Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith served with the Corps of Royal Engineers. He was 26 years old, and had four children, aged between one and seven years old.
Lance Corporal Smith was part of a troop building a new checkpoint in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand when he was hit by small arms fire.
Matthew Smith was born on 12th March 1986 in Hong Kong, and grew up in Aldershot. He enlisted in January 2003, joining the Corps of Royal Engineers in September that year.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 with 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 26 Engineer Regiment. He was based in the Nad-e-Ali district, where he supported 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as a section second-in-command.
He leaves behind a fiancée, Laura, parents, brother and four children – Lainie, Ella, Tilli and Jai.
Lance Corporal Smith’s mother, Caroline Smith, said:
“A loving father to four beautiful children, who will be dearly missed by his fiancée, mother, father, family and friends. Our Hero R.I.P.”
Lieutenant Colonel John Ridge RE, Commanding Officer, 26 Engineer Regiment, said:
“Lance Corporal Smith embodied everything that is great about the Corps of Royal Engineers. He was incredibly hard working, completely selfless and utterly professional. Killed whilst building a vital checkpoint on the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal, he died at the centre of the task, leading, as always, from the front.
“I last saw Lance Corporal Smith a few weeks ago. He briefed me on what his team were up to, and on the tasks that they had still to do before the end of the tour. He was clearly loving the job, and the experience of leading on operations. After four months of hard physical work, I expected to find his soldiers tired and looking forward to getting home. Instead, they were in high spirits and focussed on what jobs were coming up next. There could be no better proof of his outstanding leadership.
“Lance Corporal Smith joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in 2003, and he was posted to 26 Engineer Regiment in January 2010. Tremendously proud to be a sapper, he reportedly woke his tent mates to a recording or rendition of “Hurrah for the CRE”, the Corps song, most mornings. He loved teaching junior soldiers and, as one of our flyers, we were preparing him for a posting to a Training Regiment, where I am certain he would have been in his element.
“We have all been terribly shocked by his death, particularly his mates from 6 Troop. They are a tight knit team, and he was a key player, whether making the early morning brews, or raising a smile when the endless building of patrol base walls finally started eating into morale.
“After Lance Corporal Smith had been shot, and his section had evacuated him to medical assistance, they went straight back to site and finished the job that he had started. After being informed of his death, they prepared to build the next checkpoint. Not through a lack of feeling, but because this is exactly what he would have wanted them to do. This is how we in the Engineer Group will honour his memory.
“Our loss as friends and colleagues is nothing compared to that felt by his family, particularly his fiancée Laura and their four children. He was devoted to all of them, and they will be in our thoughts and prayers during this dreadful period.”
read more on BFBS website: http://www.bfbs.com/news/afghanistan/lcpl-matthew-smith-dies-afghanistan-59714.html