September 14, 2010
'Karl was a great father and friend' Bodyguard is killed in Iraq crash.
A FORMER soldier killed while working as a security guard in Iraq has been described as a "great
father and a great friend". Father-of-two Karl Bowen, from Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley Cynon
Valley is an ex-mining area and near Rhondda, Wales. From 1974 to 1996 the area was one of the
districts of Wales, formed from the Aberdare and Mountain Ash urban districts, and part of Neath
Rural District, along with the parish of Penderyn from Brecknockshire. , died in a road accident that
also killed an Iraqi interpreter and left an American colleague seriously injured.
The 30-year-old had two daughters, 11-year-old Elise and eight-year-old Lois, and previously
served in the 2 Company 1st Battalion Welsh GuardsThe Welsh Guards (Welsh Gwarchodlu
Cymreig) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division. Creation in War
The Welsh Guards
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Paying tribute to him yesterday, his mother Clare Bowen said: "He always said he wouldn't live to
see his 31st birthday. I think he knew.
"He was never afraid to die, and he lived his life to the full.
"He fit so much into such a short time - he was very intelligent and an absolute party animal. He had
hundreds of friends.
"Life on civvy street civvy street civilian life just wasn't for him. He wanted to go back to the army,
but he couldn't so he decided to take up this job."
The former Blaengwawr Comprehensive SchoolBlaengwawr Comprehensive School pupil joined the
Welsh Guards in November 1999, and served in Bosnia and Iraq, before leaving the army in 2007.
Karl, a keen footballer who played for the Welsh Guards, then worked in recruitment for a while
before joining Aegis Private Security company in Iraq to work as a bodyguard.
He had been working there for just seven months before the tragic accident, which happened last
His former wife Shakira Ford, 26, who was married to him for three years from 2005, said becoming
an army sniper See sniping software. was one of his proudest achievements.
She said: "He wasn't interested in promotion because he was always just one of the lads, so it was
a really big thing for him for to be part of that group."
Karl's body has now been flown to Kuwait while paperwork is completed, and will soon be flown to
Cardiff so his family can organise his funeral.
Mum Clare, who lives in Winchester, said: "The last few days I have been an absolute mess. His
younger brother Adam is in bits.
"Karl was brought up by myself and his stepfather Martin Bird. There are only three churches in
Aberdare which are going to be big enough to accommodate his funeral - it is going to be
absolutely massive because everyone knew him in Aberdare."
Shakira added: "When people say he was the life and soul of the party, he really was. Karl lived life
to the extreme. No-one could have said he didn't live a full life. Everything he ever wanted to do, he
"He was a great father, a very romantic husband, and a great friend to me even after we separated.
I will always cherish his memory."
Karl's friends in the Welsh Guards, along with his friends on the football team, described him as
"like a brother" to them.
A Facebook group which was created for his friends to honour Karl's life calls him a "legend" and a
"true hero" who will be missed by his many friends