Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Lance Corporal Duane Groom, 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards, was killed in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck an IED in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
He had joined the army in 2007, and two years later served in Afghanistan for the first time. A childhood friend who had also joined the army told how Lance Corporal Groom was like a big brother who would always have your back, no matter what, and that he loved his job in the army because “It restored the virtues in life that we had lost and had always hoped to regain”. He was a conscientious man, who worked hard and gained wide respect. He also was charismatic and, although quiet by nature, full of humour, and had, according to his Fijian friend, “the best smile in paradise”.
Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder said of him: “Lance Corporal Groom was an outstanding soldier in every respect. Tough, keen and unflappable, he was utterly committed to his fellows and the cause. We are all tremendously proud of what he achieved during his time in the regiment, and particularly out here in Afghanistan where he contributed so much. His many friends and the broader battle group will never forget this most talented of men. Moreover, we are determined to finish the mission that he so bravely helped to start. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends outside the regiment at this most difficult of times. Lance Corporal Groom was an outstanding soldier in every respect. Tough, keen and unflappable, he was utterly committed to his fellows and the cause.”
Duane, born in Suva, Fiji, was 32 years old.