Family mourn killed soldier

THE parents of fallen SAS soldier Sergeant Matthew Locke, have travelled to Perth to be there for the repatriation of his body this week.

Jan and Norm Locke are believed to have flown to Western Australia yesterday to be with their grandson Keagan and daughter-in-law Lee.

Mr Locke told newspapers before departing his youngest son was a wonderful person.

"We thought he was invincible," said Mr Locke.

Sgt Locke has been described as a model soldier, who was more concerned about looking after his mates than fearing for his own life.

And he has been identified by a Sydney newspaper as 'Sergeant C' to protect his identity, following the award of the Medal for Gallantry for his bravery under fire in Afghanistan.

Then, Sgt Locke described the fierceness of the Taliban foe after he received the honour.

"As an enemy they can't be underestimated," he said.

"They are quite fierce fighters and they're quite keen to get hold of the coalition.

"From my experience, they're the hardest enemy we've ever fought."

And the Bellingen-born and raised soldier said he was grateful to receive the gallantry award but there were others equally deserving.

"You go out there to do the job, you do the job and what happens from there happens.

"There's a heap more blokes that deserve the award as much as I deserve the award."

Matthew Locke first worked with his father Norm in a local sawmill, before work dried up.

"I told him to find another job," Norm said. "He decided to join the army."

Sgt Locke, who joined the army in 1991 before joining the elite SAS force in 1997, said he was doing what he was trained to do when he exposed himself to intense rifle and machine gun fire in Afghanistan last year.

Mrs Locke told News Ltd that her son, one of six children, was a good kid.

"He was a good kid, as a young fellow he was a very nice boy well liked," Mrs Locke said.



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