date of Birth:16/04/1970
Date of death:19/08/2011