Michael Smythe, MM

Michael was born in 13.2.1959 as first-born for a civil servant father and teacher mother and remained as their only child. He was better student than average in school but after death of his father the thirst for studies disappeared. With the end of the school he walked right into recruitment office in 1977 and never looked back.

He went through Potential Marine course in Lympstone and was accepted to the All Arms Commando Course. Six months later Michael got the green beret. Following years went through fast as he served in 42 Commando. He served, among other places, in Brunei, Norway and Northern Ireland. During his service he passed PW3(Sniper) course.

In 1979 Michael married Joanna, a girl next door, and in the next year they had their first child Megan. In the same year he went to Junior Command Course and in the following year he was promoted into Corporal. In 1982 Argentina invaded Falklands Islands. Recce Troop, Support Company, 42 Commando, Royal Marines went to invade them back along with Michael Smythe who had just arrived from Mountain Leader 2 course. Right people probably remembered his face as he was asked to think about joining into Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre. Furthermore, he received Military Medal from battles in Mount Harriet.

However, things were not going well on home front. Joanna had gotten tired of living in fear and asked Michael to resign from Royal Marines and got himself a 'real' job that would bring her husband home every night at 17.00. After a long torturous arguments divorce was filed in 1983. Two months later Michael's mother got a remorrhage on line in bank and died even before she got into hospital. Michael Smith joined M&A.R.C and dedicated himself only to his work. Everything went pretty much like always until 1986.

On June 1986 a group of just graduated British nurses had been touring on mountains of Norway and got caught by a storm. Some of them got separated from the main group and got lost. One of the girls stumbled on crag and broke her leg. On second night rescuers were still not there and situation looked grim. Then, all the sudden, distant shouts were heard from above the mountain range and soon 10 British soldiers scaled down the mountainside. Medic of the squad gave her first aid and girl was then carried away and whole episode was just a episode that warned people of dangers of mountaineering. However, that night meant a lot more for a classmate staying along with injured girl and a squad leader. They talked with each other all the time when walking back and met in next Saturday in a bar of hotel. They moved together in six months, married within a year and got their first child in October 1988 and second in 1990.

Following war against Iraq Colour-Sergeant Smythe was part of operations to search and guide Kurds from mountains to refugee camps in Northern Iraq. In a year 1999, Warrant Officer 2 Michael Smythe finally retired after full 22 years of service and moved along with his family to Bahamas as his wife wanted to look after her sick mother.

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