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  • Christina Drummond

Marine Darren Smith, X-ray Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Marine Darren Smith of X-ray Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, based in Forward Operating Base Nolay in southern Sangin, was fatally wounded in an ambush by Taliban forces.

After working as a fisherman, he had joined the Royal Marines in 2008 where he proved himself to be enthusiastic, brave and fiercely loyal. His comrades remember him as “a lovely, lovely bloke” - his constant cheeky grin, his ability to lift everyone’s mood, his generosity in sharing the sweets in his parcels from home, and the way he was the first to offer a hand.

Second Lieutenant Toby Jones said: “Marine ‘Daz’ Smith was a hugely popular and likeable member of 5 Troop. In my short time as Officer Commanding 5 Troop on Op HERRICK 9, what struck me the most was that he always had a smile on his face. He displayed in abundance that valued tenet of the Commando Spirit above all other - cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

He was determined and, whenever anything needed doing, you could rely on ‘Daz’ being the first man to get the job done, always giving his very best. Unselfishness is another valued tenet of the Commando Spirit and this he displayed by his boundless devotion to his fellow Marines, girlfriend and young daughter. Up until the very end he showed remarkable courage and I was immensely proud to be his Troop Commander. He was everything that could be expected in a Royal Marines Commando and more. He will be sorely missed by all.”

Darren, from Fleetwood in Lancashire, was 27 years old.

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