Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Marine Nigel Dean Mead, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan. He was fatally injured in an explosion during a cordon and search operation in the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand Province.
Marine Mead attended the Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen before joining the Royal Marines just after his seventeenth birthday. He had excelled academically at school, and had been the Welsh 800m champion and a member of Carmarthen Harriers. In July of 2009 he was the youngest marine to pass out from his troop. He showed keenness in the long-range rifle course, mountain training, and a two-month amphibious deployment in the United States. Tributes speak of a dedicated, kind and courageous young man with an engaging and highly-likeable personality.
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison RM said of him: “Marine Nigel Dean Mead was the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando. A young man with considerable inner strength, he was selfless, warm-hearted, utterly professional, and took enormous pride in his job. Despite this being his first tour of Afghanistan, he was a marksman of note and an inspiration to those who worked closely with him. At the moment his life was cut tragically short, he was operating deep in insurgent-controlled territory, where the threat of improvised explosive devices was high, demonstrating characteristic bravery and unwavering loyalty to his fellow Marines. Deano, as he is known to his friends, has made the ultimate sacrifice. The loss of such a fine young man is felt deeply across the whole of the Commando and shows the high regard in which he was held; indeed, he was a truly valued, charismatic and popular member of Lima Company and the wider 42 Commando family. In giving his life he saved others and joins an illustrious list of legends; he will be sorely missed, but his memory will live on. He died on the front line, doing the job he loved, alongside his friends who will love him forever”.
Nigel, from Carmarthen, was 19 years old.