A young British soldier has been killed by a rogue elephant at a wildlife park. Guardsman, Matthew Talbot of The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guard died on counter poaching operations in Malawi on Sunday, May 5.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed the 23 year old had been on patrol in Liwonde National Park when he was killed by an elephant.
Company Commander, Major Richard Wright, said Mr Talbot “bravely lost his life whilst ensuring that endangered species will be around for future generations.”
Here’s how Talbot’s commanding officer, Lt Col Ed Launders, described him. “I will always feel honoured to have served alongside Guardsman Matthew 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 of his work as a Counter-Poaching Operator and tragically died doing great good. We will sorely miss his humor, 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.”
Ministry Of Defense Statement:
A Ministry of Defence statement read: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Matthew Talbot of The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, who has tragically died on counter poaching operations in Malawi on 5th May 2019. Talbot was posted to London, where he spent the first, formative year of his career conducting State Ceremonial and Public Duties.”
British troops have been deployed to Malawi in recent years to train local rangers to defend local wildlife from poachers. They have been passing on tips on tracking, infantry and bushcraft they learned serving in Afghanistan.