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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Daniel Hume, 4th Battalion, the Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2009, Rifleman Daniel Hume, 4th Battalion, The Rifles, was killed in an explosion while on a foot patrol near Nad e-Ali, Helmand province. He had only arrived in 4 Rifles at the end of April, just having passed out from Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, where he was top recruit.

He had an enduring passion since childhood for downhill mountain bike racing, but accepted that he could not make a career of it, and so he attended Reading College. Considering a career in the armed forces, he decided to join the Royal Marines and attended the Commando Course in 2007, where he was noted for his determination and physical ability, but towards the end of the course he left for personal reasons. For the next year he worked for a courier company before joining the army. Before his deployment, he went to see his childhood sweetheart to give her a farewell hug and to promise that he would be all right. On arrival in Afghanistan he immediately impressed others with his maturity, selflessness and professionalism, causing one officer to comment that he was “destined for a rapid rise up the promotion ladder.”

Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones MBE said: "The Royal Marines' loss was the Rifles' gain. In training he was nothing short of a star; always first in everything, immaculately turned out, but always there for his mates and up for a laugh. When his friends were struggling, he was there for them with a kind and encouraging word and assistance. He was a natural prankster, but despite this mischievous streak, like the very best Riflemen, he was never caught. Daniel always said that he wanted one day to be RSM of the Battalion. This may at first appear to be an arrogant boast, in his case it was anything but. He was an exceptionally gifted young man who wanted to genuinely do something with his life and it would have been a brave man to bet against him to achieve his ambitions. Rifleman Hume was the epitome of the Thinking Rifleman. Early promotion beckoned and he had his eye on a move to the Sniper Platoon to join some of our very finest Riflemen. The Snipers sit at the heart of the Rifles tradition and he would have excelled with them. Mature and perceptive, his aspiration for the year was to complete the tour safely. Cruel fate has denied him this.”

Daniel, from Maidenhead, was 22 years old.

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