THE life of a young Coleraine soldier tragically killed in Aghanistan is to be captured in a major BBC1 documentary, The Coleraine Times can exclusively reveal.
Ranger Aaron McCormick of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in Helmand, southern Afghanistan, on Remembrance Sunday in November last year.
Ranger McCormick (22), from Macosquin, had been helping to clear an area of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a security patrol in Nad ‘Ali when he was killed in an explosion.
He was buried after a service at St Mary’s Church of Ireland Church and a volley of shots was fired by members of his regiment.
Now BBC Northern Ireland has commissioned a 90-minute documentary about Ranger McCormick’s life which will be made by the critically acclaimed director, Henry Singer.
Singer made ‘Wootton Bassett: The Town That Remembers,’ a BBC1 documentary which followed the repatriation of Ranger McCormick.
It’s hoped that the follow-up documentary will be a powerful film that honours Aaron and the other brave servicemen who have fallen in battle.
Jenny Saunders, the programme’s assistant producer, who was in Coleraine last week for filming with the McCormick family, told The Coleraine Times: “BBC Northern Ireland has commissioned Henry to make a film, tentatively entitled ‘Remembering Aaron’, that marries the story of Aaron’s life with his repatriation at Wootton Bassett.
“It will be shown on the anniversary of his death and will mark Remembrance Day. As with the original ‘Wootton Bassett’ documentary, Henry’s intention is to use Aaron’s story to honour the lives of all those who have fallen while serving our country. Aaron’s story will be told primarily through the memories of his family and best friends.
“Aaron’s death, coming as it did on Remembrance Day, was obviously of great interest to the media at that time, including newspapers.
“To illustrate that interest, Henry plans to include television and radio reports, as well as subtle shots of different newspapers that featured Aaron’s story on their front pages. These various newspapers have been shot as they would have been stacked and arranged in the local newsagent at the time.”
Henry has made many other critically acclaimed documentaries such as the BAFTA and Emmy-nominated film, ‘The Falling Man’, about a photograph of someone who jumped or fell from the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Described by Broadcast Magazine as one of the top ten directors working in British television, Singer also produced “The Bodyhunters” which followed the search for a missing Royal Marine in the Falkland Islands and the film ‘The Blood of the Rose’, which investigated the life and death of filmmaker turned conservationist Joan Root, who was murdered at her home in Naivasha, Kenya in January 2006.
Ranger McCormick was described as a natural-born soldier who was posted to A Company, where he served with distinction for two-and-a-half years.
To page 9
Paying tribute to his courage, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Weir MBE, Commanding Officer, 1 R IRISH, said: “Ranger Aaron McCormick was the epitome of the Irish Infantry soldier: tough; selfless; good-humoured and full of compassion.
“Today, there is a gap in our ranks which no ordinary man could fill. He was the best of his country and we mourn his loss.”
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said: “He has been described by his colleagues and commanders as a courageous soldier who was always willing to put himself in harm’s way to protect his colleagues when on patrol.
“He will be remembered and his sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Rgr McCormick, is survived by his mother, Margaret, father, Lesley, isters, Callie-Ann and Tammy, his brother, Michael, and girlfriend, Becky.