Guardsman Daryl Hickey of The Queen's Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Southern Afghanistan on Thursday 12 July 2007. He had been working with Somme Company since the beginning of the year and was killed whilst his platoon was operating in support of 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (1 WFR) Battlegroup. 1 WFR were undertaking operations alongside Afghan National Security Forces to improve security in the Gereshk region of the Helmand River valley. He was part of a fire team providing covering fire as others in his platoon assaulted a Taliban position. The assault was successful. The underlying purpose of these operations was to create the conditions for a further expansion of Government of Afghanistan influence and increased reconstruction and development in Helmand. During the enemy contact, Guardsman Hickey suffered a gunshot wound at approximately 0800 hours local time. He was rapidly evacuated by helicopter and despite the very best efforts of emergency medical staff he was pronounced dead on arrival at the field hospital. Two other soldiers were injured in another part of the same operation.
Guardsman Daryl Hickey, aged 27, was from Birmingham. He joined the army in 2001, after completing initial training, he was posted to The Queen's Company where he completed operational tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq, before going to Afghanistan in April this year. Guardsman Hickey was a keen supporter of his local football team, Birmingham City. He enjoyed playing sports with his friends in the regiment, whether it was on the football field or over a game on his computer. His family was always a large part of his life. Colour Sergeant Hampson said: "Daryl was a unique character with a unique sense of humour. His great personality made him the very popular member of The Queen's Company that he was. It was always a pleasure to be in his presence, his relaxed and sometimes quiet ways made him very easy to work with. The times we worked together I knew I was in good company and could always rely on him to carry out his duties in a truly professional manner as he would always take pride in everything he did. "I can honestly say that everybody in The Queen's Company who has lived, socialised and worked alongside Daryl over the years is greatly saddened by his loss. I can also say that I am proud to have known and worked with such a man."
At his funeral mourners lined the streets in pouring rain to say a sad final farewell to a brave Birmingham soldier killed in action while protecting colleagues in Afghanistan. Fifty guards in ceremonial uniform were on parade for the 27-year-old devoted Blues fan from Rutland Drive, Yardley. His sister, Elaine, read a eulogy at the service in the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church on Coventry Road.
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