Operations in Afghanistan

Kingsman Darren Deady dies of wounds sustained in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Kingsman Darren Deady, from 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Friday 10 September 2010 as a result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan.

Kingsman Darren Deady (All rights reserved.)
Kingsman Darren Deady (All rights reserved.)

Kingsman Deady, serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South), died from injuries sustained as a result of a gunshot wound in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on the morning of Monday 23 August 2010.

Kingsman Darren Deady

Kingsman Darren Deady was born in Bolton on 18 January 1988 into a large Lancastrian family. He joined the Army in October 2008 shortly after leaving school determined to join his local infantry regiment, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

On completion of the tough and arduous Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, he moved to Cyprus where he joined Arnhem Company of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in Spring 2009, just in time for the commencement of pre-deployment training for the battalion’s Theatre Reserve role.

A Theatre Reserve Battalion provides acclimatised troops over a 12-month period as the UK’s high readiness operational reserve. On completion of a busy and challenging period of preparation Kingsman Deady deployed with his company to southern Helmand, going straight to Nad ‘Ali as part of Operation MOSHTARAK in February 2010.

He had an excellent tour and shone amongst his peers for his beaming sense of humour which remained in tact in the face of adversity, something for which he became famous and which had the most positive and enduring effect on all those that knew him.

After returning to Cyprus the battalion was deployed again and in July Arnhem Company returned to the Nahr-e Saraj region of central Helmand.

On 23 August 2010, Kingsman Deady was wounded in action fighting to defend a compound as part of Operation KAPCHA AMIQ 1, an operation to protect soldiers and civilians who are improving the infrastructure for the people of Nahr-e Saraj.

Arnhem Company were protecting a vital location when they came under prolonged, intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Kingsman Deady was fatally wounded fighting alongside his fellow soldiers. He was given exceptional first aid at the point of wounding by his friends, which kept him alive, before being evacuated to the hospital in Camp Bastion and subsequently to the UK for further treatment.

On 10 September 2010, with his family present, he died of his wounds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Kingsman Deady was a small man with an irrepressible sense of humour. He had a great talent for finding humour and making light of the darkest situations.

A young soldier with huge character, very popular and well-respected, he was well-known across the battalion. His dedication and commitment to those around him earned him the unquestionable loyalty of those who worked with him. His tragic loss has been extremely hard to bear for all those that had the privilege to meet him; he will never be forgotten.

Kingsman Deady’s family said:

We would like to thank you all for your support through these difficult times, they have been hard for everyone. I now hope you will join us in celebration of Darren’s life.

“We lost a wonderful son, brother, uncle, grandson and friend; he is going to be missed by all. At this moment we are experiencing the hardest times of our life.

Darren was proud to do a job that he loved and most of all believed in; his little brother once turned round to him and asked him ‘Why do you fight?’ and Darren simply replied ‘To make a difference’.

The Army and hospital staff have been amazing and really have looked after us and supported us, nothing was ever too much trouble for them and we are eternally grateful to all involved.

The other families we have met through this journey have been a tower of strength and we wish them all the best. There is only one thing left to say now - ‘Please Don’t Forget Him’. RIP Darren Deady, you will be missed.

Lieutenant Colonel Robbie Boyd, Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2 LANCS), the ‘Lions of England’, said:

Kingsman Darren Deady was a tiny man with the heart of a lion. His irrepressible and infectious sense of humour made this small man a huge character within Arnhem Company, where his courage and selflessness will always be remembered.

He was always the first to volunteer for everything, to carry the heaviest load or to be first in the patrol to clear a path for his mates. He loved his job and his regiment, he loved serving with his fellow Lions in Arnhem Company.

He had already shown skill as well as courage having previously served in Afghanistan during Operation MOSHTARAK in Nad ‘Ali during 11 Light Brigade’s tour. This was his second deployment in the face of the enemy and he fought again with the courage and heart of a lion.

No-one in my battalion was as good or as accurate with an underslung grenade launcher; he fired it time and again on two separate tours to protect the team he was ferociously loyal to. A team player, a man with a huge heart and a man with bags of humour in the face of adversity.

England has lost one of her finest Lions, his family: a brother and son, his mates: one of their most respected friends. We will never forget Darren Deady; a regimental brother to his fellow Kingsmen, a man with the heart of a lion, forever popular and forever respected.

Major Paul Tingey, Officer Commanding Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Kingsman Darren Deady was one of the first Kingsmen I got to know when I assumed command of Arnhem Company. He was a real character. He was a young man who was confident enough to speak to his boss about anything on his mind, and often did.

I always felt that he was being himself, no false pretences and never putting on a show to impress. Impress, however, he did. He was a superb soldier - trusted, respected and an example to others. He was a small man with a huge personality.

1 Platoon soldiers have lost one of their best mates. He is a great loss to Arnhem Company and to The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family who have lost a loving son and a devoted brother.

Captain Bowden-Williams, Second-in-Command, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Kingsman Deady was an old fashioned Kingsman - wiry, tough, humorous, never afraid to voice his opinion. Above all this he was loyal to his friends not only in camp or when socialising, where he will always be remembered, but also on the battlefield where he ultimately gave his life for them.

Lieutenant Mark Hayward, 3 Platoon Commander, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

I remember turning up to the small patrol base in Nad ‘Ali on the last tour to take command of my first multiple. I got all the lads together to introduce myself and I remember looking at all of the lads sat in front of me and out of all the faces looking back one stood out in particular. Sat there looking back was Kingsman Deady with his trademark cheeky grin. This was a grin I am happy to say was one I would see many times in the future.

His optimistic outlook and ability to provide morale to those around no matter the situation is something I will always admire. It says a lot about his character as the whole time I have been in the regiment I have only heard people speak of him with the highest of regards. It has been an honour to have served alongside him. Rest in Peace Deady.

Second Lieutenant Andy Miller, 1 Platoon Commander, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Commanding Kingsmen is always a privilege, but to be Kingsman Deady’s Platoon Commander was an honour. Kingsman Darren Deady was by far the best Kingsman in my platoon. He was polite, focused, funny, entertaining and truthful. He was an extremely professional soldier and as a result he was often the first to volunteer for the most difficult of tasks within the platoon.

He would either be leading the way, clearing a safe route free from hidden bombs for his comrades, or he would be carrying some of the heaviest equipment that the platoon had, even if he did say ‘There’s only so much these chicken legs can carry’. He was ferocious in battle and deadly accurate with his underslung grenade launcher.

We would often talk of what we were looking forward to on our post-tour leave. He could not wait to return to Bolton to see his family, go out with his friends and spend his money on a ridiculously fast motorbike as well as a lads’ holiday to Amsterdam.

“Away from soldiering, back in Cyprus, Kingsman Deady lived for the weekends. My Monday mornings would always be brightened by tales of Kingsman Deady’s latest escapades, usually involving him with no top on and going missing for a large part of the night, often returning with a new tattoo that he would proudly show me.

Kingsman Deady will be sorely missed by me and the entire team. He was the life and soul of the platoon and it is a tragedy that his ‘one of a kind’ laugh will never be heard again. My thoughts are with his family. Kingsman Darren Deady will never be forgotten by me or his brothers in 1 Platoon.

Sergeant Lea Wilkinson, 1 Platoon Sergeant, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady was one of the most popular and much-loved members of the platoon. The energy and morale which he produced was infectious, making being in Afghanistan that much more bearable.

Darren was a cheeky lad who often managed to make me laugh even when he was in trouble. The platoon will be a very different place without him.

Corporal Stephen Byrne, Section Commander, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

I first met Kingsman Deady when I moved to Arnhem Company two years ago. I liked him from day one and what a brilliant character. He was a fantastic soldier that put his best into everything.

Corporal Sean Bateson, Section Commander, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

A true Kingsman, a true Lancastrian, always full of life and always with a smile on his face. Truly missed but never forgotten.

Corporal Iliav Waqa, Section Commander, 2 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

It was a privilege to have known him and he always gave one hundred and ten per cent; everything was always done to the highest standards.

Corporal Gareth Collins, Section Commander, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

One of the best Kingsmen I’ve ever worked with within the platoon, always there whenever anyone needed him, my thoughts go out to his family.

Lance Corporal Gary Smith, Section Second-in-Command, 2 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

You’re one of the best lads I’ve ever known and it was a privilege to fight alongside you.

Kingsman Ben Harper, Signaller, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady was one of the boys who looked after everyone. I will always remember him calling me fatty and me giving him stick back but he always got the beers in first. I’ll remember him as a mate, brother and the best Kingsman around.

Kingsman Christopher Norris, Fire Support Group, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Darren was one of the best lads I’ve ever met in the Army. A guy who always lived for the weekend. You will never be forgotten.

Kingsman Dean Smith, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady was one of the best lads I’ve ever met. I enjoyed his company and working with him. He was always having a laugh and always had a smile on his face. I will always remember him.

Kingsman James Kirner, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

I can’t believe he’s gone, he was the morale of the platoon. We’re going to miss you so much.

Kingsman Liam Phillpot, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Even when he was down he managed to cheer you up. Even though he is gone he will never be forgotten.

Kingsman Liam McKenna, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

He always kept morale high even in the worst of situations, he will be so missed.

Kingsman Antony Lewis, Fire Support Group, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

In the short time that I have known him he was a great lad to be around, always happy and positive, a pleasure to work with, my thoughts are with his family.

Kingsman John Dowson, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

I didn’t know Deady for long but what a sound lad, always up for a laugh. My deepest thoughts are with his family and those who were lucky enough to know him.

Kingsman Alan Burrow, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady was a top lad and a true soldier, always happy and always with a smile on his face, even when he was down. He always had something to laugh about and was the life and soul of the party.

He loved to go out and have a beer and chase the girls and it seemed to work as he often pulled. It won’t be the same without him wandering around without his top on. Rest in Peace mate, you will never be forgotten.

Kingsman Robert Purkiss, Company Medic, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

One of the best men in Arnhem Company, some of the stories will stay with me forever and the fact that he was always cribbing with a smile on his face.

Kingsman Scott Duffy, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Darren Deady was one of my best friends in the battalion. He was always one to make you laugh when times were hard and making the most of a bad situation. He will be dearly missed by the lads in 1 Platoon. We have lost one of our best soldiers, a true Kingsman.

Kingsman Kyle Garth, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady was full of character, the most popular lad in the platoon and one of my best friends.

He would always be making people laugh when times were hard and morale was low. He would always pick on my accent; he used to say that I sounded like a farmer and I used to take the mick out of his Bolton accent.

We would go to the gym together, then, when the weekend arrived, we would all go out as a big team and enjoy ourselves. Rest in Peace Deady mate, you’re going to be missed.

Kingsman Christopher Stagg, 3 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady, I can’t believe you’re gone mate. You will be sorely missed. You were a great colleague and an even better friend. Rest In Peace mate.

Kingsman Jacob Murray, 1 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

From one Boltoner to another, you were a good mate to all the lads in Arnhem Company. When one of us was down you always knew how to put a smile back on our faces.

Thoughts are with your family and friends back home. I am going to miss you mate, gone but never forgotten. Rest in Peace.

Kingsman Kemron Modeste, 3 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady mate, it feels like only yesterday we last spoke about how we were going to spend leave and how you were saying you were going to come visit me back home in Grenada.

Mate, I know if you could you would have been there, you will be sorely missed by all in Arnhem Company. Can’t wait till we see each other again. From your brother from another mother. See you later mate.

Kingsman Christopher Craig, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

No words can describe what sort of a friend you were to the men of Arnhem Company, nor can they do justice to what sort of a soldier you were.

Your family, regiment and country have lost one of its finest and bravest. I am proud to have served alongside you and rest assured we will never forget.

Kingsman Mark Traynor, 3 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

You were without a doubt the morale of this company; you would even be laughing when days were bad. We will never forget you mate.

Kingsman Tom Smith, 3 Platoon, Arnhem Company, 2 LANCS, said:

Deady, can’t believe I am speaking to you in this way but you were a top friend to everyone. Mate, I can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you. All the lads feel for your family and friends at home. You were a true Kingsman mate. Rest in Peace Deady, you will never be forgotten.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

I was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Kingsman Darren Deady who was fatally wounded doing his duty while bringing security and stability to the people of Nahr-e Saraj. He was an able and dedicated soldier who displayed strength, courage and leadership.

It’s clear to me that he made a very big impression on his fellow soldiers and that he is going to be sorely missed by all who knew him. My deepest sympathies are with family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.