Birth: July 8, 1955
Death: August 10, 2008
Unit: 147th Grey & Simcoe Foresters Battalion Reservist
Mike Cottenden was a well-loved soldier who served proudly in the Canadian Forces. He was seventeen years old when he joined the Reserves out of Barrie. Stories from Cottenden’s days in the Reserves include tales of his ability to dig a trench twice or three times faster than the average soldier, his releasing of live pigs during a military parade, and his colourful language. Yet, no one could deny his commitment to the military or his remarkable teaching ability.
As a driving instructor for the Meaford Land Forces Training Centre, Mike had a way of teaching that ensured his students remembered the lesson. Mike voluntarily dropped two ranks in order to join the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment in Afghanistan. There he operated a light machine gun (C-9) and served in the Battle of Panjwaii, a two phase battle fought out between Taliban and Canadian forces in the summer and fall of 2006.
Mike survived his tour in Afghanistan, only to be severely injured back at home in October of 2007 when falling out of a tree. He recuperated from these injuries, but was struck by another vehicle and killed in August of 2008 when driving home from work. Mike left behind his partner Nancy Beacon of many years. His funeral was attended by hundreds, all wanting to say goodbye to their wonderful friend.
Top Image: Close-up of Mike
Images Left to right:
- Mike in Afghanistan
- Program for funeral service
- Cover of funeral service program
- Photo from front display at funeral