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4 Somerset marine's serving in Afghanistan have died since Sunday. 35 year Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire was killed while on patrol in the Sangin are of Helmand Province on Wednesday.
Sergeant Steven William 'Darbs' Darbyshire was 35 years old. He was born in Wigan, and it was there that he lived with his partner Kate and their two young sons Ryan and Callum.
During a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army, on the morning of 23 June, Alpha Company was conducting a reassurance patrol to the local nationals in Sangin. At approximately 0734 hours local, as the patrol was returning to Patrol Base ALMAS, they came under small arms fire attack from insurgent forces.
Sergeant Darbyshire was struck during the fire-fight and was fatally wounded in the incident.
His family paid tribute......"Being a Royal Marine was Steven’s life and growing up it was all he wanted to do. He was proud to wear the uniform and served his country as the consummate professional. He died doing the job he so loved. He was strong, vibrant, generous, passionate, full of life and he certainly lived life to the full. Our World will be a bleaker place without him, his infectious laughter and fantastic sense of humour. Mere words do not begin to convey the deep grief and painful heartbreak his untimely death has brought to his shattered family and friends.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin said "Sergeant Steven Darbyshire was one of life’s great characters. A proper Lancashire Lad, he typically had the wit, the cunning and the tenacity down to a fine art. I knew him to be a charismatic, loyal, determined and dedicated Sergeant with an irrepressible and infectious sense of humour. The last time I saw him he was covered in thick mud having just fallen into an irrigation ditch, but he gave me a beaming smile and in the manner that only he could deliver, illuminatingly described his misfortune to all.
The deaths means the number of Somerset servicemen killed in Afghanistan since the start of May has now reached 10.
Please feel free to leave your tributes to our fallen heroes at our Heart Somerset Facebook Page (see link above)