This is an extract from the MOD release on the death of Marine David Fairbrother. The full release with all the tributes can be read here :
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine David Fairbrother, of Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan. Early on the morning of 19 September 2011, Marine Fairbrother deployed as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj in support of an Afghan National Army (ANA) patrol into the village of Old Khorgajat. Just under two hours into the patrol they were engaged with small arms fire from close range and Marine Fairbrother was fatally wounded. Despite the best efforts of his colleagues to administer first aid, Marine Fairbrother died of his wounds.
Mne Fairbrother's mother, Julie Fairbrother, said:
"David, not only are you the sunshine of my life but you were a devoted, beautiful and giving son. I am so proud of the determination you had to become a Royal Marine. You were always fun loving, caring and lived life to the full. Not only were you the perfect son but you were my best friend and you will be in my thoughts forever.
"I love you with all of my heart, Mum xxx"
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
"Marine David Fairbrother was a first class Marine and a young man of rare quality. He undoubtedly would have had an exceptionally bright future in the Royal Marines ahead of him. One of the most intelligent Marines in the Unit - his academic qualifications bear testament to this - he joined Kilo Company straight from basic training less than a year ago, where his enthusiasm and commitment instantly marked him out amongst his peers. He was tremendously keen, extremely professional and sought every opportunity to better himself, gaining high levels of competence as a machine gunner and All Arms Search Specialist, which enabled him to quickly establish himself as a pivotal member of his Multiple. Utterly loyal and selfless, he had no qualms about putting himself in harm's way to ensure the safety of his fellow Marines. Resolute in battle, he fought bravely in numerous engagements with a determined enemy and displayed enormous courage and inner strength to daily overcome the omnipresent, silent threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Five months into what has been a particularly demanding tour, he had become highly attuned to local atmospherics and at the moment he was gunned down at short range he was characteristically at the front of his patrol, courageously checking for IEDs with his trademark thoroughness, dependability and calmness in the face of adversity.
Marine Fairbrother was quite simply an outstanding Bootneck, who embodied all the finest qualities of a Royal Marines Commando. He wore the coveted green beret with pride and all those who knew him are poorer following his early passing. A lively character and immensely popular, he will be remembered for the constant grin he had on his face, no matter how dire the situation and the 'dits' he told to maintain morale. He had many friends who loved him as a colleague and brother-in-arms and his loss is nothing short of tragic and devastating. 42 Commando have been robbed of another brave young warrior and his death is felt deeply across the whole of the Unit. He is gone but his sacrifice will not be forgotten.
At this unbearably difficult time, our thoughts are with his mother Julie, his sisters Ruth and Emily and his girlfriend Melissa; may they find the strength and courage to face the difficult days ahead."
Lance Corporal Robert Hill, Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:
"David was an essential part of the callsign. He was never afraid of hard work and was a vital member of the patrol due to his alertness and ability to always remain suspicious of everything and everyone. David was chilled out to the point of horizontal and had a distinct laugh that remained monotone and infectious. He was a walking human surveillance asset with hawk-eyes who would even report something as small as a rat that was 'acting suspicious'. He was professional and methodical in everything he did and his searching as an All Arms Search Team member was impeccable. He loved his girlfriend very much and spoke very highly of her; he couldn't wait to see her again. A great individual who always entertained the lads, our thoughts go out to his girlfriend and family, he will be sorely missed."
We will remember them