FAMILY members, Royal Marines and members of the community gathered yesterday (November 11) to pay tribute to a heroic young man who died while serving in Afghanistan.
A plaque was unveiled at Midhurst Rother College in honour of Corporal David O’Connor, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, who was fatally injured while on patrol in Helmand Province on October 24, 2012.
Captain Mike O’Kelly was chairman of governors at Midhurst Grammar School, and served in the Royal Navy for 34 years.
He said: “All those in David’s command speak in glowing terms of his inspiring leadership, personal bravery, skill as a leader, and his humour.
“He was a truly remarkable person, and a gallant man.”
The 27-year-old was shot while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he was training Afghan police.
David’s mother Rosemary said: “David spent all his leave in Midhurst.
“This was a beautiful ceremony and it was lovely to have some of 40 Commando here. It was very special.”
David went to Midhurst Primary and Intermediate Schools as well as the grammar school, which is now Midhurst Rother College. He also served in the Midhurst detachment of the Army Cadet Force.
See the full story in this week’s Observer (November 13).