THE words 'bravest of the brave' now adorn Hammersmith Bridge to forever honour a fallen hero.
Emotions were running high this morning (27) as a memorial service was held to unveil a memorial plaque for Marine Sam Alexander.
The Skelwith Road resident was killed aged 28 after he was caught by a bomb blast in the Helmand Province in May 2011, during his second tour of Afghanistan.
Born and raised in the borough, the decorated solider loved the river and in particular the bridge, so much so that following the news of his death last year, it gained the moniker Sammermith Bridge.
To commemorate his life and to mark his bravery, the mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Frances Stainton officially laid the plaque, alongside Sam's mother, Serena.
Mrs Alexander, said: "Sam was always a 'water baby' and loved the river. I am so grateful to the Mayor for her assistance in the laying of this plaque.
"It is a tremendous solace to Sam's family and friends to have this memorial to him in so fitting a place.
"His indomitable spirit, love of adventure and courage were evident at a very young age; as was his loving nature.
"It is the wanting to make a better life for others that took him to Afghanistan, where he sincerely believed in the job he was doing.
"I am incredibly proud of him, but still miss him terribly."
Sam, who is survived by wife Claire and 20-month-old son Leo, was awarded the Military Cross by the Queen in 2009 for his bravery in charging down a group of insurgents to draw fire away from an injured colleague.
Having used all the ammunition in his machine gun, he continued his assault with his 9mm pistol until that too was empty - forcing the enemy to retreat.
As a mark of respect, Sam's former comrades marched in file from the Town Hall to the bridge, where family, friends and dignitaries lined up for the service.
Following the plaque unveiling, dozens of blue balloons, which had 'Sam Alexander, bravest of the brave' printed on, were released into the sky.
Speaking on the bridge, Mrs Stainton, said: "Sam Alexander has become a name to conjure with.
"He stands for all that is best in our young men. He stands for the courage that goes way beyond what is asked for and for that unique love and loyalty soldiers in combat under fire discover.
"We stand here today to honour him where he grew up, up on the bridge that was special for him and which will now carry his name forever."
Before Sam joined the Marines in 2006, he worked for some time in White City, teaching karate to children and as a handyman at Linden House.