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View Article  Lieutenant-Colonel 'Pug' Davis

Lieutenant-Colonel 'Pug' Davis



Lieutenant-Colonel "Pug" Davis, who has died aged 87, was the founding father of the Special Boat Service, and won a DSC for a daring wartime rescue.

In the summer of 1944, Davis was off the Dalmatian coast in command of a flotilla of Landing Craft (Assault), or LCAs, based on the island of Vis. Several commando raids had been mounted on the coast of Yugoslavia in support of local partisans and, in early June, Davis landed a large raiding force on the mountainous and heavily defended island of Brac, which the Germans considered pivotal to their defence of the mainland.

In addition to a large number of Tito's partisans, the force included men from 43 Commando Royal Marines (RM) and 40 Commando RM. After four days of heavy fighting and numerous casualties, including the death of their commanding officer, the main body of commandos was forced to withdraw.

On June 5 Davis landed reinforcements, but the next day these were ambushed and only 12 men returned to the shore. Davis, waiting in his LCA, seized the initiative and organised the first five men to reach the beach into a search party, arming them with rifles.

He recovered the force's heavy weapons, which had run out of ammunition, and sent them back to Vis. Then, without waiting for any more commandos or their officers, he set off to the village where the ambush had been staged. After a two-hour climb he found a wounded officer, who had been left for dead, and evacuated him safely back to the beach. He was awarded a DSC for his initiative and courage far beyond the call of duty.

Peter George Davis was born in Paddington, west London, on December 9 1923, the son of Solly Davis, who had won an MC in the First World War. At Highgate School Peter was a member of the cadet force, and one of the masters, a retired Royal Marine, inspired him to enlist in the Corps in 1942.

After training at Chatham and in the use of landing craft, Davis was sent to command RM Flotilla 561 in the Adriatic. He soon acquired the nickname "Pug", though it was unclear whether this derived from his initials, his stocky build, his prowess at boxing or his tenacious leadership.

Postwar, several "private armies" of Royal Marines – including the innocuous-sounding Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment (of which Davis was commanding officer) – were rationalised into the Combined Operations Beach and Boat Section, or COBBS.

COBBS inherited a hoard of weaponry from the war but, at least initially, consisted of only a handful of men commanded by Davis, and was restricted to giving demonstrations of its potential. Davis, however, had higher ambitions, and in 1951 (by which time COBBS had been renamed Small Raids Wing) he and six men successfully held up an Army "advance" through southern England, when they paddled undetected up the Thames and painted a sign on a bridge at Pangbourne: "Wot no bridge?" This showed, the umpires decreed, that for exercise purposes the bridge had been blown up and could not be used.

Davis was sent to Germany to set up the RM Demolition Unit of the Rhine Flotilla, intended to deny the Russians any means of crossing the Rhine, and to become a stay-behind force in the event of a Soviet invasion. On Davis's suggestion his team was renamed the 2nd Special Boat Section (2SBS), while 1SBS remained in England. Later several sections were formed – each comprising an officer and a dozen or so men, some of which operated behind enemy lines in Korea.

Davis was sent to Malta from 1952 to 1954 to create a Special Boat Section to support 42 Commando Royal Marines, and this became 6SBS, which operated in the eastern Mediterranean.

The headquarters of the SBS moved to Poole in late 1954, when it was retitled the SB Wing. Meanwhile Davis became, from 1957 to 1959, senior Royal Marines officer in the carrier Eagle. When he took command of the SB Wing (1959-61) it had expanded to the size of a rifle company and was called the Special Boat Company, under the operational command of the Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre (JSWAC).

In 1962-63, during the Confrontation (when Indonesia threatened the newly formed Federation of Malaysia), Davis was a company commander in 40 Commando RM. Deployed from the carrier Albion, he landed by helicopter deep in the jungle with "Pugforce", a amalgam of Royal Marines, Ghurkhas, Sarawak Rangers and Iban trackers. On his first operation, Davis set up an ambush near Miri in northern Sarawak, without result; the next day he captured a number of rebels.

Davis served at HQ Plymouth Group RM in 1964-65 and then returned to Albion as Amphibious Operations Officer (1965-67).

In 1968 he went back to Poole as the second-in-command of JSWAC, and on his rapid promotion he moved to the Joint Warfare Establishment at Old Sarum to teach amphibious warfare doctrine. He retired in 1971.

While with the US Navy Underwater Demolition Team in 1961, Davis was invited to parachute from a helicopter. Previously he had jumped from an aircraft only with a static line, but to show willing and to give his American hosts the impression that he was game for anything, Davis accepted. However, he misunderstood the pre-flight briefing that he should pull his ripcord before passing 3,000ft and, as he plunged towards earth, did not hear the frenzied cries of: "Pull the cord, you son of a bitch!"

At the last moment his parachute opened and he floated to the ground, unaware of the commotion he had caused. The jumpmaster rushed to greet Davis, asking: "Are you all right, sir? We all thought you'd bought it, as you hadn't pulled by a thousand." Unharmed, Davis answered serenely: "Oh no, that's perfectly all right, we Royal Marines never pull above a thousand feet."

In retirement Pug Davis was a vice-chairman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen, an active supporter of the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue, and a chairman of the Royal Marines' Association.

He died on August 18, and is survived by his wife, Janet, and their two sons.

Foxnwolf comments;

I never met him at all but he is one of those Men you wish you had.

PMPT & Semper Fi.......
View Article  FUNERAL OF LCPL MARTIN JOSEPH GILL RM

FUNERAL OF LCPL MARTIN JOSEPH GILL RM
MONDAY 27 JUNE 2011

BACKGROUND

                1. LCpl Gill of K Coy 42 Cdo RM was killed whilst on patrol in the Nahr-e-Saraj (South) district of Helmand on Sun 5 Jun 11. The aim of the patrol was to assess the atmospherics, meet and talk with local nationals, and disrupt insurgent activity in the area, in preparation for future operations. The Multiple was an hour into it’s patrol when it was engaged by small-arms fire from a nearby compound. LCpl Gill was hit and fatally wounded, and, despite being administered immediate first aid, tragically died of his wounds.

2. LCpl Gill was born on 14 August 1988, and grew up in Nottingham, where he lived with his partner Lauren, brother, John-Daniel (17), and his sister, Rebecca (18). LCpl Gill leaves behind a very close family, who were just coming to terms with the death of their mother Susan to cancer just prior to his deployment.  On their mother’s death, LCpl Gill became the legal guardian to his brother and sister. The family are devastated by these 2 loses, but under the circumstances are bearing up incredibly well.


3. LCpl Gill joined the Royal Marines in April 2008 and passed fit for duty in May 2009. On completion of training, he was appointed to the Fleet Protection Group, Royal Marines. Within a year, he was promoted to Lance Corporal and took responsibility for a four-man team, guarding the UK's nuclear deterrent. He subsequently moved to Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines in September 2010, where he assumed the role of Section Second in Command. During his tenure, he regularly stepped up to take on the role of Section Commander and his professionalism and enthusiasm were visible for all to see. He was a keen individual who had a real passion for life. He was extremely physically fit and swam for his County before joining the Royal Marines. His passion for swimming continued within the Corps, swimming for the 42 Commando Unit Team at every opportunity.


FUNERAL DETAILS


The funeral of LCpl Gill will take place at the Church of the Good Shephers (RC), 3 Thackery's Lane, Woodthorpe, Nottingham, NG5 4HT at 1400 on Monday 27 June 2011. This will be a full military funeral minus the firing party due to the location of the church and the families wishes. All are welcome to attend but be aware that it is likely to be very well supported so you may wish to arrive early.


There will then be a private family cremation at Mansfield Crematorium. the Corps will be represented at this by CGRM and CO 42Cdo.


On completion of the committal there will be refreshments available at the ELWES ARMS, Oakdale Rd, Carlton Notts, NG4 1DH and all are welcome.


Family flowers only but donations can be made to the RMCTF via the funeral directors. Co-Op funeral care, Carlton, 69 Gedley Rd, Carlton, Notts, NG4 3FG 0115 987 9008. 


Yours in Sorrow.......Richie Puttock


Richie Puttock
Ops Manager
Royal Marines Association
View Article  RM Dean Mead, Repatriated

RM Dean Mead, Repatriated


View Article  FUNERAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE LT OLIVER RICHARD AUGUSTIN RM

FUNERAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE
LT OLIVER RICHARD AUGUSTIN RM


The funeral service for the late Lt Oliver Richard Augustin RM will take place at St Martin’s of Tours Church, Station Road,  Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0EH at 1400hrs Thursday 16 June 11.  You are all invited.

The Reverend Tim Wilkinson RN will officiate. On completion refreshments will be held at the Riverside Social Club, Eynsford, Kent, DA4 0AE all are welcome.

Official bearers and firing party will come from 42 Cdo RM who will also provide the union flag. A bugler will be provided by RM Band Portsmouth.

Family flowers only with donations made payable to the Royal British Legion or the Nakuru Orphanage Kenya fund are to be forwarded to the undertaker.

Funeral Directors: Albin International, 83 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, LONDON, W2 4UL. Tel: 020 73136920.
View Article  Royal Marine Shot Dead On Afghan Patrol

MoD Names British Marine

 Killed On Sunday 5th June

A Royal Marine shot dead in southern Afghanistan yesterday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Lance Corporal Martin Gill, 22, of 42 Commando.

Lance Corporal Martin Gill

Lance Corporal Gill was undertaking stability and security operations in Afghanistan

He was killed while on a joint patrol with Afghan forces in the Nahr-e-Sarah district of Helmand province.

The Marine of 42 Commando - pronounced "Four Two" - was fatally wounded by small arms fire during a morning skirmish during the patrol designed to meet local people and disrupt insurgent activity.

LCpl Gill was hit by gunfire coming from a compound and despite being administered immediate first aid died of his wounds.

It has since emerged that LCpl Gill, a keen swimmer who grew up in Nottingham, had lost his mother weeks before he deployed on operations.

Afghanistan: Fallen Heroes

Royal Marines have provided an important element of ISAF forces

His company commander said the young marine became the "bedrock" for his younger brother and sister after their mother's death a month before the start of his Afghanistan tour.

LCpl Gill's brother, John-Daniel, sister, Rebecca, and girlfriend, Lauren, said: "Martin Joseph Gill was proud to be a Royal Marine. He was always up for a challenge, and unfortunately died doing what he had always wanted to do.

"He was the life and soul of every party, beloved and cherished by everyone. Martin will be deeply loved and missed forever. Rebecca, John-Daniel, and Lauren xxxxxx"

Colour Sergeant Scott Ferguson, Company Quartermaster, Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said: "Lance Corporal Gill, 'Fish', embodied the finest attributes of a Royal Marine Commando.

Fallen Heroes

"He displayed selflessness, courage and loyalty throughout his time within Kilo Company. 'Fish' was a true family man who had endured so much over the last few months. He was always willing others to smile with his cheeky grin."

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said he was "greatly saddened" to hear of the death of Lance Corporal Gill.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time," he said.

View Article  "THe Final Turn." Headley Way... Repat Parade

Roy Rigg of the Windsor RMA (RM 16245)





Roy is a close Oppo` of Rod (Terry) Spinks (16246)


View Article  Cyril Armitage. 508 Squad, 1948, Deal

Cyril Armitage. 508 Squad, 1948, Deal

View Article  Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC killed in Afghanistan

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC killed in Afghanistan

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC, both from Juliet Company 42 Commando Royal Marines, were killed in Afghanistan on Friday 27 May 2011.

Mne Alexander and Lt Augustin

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin and Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC
Picture: Via MOD

Lieutenant Augustin and Marine Alexander were killed by an Improvised Explosive Device whilst on patrol in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e Ali district in Helmand province.

The patrol, which was led by Lieutenant Augustin, was tasked to disrupt insurgent activity in their perceived rear area and provide depth to the Clear, Hold, Build Operation occurring to the North in Loy Mandeh Kalay further to expand the influence of the Government of Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was born in Kent on 16 March 1988. He attended Dartford Grammar School before leaving aged 18 to spend a year travelling.

During this time he spent 2 months volunteering at a school in Kenya before travelling down to South Africa through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. He then flew on to Australia where he spent 6 months working, before concluding his travels in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

On return, whilst undergoing the application procedure to join the Royal Marines as a Commissioned Officer, he studied at Bexley College and was employed as a fitter and plasterer.

Lieutenant Augustin Royal Marines began Officer Training in September 2009, passing fit for duty in December 2010. His first appointment was in Command of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He leaves behind his father Sean, his mother Jane and his sister Sarah.

Lieutenant Augustin's mum and dad, Jane and Sean, said:

"Ollie was a much loved and cherished son. He was a beautiful boy who we were very proud of. He had many friends that he loved and who loved him in return.

"His warmth and humour lit a room and infected all around him. He dealt with people in a thoughtful and compassionate way. His independence and sense of adventure meant that he embraced life and his chosen path.

"Ollie we will all love and miss you forever."

Lieutenant Augustin's sister, Sarah, said:

"Oli, you were a one in a million. You were brave, you were funny and I couldn't have wished for a better brother.

"You were so very special and made a lasting impression on anybody lucky enough to meet you.

"I will love you forever."

LT AUGUSTIN

Lieutenant Augustin
Picture: Via MOD


Lieutenant Augustin's grandfather Dick, said:

"Lieutenant Oliver Augustin was a handsome, clever, talented young man and my beloved grandson.

"He loved and was loved by his family and friends. He was always cheerful, respectful and kind. He travelled extensively during his gap year but never forgot to send his granddad a card to update his progress.

"Oliver took a commission in the Royal Marines and threw all his energies into showing how much he supported and respected the service.

"His tragic end is hard to bear but I will always remember him with pride and love."

Lieutenant Augustin's Aunt Jane, said:

"For Ollie...

"What can I say about Ollie that hasn't already been said a million times over!

"He was a kind & generous man, warm hearted and full of fun...
"He never tired of life - When we cycled Land's End to John O'Groats at the end of a very long day in Scotland 70 miles or so in, he came back down a hill to see where I'd got to and to cycle back up with me... I remember him saying 'when we finish this challenge what about signing up for another 100 mile race later in the month?'
The reply I gave wasn't very printable, but he just smiled back at me & said he would ask me again after breakfast tomorrow!

"That irrepressible love of life is what I will always take with me & the piece of my heart I have lost with Ollie's passing...

"Love always, Jane xx

Lieutenant Augustin's Aunty Alison, said:

"For Ollie...

"Ollie I loved you for your humour, your wit, your sense of fun, your bravado and the legendry 'Augustin' sarcasm.

"You now leave us with a huge hole in our lives, we are all so proud of you, we love you and will miss you forever.

"Love Alison xx"

Lieutenant Augustin's Uncle Adam, said:

"I am not sure whether I don't know what to say, or if I just don't know where to start, such is the hole the loss of Oliver has left in the lives of everyone who has ever known him. Not just his family, but also his friends and, I am sure, his colleagues.

"His love of his sister Sarah, mum Jane, his dad Sean and Grandfather Dick was obvious to everyone, but for me the love of life that he demonstrated over the last few years is what made him truly remarkable.

"His mischievous grin; as he witnessed me convince his father to buy an MV August motorcycle on a whim. How he boldly strode off into Africa and around the world on a gap year, or how he just calmly rode pillion as I rode the Antrim coast road as hard as I could, nothing appeared to faze him.

"It was with this same apparent calmness he joined the Royal Marines. He gave his all during training. He didn't just want to pass he wanted to excel and I cannot begin to tell you how proud I was of him when he was awarded his Green Commando beret.

"I spoke to him before he joined his Unit at 42 Commando and he told me that he had met his new Sergeant during his training. The Sergeant had bemoaned having "no nothing Captains" in charge of the Fire Support Group and Oliver worried how he would react to a real "no nothing Lieutenant" straight out of training! He hoped his Sergeant didn't remember the conversation or indeed him, but his new goal was to learn everything from his men and become the best Royal Marine that he could be.

"I spoke to him again just before he was posted to Afghanistan and his concerns solely revolved around his mum and sister, whose hearts were breaking, and also for his men. He was determined not to let his men down and, despite his short time with them, he held them all in the greatest regard. He had great stories of training and was looking forward to testing himself in what he had trained so hard for.

"I showed him a text that I had been sent that said;

"Life is not a game that you aim to get to the finishing line in pristine condition, but one that you should slide over the line, battered, covered in dirt and grazes, but with a huge grin and shouting, Wow what a ride!"

"Oliver laughed and agreed, and then we hid it from his mum and the rest of the table.

"I will miss Oliver for the rest of my life, but I will try every day to live up to his example and will chase every opportunity and challenge with the same drive that he did.

"We will remember you and every one of the 367 that went before and those who will unfortunately follow."

Lieutenant Augustin's cousin, Mark, said:

"Oliver,

"A truly remarkable young man who had achieved so much during such a short life.

"We are all shocked and devastated at the news of his untimely death. My overriding memories of him will be of a funny, talented, driven, committed and fun-loving man, loved and admired by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by all his family, friends and colleagues alike.

"We are forever proud of him, and he'll be forever in our hearts...

Viks, a family friend, said:

"Ollie,

"I cannot believe that you will no longer be in our lives. You will be missed...

"Dinners out will never be the same without your mischievous grin, digging at someone or another. The world we inhabit is much diminished by your absence, you could have turned your hand to be anything.

"Good, honorable, loyal and true.

"Love Viks xx"

"Ollie Augustin was a one in a million friend who will be missed by all that knew him. His ability to make all around him smile, even in the most adverse circumstances, meant that he was always someone you could turn to if you needed cheering up."

Lieutenant Lloyd Fallesen Royal Marines


Lieutenant Augustin's best friends from home, said:

"To Ollie,

"Our best friend, our hero, our idol.

"He was everything he wanted to be – and more! He touched the lives of everyone he met. He stood out from the crowd and always put others before himself.

"So much to do in so little time! He will be sorely missed by us all."


Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE, Commanding Officer 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad-e Ali (North), said:

"Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was a Troop Commander with considerable potential and a bright future ahead of him. Despite only passing for duty a matter of months ago, he had already made a considerable impact within Juliet Company and across the Unit. A charismatic young man, with a keen sense of humour, he was the life and soul of any gathering and he touched all those who had dealings with him.

"As a leader he was inspirational, passionate and selfless, putting the welfare of his men above all else - they adored him and looked to him for direction, but looked on him as a brother in arms. As a Marine he was utterly professional, dependable and tactically astute. At the time his life was tragically cut short he was characteristically leading from the front, taking the fight to the enemy; his audacity, commitment and courage clear for all to see.

"42 Commando have lost a brave, young warrior; the loss is keenly felt and the pain cuts deep. However, our grief is nothing compared to that of his loved ones; at this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Jane, his father Sean and his sister Sarah."


Major Steven McCulley Royal Marines, Officer Commanding Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Lieutenant Ollie Augustin was the epitome of a Royal Marines Officer. Selected from training to Command a Fire Support Group due to his professional ability. I was immediately impressed by the way in which no task was too difficult or onerous for him. Utterly reliable, he clearly relished leading Marines and his lads loved him. It is truly tragic that his life has been cut short and I will always remember him."

Captain Rob Garside Royal Marines, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Having handed the Juliet Company Fire Support Group to Ollie Augustin, I was soon aware I passed on the Troop to a very professional, focussed and driven Royal Marines Commando Officer. He took his job very seriously and he looked after and cared for those under his command. A quality individual, an impressive Bootneck Young Officer, he will be sorely missed by all those who worked with him and knew him."

Lieutenant Lloyd Fallesen Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Ollie Augustin was a one in a million friend who will be missed by all that knew him. His ability to make all around him smile, even in the most adverse circumstances, meant that he was always someone you could turn to if you needed cheering up. A loyal friend, Ollie was someone you could count on regardless of the circumstances. This also earned him the respect of his men, a job which he not only loved, but lived and breathed. Ollie was a true Bootneck through and through, he will be sorely missed by all that knew him."

Lieutenant Tom Phillips Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Ollie was simply an inspiration to those who had the pleasure of working with him. Always cheerful with a terrific sense of humour, he was a bastion of morale whenever times seemed hard. He was immensely proud of the job he did and the men that he had the honour of leading. His sense of humour was only topped by his professionalism and diligence in anything he did in life. He was a dear friend who will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him."

Sergeant Rob Driscoll, Multiple Commander 3, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"I had the privilege to get to know Lieutenant Augustin, Boss, Ollie, during the latter half of Pre-Deployment Training and during Operation HERRICK 14. As a young officer he was top of his game, both physically and mentally. He was a natural leader who quickly gained the respect of the men under his charge. As a fellow Multiple Commander we deployed together and Ollie was always at the centre of any banter and had a quick wit about him. He will be sorely missed by Juliet Company and my thoughts are with his friends and family."

Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Lieutenant Augustin aka ‘Small Boss' was such a nice bloke and would always dig out blind to help his oppos (opposite numbers). He was a brilliant Troop Commander and will be greatly missed."

Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"‘The Boss'; I think he enjoyed being called that and rightly so. He was easily the best all round Boss I have ever worked with. What a great bloke. He could easily be classed as one of the lads from his constant funnies, positive attitude and ‘dit' spinning. He really knew how the lads worked and had an endless amount of patience with every single person in the Troop. I could easily call him a mate; he was never shy to dig into his deep officer pockets either, e.g. when he joined us in the Fire Support Group accommodation with as much alcohol as he could carry.

"Out on the ground he definitely gave the lads a ‘warm and fuzzy' and I was proud to be under his Command. He was a hands-on Boss who hated the computer but loved the adrenalin rush. I believe he would have excelled in the Corps and definitely saw him in a Special Forces role. He was also known as ‘Boss Biceps' when he first joined us with his shirt sleeves rolled right up high. He could boast he was a very strong minded and physical bloke, and will be missed throughout the Corps."

Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Boss Augustin was a professional and organised soldier, an absolute role model for any young Marine. More one of the lads than an Officer; after going ashore several times with him he would never let the lads buy him a wet. An inspiration to me, he will be missed by all the lads in Fire Support Group. A great Boss and an even better mate. Cheers for all the wets, next rounds on me!"

Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"I can definitely say, and I know Fire Support Group agrees, that the Boss was easily the best Boss you could ask for. He was extremely professional and I always felt safe on the ground with him. He was, through and through one of the lads, always squaring us away and cracking funnies. The Boss was one of the friendliest people I have ever met in the Corps and as a new Boss; he would have gone very far in his career."

Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"‘The Boss', as he was known to the lads, was like no other Boss and will never be replaced in any shape or form. He never separated himself from the lads whether we were in the room playing FIFA or chipping in on Sentry; he even came to the Fire Support Group accommodation for parties….a ‘hoofing man'. He used to sit with the lads and open his parcels in front of us, moaning about the value bags his family bought, showing us his single razor he got in every box. Brilliant shield for the lads as we are a bit ‘Over The Top' in all that we do. He was one in a million and will always be remembered."

Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Boss, you will be missed by all; a brilliant Troop Boss. A massive blow to the Troop. Rest in Peace."

The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:

"An inspiration to all who had the pleasure to work with him. A friend first and a Boss second. A tremendous loss to us all. You will not be forgotten. May you Rest in Peace."

Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

"Lieutenant Augustin was a talented young officer with a promising career in the Royal Marines. He was a natural leader who led from the front and set a fine example for those that he worked with. His death is a loss to the Service and my thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time."

Mne Sam Alexander

Mne Sam Alexander

Mne Sam Alexander
Picture: Via MOD


Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC

Marine Sam Alexander MC was born on 16 June 1982 in Hammersmith, London, where he grew up with his mother, Serena, father Stuart and sister, Sophie. He was married to Claire in November 2009 and their son Leo was born in July 2010.

He joined the Royal Marines in July 2006 and passed fit for duty in October 2007. On completion of training, Marine Alexander MC was appointed to the Fire Support Group in Mike Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He later moved to Kilo Company and deployed on Operation HERRICK 9, during which he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. On his return from operations he trained as a Heavy Weapons (Anti-Tank) specialist and was appointed to Juliet Company, before returning to Afghanistan for Operation HERRICK 14.

Claire, Marine Alexander's wife, said:

"Sam was so special. He was the gentlest of men but tough when he needed to be. He risked his safety for his friends but never batted an eyelid. It was his job and a job he did well. Sam was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was our rock and my best friend. He has been taken from me all too soon.

"We both love him and will miss him very much. These are all special guys who, for whatever reason, join a very tough band of blokes who willingly die for each other without a second thought. I just hope his death was not in vain"

Stuart, Marine Alexander's father, said:

"Sam's professionalism was widely acknowledged, the award of a Military Cross is testament to his courage and care for those around him. But it is as a father and husband that he showed the same deep-rooted wish always to help and care for others. People say I must be very proud, but the respect in which I held him was more important than pride. He was a great guy with a great smile and a zest for life. I loved him very much."

Serena, Marine Alexander's mother, said:

"The legacy that Sam leaves is hope - hope for oppressed people all over the World. There are people like Sam who risk their lives for others. Wherever you are now Sam, keep on fighting. You will never be forgotten".

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE, Commanding Officer 42 Commando Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad-e Ali (North), said:

"Marine Sam Alexander MC was a truly remarkable young man. Decorated during his last tour of Afghanistan for gallantry, he embodied all the finest attributes of a Royal Marines Commando: he was courageous, selfless, resolute, loyal and cheerful in the face of adversity.

"The loss of such a professional and well respected Marine comes as shocking news; he was a larger than life character and leaves a gap that cannot be filled. One of the more senior Marines in Juliet Company, he inspired those around him to reach the highest possible standards and in doing so was an exemplary role model for those younger and less experienced than himself.

"He led by example and from the front and would have unquestionably had a promising future in the Royal Marines ahead of him. Sadly this will not be realised as his life has been tragically cut short. Instead, Marine Alexander now joins the legends, the bravest of the brave, who inspire us all forever with their courage, dedication and sacrifice; his memory will endure. On this the darkest of days, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Claire, their son Leo and his parents Stuart and Serena; may they somehow find the strength and courage to face the days ahead."

Major Steven McCulley, Officer Commanding, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Sam Alexander MC was one of Juliet Company's most experienced and professional Marines. Not only was he a Heavy Weapons specialist, but also a Sharpshooter; a qualification he took much pride in. Having been awarded the Military Cross for bravery on Operation HERRICK 9, the lads looked up to him and he could be relied upon to galvanise them when required. An unbearable loss of life, he will be deeply missed by all of us."

Captain Rob Garside, Company Intelligence Officer, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Alexander MC was one of the most experienced Marines in the Company. Having completed a previous HERRICK Tour, it was clear that more junior ranks looked up to him. A Bootneck that everyone would want to be by his side in a firefight, Sam Alexander was a true operational Bootneck who carried out his duties to the highest of standards. He will be sorely missed by all in Juliet Company and our thoughts are with his young family."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Andy Place, Company Sergeant Major, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Sam Alexander MC was always the first man to volunteer for any detail. His professional attitude towards all military skills was infectious to the junior Marines within Juliet Company. Always proud to be a part of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, ‘Jesters'; his attitude was that of a ‘big man trapped in a small body'. His tragic death will hit the Company hard, however he would not want to be the cause of any drop in excellence. My thoughts go to his wife, son and family. See you on the re-org Royal."

"Sam, the most inspirational Marine I have met. You will be missed by all. Rest in Peace."

Marine Sam Magowan


Corporal Phillip Willis, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sam was one of those Bootneck's who was able to have a smile on his face no matter what the situation. Most days he would have something funny to say; out here it was that my eyebrows looked awesome as they have gone bleached blonde. He would say I looked like a super hero which would always make us laugh. Sam was a good person, a Bootneck showing all the qualities that a good Bootneck should have; cheerfulness in the face of adversity, selflessness, courage and determination."

Lance Corporal Christopher Watson, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sam was one of those men who due to his experience everyone looked up to and respected regardless of rank. He always made the time to help the more junior Marines, and treated them with the same level of respect they afforded him. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and will be fondly remembered as the perfect Marine, as a great laugh and as a Great Man."

Lance Corporal Adam Perkins, 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Alexander MC was a member of my Troop throughout training and ever since we have always crossed paths; since deploying on Operation HERRICK 9, and more recently Operation HERRICK 14. Sam was a character who never dropped his smile or charms, either on camp, in the accommodation or in the field. He was a lad who would never say no and would do anything for anyone. My thoughts are with his son Leo and wife Claire. Rest in Peace mate."

Leading Medical Assistant Chris Jones, Juliet Company Medic, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"I first met Marine Alexander MC during Operation HERRICK 9 when I was attached to his section. I remember he made me feel welcome and we laughed and joked about me being a Matelot out in the field. Sammy was awarded a Military Cross during Operation HERRICK 9 which is a testament to his bravery.

"Only a few days ago he jokingly said to me that we had a habit of being in sticky situations together. Apart from operations, I didn't know Sammy as well as others but I do know he was a humble guy, a very proud Royal Marine and a man I will always look up to. No two ways about it, Marine Sam Alexander MC was a hero, a legend who will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in Peace Sam, you will be sadly missed."

Marine Jason Badham, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Alexander MC, a true hero, always full of morale, a real inspiration to us all and he will be greatly missed."

Marine Ross McIlduff & Marine Joshua Best, 1 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Alexander MC epitomised a Royal Marine, always looking out for an oppo (opposite number), always first to give a hand and always lifted morale. He always carried out his job to the highest standards. A true Soldier.

"He always had some good ‘dits' to spin to the lads and was a guaranteed ‘Hoofing run ashore'; there was never a boring night with Sam. Sam will always be remembered for what he has done and will always be a ‘Jester'. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family."

Marine Michael Chapman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"I have only known Sam for about 6 months since joining Juliet Company, I was expecting a hoofing, courageous, selfless Bootneck after hearing about his Military Cross; and that is exactly what he was. He would always be the first to the stand-to position in order to protect everyone else. Even with so much to lose, i.e. his wife Claire and his future Formula One driver son, Leo.

"He was perfect for all occasions, if it be for a one on one welfare discussion or generally being the centre of a conversation; although his Formula One dits were sometimes ideal for sending you to sleep! Not forgetting his run ashore dits, the Pringle saying ‘once you pop, you can't stop,' was a perfect way to describe his drinking style.

"Although, he wouldn't let the beer defeat him, he would always soldier on to sun-uppers, or was adamant of making his way home to annoy his wife Claire; If that was the case, he would come into work the next day with his tail between his legs like a naughty dog. He was a truly a great asset to the Corps and will clearly be missed by many. An absolute professional."

Marine Louis Nethercott, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"To sum up Sam: A truly courageous and professional soldier."

Marine Liam Kelly, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sam was one of the best and most professional Marines I have ever worked with. Having been in Fire Support Group with him since I arrived in the Unit 2 years ago after passing out, he was always on hand to give me advice on anything. I can say I have learnt a lot from him, especially from the time I spent with him on Operation HERRICK 14.

"Sam was very courageous and always first to volunteer for anything. Aside from being a real hand grenade ashore, and his horrendous Formula One dits; it was an honour to work alongside him. He will be sadly missed and our hearts go out to his wife Claire and son Leo."

Marine Brett Newman, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Sam Alexander MC was a credit to the Corps, he was always having a laugh and a joke with the lads and his daily complaints never failed to amuse. He thought the world of his wife and son, Leo, who Sam thought would be the next Lewis Hamilton; despite the fact he was still in nappies.

"He was a very good mentor to the new lads. One of my last memories of Sam was just before we started this Operation, we were all sat in our room packing our kit and we were all laughing at the fact that Sam couldn't pick up his Bergen. He was morale and he will be greatly missed amongst the lads."

Marine Matthew Smith, Headquarters, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sam Alexander; what a bloke. As the Company Clerk, or spy as the lads like to call me, I get to know most of the lads pretty well. Sam was one of those who would always be a friendly face and always lots of morale. He would always come up with a witty one liner or ‘dit' that would instantly make you smile or burst out with laughter.

"The most recent memory I have of him is being in a resupply to his Check Point; with the stores being offloaded and Sam at the front, I can remember him breaking into song about nothing in particular, other than the fact that they were unloading stores. Quality. He was an amazing lad and a top Bootneck, with the medals to prove it, and I will never forget him. Corps legend through and through, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest in Peace mate. ‘Prove Jokers'."

Marine Owen Blake & Marine Dale Monk, Recce Troop, Command Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Both Dale and I had the pleasure of serving with Sam in Kilo Company for the duration of Operation HERRICK 9. We were both present on the day in Majah where Sam won his Military Cross for valiant action that heavily contributed to saving the life of his Section Commander.

"The Officer Commanding afterwards said that all the men that day were worthy of the award but those that were present all knew that the courage required to do what Sam did was way above what can be expected of an ordinary man. To run into open ground in direct enemy fire, effectively suppressing the enemy, while his fallen Section Commander was extracted just proved what all his colleagues already knew, that Sam was an exceptional soldier with the heart of a lion.

"During Post Operational Tour Leave and over a few ‘wets' Sam casually played down his award stating he was only doing his job; in the years since he has never showed off or acted on his award. This sums Sam up to a ‘T', a modest man and exceptional soldier and a Bootneck that many aspire to emulate. He will be truly missed."

Marine Sam Magowan, Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sam, the most inspirational Marine I have met. You will be missed by all. Rest in Peace."

The entire Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"A selfless decorated Marine who all aspired to emulate. A true Bootneck in every sense of the word, and a proud father. Fiercely loyal to all lucky enough to be called his friend. You can never be replaced and will never be forgotten."

The entire 2 Troop, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"We can remember when he came back to work after the birth of his boy and telling everyone how proud it made him; and then there was the Friday night DJ sessions in the accommodation that everyone loved (Gen!). Or just his general enthusiasm for his job and the effort he put into the lads; the Military Cross awarded to him on Operation HERRICK 9 proves this tenfold. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time. Rest in Peace Royal."

Defence Secreatry, Dr Liam Fox, said:

"As a holder of the Military Cross for gallantry, Marine Alexander demonstrated some of the finest attributes of a Royal Marine Commando and was clearly held in high regard by his colleagues. The ultimate sacrifice that he has made for the safety of others will not be forgotten. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."

View Article  Roger Tyack, former RSM (updated 26th april)

This is to confirm that the Standards will be required and that the Exhortation, together with the Last Post and Reveille will delivered


It is with regret I have to inform you that Roger Tyack, former RSM in the Corps passed away at 05:50 hours on Friday 15th April 2011.

The funeral of the late Roger Tyack is on Tuesday 3rd May 2011 at 10:00 hours at;

Barham Crematorium
Canterbury Road (A260)
Barham
Kent
CT4 6QU

Tel; 01227 831 351
Fax; 01227 830 258

View Article  Bobby Cee passed away in 2004
Robert "Bobby" Cattrall

Published in the Plymouth Herald on 3rd August 2004
 (Distributed in Plymouth, Plympton)

25th July 2004

CATTRALL Robert
(Bobby Cee)
Passed away peacefully at home with his family on July 25th 2004 aged 63 years. The beloved husband of Dianne, father of Lar, Liz, Louise (deceased), Therese and Rob and beloved grandad of all his grandchildren.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumnal rain,
When you waken in the morning hush,
I am the soft uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night,
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Original Link



Foxnwolf comments;

Old Bobby Cee, I remember him well. I was quite upset knowing that this character had passed away in 2004 and didnt even know. There are a handfull of us including me & Keith "Noddy" Dunn, Barry "Rocker" Holroyde, "Spike" Hughes and others who work the "Doors" (1969 to 1976) at his various nightclubs where he was either manager/owner. He was well known and great at what he did (with our help of course) £5 a night, free booze and a chicken supper included. We had to supplement our meagre MOD wages somehow.

A huge guy with a bad temper (worse than his bite) and a great sense of humor. It makes you realise that we are all getting older.......

Yes, I have placed in the "Crossed the Bar" section as he was a part of our lives whilst we served in the RM.......

RIP, Bobby Cee....... 


PMPT & Semper Fi........
View Article  Tom Walker
Tom Walker


With sadness, Tom has passed on...

From ex Sigs` to Snr Sgt. Great guy, intelligent, smart, very helpful, good instructor and signaller. Finally, very friendly...



PMPT (Keith Talbot & Danny Shepherd) 
View Article  THE MEN OF PIKE
THE MEN OF PIKE
 After the Mining Disaster

They came from near and far away

The men of Pike to work that day

The afternoon shift way down deep

Beneath the mountains oh so steep

A long way in but further out

The afternoon shift sets about

A job not flash but hard and trying

A job that holds the risk of dying

 

From seventeen to sixty two

They start their shift to see it through

For one his first, for all their last

How could they know there’d be a blast?

For all at once no siren whining

Suddenly the worst in mining

Dust and rubble fill the air

A loader driver thrown clear

Just one other finds the light

The rest are hidden from our sight

 

And so we learn as news is spread

The news that mining families dread

It’s up at Pike there’s an explosion

Faces drop and hearts are frozen

Who, how many, where and why ----

Will they make it ---- will they die

 

Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons

Coasters, Kiwis, Aussies, Poms

Mates and friends who we are seeking

Methane gas from coal seams leaking

Vents exploded, phones unheeded

Level heads and strength are needed

The world above unites as one

To bring the missing to the sun

 

Rescue teams are standing by

As holes are drilled and experts try

To find a way that’s safe and sound

To rescue those beneath the ground

Could robots work where men are mortal

To pierce the dangers of that portal

But alas all effort fails

The darkness of the mine prevails

 

A second blast of rock and thunder

Hope and prayers are rent asunder

A nation weeps and Coasters mourn

Pike falls silent, dark, forlorn

A hole remains within the ground

Devoid of joy, of life, of sound

 

Another hole within the heart

Of those forever set apart

From those they loved who went to toil

Digging coal beneath the soil

Those who gave their lives that day

To work a shift for honest pay

They wait at rest within their mine

The men of Pike, the Twenty Nine

 

Sean Plunket


View Article  Kranji War Memorial
Kranji War Memorial
by
Robert "Bob" Carr
(currently down under)



I thought I would send these 3 photos from Singapore during my visit to Kranji.  I laid poppies where ever I came across an ex-Royal Marine's grave, and some on Johnny Ghurka's.  It took quite a while and the heat was fierce.  I certainly felt my age by the time I had gone round the whole area.  It is a very beautiful spot and kept immaculate by local ground staff.  I am staying with the grandson of the original caretaker who was appointed by Lord Mountbatten at the end of the Japanese occupation in recognition for his services to British and Commonwealth soldiers and POWs.  This place is still visited by veterans from Britain and Australia and it is good to know that these old vets never forget old comrades.

Image 1 image 2 image 3

Best wishes

Bob Carr 2010


View Article  Scottish WWII piper Bill Millin dies in Devon hospital
Scottish WWII piper Bill Millin dies in Devon hospital



The piper continued to play as enemy fire killed comrades coming ashore

"I didn't notice I was being shot at"

A Scottish bagpiper who played men into battle during World War II has died in Devon.

Bill Millin, who was 88, played his comrades ashore on Sword Beach during the D-Day Normandy landings.

The Glaswegian commando's actions were later immortalised in the film, "The Longest Day".

Mr Millin, who lived at a nursing home in Dawlish since suffering a major stroke seven years ago, died in Torbay Hospital.

A statement released by his family said: "This morning following a short illness piper Bill Millin, a great Scottish hero, passed peacefully away in Torbay hospital."

Mr Millin was serving with 1st Commando Brigade when he landed in France on 6 June, 1944.

His commanding officer, Lord Lovat, asked him to ignore instructions banning the playing of bagpipes in battle and requested he play to rally his comrades.

Iconic part;

Despite being unarmed, Mr Millin marched up and down the shore at Sword Beach in his kilt piping "Highland Laddie".

He continued to play as his friends fell around him and later moved inland to pipe the troops to Pegasus Bridge.

His bagpipes, which were silenced four days later by a piece of shrapnel, were handed over to the National War Museum of Scotland in 2001, along with his kilt, commando beret and knife.

In 2006 when a song was written in his honour by Devon folk singer Sheelagh Allen, Mr Millin told BBC: "I enjoyed playing the pipes, but I didn't notice I was being shot at.

"When you're young you do things you wouldn't dream of doing when you're older."

For the past 66 years, Mr Millin returned to France on numerous occasions to pay his respects to his fallen comrades.

His family said he would always be remembered as an iconic part of all those who gave so much to free Europe from tyranny.

Mr Millin's funeral will be held privately, but a service of remembrance will be held at a later date.

Related Link; July 14th 1922 - August 18th 2010

Related stories

View Article  Rest in Peace, Lance Sergeant Dan Collins


The Afghanistan hero who could bear the horrors of war no longer


Lance Sergeant Dan Collins lived for the Welsh Guards. He joined up at 16 and served for more than 13 years. He loved being a soldier - part of his email address was 'ArmyDan' - and he was immensely proud of his service in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Helmand in 2009, Collins should have died several times but miraculously survived being shot in the back, his leg being grazed by a bullet and being caught in two bomb blasts. He was a joker but also a leader. He witnessed some things no human being should see but never wavered under fire.

On New Year's Day, Collins telephoned the police from the Preseli Mountains just outside the village of Rosebush in Pembrokeshire in west Wales and told them he was going to hang himself. Helicopters were scrambled and a search was launched but it was several hours before his body was found at an old slate quarry in the mountains.

Lance Corporal Dane Elson (left) and Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in Afghanistan on the eve of Operation Panther's Claw in 2009
Lance Corporal Dane Elson (left) and Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in Afghanistan on the eve of Operation Panther's Claw in 2009

Dan Collins was 29 years old. A native of Cardigan, he was a son, a brother and a father. He was a Guardsman and a hero, though he would never have used the term to describe himself. While his name is unlikely ever to be carved on a memorial to the fallen his comrades will always remember him as a victim of the war in Afghanistan even though the Taliban never quite managed to kill him.

I first met Collins in Aldershot a few months after he had returned from Helmand. Although I had been with the Welsh Guards Battle Group during their 2009 tour, researching what would become my book Dead Men Risen, our paths had not crossed because he had been part of the 22-strong Fire Support Group Three - FSG-3 - which had been detached from its parent battalion and instead part of the Light Dragoons Battle Group.

As he talked to me, it became clear that he was haunted by what he had been through. When he first got back he was, as one friend described, 'full of beans' and tales of being in battle and eager to show hours of 'helmet cam' footage taken during firefights.

It did not take long, however, for the horror of what he experienced to take hold. He described to me how during Operation Panther's Claw he had already carried the body of one dead comrade to a Pedro medical helicopter when there was another blast. A Light Dragoons lance corporal had stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device.

The blast had badly wounded the company commander. The company sergeant major had gone into battle shock - wide-eyed and falling over as he barked out orders. It took more than five minutes for Collins to find the lance corporal, who was lying in an irrigation ditch and had lost both legs and an arm.

For nearly 15 minutes , Collins and others fought to save the lance corporal's life. Collins told me:

'He was unconscious but one thing that stuck in my mind and I'll never forget it. As I was doing compressions, I looked at his face and I could see his eyes opening. I don’t think he knew anything about what was going on but it was like he was looking at me.'

The lance corporal was pronounced dead on the helicopter.

A day later, Collins and his comrades had advanced further when there was another large explosion as the Welsh Guards were about to clear the track ahead. Collins screamed over the radio at the two soldiers he knew were doing the clearing with metal detectors. One replied but the other, Lance Corporal Dane Elson, a close friend, did not.

Collins shouted: 'Dane! Dane Dane! Can you hear us? If you can hear, do anything, just click and blow, just do anything.' But Elson had suffered catastrophic injuries similar to those of the Light Dragoons lance corporal the day before. Perhaps mercifully, he had been killed outright.

Talking about it months later, Collins described this as 'one of the lowest moments of my life'.

'We just all sat there and we had our own little cry. Everyone had their own little moment. It was pretty hard to deal with. The next day we just picked it up and everything we'd done then was for Dane. We took the fight to the Taliban and we were fighting on for Dane.'

Earlier in the tour, Collins had been hit in the base of his body armour during a Taliban ambush. The impact, he told me, was 'like a full swing of hammer straight into your spine'.  He could feel a burning sensation and excruciating pain but there was no blood - just severe bruising.

Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in February 2010
Lance Sergeant Dan Collins in February 2010

'After that, it was a bit of a mixed emotion. I went into a bit of shock then I started laughing because I'd been shot but I was sort of all right. I was in agony but was laughing. Then it went to crying because my partner was pregnant with my little girl. It was like 'I could have just died'.

Collins's daughter Scarlet was born in July 2009, shortly after Elson's death. By that time, Collins had broken up with the mother but he was delighted to be a father.

On the day his body armour stopped the bullet in his back, Collins was unshaven. After that, he never shaved before a patrol, adding that to his superstitious ritual of listening to Linkin Park on his iPod before going out. Underneath his body armour he wore a wooden cross, one of those blessed in Bangor Cathedral and distributed by the chaplain before the tour.

Collins was elated to have survived the bullet that should have killed him and remarked to an Army press officer: 'If I ever meet the person who designed our body armour, I'll buy them a pint.' True to his word, he later met a representative of the firm NP Aerospace, which made the body armour, at a pub in Cardiff.

He laughed as he told me about the telephone call to his mother, while he was still high on morphine and ketamine, after he had been shot in the back:

'I rung my Mum and I said, 'Mum, don't panic. I'm in the hospital. I've been shot'. And she was like, 'What? What?!' I said, 'Look, I'm fine. I obviously wouldn't be talking to you if I was in a bad way'. Mothers do worry.'

Collins was carried to a helicopter and evacuated back to Camp Bastion a second time after a bullet grazed his shin. Twice he was blown off his feet by IED blasts. Of all the Welsh Guardsmen on that bloody tour, Collins had probably come close to death more times than any of those who returned.

In Dead Men Risen, I wrote of how post-traumatic stress seemed to affect NCOs like Collins more than the ordinary guardsmen:

In Helmand, they were the ones holding everyone else together and they were often heavily involved in treating casualties. One NCO tried to kill himself shortly after getting back but was saved when his wife found him hanging in the kitchen and cut the rope. Lance Sergeant Dan Collins, who was shot twice and survived two IED blasts, could not sleep when he returned and had recurrent nightmares.

In one, he kept seeing the face of the mortally wounded lance corporal . His girlfriend would be woken up by his shouting ‘Medic!’ or ‘Man down!’ The death of Dane Elson continued to haunt him. Sometimes he would call out ‘Dane!’ in his sleep. Collins first realised he needed help when he heard a loud noise in Tesco and flung himself to the ground.

Like a number of his colleagues, Collins received counselling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was placed in the care of a psychiatric nurse. He spent a period off sick at home but when he returned to work he panicked during a live-firing exercise in Wiltshire. There was more psychiatric treatment and there seemed to be an improvement but he did not go back to the battalion.

Collins was unable to see his daughter for long periods but told friends he was looking forward to having custody and access arrangements worked out in 2012. On Christmas Day, he wrote on Facebook:

'Merry Xmas to u all gotta love the Xmas flu. to my gorgeous daughter daddy loves u and hopefully will see u in the nr future wherever you are will have lots of bday and Xmas presents for you xx'

Two days later, things appeared to be bad again. He posted:

'Time to stop feeling sorry for my self shower and do something with the day maybe a long walk over the mountains me thinks or a stroll down the beach.'

There has been an outpouring of grief from comrades and friends of Dan Collins. He is due to receive a full military funeral that will doubtless match those of the Welsh Guardsmen killed in 2009 - Lance Sergeant Tobie Fasfous (whose coffin Collins shouldered at his repatriation service in Camp Bastion), Lieutenant Mark Evison, Major Sean Birchall, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe and Lance Corporal Elson.

Over the coming months and years there will be many questions about why he took his own life. Alas, there will probably be fewer answers.

Many soldiers back from Afghanistan find themselves in a very dark place. Dan Collins, it seems, could not envision a way out of the darkness.

He leaves behind his mother Deana, his younger sister Megan, his girlfriend Vicky and his daughter Scarlet, two, as well as many, many friends. Starting next month, the Welsh Guards will be returning to Helmand.

Rest in Peace, Army Dan.

View Article  DECEASED ROYAL MARINE FOUND ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Shared of the Soldiersoffthestreet site ..can...
Charlie Brindley 9:28am Dec 9
Can you help find his family ....so sad...
"DECEASED ROYAL MARINE FOUND ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT ..PLEASE REPOST.
people we are looking for family members for this man so please pass on to any forces members clubs ect as we dont want this man to be buried by the i.o.w council ..
Name.. JOHN ELLIS...ROYAL MARINE COMMANDO..D.O.B.. 17/5/51.. AGE 60.. 3 TOURS OF NORTHERN ISLAND..
KNOWN FAMILY IN EXMOUTH AREA SISTER KNOWN AS DEBBIE ( DOGS ) ELLIS HAS A WHITE STAFF BULL TERRIER..
ANOTHER KNOWN FRIEND BY THE NAME OF ( BOWLER ) HE IS A TRAVELLER POSS AREAS EXETER,STRATFORD,LEAMINGTON,CORNWALL,
ANY INFO PLEASE TO ME A.S.A.P WE HAVE A WEEK BEFORE THE COUNCIL BURY THIS MARINE .."
View Article  FUNERAL FOR RM ADAM BROWN (40cdo)
FUNERAL FOR RM ADAM BROWN
WEDNESDAY 18 AUGUST 2010

MARINE ADAM BROWN

ROYAL MARINES

 

Mne Brown was Killed in Action, whilst on foot patrol out of Patrol Base (PB) ALMAS,  Afghanistan, on 1 Aug 10.  The family have opted for a Full Service Funeral which will take place in Hampshire in the village of Yateley, on 18 Aug 10 at 1300hrs.

Marine Adam Brown joined the Royal Marines in October 2004 and passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando in September 2005. He was born in Frimley, Surrey, and was 25 years old. He lived in Burtle, near Glastonbury, with his wife Amy, whom he married in December 2009.

On completion of Commando Training he was drafted to Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, and immediately deployed to Iraq for three months. He subsequently deployed on numerous exercises, including jungle warfare training in Sierra Leone, before he specialised as a signaller in 2007.

Rejoining Alpha Company as a newly-qualified signaller, he deployed to Afghanistan in October 2007 on Operation HERRICK 7 where he served in Kajaki.

During 2009 he took part in a large-scale amphibious exercise, operating in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Malay Peninsula and Brunei. In September 2009 he began Mission Specific Training for his second tour of Afghanistan.

He once more deployed to Helmand in April 2010 as a signaller with 3 Troop, Alpha Company, where he operated from Patrol Base Almas. Alpha Company has been conducting daily reassurance and security patrols with Afghan National Security Forces to protect local Afghans in the Sangin district.

Mne Brown leaves behind a large close knit family who are devastated by his death. The family consists of his wife Amy and his Mother and Father Jenny and Robert who live in Andover. He also has twin brother Steven and James and a younger Sister Laura.  His Mother and Father in Law are Sue and John who in addition to Amy have another daughter, Louisa.

Funeral Details

The funeral service will take place at St Peters Church, Yateley, Hants, GU46 7LR‎ on 18 Aug 10. All military attendees are to be seated in the church by 1230 hrs.  On completion of the service there will be a private burial in Heathlands Cemetery, which is a short drive of between 5 -10 mins from the Church. Due to the wishes of the family, only invited service personnel are to attend. On completion of the burial, a celebration of Mne Brown’s life will be held in the Ely Pub, London Road (A30), Yateley, GU17 9LJ. Parking facilities are available with priority given to family and Senior Military Representatives.

SPECIAL RMA INSTRUCTIONS

The family extend a very warm welcome to the RMA both members and standards.  The National Standard will be on Parade.  Car parking will be available at Yateley Manor School on the Reading Road.

The family also would like all donations to go to the RM Charitable Trust Fund and family flowers only.  At their request there will be no RMA wreath.  However they wish the RMA to bring their collecting buckets that they have seen over the local area outside supermarkets and take the collection for the RM CTF.  It is perfectly legal to use the RMA buckets for this purpose.

Sharky Ward will coordinate the RMA and veteran participation at the funeral.

Steve Crawley, Windsor and Maidenhead Branch, will coordinate the collection on behalf of the family.

THE CELEBRATION AT THE ELY PUB

Please note that the family wishes you to attend and keep the collection buckets to the fore.  However parking will be tight.  Please try to fill cars up at the school and ferry members up.  There is parking over the roundabout where people walk their dogs on Minley Common.  But you will need to be aware that much patience will be required.

Due to the popularity of Mne Brown in his local community and local area support for the Services, it is anticipated that the attendance at the funeral will be significant. The family are immensely proud of his service to his country and are keen to honour Adam with a military funeral. It is imperative serving Royal Marines consider the feelings and wishes of the family throughout to ensure the day is conducted within the best traditions of the Royal Marines.


Yours in sorrow


Charlie Hobson
View Article  Harry Vozey
Harry Vozey

For those of you who may have know this ex RM, Harry passed away after a short illness on 3rd August 2010.......
View Article  The Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge, Achnacarry...
The Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge, Achnacarry...



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View Article  Dave, May You Rest In Peace

Dave, May You Rest In Peace


It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine David Charles Hart from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 8 July 2010

Marine Hart was serving as part of Combined Force Sangin and was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand Province.

Marine David Charles Hart was born in York, North Yorkshire and was 23 years old and lived with his family in Upper Poppleton.

He joined recruit training in February 2009, and stood out as one of the top recruits and in recognition of this was awarded his Diamond.

He passed out for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on 16 October 2009, when he was awarded The Commando Medal.

The Commando Medal is awarded to the man who, throughout training, shows, to an outstanding degree, the qualities of the Commando Spirit. These are defined as: Determination, Courage, Cheerfulness and Unselfishness.

On completion of recruit training he was drafted to 40 Commando Royal Marines, based in Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton.

Joining Charlie Company in October 2009 he immediately conducted Mission Specific Training for an operational tour with 40 Commando in Afghanistan. Qualifying as a combat medic, and singled out as an impressive and mature individual, he was quickly selected to become part of the newly formed Police Mentoring Team.

In April 2010 he deployed to Afghanistan and was based at Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam and Patrol Base Sangin Tufann.

During the early evening of Thursday 08 July 2010, Charlie Company was conducting a joint reassurance patrol with the local Afghan Army. At 1825 hours local, west of patrol base Sangin Tufann, an explosion occurred, fatally wounding Marine Hart.

Dilys and Chris Hart, his parents said "David loved his family, his girlfriend and friends, many that he has known since early age.

"Throughout his life David showed the qualities of the Commando Spirit, he had a great personality and was a friend to everyone.

"His cheerfulness, his sense of humour and of course his smile will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. We are immensely proud, as he was, of his achievements."

Sarah Hart, his sister said "Dave was the best brother I could ever have wished for.

"He was caring, funny, had an infamous cheeky grin and would always be there for you.

"I am so proud to have been his sister, and of his chosen career as a Royal Marines Commando.

"He truly loved his job and relished the challenges he was facing on a daily basis.

"Dave, I will miss you so much. You were so brave and I will always remember you as a true hero."

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin said "Marine Dave Hart was magnificent; both in personality and in profession.

"Diligent, loyal, utterly dedicated and completely selfless, he was a perfect Commando.

"He had a resolute but compassionate manner that everyone admired; he thrived in adversity and inspired others to do the same.

"He was tragically killed on the eve of his 24th birthday, with a bright career ahead of him, but he died doing the job he loved and amongst friends who will love him forever. He took great pride in all that he did and was a man of great presence; in stature, in temperament, and in life.

" He was a young and deeply impressive marine who was fiercely courageous and always thinking of others before himself.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends.

"He was truly one of life's greats and he will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.

"Marine Dave Hart was, and always will be, a Royal Marine Commando."

Major Ed Moorhouse, Officer Commanding Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said "Marine Dave Hart was universally popular with everyone in Charlie Company; there was not an ounce of malice in Dave, he was always cheerful, always upbeat and a friend to everyone.

"He was a marine, no matter the circumstances and no matter the rank, who would always give you the time of day; and who would go out of his way to help you.

"This wholesome, compassionate and thoughtful man was fiercely proud of his profession, of his Corps, Charlie Company and the Band of Brothers who he fought alongside.

"Strong, dedicated and professional he epitomised what it is to be a Royal Marines Commando.

"In Dave Hart, I saw a marine with a career in the Corps ahead of him and a man hungry to prosecute that professional challenge that it presented.

"As his first Company Commander I took great pride in setting him on that path, and I am greatly saddened that a journey that had such rich and abundant potential has ended in such tragic suddenness.

"He was a man with the Corps at his feet.

"At this dark and very painful time our thoughts and prayers are with Dave's parents, sister and girlfriend and we hope that that the vitality and light that he gave us all returns to them as time heals their bereavement and tragic loss.

"Marine Dave Hart was a Charlie Company Spartan, a Royal Marines Commando and a loyal friend to us all and this is the legacy by which we will always remember this very fine man.

"Dave, may you Rest in Peace."




View Article  RM Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire killed in Afghanistan

It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire from 40 Commando Royal Marines, serving as part of Combined Force Sangin, was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 23 June 2010

Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire
Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire, 40 Commando Royal Marines
[Picture: via MOD]

Sergeant Darbyshire was killed by small arms fire during a firefight with insurgent forces whilst on a security patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province.

Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire

Sergeant Steven William 'Darbs' Darbyshire was 35 years old. He was born in Wigan, and it was there that he lived with his partner Kate and their two young sons Ryan and Callum.

He was a great fan of sports, particularly football and golf, but especially rugby; earlier in his career he represented the Corps as a rugby league player.

Joining the Royal Marines in 1996, he was drafted to 40 Commando on completion of his training. This first draft saw him serve on an operational tour in Northern Ireland before choosing to specialise in the Heavy Weapons (Air Defence) branch.

Serving with the Air Defence Troop he deployed to Iraq in 2002 on Operation TELIC. He was selected for promotion, passing his Junior Command Course in 2003, and subsequently promoted to Corporal.

In 2007 he deployed to Afghanistan with 45 Commando on Operation HERRICK 5. As an experienced Corporal, a Senior Command Course quickly followed his tour of Afghanistan and he was promoted to Sergeant in 2008.

Rejoining 40 Commando in September 2009 he was initially employed as the Provost Sergeant, before becoming a Rifle Troop Sergeant within Alpha Company. Completing Mission Specific Training for a further operational tour to Afghanistan, he deployed in April 2010 to Sangin with Alpha Company, where he was based at Patrol Base Almas.

Alpha Company has been conducting daily reassurance and security patrols with Afghan National Security Forces to protect the local Afghans around Patrol Base Almas in the Sangin district of Helmand province.

They have improved the lives of hundreds of ordinary Afghans by providing a security bubble which has increased their freedom of movement, led to wider governance in the area and has encouraged economic development

During a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army, on the morning of 23 June, Alpha Company was conducting a reassurance patrol for the local nationals in Sangin. At approximately 0734hrs local time, as the patrol was returning to Patrol Base Almas, they came under small arms fire attack from insurgent forces. Sergeant Darbyshire was struck during the firefight and was fatally wounded in the incident.

"Being a Royal Marine was Steven's life and growing up it was all he wanted to do."

Sergeant Darbyshire's family

The family of Sergeant Darbyshire have made the following statement:

"Being a Royal Marine was Steven's life and growing up it was all he wanted to do. He was proud to wear the uniform and served his country as the consummate professional. He died doing the job he so loved.

"He was strong, vibrant, generous, passionate, full of life and he certainly lived life to the full.

"Our world will be a bleaker place without him, his infectious laughter and fantastic sense of humour. Mere words do not begin to convey the deep grief and painful heartbreak his untimely death has brought to his shattered family and friends.

"Steven may have been a 'hoofin' bootneck' to his colleagues but to his beautiful boys, Ryan and Callum, he was the very best Daddy in the World. He will live on through his sons, and those who love him so much will never forget him and the sacrifice he made.

"Steven leaves behind him his partner Kate, sons Ryan and Callum, parents Barbara, John, Derek and Sue, brother Neil, Nan, and the many friends whose lives he touched.

"RIP Sergeant Steven Darbyshire. Fall Out."

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, 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 was a proud father, a magnificent leader and definitely a 'Saint'.

"He tragically died on patrol in southern Sangin doing the job he loved, with the men he so ardently cared for. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner Kate, his two young sons, his family and his friends.

"He was a great man and will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando. Sergeant Steven Darbyshire was, and will always be, a Royal Marines Commando."

Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Sergeant Steven Darbyshire, commonly known as 'Darbs' to all within Alpha Company, was an excellent Troop Sergeant and an outstanding Royal Marine in general.

"He joined Alpha Company in the latter stages of training for our deployment to Afghanistan, taking over the newly-formed 3 Troop.

"I was immediately impressed with how he pulled his team together and we all soon came to love his laconic manner and quiet understatement, as even whilst under fire he came across as calm, collected and determined.

"Most tellingly, he had a sharp and well-developed sense of humour which, although he sometimes tried to suppress, came through at all times.

"He led by example, and he was a man in whom you could find great confidence and comfort even at the hardest of times. He was at the heart of 3 Troop, the perfect foil to his Troop Commander, providing wisdom and balance to all of the Marines in his patrol base.

"He was a true Bootneck, he loved and protected his men, he courageously took the lead, and he always knew how to get the best out of people.

"'Loyal' is an oft-used term to describe men; however, in Darbs' case it explains everything you need to know about the man. He died a soldier's death, doing the job he loved and with the men he loved.

"Alpha Company has lost a true warrior, a man that I can say I have had the honour to have commanded and served with. We now look to the future, to repay our debt to him and to take his memory forward; he will forever be an 'Alpha Saint'.

"At this time our thoughts and prayers are with his partner Kate and with his children Ryan and Callum."

"Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire was an outstanding Royal Marines Sergeant who it was a privilege to have worked with."

Captain Dan Sawyers Royal Marines

Captain Dan Sawyers Royal Marines, Officer Commanding 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire was an outstanding Royal Marines Sergeant who it was a privilege to have worked with. Behind his laid back northern exterior, was an extremely experienced and professional Sergeant.

"He was unfazed by the constant danger we faced, able to draw on years of experience and a great sense of humour to reassure all those around him.

"A true Bootneck and selfless individual, he died making sure that every last man of his Troop was back in from patrol. Having spent many hours in the ops room, often late into the evening reflecting on the day's activities and those that lay ahead or watching films, I had someone I could rely on, someone I could talk to, and someone I could laugh with.

"He had the respect of the whole Troop and he was someone we all looked up to. He was a great friend and will be sorely missed. A proud and loving father, he never stopped talking about his two little boys, Ryan and Callum.

"All our thoughts and prayers go out to his partner Kate, and their two young children."

Captain Chris Moore, Officer Commanding Fire Support Group Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"I first met Darbs 7 months ago when he arrived to take over the newly formed 3 Troop with Captain Sawyers. He was one of those blokes who you couldn't help but like and instantly form a rapport with.

"He was about as honest as a man could be; telling it like it was and not fearing the consequences. This he always did with the welfare of his lads in mind, willing to do anything to make their lives easier. I will never forget his broad northern accent which always made me smile.

"He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. Rest in Peace Darbs."

Warrant Officer Class 1 Marty Pelling, Regimental Sergeant Major, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"When Darbs joined 40 Commando he was initially employed as my Provost Sergeant. A role that his direct manner left me in no doubt that he was less than impressed with. Despite this, his professional work ethic ensured that he engaged with all aspects of this new role, and his brusque no nonsense northern manner actually made him the ideal man as the unit 'Sherriff'.

"However, the reorganisation of the unit for our deployment to Afghanistan identified a requirement for an extra Troop Sergeant in Alpha Company and Darbs was absolutely delighted to be given this role.

"A role that he ultimately aspired to, and one that his considerable experience made him the perfect candidate for. It was with a very happy heart that Darbs joined his new Troop, ready to begin forging them into the proud, brave, tight knit group of men that they have become.

"As a Sergeants' Mess orphan, (he lived in Wigan so stayed on board during the week) Darbs was always happy to spend his evenings in the mess watching either football or rugby in our sports bar.

"A passionate Rugby League supporter, especially when his beloved Wigan Warriors were playing. His presence in the mess was always that of a man happily content to share a pint with his fellow Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, while passing his often critical, but wry judgement, onto whichever unfortunate team was playing on the sports channel.

"They would never be quite good enough!

"Darbs was a charismatic individual, whose wonderfully dour Lancashire carapace belied a man of great humour, warmth and camaraderie.

"He often spoke of his partner Kate, and their two boys Ryan and Callum, and when he did so his voice was always full of pride and love.

"On behalf of all members of the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess of 40 Commando Royal Marines, and from all the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the Corps, may I offer our deepest sympathies to Kate, Ryan, Callum, his family and friends.

"They are very much at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult of times. Farewell Darbs, it was a privilege to serve with you, we will save you a place at the bar."

"It is and always will be an honour to have known and served with such an exceptional man and Royal Marine Commando. Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire, a Saint if there ever was one."

Warrant Officer Class 2 'Bobby' Ball

Warrant Officer Class 2 'Bobby' Ball, Company Sergeant Major, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Sergeant Steven 'Darbs' Darbyshire was the all inspiring leader for the men of 3 Troop to look up to and the ever stable crutch for the ranks in Company Headquarters to lean on.

"He was dependable and incredibly loyal, never mincing his words. I can never remember seeing Darbs upset or disgruntled. He was and remains a thoroughbred, a true Bootneck, a pleasure to have as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the Company and a friend in the Mess.

"To know that the men in 3 Troop were looked after by such a diligent marine was comforting beyond words. Darbs never shared his problems; he took each hurdle one at a time and selflessly drove through any obstacle.

"He was passionate about his men, their training and welfare, always looking to improve their capabilities and morale.

"It is and always will be an honour to have known and served with such an exceptional man and Royal Marine Commando. Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire, a Saint if there ever was one.

"Our thoughts and prayers are now with his partner Kate and two young boys, Ryan and Callum. You will never be forgotten."

Sergeant Danny Pea, Troop Sergeant, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Darbs, I had only known you for 7 months but what a time we had together. Even though it was the build up to the Afghan tour, you and I spent a lot of time hanging around in the office late into the evenings, completing nominal roll after nominal roll for deployment.

"Nothing could phase you out mate, it didn’t matter if you had just won the lottery or been on the worst exercise in NATO, your attitude was the same, dry and non-emotional, with the attitude of ‘lets just get on with it’. And I can guarantee that whilst saying this you would have had a cigarette hanging out of your mouth.

"Your northern accent though did make you standout in the Company but I think you definitely used to play on it, even more so than myself! Your attitude and dedication towards the Corps, the lads and your family was second to none, there was never a time when you would not put them first.

"The Corps has lost an awesome and professional Sergeant and you will be in my thoughts forever. My thoughts go out to your family, partner and children. Never forget, 'Once a Saint always a Saint'."

Sergeant Dinger Bell, Troop Sergeant, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire what can you say! I have had the honour and privilege of being your friend since the mid 1990s; a typical Bootneck. Sarcastic, funny, intelligent and highly professional, Darbs would never let you down; he was a constant source of entertainment. Darbs, the father figure of his Troop, he had a calming influence on his lads, always putting them first.

"He was a very loving father and husband who adored his family. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends, a true Bootneck who will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace brother."

Corporal Ash Morris, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"I first met Darbs when I was a fresh faced marine in Bravo Company 10 years ago, he was the same then, as he is now, constantly smiling and always dripping about the price of beer!

"I have only spent a short time at Patrol Base ALMAS with Darbs but I have learnt a lot about how a Troop Sergeant should be, truly professional, running a tight ship, whilst at the same time being horizontally relaxed with humour being at the forefront of every word spoken.

"The Troop will miss Darbs greatly. He was a truly professional Marine and Bootneck. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this tragic time."

"During this difficult time on operations I could not have wished for a more professional Bootneck to look after our Troop."

Marine Ryan Cherry

Corporal Daz Davis, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"What can be said about Darbs. He was a hoofing bloke and a hoofing Bootneck, who the whole Troop looked up to. I certainly haven’t come across a more chilled out and professional Troop Sergeant.

"I have certainly learnt a lot over the past few months from working with him. Welfare for the lads was always his primary concern and he would always do his upmost to square us away. Darbs’ sense of humour was cracking and he had me chuckling daily, normally over those hoofing phantom resupplies. Well at least you won’t have to suffer any more of those.

"Darbs you’ve left a big hole in Patrol Base ALMAS mate, and you will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family."

Lance Corporal Ratcliffe, Company Medic, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Darbs was a Royal Marines Sergeant who I looked up to immensely. Always being behind him in the patrol I learnt a lot from him, that I will remember for my whole career.

"I have lost count of the amount of times I have laughed with Darbs on patrol; I remember when he fell over in an irrigation ditch I couldn’t stop laughing, but then neither could he and that was the kind of guy Darbs was.

"A Northern lad like myself, we got on well, I will miss my smoking partner.

"He never stopped talking about his two beautiful little boys Ryan and Callum. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his partner Kate, and their two young children.

"Darbs, it was a pleasure and an honour to have served with you and I would just like to thank you for everything. I will miss you and you will never be forgotten."

Marine Ryan Cherry, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines said:

"For the time I have known Sergeant Darbs Darbyshire, the one thing that surprised me most, was how chilled out he was, especially for a Sergeant in the Royal Marines.

"He always spoke to you as a friend, whether it was in a difficult situation or out on a run ashore. This is one of the qualities that earned him the utmost respect from everyone that knew him, especially the lads in 3 Troop.

"We all used to laugh that Darbs never had the heart to get really angry at the Troop, and would always tell us off in a polite way, usually with a joke thrown in at the end for good measure. But that was his way, and it worked, and none of us wanted to let him down.

"During this difficult time on operations I could not have wished for a more professional Bootneck to look after our Troop.

"His death is a great loss to the Royal Marines; he will be greatly missed by all, especially the lads of 3 Troop. My condolences go out to his family. Goodbye my friend."

Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox Said:

"The tributes from Sergeant Steven Darbyshire’s colleagues paint a picture of a talented Marine and an inspirational leader, who has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the national security of his country.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of his death, and extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family and loved ones."

View Article  Marines Lose 4 Men In 4 Days

Royal Marine Killed In Afghanistan Shooting

A Royal Marine from 40 Commando has been shot dead by Afghan insurgents - the fourth UK fatality in four days

British troops in Afghanistan
All four marines to die in the last four days were from 40 Commando

The marine was on security patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand Province when he was hit by enemy fire.

Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "He was on a security patrol, helping to better the lives of ordinary Afghans, when he was killed by small arms fire from insurgent forces.

"His courage in the face of danger and his selfless commitment will not be forgotten. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. We will remember him."

His next of kin have been informed.

All four servicemen who died in the past four days were serving with 40 cdo

Fallen Heroes

Marine Paul Warren, who became the 301st UK casualty of the war when he was killed in an explosion, was named earlier.

The 23-year-old from Leyland in Lancashire was described as being the "epitome of his profession".

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Group, said "He was one of life's greats and he will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando.

"He was without doubt the epitome of his profession."

His family said in a statement: "A loving son, a brother and grandson who made us proud as a family. His cheeky smile will be missed by all who knew him."

A Royal Marine who died on Tuesday following a fire-fight in Sangin is expected to be named soon.

View Article  Killed Royal Marine Named As Another Dies

The 300th British serviceman killed in Afghanistan has been named, as the MoD confirmed the death of another marine

L-hollingforth
Marine Hollington was transferred back to the UK on June 13

Marine Richard Hollington from Bravo Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, died of his injuries at the New Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Sunday.

He was wounded in a blast on June 12 while his company while on patrol to the south of the Helmand Patrol Base.

The 23-year-old's family said his death would leave a "huge numbing hole in the lives of his family, friends and Royal Marine colleagues".

"He chose to live his days as a lion and to us, and we believe his friends, he was the biggest, if softest, lion in the pride - how proud of him we all are," they said in a statement.

"It was typical of Richard, and a crumb of comfort to us, that even in death he donated his organs to help others in accordance with his wishes."

We remember everyone who has given their life in the line of duty and honour the significant progress they have helped to deliver.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup

Marine Hollington, who had played semi-professional football for Fareham Town Football Club prior to joining the Royal Marines, was described by his commanding officer as "one of the finest".

"He was bright, intrepid, determined and full of character; he was very much at the heart of 11 Troop," Lieutenant Colonel Paul James said.

"A very talented footballer and magnificent marine he had a lot to be proud of, yet I knew him to be an affable, generous, loyal and modest young man.

"It takes extraordinary courage to be at the front of every patrol but Marine Hollington did so with the professional pride that gave confidence to others."

Marine Hollington's death was followed on Tuesday by confirmation of another death from the 40 Commando Royal Marines.

The MoD said the marine, who had also been serving as part of Combined Force Sangin in Helmand, was killed in an explosion.

Fallen Heroes

He was returning from a patrol in the area around the Patrol Base on Monday evening when the blast occurred.

The serviceman's next of kin have been told.

A spokesman for Task Force Helmand said the serviceman had been part of efforts to help improve the lives of local Afghans by protecting them from the insurgency.

"He died a marine. He will be greatly missed and his sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will always remember him," Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said.

His death is the 301st British military death since the start of the Afghanistan campaign in 2001.

Speaking after confirmation of the 300th death on Monday, the Chief of Defence Staff said the Armed Forces took enormous pride in their role in Afghanistan.

"We remember everyone who has given their life in the line of duty and honour the significant progress they have helped to deliver," Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup said.

View Article  Marines Being Laid to Rest (UK)

FUNERAL FOR MARINE ANTHONY HOTINE ROYAL MARINES


The funeral for Mne Hotine will be at 1100 on Friday 25 June.  It is at Christ Church, Upper Marsh Road, Warminster, BA12 9NS.  This service will be followed by a committal at Pine Lawns Cemetary, BA12 7RG just off the A36 Warminster By-Pass.

The family extend a warm welcome to the RMA and hope that many of you will turn up.  You are welcome to both the service and committal.  They also want you all to go to the Bell and Crown pub for a celebration party in Anthony's memory.  It is not a wake.  The pub is 300m from the Church.

Anthony was a fully paid up member of the RMA and was very proud of this.

FUNERAL FOR MARINE STEVEN BIRDSALL ROYAL MARINES


The funeral for Mne Birdsall will be on Thu 1 Jul in Warrington.  these details will be updated once they have been finalised.  He. too, was a fully paid up member of the RMA. 

PMPT & Semper Fi.......

View Article  Marine dies of gun battle wounds

A British Marine has died from injuries sustained in a gun battle in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said

The serviceman, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, died in hospital in the UK following a fire-fight with insurgents in the Sangin District of Helmand Province on Sunday afternoon.

His next of kin have been informed.

The attack took place while the Marine was on foot patrol in the region.

Following the incident, the wounded serviceman was transported to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.

He died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries.

Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said: "He was part of a foot patrol that was providing local security whilst engineering improvements were being made to a patrol base in Sangin District when the incident happened.

"His courage and sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember him."

The British death toll since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 296.

View Article  Fallen Hero Soldier Had Army 'In His Blood'

A British serviceman killed in Afghanistan was "an accomplished soldier" who had wanted to be in the Army since he was five years old

A British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has been named as Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment

Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze
Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze served with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment

The 31-year-old from Manchester died while working to clear an area near a checkpoint in the Nahr e Saraj district of Helmand province.

L/Cpl Breeze's family have described him as an "excellent soldier" who would be "desperately missed".

They added: "We are very proud of a brave, loving and sincere son and brother. The Army was his life."

Known as Windy or Breezy to his friends, L/Cpl Breeze had served in Northern Ireland and Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

Army colleagues said he was "immensely popular" and that he would leave an "enormous gap".

Speaking on behalf of Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said: "Selfless to the end, he will be missed by his many friends. His sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Fallen Heroes

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield went on to describe him as "a dedicated soldier and leader" who was a "stalwart of the battalion".

He continued: "Throughout his service he had been no stranger to danger, and approached his work with discipline and determination, but always with a ready smile.

"It is perhaps this smile that will stick most in our minds, that and his ability to always see the good in situations and people."

Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Strickland MBE said: "We have lost a fine man, and the tragedy of his death spreads far.

"L/Cpl Andy Breeze was the man that every company needs; experienced and approachable, he was there for everyone, always.

"Those who have been soldiers will know the effect of such a character, spreading calm reassurance in times of tension to those who are less certain.

"He died as he had lived, stepping forward to shoulder the burden of the task in hand, with a smile on his face."

His death takes the number of British service personnel who have lost their lives since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001 to 295.

View Article  British Soldier Dies In Afghan Gun Battle

A British soldier killed in a gun battle with insurgent forces in Afghanistan has been described as a "loyal and true professional"

Mark Chandler
LBdr Chandler's family said he was 'a lover of life'

Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler had been deployed in March supporting Anzio Company, 1st Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment in Nad-e Ali.

He died during a joint patrol with the Afghan National Security Forces, trying to stop the Taliban intimidating local villagers.

The 26-year-old was twice Army Luge Champion and had been an accomplished skier.

Fallen Heroes

His family said: "Mark - a son and brother any parent would be proud of.

"A consummate soldier, a skier, a luger, an athlete and a lover of life.

"He will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends."

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Williams RHA, Commanding Officer 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery said: "Lance Bombardier Chandler, known to everybody as Chandler 'Bing' was a remarkably talented Junior Non Commissioned Officer who showed real grit for soldiering.

"Fit, committed, loyal and a true professional, he was a rising star within the Regiment and had a bright future ahead of him.

"The news of Lance Bombardier Chandler's death has rocked the Regiment as he was an immensely popular individual and a great friend to many."

View Article  Tributes have been paid to two British soldiers

Tributes have been paid to two British soldiers who were killed in a firefight in Afghanistan


Corporal Terry Webster pictured with his daughter Jess, and Lance 
Corporal Alan Cochran both of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment 
(Cheshire) B (Malta) Company
Corporal Webster pictured with his daughter Jess, and Lance Corporal Cochran


Corporal Terry Webster, 24, from Chester and Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, 23, from St Asaph, North Wales died during a gun battle with Taliban insurgents in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand on Friday.

Both men were serving with 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment which was attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup.

Father-of-two Cpl Webster had previously served in Northern Ireland and Iraq. His mother, stepfather and sister said in a statement that he was a "true hero".

His wife Charlotte said: "Tez was passionate, loyal and determined. He enjoyed the role he had in the Mercians but he was a family man at heart. He was a fantastic Dad to Jess and Liam and he was the perfect soul mate to me.

"Although this is a very sad time, Tez would want us to be positive. Remember the good times, the happy times. A lot of people's lives will be deeply affected by Tez's all too early departure. Life will never be the same for us."

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Hadfield said Cpl Webster was fatally wounded while leading his men.

He said: "Terry was totally committed to his profession and he was forging a strong career path: when others played football, he would put on his combats, boots and webbing and pound out the miles, encouraging others to come along with him."

Fallen Heroes

L/Cpl Cochran's mother Shirley and his family said: "Alan was a tremendous son. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job he loved. We are devastated by the loss of Alan who was a loving son, grandson and brother.

"We are proud of the fact that Alan was prepared to do his duty helping the people of Afghanistan."

His fiancee, Claire Brookshaw, said: "He has been a great part of my life and always will be. Sadly missed but never forgotten."

Lt Col Hadfield said he had recently been promoted to Lance Corporal and had willingly taken responsibility for the lives of his fellow men.

He said: "A committed career soldier, Alan loved the Army and his friends within it, and was probably the most selfless of men, always looking out for others and helping them to give their best.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "It is clear from all accounts that Cpl Webster was a brave, enthusiastic and professional soldier who inspired those around him.

"Similarly, L/Cpl Cochran was courageous, selfless, and a respected junior commander who led from the front.

"My thoughts are with the families of both these young men, whose sacrifice will not be forgotten."

View Article  Royal Marine Killed In Afghanistan

A BRITISH Royal Marine killed in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan yesterday has been named

Corporal Stephen Walker of

A Company, 40 Commando


British soldiers under fire in Sangin Province

The fallen serviceman was named as Corporal Stephen Walker of A Company 40 Commando Royal Marines.

His wife Leona paid tribute to the 42-year-old Northern Irishman as a "fantastic dad" and a "perfect soul mate".

Cpl Walker was wounded near Patrol Base Almas, in Sangin, Helmand Province.

The MoD said he was conducting a joint foot patrol with the Afghan National Army at the time.

His duties were to "reassure and improve the security to the local population in the area", a Ministry statement continued.

"He died a marine, doing his duty alongside his British and Afghan comrades," Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand said.

"His actions will not be forgotten and we will always remember him."

The serviceman, from 40 Commando, died while on a foot patrol with Afghan soldiers in Sangin in Helmand Province. His family have been informed.

Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "He died in the course of his duty seeking to improve the lives of the people of Sangin.

"His courage in the face of danger will not be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and we will always remember him."

Fallen Heroes

Sangin has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting UK troops have endured since the Second World War, leading to a high toll of personnel killed or injured.

Commanders have admitted it is "the most challenging area" in which British forces are operating in Afghanistan.

It is particularly dangerous because it contains a patchwork of rival tribes and is a major centre of the opium-growing industry.

The number of British troops who have died since the mission in Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 290.



View Article  Three soldiers' bodies return to UK on Thursday

The bodies of three servicemen killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan will return to Britain on Thursday.

(UKPA) – 5 hours ago

Gunner Zak Cusack, of 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, and Corporal Stephen Curley and Marine Scott Taylor, both of 40 Commando, Royal Marines, will be flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

A private service will be held at the base's chapel before the cortege passes through nearby Wootton Bassett. Hundreds are expected to line the town's High Street in tribute, as has become custom.

Gunner Cusack, 20, from Stoke-on-Trent, was on a routine patrol when he was killed by small arms fire from insurgent forces in an area around Enezai Village. An only child, he leaves behind his mother Tracey, father Sean and step-dad Dave.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Squier, Commanding Officer, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said after his death on May 26: "Gunner Zak Cusack was a big man with the personality to go with it. Young, fit and with a healthy love of life, he was always close to, or at the heart of, the action. A Stoke City fan in the North East Gunners will always have his work cut out, but his combination of cheeky charm and buoyant character always won out."

Corporal Curley, 26, born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was killed on May 26 in an explosion while on a foot patrol through the southern Green Zone to reassure local nationals.

Cpl Curley lived in Exeter with wife Kirianne and their five-month-old son William.

Mrs Curley said: "It is impossible for me to express what my husband meant to me; daddy to our 18-week-old son, William, and my partner in crime, Stevie was my purpose, what makes me tick. A man of few but powerful words when it mattered, he lived by the motto 'If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room'. This will be forever imprinted on our hearts. Stevie was a perfectionist - he prided himself on being the best and the best he was. His professionalism was highly regarded by all who knew him but it was his quirky, un-PC one-liners that really caused a stir. Steve loved to make people laugh and laugh with them."

Marine Taylor, born in Buxton, Derbyshire, was killed on May 30 by an explosion while he was part of a foot patrol, again helping to reassure the local population and to increase security in the area around Sangin.

Lt Col Paul James, commanding officer of 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said of the 21-year-old: "Marine Scott Taylor was everything I needed in a Bootneck: proud but not arrogant, loyal but still independent, courageous but not foolhardy, he was an outstanding marine. Brave, strong, bright and physically very fit, he was an utterly selfless man, who was often unassuming, preferring instead to let his actions speak for him - and they spoke with power and tumult."

View Article  Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan blast
A Royal Marine killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Sunday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Scott Taylor, of Alpha Company, 40 Commando.
400-Marine Scott Taylor, 21, killed in an explosion near Sangin, 
Afghanistan
Marine Scott Taylor was killed in an explosion near Sangin on Sunday

The 21-year-old from Buxton, Derbyshire, was hit by a blast while on foot patrol near Sangin in northern Helmand.

He had joined the Royal Marines in 2007 after completing his A-levels and followed in the footsteps of his younger brother Liam when he passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando in 2008.

Marine Taylor's family paid tribute to him saying he was the "perfect son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend" who would leave a void in their lives "that can never be filled".

They continued: "He had a wicked sense of humour and was loyal, caring and brave, never showing pain."

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Group, honoured an "outstanding marine" describing Marine Taylor as: "Proud but not arrogant, loyal but still independent, courageous but not foolhardy."

Fallen Heroes

He added: "Brave, strong, bright and physically very fit, he was an utterly selfless man, who was often unassuming, preferring instead to let his actions speak for him - and they spoke with power and tumult."

Known as Scotty to his friends, Marine Taylor was a popular figure in the company and had hoped one day to become a sniper and then a Regimental Sergeant Major.

Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, maintained that he could have achieved those goals and mourned a "glittering career" that had been cut short.

The number of British troops who have died in operations in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 now stands at 289.

View Article  Gunner Killed In Afghanistan Blast (serving with 40cdo)

A Gunner from 4th Regiment on foot patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province has been killed in an explosion as he worked to reassure local people about safety and conditions.


The family of Gunner Zak Cusack described him as courageous and compassionate

Tributes have been paid to a "friend in a million" killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.

Zak Cusack died of a gunshot wound after coming under fire in Helmand Province on Wednesday morning.

The gunner, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, was from Stoke on Trent, the Ministry of Defence said.

The family of Gunner Cusack, 20, released a statement which read: "Zak was a courageous, compassionate and charismatic young man.

"We are justly proud of not only the job that he did, but of the complete person we all knew and loved.

"For such a young man, Zak's infectious sense of humour, appetite for life and truly romantic heart inspired so many others.

"Zak's loss leaves a hole in our hearts, a chasm in our lives and many, many other broken hearts behind. He had a fire in his soul that will burn brightly in all our memories. He is our beautiful boy, loving son and best friend, in Zak's own words, 'he is a ledge' (Legend)."

His death follows that of a British Marine, also killed on Wednesday.

He died in an explosion while serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines, as part of Combined Forces Sangin, Helmand.

Gunner Cusack's death - the seventh this month - comes after a lull in fatalities during the British election period.

In March, 12 servicemen were killed in the line of duty, while in April this figure fell to three.

The number of British troops who have died in operations in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 is 288.

Leading the tributes from colleagues, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Squier RA, Commanding Officer 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Gunner Zak Cusack was a big man with the personality to go with it.

"Young, fit and with a healthy love of life, he was always close to, or at the heart of, the action.

"A Stoke City fan in the North East Gunners will always have his work cut out, but his combination of cheeky charm and buoyant character always won out."

His friend Gunner "Chappy" Chapman, Fire Support Team Assistant, 97 Battery Lawson's Company), 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: "Zak was a friend in a million, with so many stories that will remain with me forever, thinking of you all at this very difficult time."