Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith, Corps of Royal Engineers
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012 Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith from the Corps of Royal Engineers was killed in Afghanistan. He had been part of a troop building a new checkpoint next to the Nahr-e Bughra canal in the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand province when he was hit by small arms fire. He had enlisted in 2003 and his progress was fast; he successfully completed a JNCO cadre in 2008, and was promoted three months later. Major Chris Ankers said: “Lance Corporal Smith was a truly outstanding soldier. Full of drive, enthusiasm and wit, he was extremely well liked throughout the regiment. I was to commend him for his excellent briefing, delivered in a professional and relaxed manner, to the CO and RSM during one of their visits. I am devastated to not be able to pass on my praise, which I’m sure he would have taken in his usual calm manner with a wry smile; he had the charisma to always step forward and brief confidently about how his section were going to complete whatever was asked of them, but then the ability to achieve it as well. He showed the professionalism and character needed for a long career within the regiment; his ambition was to one day be an RSM. It is a real regret that I will not get to see him promoted through the ranks toward his goal. Confident, dependable and extremely capable, he thoroughly understood and excelled in his role in Afghanistan. I am proud to have commanded such an honest and professional soldier and to have met such a decent man. He took great pride in his work and inspired those around him, a true leader of men.” Matthew, from Aldershot, was 26 years old and engaged to be married; his four children were from ages one to seven.