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  • Christina Drummond

Marine David Fairbrother, 42 Commando Royal Marines

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011 Marine David Fairbrother, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was fatally wounded in a close-range small arms fire engagement with the enemy. He had been deployed as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj in support of an Afghan National Army patrol into the village of Old Khorgajat. He had joined the Royal Marines in 2009 and qualified as a Team Medic, being noted for his diligence and professionalism. He was considered a natural choice for training as a member of an All Arms Search Team, conducting numerous compound clearances, due to his sharp mind and strong soldiering skills. A highly motivated Royal Marine with aspirations to specialise in the Landing Craft branch on his return from operations, he has been described as a brave fighter, resolute, and of enormous courage and strength. Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE said: “Marine David Fairbrother was a first class Marine and a young man of rare quality. He undoubtedly would have had an exceptionally bright future in the Royal Marines. One of the most intelligent Marines in the Unit, he joined Kilo Company straight from basic training less than a year ago, where his enthusiasm and commitment instantly marked him out amongst his peers. He had no qualms about putting himself in harm’s way to ensure the safety of his fellow Marines. Resolute in battle, he fought bravely in numerous engagements with a determined enemy and displayed enormous courage and inner strength to daily overcome the omnipresent, silent threat of IEDs. Five months into what has been a particularly demanding tour, he had become highly attuned to local atmospherics and at the moment he was gunned down at short range he was characteristically at the front of his patrol, courageously checking for IEDs with his trademark thoroughness, dependability and calmness in the face of adversity. Marine Fairbrother was quite simply an outstanding Bootneck, who embodied all the finest qualities of a Royal Marines Commando. 42 Commando have been robbed of another brave young warrior and his death is felt deeply across the whole of the Unit. David, from Blackburn, was 24 years old.

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