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Cpl Jeremy Smith RM Memorial Plaque

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

The Cpl Jeremy Smith RM (Decd.) Memorial Plaque Story

by Tony Sickelmore

In Aug 2022, Dale Mills (former Marine, 42 Cdo 1982) sent me the memorial plaque photo pictured below. The memorial plaque is fixed to the War Memorial (2nd photo) situated in Princess Gardens in Torquay. Cpl Jeremy Smith RM was actually killed whilst on the Mortar Line at Mount Wall (also known as Wall Mountain!), the troop were making preparations to provide mortar fire support for the forthcoming attack on Mt Harriet by 42 Cdo RM 11th June 1982 when they came under Argentine artillery fire.

Cpl Jeremy Smith Royal Marines - DOW Mt Wall Falklands 11 June 1982

One 155mm shell burst amongst the troop causing severe injuries to a number of marines and fatally wounding Jeremy, he died on the casevac flight out.

The plaque was commissioned by Jeremy’s mother who has since passed away and we will never know why she put Mount Longden as Jeremy’s place of death, we have not been able to find a Mount Longden in the Falklands Islands. We have also checked that there wasn’t a Cpl J Smith killed on Mt Longdon just in case there had been a mix-up.

After discussions with key people, eg Maj Gen Nick Vaux CB DSO (Rtd) and various members of Mortar Tp (1982) it was decided to see if we could get a new plaque commissioned.

The quest involved numerous discussions with Torbay Council, they don’t ‘own’ the War Memorial and they recommended contacting UK War Memorials ( Of course UK War Memorials responded by recommending we speak to Torbay Council.

Torquay War Memorial

A major avenue of investigation was to try and trace any surviving family members or relatives. We were successful! The team organising the 42 Cdo 30th Falklands Anniversary back in 2012 produced an email address from 11 years ago and bingo, it was still in use and we established communications with Jenny, Jeremy’s sister. Jenny was absolutely overjoyed and in awe that even though Jeremy had died in 1982 41 years later, so long after Jeremy’s death, the Royal Marines still cared for her brother. Jenny had always known something was wrong with the wording on the plaque but thought that perhaps her mother knew other details which she was not privy too.

We made contact with the Royal Marines Association (RMA) Central Office just to inform them of the situation and what we wanted to achieve, we also made contact with the Torbay branch of the RMA and the local Royal British Legion (RBL). The RBL were really helpful and were already aware that the plaque was incorrect and it had been a topic of conversation at several RBL meetings. We contacted the stonemasons who were responsible for fitting the plaque but they were unable to provide the records for the plaque, we were keen to see if the documents could provide any clues as to Mt Longden.

Cpl Jeremy Smith Memorial Plaque location pinned on

The RBL went ahead and commissioned a new plaque to be made, the cost being just short of £900. The RBL asked if the RMA would be willing to make a donation to the cost, the RMA went one step better and stated as this plaque was for a Royal Marine then the RMA would pay the full cost! A huge ‘Thank You’ to Phil Gilby MBE, RMA Operations Director West for making that decision.

So as you are reading this newsletter the new plaque might actually be in place, the target date was last week in July/1st week of August, and the date chosen for the re-dedication service will be Mon 4th Sep at the memorial. The service will be a Royal Marines event and supported by the RBL. All are welcome to attend.

The re-dedication service will commence at 1100 hrs Monday 4th Sep at the war memorial, Princess Gardens, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5EZ. A Royal Marine bugler will sound the start of the service which will be conducted by a former RN chaplain. There will be several guest speakers including Maj Gen Nick Vaux CB, DSO (R’td), Jeremy’s Commanding Officer in 1982. Jenny Smith will unveil the new plaque and lay a wreath in honour of her brother. Expected guests also include Mark Spacagna (Torquay Mayor), Kevin Foster MP and possibly other Council members, former members of Mortar Tp 42 Cdo 1982, former members of 3 Cdo Bde RM 1982, Royal Marines from CTCRM (Heavy Weapons branch), Royal Marines from Lima Company 42 Cdo RM, Torbay RMA Standard Bearer and Branch members, Torquay RBL Standard Bearer, Chaplain, Publicity Officer and Branch members plus RMA members & RM Veterans. Dress: as this is a solemn occasion a suit or blazer with berets and medals would be appreciated but this is a personal choice, it is more important for people to be there showing their respects to the late Cpl Jeremy Smith RM.

We would like to express our gratitude to the RBL and the RMA for their financial generosity and assistance with correcting Jeremy’s memorial plaque, their involvement has really helped bring a conclusion to this 12 month project and ensure Jeremy’s memorial plaque now contains accurate details and this small piece of Royal Marines history has been corrected, thank you.

A date for your diary: Mon 4th Sep 2023, Princess Gardens, Torquay, Devon

Realted RM 'Dits'

Aslo rememberd here - Royal Marines Roll of Honour & War Graves Database []

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