Marine Jonathan David Thomas Crookes, 40 Commando Royal Marines
Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Marine Jonathan David Thomas Crookes, 40 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand province.
He had joined the Royal Marines Reserve, Birmingham Detachment, in 2005, and was awarded the Commando Dagger for the best all-round recruit in training. Prior to joining he had been working as a tree surgeon as well as studying for a degree in international relations. He deployed to Sangin shortly after volunteering for an operational tour to Afghanistan in 2007, and returned there in April of 2010, based at Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam.
Major Ed Moorhouse said: “We have lost a truly outstanding man. Marine Crookes was everything you could ask for in a Royal Marines Commando; a mountain of a man, strong, powerful and brave. His courage knew no bounds, he was one of the bravest of the brave. These men are exceptional, they lead the patrols that move along the alleys and compounds of Sangin in the full knowledge of the danger that exists around every corner; in doing so they accept the risks and dangers solely to allow those behind them to walk in their steps. Jonny brought so much to Charlie Company, as a man with operational experience, and a reservist, he had a wider perspective on life and a maturity of age that are both critical on operations. A thoughtful man, courageous, quietly unassuming and dedicated, a man the young operational virgins in Charlie Company could talk to when times became challenging. Jonny was that pillar of strength that all commanders rely on. He was the most stoical man I have ever met in all of my years of soldiering; he was an inspiration to us all. A man of presence, bearing and gravitas, the epitome of a Charlie Company Spartan in every sense of the word, an outstanding soldier, noble to his brothers in arms, strong and powerful yet modest and caring. He was a unique man and one who we will miss enormously.”
Jonny, from Halesowen, West Midlands, was 26 years old and engaged to be married.