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Soldier Cries As He Follows In War Hero Brother's Footsteps As Paratrooper

Soldier Cries As He Follows In War Hero Brother's Footsteps As Paratrooper

The brother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan teared up as he followed in the footsteps of his late sibling and formally received his Paratrooper beret.

Fin Doherty was just six years old when his brother, Private Jeff Doherty, was killed while out on his first tour of duty in Helmand province in 2008.

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Jeff, who was from Southam in Warwickshire, died after he was fatally wounded during a Taliban ambush. He passed away two days after his 20th birthday.

Jeff Doherty. Credit: Gov.uk
Jeff Doherty. Credit: Gov.uk

At the time of his death, his little brother Fin referred to him as his 'hero', having been gifted Jeff's beret.

He told the Mirror: "I'll never forget him.

"I stand in front of his grave every time I go and see him and I say, 'I will make your beret see what it should have seen'. Now it's with me I'll do just that.

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"I've been waiting for this ever since I was six when I found out he had been killed. I've earned it in the same way as he did. I've worked hard."

Fin, aged six, at a memorial service for his brother, wearing Jeff's beret. Credit: PA
Fin, aged six, at a memorial service for his brother, wearing Jeff's beret. Credit: PA

Now Fin has managed to see through his promise to follow his older brother into the Parachute Regiment, following a gruelling 19-week training course at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire.

Fin, now 18, burst into tears as he was officially handed Jeff's beret by Sgt Major Adam Ireland, who had fought alongside his brother.

Fin told The Sun: "It means everything to receive his beret.

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"I've always wanted to wear his beret so that it gets to see the things he would have done had his career not been cut short.

"Now I've got it in my possession and I'll keep true my promise to him."

Fin receiving Jeff's beret. Credit: News Licensing
Fin receiving Jeff's beret. Credit: News Licensing

He continued: "I've been waiting for this ever since I was six when I found out he had been killed. I've earned it in the same way as he did. I've worked hard.

"No one can take this away from me. Since he died in 2008 this is all I have ever wanted. This is for both of us. Sometimes you sit on your ar** end and think what am I doing here. I could be at home, warm in bed.

"But when I found out that he was killed at the age of six this is all I have ever wanted to do."

Fin added: "To wear that maroon cap, there's no greater pride."

His commanding officer, Second Lieutenant Edward Watkins said: "This is an exceptionally difficult course to come through.

"For someone like Pte Doherty it means that much more to him. He's coped with it tremendously well and he's come out shining.

"He's following in his brother's footsteps. You can see how much it means to him. There are times when the course is exceptionally arduous and a lot of recruits drop out.

"But you can see he has that drive, he has something about him. He wants to be here and this means absolutely everything. The beret means so much more than just a bit of headwear."

Featured Image Credit: News Licensing

Topics: uk news, News

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]