Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trooper Ashley Smith killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Trooper Ashley Smith from The Royal Dragoon Guards, Viking Group, D (The Green Horse) Squadron, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, 18 June 2010.

Trooper Ashley Smith, serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), was providing security to his colleagues during a task to improve the field of view around a Check Point when he was struck by an explosion.

Trooper Ashley Smith

Trooper Ashley Smith was 21 years old. Born and raised in York, he enlisted into the Army on 17 March 2008 and attended Phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment (Winchester) before moving to the Armour Centre in Dorset to train as a Challenger 2 Gunner.

He passed out from Phase 2 training in November 2008 and moved straight to Catterick to join The Royal Dragoon Guards. He was posted to D (The Green Horse) Squadron, equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

He participated in low level exercises around Catterick and then deployed to Canada as part of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards Battle Group on Exercise Medicine Man 2, where he was employed as the Troop Leader's Gunner. On return from Canada, Trooper Smith's Squadron was selected to become the Viking Group for Operation HERRICK 12.

Trooper Smith completed all the Mission Specific Training for Op HERRICK 12 with D Squadron, including qualifying as a Viking Driver and Commander. He deployed to Camp Bastion in early June 2010, where the Viking Group are based.

As an independent Brigade sub-unit, one of the roles of the Viking Group is to support Operations across Central Helmand.

On 15 June 2010, 4th Troop D Squadron was tasked to provide mobility support to Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) in the vicinity of Patrol Base 1. This is an area with a high threat from insurgent activity.

On Friday 18 June 2010, 4th Troop was tasked to provide protection on foot for a patrol that was conducting a clearance operation in order to increase security to the local population in the vicinity of Check Point KINGSHILL. At 1307 hours on 18 June 2010 an explosion occurred and Trooper Smith was killed in action.

Trooper Ashley Smith's parents Sandra and Dave Smith and family said:

"Trooper Ashley Smith was the youngest of a very close family and doted on his parents. He worked hard and was passionate about what he was doing and proud of all he had achieved.

"He cared deeply about his family and the many friends he had in the Army and in his home city of York. Everyone that knew Ashley loved him and he was the best son any mother and father could have wished for and a loving brother to his brothers and sisters.

"Ashley will be sorely missed and we are immensely proud of our son."

Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith, Commanding Officer The Royal Dragoon Guards said:

"Trooper Ashley Smith was a highly impressive young man; he was full of energy, very popular and tremendously good company. He was a Yorkshireman who decided to join his local Regiment after a short spell as a civilian working in York.

"He arrived in Catterick, North Yorkshire at about the same time that I took command of the Regiment. He loved the camaraderie that the Regiment offered and he loved soldiering.

"But he had other passions, chief of which were his family and basketball. In his teens he played basketball for the York Vikings and a promising career beckoned, but in the end he opted for service in his local Cavalry Regiment.

"His other great passion was his family and friends. He often said that his family was the most important part of his life.

"Trooper Ashley Smith died on patrol in southern Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand Province doing the job he loved, alongside his mates. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, brothers, sisters and girlfriend whom he loved dearly. He will be missed by us all and his sacrifice will never be forgotten."


  1. Another tanker gone. We'll meet on Fiddler's Green, lad.

    God Bless you, your family and your unit as this business is done.

  2. A mother's son, so young.. Rest In Peace precious boy x

  3. RIP Ashley, God bless, condolances to the family at this sad time. My son is in the RDG and is a close friend, who will be greatly missed. Best wishes to his family and friends.

  4. a true friend and a true hero sadly missed by one and all rest in piece soldier.

  5. someone so young and so brave taken before his time. my daughter probably knew you she's out there with the vikings at the moment and was also in Canada.
    Rest in peace beautiful boy.xx

  6. RIP brave did your regt proud....also your country and your son is RDG we are all one big family and your passing hurts us all.....but we are proud to call you one of our own.....RDG...a son...a soldier and Englishman and will never be forgotten........

  7. as an ex rdg the reaper sqn well done mate very proud neva met u but am sure youn where a cracking lad FEAR THE REAPER eddy edwards (cpl retired)

  8. ashley r. i. p you have one big family that will never forget you were all so proud ov you ashley even at your age you was one big hero,good luck to your mates in rdg and be very carefull as no parents hearts should be broke like ashleys parents bring are troops back home.

  9. RIP Ashley and god bless your mum,dad and family. I didn't know you as my husband left the RDG's before you came but my heart breaks for one so young and brave lost. I will pray for you and your family.Good Night xo