Daniel was from Tipton just a few miles from Old Hill in the West Midlands. He was attached to the exact same regiment Harry had served in almost 100 years ago. And, Daniel was killed while serving his country, just like Harry.On 26 May 2007 at just 22 years old this young Guardsman tragically lost his life during a night patrol whilst clearing a Taliban compound on the outskirts of Garmsir, a deadly Taliban controlled area, in Southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He, along with the twenty four men of 3 Platoon, left their Forward Operating Base (FOB), their task was to mount an aggressive assault and destroy a Taliban outpost that was being used to menace the FOB with deadly rocket-propelled grenades. The 1st Battalion Grenadiers were part of Op Herrick 6.
When I recently asked a very good friend (who is currently a 1st Battalion Guardsman) if he remembered Dan he immediately responded..."Dan was a good lad and is still missed and talked about in the battalion, a book has just been released about the battalions tour in Afghan in 2007 and that night [the night Daniel was killed] is mentioned in great detail in the book". This Guardsman was actually 'out in Afghanistan' on Op Herrick 16 when I asked him about Dan and was serving at a particularly 'deadly' Forward Operating Base. Even after 5 years Dan was still in their thoughts. This just goes to show what a 'man' he must have been. When the Guardsman returned from Afghan one of the first places he visited was the National Arboretum Memorial at Alrewas where we, along with Dan's dad Tim, paid our respects at the spot where Daniel's name appears on 'the wall'.
I also received this message one day with a photograph attached..."One of the rows of tents in our new fob". (Forward Operating Base). A touching tribute to Daniel 3,500 miles away in 'The Sandpit' somewhere in Helmand.
Daniel joined the Army in 2003 and in the few years following he served in Iraq as part of Operation (Op) TELIC 5 and Op TELIC 8. TELIC was the codename that signified British military operations in Iraq between the start of the Invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 and the final withdrawal of our forces on 22 May 2011. During this time Daniel received a, ‘much played down by him’, commendation for assisting with the evacuation of an injured soldier whilst under sustained attack. Back home he loved his motorcycles and was a dedicated West Bromwich Albion fan. According to those who served with him he was extremely popular and very well respected within his Platoon. He will remain in their eyes, without doubt, a legend.
Daniel’s name appears on a new bronze plaque on the existing War Memorial in Steven’s Park near Quarry Bank. His name [as mentioned earlier] also appears on the walls of the very impressive and poignant National Memorial Arboretum. The book 'neat Little Rows' also has a section about Daniel as well as a dedication to him and his family.
Our Honest Wall - a poem
Names etched on white stone hard as nails.
Each letter is carved deeper still on human hearts.
They sleep in peace, their uncomplicated, honest Wall shelters them now.
We stand on the shoulders of giants such as these.
Andy Rudall - Placed beneath Dan's name on NMA Memorial Wall - 2 November 2012