Tribute to a Hero

The Life and Loss of Major Paul Harding MiD at Basra

Garry McCarthy, Paula Harding

Major Paul Harding was the most senior officer to be killed in action during the Iraq campaign.
Date Published :
January 2023
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
8 mono
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781399089708
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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When a senior army officer is killed in action holding off an enemy attack threatening to overrun his outpost, the confidence of his comrades is rocked. Accolades of courage and eulogies flow freely from politicians and Generals alike. For the briefest of moments, a devastated nation pauses to pay homage to a fallen hero. Fellow countrymen marvel at the heroic endeavors, patriotism courses through everyone’s veins, then all too swiftly life moves on. But for the young family, the fight has just begun.

This powerful story is as inspirational as it is humbling. Major Paul Harding was the most senior officer to be killed in action during the Iraq campaign. A legend of his time with over 30 years service, people like him are not meant to die in combat. His death shocked every soldier under his command and was felt by three decades of army veterans. Caught in the center of this tragedy, the family courageously battle to come to terms with their grief and fill the void of a talented father and great warrior.

Heart-breaking and awe-inspiring in equal measure, the story recounts the immediate aftermath of Major Harding's death and the incredible journey of his family as they navigate their way through the pain of an unwanted new normal. This intimate account of modern war is like no other. Written by his widow and a junior subordinate, it details the life before, and after the heart-wrenching moments when Major Harding’s family are told that, the fiercest of battles in Iraq had claimed his life. This first-hand account includes the gargantuan effort to steady the family's resolve and help them rebuild a life torn apart by conflict and the fifteen year journey to contentment.

About The Author

Garry McCarthy is one of the most unique servicemen of the modern era. From hunting chemical weapons with the Joint Services Intelligence Organisation in Iraq, to interpreting for the Prime Minister, McCarthy eclectic profile is unrivalled. Rising through the ranks from Rifleman to Lieutenant Colonel, he has spent a life time teaching leadership to armies around the world.

He has specialised in teaching military officers the art of command and control. Be it instructing Company Commanders how to win wars at the Land Warfare Centre in Wiltshire or drilling Saudi Arabia’s Special Forces in Counter Terrorist & Air Assault techniques, he has been at the coal face of delivering military leadership for over three decades.

As a teenager Paula Harding embarked on a career as an NHS nurse. Committed to making the world a better place, she met her soul mate after a chance encounter during a family visit to West Germany in 1984. She met and fell in love with a dashing young soldier who was passionately loyal to the service of his country and determined to make the world a safer place. Having witnessed conflict at first hand over three decades, she was prepared for all eventual outcomes as her husband once more departed for war. As a busy mother of two, she focused on routine and future planning. These two disciplines have since become the bedrock of resilience as she struggled to come to terms with her loss and prevent the family from falling apart amidst the greatest challenge of anyone’s life.

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