It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Marine Darren Smith of 45 Commando Royal Marines on operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on 14 February 2009.
He was a member of X-ray Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, and was based in Forward Operating Base Nolay in southern Sangin.
Marine Smith was wounded in an ambush by Taliban fire. Despite the efforts of his colleagues, he tragically died of his wounds en-route to the medical facilities at Camp Bastion.
Marine Darren Smith
Darren Smith, known as 'Daz', was born on 6 December 1981 and lived in Fleetwood, Lancashire. He joined X-ray Company in July 2008 immediately after completing Royal Marines Commando Recruit Training.
He was the epitome of a young Royal Marine; enthusiastic, hardworking, fiercely loyal to his friends and very brave. He carried the light machine gun, and was always at the front of his troop, leading the patrol on operations against the Taliban.
Daz was enormously popular with all of the other members of X-ray Company. He was a young man at the start of his career in the Royal Marines, but he already had a reputation for hard work and high professional standards. He was intelligent and trustworthy and had a natural talent that promised much for the future.
He was a keen footballer and had trialled for Everton, Manchester City and Blackpool, but Liverpool was the team he supported. Even when he was deployed on operations he tried hard never to miss a game.
During the quieter times of the deployment when relaxed and amongst his mates, Daz would always speak of his two-year-old daughter, Keira, of whom he was immensely proud. He was a devoted and loyal father and his thoughts would quickly turn to his loving girlfriend, who he had been with since childhood.
Daz was immensely proud to be a Royal Marine and died as he lived, leading from the front. He was brave to the last and he leaves a gap in X-ray Company that is irreplaceable.