Thursday, June 24, 2010

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 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 Royal Marines on completion of his commando training.

This first draft saw him serve an operational tour in Northern Ireland before choosing to specialise in the Heavy Weapons (Air Defence) branch.

Serving with 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 conducted daily reassurance and security patrols with Afghan National Security Forces to protect the local Afghans around Patrol Base ALMAS in the Sangin District.

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 to the local nationals in Sangin. At approximately 0734 hours local, 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 fire-fight and was fatally wounded in the incident.

The family of Sergeant Steven William 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 Marine Commando."


  1. RIP Derby, miss by all the wigan ath lads

  2. R.I.P mate , god bless, you can stand down now lad ,

  3. You were a good friend, I am devastated Darbs. I will watch over your boys.

  4. he was always the cheeky chappy at school that everyone fancied and adored
    R.I.P steven

  5. One of lifes finest ..R.i.p good friend

  6. we will never forget you pal

  7. It was a pleasure to work with you .R.I.P Royal

  8. RIP from the pagey and springy lads

  9. RIP my friend from Mick @ Pagey Crew

  10. rip thinking of your family and your 2 gorgious boys x

  11. God bless him and may he look after his family. Just saw the tribute by Wigan fans, very touching.

  12. still missed

    RIP Pal

    from Mick and the old pagey boys