Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Warrant Officer Class 2 Michael Smith, from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, died from injuries sustained when a grenade was fired at his base in Sangin, Helmand Province. He was mentioned in despatches, the citation indicating that he was in an area under heavy fire when hit by the grenade. It read: "During these attacks he only sought enough cover that would enable him to still scan the enemy positions. Throughout, his authority and force of character ensured that the younger soldiers were not distracted and his compassion was remarkable."
WO2 Smith had enlisted in the army in 1985, then joined 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery two years later, and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he was working as the Team Commander of an artillery and air support observation party. He had passed the All Arms Commando course with ease, and is remembered as having an unwavering professional atittude to soldier, volunteering no matter the risk nor danger – an inspirational man of loyalty, intelligence and imposing physique.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Neil Wilson RA, said: “Sergeant Major Smith was an indomitable character and an institution both within his Battery and the wider Regiment. He defined the levels of professionalism and commando ethos that we demand of all our soldiers, and his loss is an enormous blow to every one of us.”
Michael, from Liverpool, was 39 years old.