Cyprus death TA soldier named as WO2 Graham Bean

Warrant Officer (Class Two) Graham Bean
Image caption WO2 Bean had also served in Bosnia and Iraq

A Territorial Army soldier who died while on UN peacekeeping duties in Cyprus has been named as Warrant Officer (Class Two) Graham Bean.

The 54-year-old father-of-three from 73 Engineer Regiment (V), Royal Engineers, was taken ill while on a mountain bike patrol on Tuesday.

Help was called but WO2 Bean, from Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, was pronounced dead at a Nicosia hospital.

He joined the TA in 1975 and had also served in Bosnia and Iraq.

At the time of his death he was attached to 3 Royal Anglian Group.

The peacekeeping mission in Cyprus was established in 1964 to prevent fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island.

British troops patrol the buffer zone or "green line" separating the north and south of the island by vehicle, on foot or mountain bike.

'Total professional'

The Ministry of Defence said WO2 Bean deployed to Cyprus in March, where he was "doing something he cared passionately about, in the service of peace and of his country".

It added that a sign of his "selflessness" was that WO2 Bean had raised more than 1,000 euros (£900) for the Army Benevolent Fund in his first month based in Nicosia.

WO2 Bean's son, David, 28, is preparing to serve in Afghanistan. He also leaves wife Michele and daughters Hazel, 26, and 17-year-old Nicola.

In a statement, his family said: "It has been such a shock to lose a loving father and husband who brought so much laughter and so many smiles to all who knew him. We will miss you, Dad."

His commanding officer, Lt Col Richard Lyne, said: "WO2 Graham Bean was a proud family man, a trusted friend, a selfless team player and total professional who had the respect and admiration of every one of us."

Tributes also came from Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Lisa M Buttenheim, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (Cyprus Mission), who said his death would be "deeply felt".

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