Barbaric indifference to the basic needs of serving forces

Lieutenant Mark Evison, 26, shot in Afghanistan on his first tour of duty while leading his platoon under heavy fire in Helmand, had recorded the ‘disgraceful’ shortage of medical equipment in his diary, an inquest heard yesterday. 

He had written: ‘As it stands I have a lack of radios, water, food and medical equipment. This with manpower is what these missions lack. It is disgraceful to send a platoon into a very dangerous area with two weeks’ water and food and one team medics pack. Injuries will be sustained which I will not be able to treat and deaths could occur which could have been stopped. We are walking on a tightrope and from what it seems here are likely to fall unless drastic measures are undertaken. 

Mark Evison bled to death after being hit in the shoulder. The soldier who first treated him did not have a team medical pouch on him – which contained crucial equipment including special bandages that stop arteries bleeding – because it had not arrived in time before they were sent out that day. 

A statement by pathologist Dr Nick Hunt said Lieutenant Evison had severe damage to the brain that was consistent with oxygen deprivation.

His death was a result of late complications including low blood pressure, caused by bleeding, he concluded. Dr Kenneth Shorrock, a pathologist, added: ‘In other words he bled to death. He did not die immediately. He died later.’

This is only one of a host of reports about missing or malfunctioning equipment. No amount of verbal tributes can compensate for these avoidable injuries and deaths.

The Mail Online has a detailed account:

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