In Memory Of...

Marine David Marsh

of the Royal Marines

David Marsh and John Thornton were conducting a patrol in the vicinity of Kajaki, Helmand province, Afghanistan when just after 4.53pm local time on Sunday 30th March 2008, the vehicle they were travelling in was caught in an explosion.

Medical treatment was provided prior to both being evacuated to the field hospital at Camp Bastion. Despite the best efforts of the medical team, both sadly died as a result of their wounds.

David 'Dave' Marsh was serving as Marine in the Royal Marines

Known as 'Dave' to his friends, Marine David Marsh, aged 23, was originally from Sheffield, but had recently moved to Taunton in Somerset with his wife Claire. She said of Marine Marsh:

"David was a loving and dedicated family man. He went though life with a smile on his face, which will continue through our beautiful daughter. The Royal Marines was his passion and love, he will always be our hero."

Marine Marsh’s mother, Maxine, father, Gary and sister Katie said:

"David was a very fine son and brother, he was warm, loving and caring at all times. He was a loving husband and very proud father. He embraced life to the full and no matter what happened his big smile bore him through.

"He was a dedicated Royal Marine and was proud to serve his country. He was much admired and respected by his colleagues for his professionalism and courage. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends and all who knew him."

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Birrell RM, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Dave Marsh was killed in action at Kajaki, Northern Helmand Province in Afghanistan whilst serving with Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines. Dave joined the Royal Marines on 9 September 2002 and after successfully completing Commando Training at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, where he was awarded the Commando Medal for displaying most consistently the attributes expected of a Royal Marines Commando, he was posted to 45 Commando in Scotland where he served with distinction during an operational deployment to Northern Ireland.

"From 45 Commando there followed a period with the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, helping to protect the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent, before he chose to become an Anti-Tank specialist in 2006. Dave joined 40 Commando Royal Marines in December 2006 and immediately impressed with his enthusiastic approach and diligent manner.

"Throughout pre-deployment training and the exceptionally difficult challenges he faced during his company's tour of duty in Afghanistan, his resolve and determination to succeed in all he undertook was truly breathtaking. A consummate professional he was deeply respected in his company; in battle he was steadfast and utterly dependable, in barracks he was a true friend and comrade whose presence was a comfort in difficult times.

"Marine Dave Marsh has been cruelly taken from us and he will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege to know him. A loving, compassionate husband and father, he will be dearly missed by his wife Claire and his young daughter Molly, along with his parents Gary and Maxine, and his sister Katie; our thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult and distressing time."

Major Duncan Manning RM, Officer Commanding Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Dave Marsh was an inspiration to the whole Company. A larger than life character, he was known by all, and respected by both peers and commanders alike. For him the glass was always half full and regardless of conditions he remained positive. The one thing that always struck you when you saw Mne Marsh, regardless of the time of day, was his smile that appeared to be ever-present, lifting the morale for those around.

"When times were hard or conditions difficult Dave Marsh would invariably make a comment or tell an amusing anecdote, which invariably made you laugh. His ready wit and good humour were balanced however with high professional skills and a devotion to his chosen profession. He could regularly be seen behind the aiming sight of his Javelin missile system maintaining his focus for hours on end.

"It was due to his experience and proven proficiency that he was regularly chosen to assume the position of a vehicle commander, directing his WMIK vehicle with confidence and authority. If any member of his Troop were to find themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation it was Dave Marsh they wanted by their side. It is for this reason that his Troop commander selected Dave to be his driver.

"Marine Dave Marsh or 'Comedy Dave' was an outstanding character and a true 'Bootneck'. Committed to his family and work, socially he was always there to lift spirits when times were hard. An all round hoofing Bootneck it has been an honour to work with him and call him a friend. His tragic death is a huge loss to everyone who had the pleasure to know him."

Sergeant Darren 'Daz' Joyce, Fire Support Group Troop Sergeant, Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines

"His loss is made especially difficult being so close to the end of the tour having faced so many dangers on numerous previous occasions. The thoughts and prayers of the whole company go out to those he has left behind, particularly his wife Claire and his daughter Molly. While the Company cannot be there in person to help and support his family, we are thinking of them at this difficult time."

Warrant Officer First Class Neil 'Brum' Warrington, Assistant Adjutant of 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Dave was the epitome of a Royal Marine who upheld all the qualities of a true Commando, in particular 'Cheerfulness in Adversity'. He always had a smile on his face that lifted the spirits of everyone around him, in any situation. You never knew what was coming next with Dave. This uncertainty earned him the nickname 'Crazy Dave' whilst serving in Zulu Company, 45 Commando, and a nickname he loved to live up to.

"He had a streak of devilment in him that kept everyone on their toes, as he loved to play pranks on anyone who let their guard down. He was the character that every Royal Marine Company needed and every Sergeant Major loved to have around, for so many different reasons. This man loved life and everyone who knew him will always smile at that thought. On behalf of the men you served with in Zulu Company and all the other Royal Marines that were blessed with your friendship, you will be missed, but never forgotten."

Sergeant Darren 'Daz' Joyce, Fire Support Group Troop Sergeant, Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Marine Dave Marsh or 'Comedy Dave' was an outstanding character and a true 'Bootneck'. Committed to his family and work, socially he was always there to lift spirits when times were hard. An all round hoofing Bootneck it has been an honour to work with him and call him a friend. His tragic death is a huge loss to everyone who had the pleasure to know him."

Corporal Dominic 'Cash' Cashman, Fire Support Group Section Commander, Charlie Company, said:

"Larger than life Dave 'Billy the Kid' will be remembered for his boundless energy and manic character. A permanent source of morale for his fellow marines, his professionalism was without question and doing his job so well made my job so much easier. A better example of a Bootneck could not be found. Working with Dave he continually demonstrated his love for his family and balance for both work and home alike. Dave was the brightest light and a light that affected anyone around him. He will be sorely missed."

Corporal Aaron 'Tiny' Winter, Rifle Troop Section Commander, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"'Crazy' Dave Marsh: A man who was always smiling in contact with the enemy or whilst firing the Grenade Machine Gun, playing poker or smoking his pipe. The only time that his smile changed was when he spoke of his daughter Molly whereupon his smile would double in size and his face would beam with pride. Despite the nickname of 'Crazy' Dave he astounded many in the company by fixing the lads' laptops with his leatherman tool and a can lid, when many a qualified technician had failed; there was much much more to this man than met the eye. He will be sorely missed by the Kajaki Pipe Smokers whose daily after dinner smoking sessions were improved with his attendance and humour."

Marine Andrew 'Charlie' Charlesworth, Storeman for Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

"Dave Marsh, what I can say about him. I have only known him about eight months but what I can say is that he had the ability to make you laugh even when you did not want to. His infectious laugh, character and zest for life were memorable and only Dave could have that got away with that 'Billy the Kid tattoo'. I am pretty sure that God will be laughing with Dave right now."



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