- 1987 2009 (Creation)
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Jason was killed in Afghanistan by a bomb which exploded under the vehicle he was in. Jason was born in Zimbabwe and he and his family escaped from that unhappy place and came to Bampton. Jason went to Burford school where he excelled and was very well liked. These photographs and documents chart the military funeral in St Mary's and there are pictures of Jason through his life. His Mother Lee Mackie very generously lent me her photograph albums to scan pictures to put together this record of Jason's short life.
TRIBUTE BY JASON’S BROTHER, RICHARD
I would like to start by thanking all of you for being here today to remember and honour Jason. The calibre and number of you here is a testament to the young man he was. In particular I would like to thank those marines in 3 troop ASG who served alongside Jason and were an integral part of his life both here and in Afghanistan. When they are so few and far between it is ever more poignant when a hero falls.
Today we remember our hero Jason who laid down his life beside some truly exceptional people; those who paid the ultimate price in service of this country. We are so proud that he will be remembered in such great company and that he was part of our family during his short but happy life.
Jason was born in Zimbabwe on the 20th of November 1987 and from his beginnings on the family farm his light hearted approach to life always shone through. As ever a beaming smile on his face and constantly part of some joke or humour with that infectious laugh we all knew so well. As a young boy he loved fishing and his Alsatian Dusty, and was never happier than after a successful day’s bass fishing with his faithful dog in tow. Especially when he’d caught more and bigger fish than I had, which seemed to be the case more often than not.
I remember Jason as an endlessly happy boy who would take delight in the simplest of things. He would spend days scaling the mango trees in the garden, existing purely off a diet of mangos. He would emerge every so often brandishing a selection of fruit, cheeks bulging around that beaming smile. I have no fonder memory. I remember him as a keen young huntsman devoting endless hours stalking his quarry, rifle and Dusty the Alsatian close at hand. The formative stages perhaps of the marksmanship badge he later earned at Lympstone.
Following the troubles in Zimbabwe the family moved across to the UK in 2002. A big change for us all, but one that Jason took in his stride. He finished his last 4 years of school here at Burford College and grew into the strong, handsome young man he was. A talented sportsman and a strong member of any team he was part of. I remember on some of the training runs we went on together just how much he had grown up and how robust he had become. It came as no surprise when Jason passed out as one of only 13 originals in his troop at Lympstone. He was never prouder than on his pass out day, I remember the pride in his voice as he spoke to me in Afghanistan over the phone. I only wish I could have been there.
Jason carried his light hearted approach to life through school in Ruzawi, Peterhouse and Burford and will forever be remembered for it. It shone through his sport, his relationships, his career and formed the seed which grew into the commando quality I admired most and his cheerfulness in the face of adversity. I have no doubt his oppos both in training and on operations would echo this.
So, on this day let us not remember what Jason died for but what he lived for. He lived for his family and his friends. We couldn’t be prouder and I’m certain his friends likewise held him in the highest regard. We all drew great strength from his radiant character.
He lived for his beloved girlfriend Vicky who was the sparkle in his eye and the spring in his step. His first and only love. He lived for his pride as an outstanding young Royal Marine. He stood with honour under his green beret and served the Corps selflessly. He is a great tribute to us as a family and to the wider Corps family who have been so supportive through this hard time. If we ever do consider what our Jason died for, let it be that he laid down his life alongside his friends who would have done the same for him.
These men were as much brothers as I was to him. And I quote from John 15: 13
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
To finish, I would like to read a poem Vicky wrote for Jason.
ALL IS WELL
Death is nothing at all – I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, we still are. Please call me by my old familiar name. Speak of me in the same easy way you always did. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile and pray for me. Let my name be the household name it always was, spoken without the shadow of a ghost in it. Life means all it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. Death is inevitable, so why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you – for an interval very near. All is well. Nothing is past or lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before – only better and happier. Together for ever. (Henry Scott Holland)