Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Sergeant Steven Darbyshire from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed whilst on a security patrol in Afghanistan. He and his troops were crossing an extendible footbridge across a canal in the Sangin district of Helmand province, and he had waited for all his team to cross, remaining on the canal bank to retract the bridge. The patrol came under surprise attack, and Sgt. Darbyshire was fatally wounded. Despite two of his comrades coming to his aid, he could not be saved. He had joined the Royal Marines in 1996, served in Northern Ireland and Iraq, and was on his third tour of Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Paul James said: “Sergeant Steven Darbyshire was one of life’s great characters. A proper Lancashire lad, he typically had the wit, the cunning and the tenacity down to a fine art. I knew him to be a charismatic, loyal, determined and dedicated Sergeant with an irrepressible and infectious sense of humour. The last time I saw him he was covered in
thick mud having just fallen into an irrigation ditch, but he gave me a beaming smile and, in the manner that only he could deliver, illuminatingly described his misfortune to all. He never took life too seriously, but he cared passionately for the lives of others. He was a selfless, honest and extraordinarily courageous leader who thrived in the role of Troop Sergeant. He inspired and encouraged, he got the very best from his men, his band of brothers, and they loved him for it. He tragically died on patrol in southern Sangin doing the job he loved, with the men he so ardently cared for. He was a great man and will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.” Steven, from Wigan, was 35 years old and left behind his partner and two young sons.