01:54PM, Tuesday 07 May 2019
A Windsor-based soldier has died while protecting wildlife in Malawi, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has confirmed.
Guardsman Mathew Talbot, of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, died on Sunday, May 5. He was posted in Africa on counter-poaching operations.
The MOD did not confirm his cause of death.
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Launders, said: “I will always feel honoured to have served alongside Guardsman Mathew Talbot.
“He was a determined and big-hearted Coldstreamer who devoted his life to serving his country. It was typical of his character to volunteer for an important and challenging role in Malawi.
“He was hugely proud to of his work as a counter-poaching operator, and tragically died doing great good.
“Mathew was loved by his brothers in arms in the Coldstream Guards. We will sorely miss his humour, selflessness and unbeatable spirit.
“My deepest condolences go to his parents, family and loved-ones. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this desperately sad time.”
The MOD said in a statement that Gdsm Talbot was ‘an exceptionally kind and friendly individual’ who was often found befriending the people of Malawi and learning the language.
He was good friends with the Ghurkas attached to his team and was learning Nepali, he was a keen photographer and loved music, especially Frank Sinatra.
He was an avid reader of military history and ‘he was incredibly proud to serve in a regiment that had such a long and illustrious history’, the statement added.
After finishing training at Harrogate and Catterick, Gdsm Talbot was posted to Number Seven Company Coldstream Guards in London where he carried out state ceremonial and public duties.
Since then he served in the 1st Battalion at Windsor. Malawi was his first operational deployment and the MOD said he ‘took great pride’ in counter-poaching.
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