A CWMBRAN war hero has been recognised at the unveiling of a new housing development named in his honour.

Corporal Michael Thacker served in the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He died on June 1, 2012, when he was shot while on watch, leaving behind his wife Catherine and daughter Millie, who is now 12.

At a ceremony on Friday, Cpl Thacker’s family, friends and colleagues gathered to officially name the new development Michael Thacker Court.


Cpl Thacker’s brother Matthew said: “It means a lot to the family. For my mum especially, she’s always going to remember walking past it.

“My kids and my nieces and nephews will get to see it and see that it’s named after their Uncle Michael.”

“I’m really proud,” said Cpl Thacker’s brother Ashley. “I’m really happy they’ve done it.

“It’s nice for mum as she brings the kids to school here.”

Prior to joining The Royal Welsh, Cpl Thacker was a pupil at Fairwater High School, and also went to school at the site where the houses now stand – before Fairwater Infants and Junior schools became Blenheim Road Community Primary School.

When Blenheim Road school was moved across the road, plans for the new housing development were green-lit in January 2019.  

Michael Thacker Court features 17 affordable homes and a play area.

At the ceremony, Captain Ian Moore and Sergeant Jamie Francis shared their memories of Cpl Thacker.

“He was a larger than life character and was extremely well-known to the battalion – officers and soldiers alike,” said Capt Moore. “His loss was sorely felt.”

Capt Moore also quoted Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Webb MC, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh at the time of Cpl Thacker’s death.

"He was a soldier's soldier - a larger than life character, highly competent, fiercely loyal and hugely proud of his family,” he said.

"He had a great sense of humour, banter was his speciality and any time spent with him was time well spent."

“For me Michael was someone I could always turn to and always wanted to be around in training,” said Sgt Francis. “He always had a positive outlook and a brilliant sense of humour.”

Free Press Series: Corporal Michael Thacker's family, representatives from the Royal Welsh, and local representatives at the unveiling of Michael Thacker Court. Picture: Torfaen councilCorporal Michael Thacker's family, representatives from the Royal Welsh, and local representatives at the unveiling of Michael Thacker Court. Picture: Torfaen council

Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “I know that this tribute will not ever replace the gap that he leaves his family. That gap has been there over the past nine years.

“But what this does is speak to the greater importance of what Michael did. It speaks to our great pride here in Torfaen.

“Here is someone who spent his childhood years locally, he’s been to Fairwater High School, and then gone on to serve his country. We are deeply proud here in Torfaen of everything Michael did.

“I hope now that this memorial will mean that that name, Michael Thacker, will be spoken about here by future generations.

“I hope that everyone who comes to live in Michael Thacker Court in years to come will look at that name and want to find out about Michael Thacker and what he did.”

Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Richard Clarke, said: “The naming of this street will immortalise him forever.

“He gave his life for this country and it’s only right and proper that the people of Cwmbran and the wider area remember his name.

“This is a commitment Torfaen has made to the young lads that died in the Afghanistan conflict. It’s a commitment that will be continued to ensure all our dead are honoured and remembered.”

Paula Kennedy, chief executive of Melin Homes, said: “We are really honoured at Melin to be able to name the scheme after a local hero.

“We hope that by naming the site after Michael that it will be a reminder to the local community of the sacrifice that he made serving his country on behalf of all of us.”