Saturday, 13 August 2022
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Marine Mead was born on 9th October 1991.  He lived with his mother, Amanda, and sister in Carmarthen.  He studied at Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen until he joined the Royal Marines. 

He joined the Royal Marines on 27th October 2008, aged 17.  It was Marine Mead's first employment after leaving school, and he enjoyed the demanding rigour of the Royal Marines.  He passed fit for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on 3rd July 2009, as an original member of 977 Troop.  He was the youngest Marine to pass out from his Troop.

On completion of training he joined 8 Troop, Lima Company, 42 Commando based in Plymouth.  He was involved in a number of high tempo and demanding tactical training exercises, including a 2 month amphibious deployment to the United States.  He also enjoyed wider training activities such as Mountain Training.  He completed the full
pre-deployment training package for Operations in Afghanistan and in addition the Long Range Rifle course.

During the morning of Sunday 15 May 2011 Lima Company were conducting a cordon and search operation, partnered with the Afghan National Security Forces,  of compounds suspected of being associated with Improvised Explosive Device facilitation in the Loy Mandeh Wadi in the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province.  The location of these compounds is outside of the influence of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan which allows insurgent commanders to operate from them with a degree of impunity.  Lima Company landed in a helicopter and began to move towards the compounds of interest. Shortly afterwards, Marine Mead
was fatally injured in an Improvised Explosive Device blast.

Dean's Mother Amanda said:

"I could never write enough words that would truly say how much I loved
and thought of you, you're not a one in a million son you are one in a
hundred million.

"You had the most wonderful and warming personality, one that I have
never seen in anyone else, nor will ever see again.  You gave me
strength when I most need it and you were the rock that supported me
through my life."

"Although you turned out to be a proud and heroic Royal Marine you will
always be my little blue-eyed boy."

"The consequences of never hearing you say the words: "I love you mam"
or never again having one of your loving and comforting 'cwches' and
never hearing your cheeky laugh will leave me with a broken heart for
the rest of my life."

"You will remain in my thoughts for every second of every day my most
wonderful son, rest in piece my darling little soldier xxxxxx Your
loving and forever Mami."

Dean's Father Philip said:

"Our Dean, our boy, our little Big Man, our hero always wanted to be a
Royal Marine and he turned out to be one of the best.

"I am speechless at our tragic loss, but until we meet again you will
forever be in our hearts.  All our love Dadi and Del xxxxx."

Dean's Teenage Sister Jessica said:

"You were the most amazing brother ever, the best friend you could ever
wish for and a personality you couldn't even imagine existed. 

"You found the silver lining in everything you did, you had such a
carefree spirit. "

"You always told me to live my life to the full every day no matter what
risk it may hold because tomorrow could be my last."

"You told me you never wanted to grow old because you wanted a young
life forever."

"You are my big brother, my hero and you will have that young life
forever captured in the wonderful photographs you have left behind for

Dean's Grandparents said:

"Dean you were a wonderful Grandson who made us very proud, we will
always remember you and cherish your wonderful sense of humour and
gentle nature.  Nana Jones and Gramps xxxxx."

"Dean Bach, Our darling Grandson, we can now only send you all of our
love and promise we will miss you always, a promise we will always
keep." Nana and Grumpy xxxxx."

Other Family Members said:

"I wish you could be here so I could thank you for letting us become
part of your family.  You were like a son to me and a brother to Joe.
We shall remember you forever." Captain Julio and Joe 'Pimps'

"Dean you were an inspiration to others.  You were always so full of
energy, always on the go with a cheeky but polite attitude and always a
delight to be around.  We all know that you would have had a fantastic
career ahead of you but sadly your second family the Royal Marines have
had that torn away from them.  We are so proud of what you have achieved
in such a short but full lifetime, you are a huge loss to all of us."
Nige, Zoe, and Jasmine.

Dean's Best Friend, Tom Boodeny, said:

"You were my best friend for 13 fantastic years always there when I
needed help or just someone to talk to. You were the one person in the
whole world that I could trust I could tell you anything and you would
keep it a secret like a best friend should.

"You were not just a good mate of mine you were befriended by everyone
that you met, you were an entertainer, a peacemaker and fantastic
company to be around at all times."

"I know it's hard to lose a member of your family, but Dean, losing a
friend like you is just as painful for me.  It was a great privilege for
me to know that I was your pal.  Missing you so much."

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison MBE RM, Commanding Officer 42 Commando
Royal Marines, Coalition Force Nad-e Ali (North) said:

"Mne Nigel Dean Mead was the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando.  A
young man with considerable inner strength, he was selfless, warm
hearted, utterly professional and took enormous pride in his job.
Despite this being his first tour of Afghanistan, he was a marksman of
note and an inspiration to those who worked closely with him.  At the
moment his life was cut tragically short, he was operating deep in
insurgent controlled territory, where the threat of Improvised Explosive
Devices was high, demonstrating characteristic bravery and unwavering
loyalty to his fellow Marines.

"Deano, as he is known to his friends, has made the ultimate sacrifice.
The loss of such a fine young man is felt deeply across the whole of the
Commando and shows the high regard in which he was held; indeed he was a
truly valued, charismatic and popular member of Lima Company and the
wider 42 Commando family.  In giving his life he saved others and joins
an illustrious list of legends; he will be sorely missed, but his memory
will live on.  He died on the front line, doing the job he loved,
alongside his friends who will love him forever.  Our thoughts and
prayers are with his mother, Amanda, his father Phil and his sister

Major Aleck Burrell RM, Officer Commanding, Lima Company, 42 Commando
Royal Marines said:

"A quiet professional who was brave to the very end.  Mne Mead died
amongst friends doing what he loved to do.  A bitter loss to the

Lieutenant Simon Maxwell RM, Officer Commanding Fire Support Group, Lima
Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Nigel 'Deano' Mead was a first class Marine who embodied the very
meaning of a professional 'Bootneck'.  He was moved to Fire Support
Group on account of his professional soldiering skills and his maturity
which transcended his relative youth.  He was without doubt one of the
finest Marines in the Company and was a bright hope for the future.
Always quick with a joke and a smile, he was a constant source of morale
in the Troop.  Deano was the sort of Marine everyone felt at ease with,
and he managed to be both liked and respected in equal measure.  His
Oppos [opposite numbers] in the Troop's reaction to his death
highlighted the high regard in which he was held in.  He tragically died
doing a job he loved doing.  Keen, always widely respected, Bootneck to
the core and professional to the very last.  He will be sorely missed
and always remembered by Lima Company."

Warrant Officer Class 2 (Sergeant Major) Scott Brant RM, Sergeant Major,
Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines said:

"Marine Deano Mead wasn't a tall man but managed to walk tall in
whatever duty he carried out. Quiet by nature, but loud in stature, he
impressed all around him with his endless enthusiasm and zest for the
Corps of the Royal Marines.  A great shot with a rifle and undoubtedly a
future sniper within the Corps.  Never did Mne Mead complain about any
task, whether dirty, clean, good or bad, which added to his
unmistakeable manner of the happy go lucky man.  A First class Marine
and a true friend to all who served with him.  He will be sorely missed
by all, but never forgotten."

Sergeant Rick Sheer, Fire Support Group Troop Sergeant, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Marine Deano Mead was a very special member of my Troop.  His
relentless professionalism and commitment to the Royal Marines was a
shining example to all who serve in the Corps.  His loss is a bitter
blow to the Troop, Company and Unit.  Despite extreme danger he faced
that day, he displayed utter courage, bravery and selflessness.  Deano
showed all the command qualities day after day.  Our sincere condolences
and thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.  We
will continue with our deployment with him at the forefront of our
memory.  Rest in Peace Deano."

Sergeant Chris Hunter, 8 Troop Sergeant, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
marines said:

"Mne Mead affectionately known as Deano, was an exceptional Royal Marine
and an inspiration to all who knew him.  I will remember him as an
unselfish, trustworthy Royal Marine who every man counted as a friend.
His courage was without question.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his
family at this time."

Corporal Al Morrell, Fire Support Group Section Commander, Lima Company,
42 Commando Royal Marines said:

"It was a pleasure to have known Deano; he was an awesome guy with a
great sense of humour and a shocking dress sense.  As his Section
Commander I couldn't have asked for a better Marine. He threw himself at
everything he did, a crack shot and probably the best Marine at Close
Quarter Battle within 42 Commando, having been a demonstration man for
the last two years, displaying slick drills to the rest of the Unit.
Physically fit, always the first man to the top of the Dewerstone Rock,
closely followed by his side kick Ranners.  The duo had been together
since training and were doing all they could to pull one another through
at the end.  Deano displayed the finest qualities of a Royal Marine: the
smallest man in the Section with the largest bergan and an even bigger
grin on his face.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.  We
will miss him dearly."

Lance Corporal Martin Walsh, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Mne Nigel Dean Mead (Deano) joined the Fire Support Group Lima Company
and went onto complete the Long Range Rifle Course conducted at 42
Commando.  Deano was a keen Marine and very professional even though he
was only 19 years old.  The youngest in a Troop of senior Marines, he
was made at home instantly with his quick witted humour and professional
attitude towards a job that he loved.  He was always up for a run ashore
and was normally the instigator, walking around the accommodation
looking for lads to go ashore with.  He will be sorely missed by all of
us.  A true friend and outstanding Marine."

Lance Corporal Mike Collins, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Although one of the younger members of the Troop, Deano was one of the
more capable Marines who was also very skilled in pretty much every
aspect of his job.  Not only was he an extremely dependable Marine, he
also managed to do the most mundane of jobs with the utmost level of
professionalism.  As part of such a tight knit Troop he will be sorely
missed.  Sleep well Deano."

Lance Corporal Harry Price, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Mne Mead or Deano as we knew him was an exceptional Oppo, very quiet
and hugely respected. A hoofing shot with a rifle, and quite pesty at
times with his kit.  He was also a whiz at Call of Duty. Deano was the
kind of lad you could ask to do something, and he would get on and do
it.  I have no doubt that Deano would have gone on and done great
things.  I am truly touched to have known him, and I know I will miss
him along with the rest of the lads in the Fire Support Group.  Deano,
you will be truly missed but never forgotten."

Lance Corporal Yan Pavlovic, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Putting pen on paper could never fully explain Deano as the
professional, perfectionist, keen, hard working, skilful and all round
good-egg Bootneck that he was.  I first met Deano after returning from
Iraq to find 2 new members in my 4 man room.  Deano and Scott (Ranners)
were joined at the hip and together brought a whirl wind of devastation
and destruction.  It was incredible to see Deano, the once fresh faced
quiet and introverted member of our room, rapidly turn into a loud,
mischievous, constantly busy, awesome Bootneck.  Never shy of a run
ashore so long as he had ID and an odd pair of trainers.  Deano quickly
made a name for himself within the Company.  I can't imagine how hard
this must be for his family.  Working along side Deano has been a huge
privilege which will never be forgotten.  He could never be replaced, he
will never be outshone."

Marine Chris Stanton, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando
Royal Marines said:

"My very best mate in the Corps, he was a young man with an enormous
personality.  He was dedicated and hard working and took a huge amount
of pride in everything he did.  I have so many memories of Deano which I
will cherish forever, from the times in America or snow boarding in
France.  I was privileged enough to have him attend my 21st birthday
where he became the life and soul and everyone grew to love him.  He was
a lad you could not fail to get along with.  Always cracking funnies and
making sure everyone else was smiling.  There was no challenge too hard,
and he aspired to be the best by looking to join Recce Troop as a
sniper.  He was a man who would not back down if he believed someone was
wrong, and he would always be the first to volunteer, as that was who he
was; he was always looking out for others.  An extremely generous giver,
he will be remembered by us for his taste in music, obscene fashion
ideas and the fact he was unbeatable in Call of Duty.  I will never
forget hearing Deano whistling the Wurzels when he thought nobody was
listening.  Above all I remember him for being my best mate.  The lad
who could make me laugh no matter what mood I was in.  Nothing was too
much hassle, he loved his friends and he loved his job.  Dean 'Deano'
Mead, you will never be forgotten."

Marine Stewart Shuttleworth, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42
Commando Royal Marines said:

"Me and Deano first met back in 2009 when we joined Lima Company.  We
became good Oppos straight away and ended up in the same Troop and
Section.  He was a genuinely nice bloke and was liked by everyone.
Words cannot describe how much he will be missed, he will always be in
my thoughts.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Deano's family, who can
definitely take pride in what he did, becoming a Royal Marine Commando.
He will always be part of the Royal Marines family and will never be

Marine Phillip Spencer, 7 Troop, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines

"Deano was one of my best mates, we all knew him for his love of
Dub-step and his crazy shoes.  I remember once he ordered two pairs of
the same trainers just so he could have a different colour on each foot,
but that was him all over.  Full of life and always up for a laugh.  He
was a great run ashore and a hoofing Bootneck.  I don't know a single
person who has ever had a bad thing to say about him.  He was a little
man with a giant heart and is going to be missed by every one in Lima
Company.  For me I don't think it will fully sink in until that first
run ashore when we're back in the UK and I look around for Deano and
he's not there.  But, if he was I'd imagine he'd probably be in a
Deadmouse T-shirt doing back flips in the middle of the dance floor.
Deano was our Oppo and I loved him like a brother.  I will never forget
you mate."

Marine Andrew Tattershaw, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando
Royal Marines said:

"I considered Deano as one of my best Oppos, a young man who was happy
and proud. Deano would do anything for anyone, a nice lad that everyone
loved and thought was the most genuine lad you could meet.  I consider
myself privileged to have had him as a close friend.  We will never
forget you Deano.  We will miss you always."

Marine Chris Boot, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
Marines said:

"Ever since getting to know Deano properly on our Long Range Rifle
Course last year I've always had an Oppo who I could rely on, especially
when a run ashore was involved.  He was a lad who would go out of his
way to help others both in and out of work, unless he was playing Call
of Duty; then you were in for a thrashing!  I can't think of anyone who
would have a bad thing to say about him.  I look forward to the day
where I get to meet you again.  Rest in Peace brother."

Marine Kit Haddon, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
Marines said:

"Deano was a character that everyone got on with, a keen young lad who
was hoofing at his job and I am proud to say I have worked with.  He
displayed all the qualities you would expect in a Bootneck from witty
banter, to being one of the lads ashore, and on the same note a
professional Marine.  Fire Support Group has suffered a big loss today
and it has been felt throughout the Company.  You will be greatly missed
Deano, Rest in Peace Royal."

Marine Jim Wootton, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
Marines said:

"Deano, too young to die, would have grown into a legend, always kit
fiddling and aspiring for perfection.  He would have been a sniper, and
I could see him living out the dream job he always wanted for years.  I
called him 'Pop' in the last few days after I took the mick out of him
for poorly applied sun lotion.  I only knew Deano for five months, but I
have lost a brother today, I will carry his smiling face with me every

Marine James Latham, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
Marines said:

"Mne Nigel 'Deano' Mead.  Deano was a friend, close colleague, always
had a smiling face, never said a bad word about anyone and nobody had a
bad word to say about him. Deano had an aspiration of being a sniper,
and loved his .338 Rifle.  Always someone to talk to just across the
hallway, he was loved as a brother amongst the Troop and will be greatly

Marine Jo Cottle, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal
Marines said:

"Mne Nigel Deano Mead, Lima Company Fire Support Group.  I knew Deano as
a keen-as-mustard Bootneck with great potential.  Always messing with
his kit for hours at a time, and always going on about shooting which he
loved, hence his love for sniping.  As a Long Range Rifleman he was very
professional and was due to be on the next sniper course, which he
thoroughly deserved.  He was only 19 and a young 19 at that, but at work
he was one of the lads and hoofing at what he did.  Always up for a run
ashore in his daft bright T-shirts and crazy shoes, cracking back flips
in the middle of the dance floor.  LEGEND!  We will all miss him dearly
as a mate and as a hoofing Bootneck.  RIP Royal."

Marine Frank Ridgway, Fire Support Group, Lima Company, 42 Commando
Royal Marines said:

"Mne Deano Mead was only 19 years old and still young and eager to
progress his career.  He loved his shooting and couldn't wait to start
his snipers course.  He was proud and so enthusiastic with his fellow
Marines and his mates.  Always happy to join in with everything that was
put in front of him. He will be sorely missed but we should be proud to
have known him, and that he was here with us."

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In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

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