A WAR hero was killed by mortar fire as he fought the Taliban in Afghanistan, an inquest heard this week.
Captain Sean Dolan, 40, died from a fragmentation wound to the chest in Helmand Province, on June 30, 2007. He had lived in Archers Way, Great Sutton with his wife of 19 years, Michaline, and son Ashley, 18.
He was taking part in an operation aimed at maintaining pressure on the Taliban and was acting as a Liaison Officer between a British and US Task Force and Afghan National Army operation.
Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said: “Captain Dolan was very much at the sharp end of operations and was advancing into a “green zone” with a view to pushing back the Taliban. As they neared the area they encountered hostile Taliban forces who opened fire with mortars.
“Captain Dolan went forward over the crest of a hill to provide eyes for the unit and assist in the operation. The first position chosen became unsuitable and it was a question of seeking alternative high ground. Tragically in the circumstances that followed, Captain Dolan decided that he couldn’t properly undertake his duties encumbered by body armour after trying to crawl in to a restricted space.
“Two mortar rounds were fired in quick succession. The first, a sighting round, fell short of his position. The second was more accurate, described as a “lucky” shot, and landed very close. He received instantly fatal injuries.”
Captain Dolan was serving with the 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and had decided to stay in the Chester area after the battalion moved from the Dale Camp in 2005.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Lt Colonel Richard Westley said: “Sean Dolan’s death was devastating for his friends and family. He was a combat soldier. He died as he lived, with his boots on, going forward, engaging the enemy, and was prepared to take a risk with his own life to ensure the risk to his comrades was kept to a minimum.”
Mr Rheinberg added: “He was a very experienced and very well respected soldier who was assigned the vital task of acting as a liaison between British and American forces.
“Captain Dolan’s death was as a result of an unlawful killing while serving his country as a soldier.”