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Ten years ago today I created the 213th post for Greenford 365. To mark the blog’s anniversary I will attempt to post a photo every day throughout 2022.
Dale Alanzo McCallum was born in Hanover, Jamaica and moved to the UK with his family, where he attended Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford. From there he joined the Irish Guards and then transferred to the Scots Guards. In 2010 he was serving with the 1st Battalion in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province where he was killed. The following is a description of the circumstances of his death, taken from “Six Months Without Sundays” by Max Benitz.
“Five days later, on 1 August, Acting Sergeant Dale McCallum was shot and killed instantly in the supersangar at Checkpoint Said Abdul. During a daylight shoot on the sangar, McCallum grabbed his .338 sniper rifle and stormed up the ladder to help identlfy where the men shooting at his Guardsmen in the sangar were hiding. As usual the single accurate rounds were masked with bursts of automatic fire around the sangar. McCallum and his sniper rifle had been sent specifically from the Checkpoint North to Checkpoint Said Abdul to defeat this gunman, who could well have been the man who wounded Guardsman Kabunicaucau and killed Corporal Stenton and Lance Corporal Monkhouse on 21 July. McCallum was one of the best snipers in the Battalion. He would have exposed only a few inches of his profile above the parapet and most of this would have been under the cover of a helmet. He was a genuinely brilliant soldier and much loved Scots Guardsman. The sense of loss throughout the Left Flank and the whole of the Battalion was profound and reinforced by knowing McCallum left a fiancee and his son Kevin.”
Max Benitz met Dale during the time he spent with the Battalion in Afghanistan researching the book. It is now out of print but I recommend it as a way of learning just how hard that tour was for the Scots Guards and a reminder of what our armed forces have faced on our behalf in Afghanistan. I also recommend that you read the official statement about Dale’s death issued by the Ministry of Defence which includes some moving and affectionate tributes from his colleagues and family.
A year after the UK and US abandoned many of those who assisted them to their fate in Afghanistan this soldier lies in a cemetery in the London Borough of Ealing, his presence unknown to many of those who live in Greenford, even though they enjoy the peace and security ensured by the sacrifices he and his colleagues have made.
Please sign and share this petition: “Preserve “Dale’s Field” in Greenford as a memorial to Lance Sergeant Dale McCallum”
Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2022, with the exception of the quotation from “Six Months Without Sundays” by Max (ISBN: 9781843410560). Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.