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  • Christina Drummond

Trooper Ashley David Smith, the Royal Dragoon Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Trooper Ashley David Smith, The Royal Dragoon Guards, Viking Group, D (The Green Horse) Squadron, was killed in Afghanistan. He was caught up in an explosion which occurred while he was on foot patrol in Nahr-e Saraj (South) in the vicinity of Patrol Base 1.

He had enlisted in the Army two years earlier, and trained as a Challenger 2 Gunner. On his return from Exercise Medicine Man 2, where he was employed as the Troop Leader’s Gunner, he qualified as a Viking Driver and Commander, and deployed to Afghanistan just a couple of weeks before his death. He is remembered for his courage, sensitivity and unlimited energy, and for being resolute and highly principled.

Major Denis James said: “Trooper Smith was a friend to anyone who got to know him. He was a quiet, unassuming individual with a winning smile and that is how he will be remembered, laughing and smiling with his friends in 4th Troop. He was a resolute, principled and, above all, a kind man. Although his admin could go amusingly awry, he threw himself into the demanding training that was undertaken in preparation for his deployment to Afghanistan. He was utterly dependable, completely professional and a joy to know. He was the perfect mate with whom to share a pint, yet utterly dependable in a crisis. Ash was very proud of his Yorkshire roots and the fact he was serving in Yorkshire’s Cavalry Regiment. The most fitting epitaph for Trooper Smith is that he died a brave death. He volunteered to join a team clearing a location known to be sown with IEDS. His sacrifice will inspire us. We will remember him.”

Ashley, from York, was 21 years old.

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