Privates Robert Wood and Dean Hutchinson killed in Afghanistan
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Private Robert Wood and Private Dean Hutchinson, both of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), who were killed in a fire at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, on Monday 14 February 2011.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It is not thought to be the result of enemy action.
Private Robert Wood
Private Robert Wood was born on 24 June 1982. He joined the RLC as a Driver Port Operator on 26 July 2001 and on completion of his training was posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, his military home in Marchwood, Hampshire. From the very outset his presence and work ethic was clear for all to see.
Private Wood's fortitude and cheerful 'Wilco' approach epitomises the very essence of what it takes to be an Army Stevedore. A proud and professional Port Operator, he would always be there to lend a hand, team work being an essential element to loading or discharging shipping. A very recent and proud father, he constantly thought of his new family and gained strength from the thought of returning to them.
Private Wood was part of the Theatre Logistic Group's Transport Troop, a vital link in the logistic support to operations, when he was caught by a fire that took hold within his workplace, tragically claiming his life.
A hugely popular figure, Private Robert Wood - 'Woody' to his friends - will leave a void behind him that will be difficult to fill. The loss that will be felt by those in the Theatre Logistic Group and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment will pale to that of his proud parents and Rebecca, the mother of his beloved son, Noah. Private Wood was a caring and thoughtful man with a strong heart who will be sorely missed and forever remembered by all who knew him.
The family of Private Wood have made the following statement:
"Rob was an adored and adoring son, partner, and father to his baby son. We are so immensely proud of him and he will live in our hearts forever."
Lieutenant Colonel ST Hutchings, Commanding Officer Theatre Logistic Group, said:
"Private Wood was part of a little-known, but highly specialist, trade within the Army. As a proud and professional Port Operator he had a key role in supporting operations worldwide. He was one of our up and coming Stevedores. Experienced and committed, he had recently be selected for promotion. Volunteering for operations, again, he was keen to do his bit and demonstrate his wider skills.
"He had that innate ability to make friends easily, hugely popular and fiercely proud of being a Port Operator, he was making a difference on a daily basis. My regiment has lost a unique and special person, but our loss is nothing compared to that of his parents and partner, Rebecca, who are in our thoughts right now."
Major Steve Cornell, Officer Commanding General Support Squadron, said:
"Private Wood was a strong character with a sense of humour that shone through in the toughest of times. Immensely proud of his new son, Private Wood was also proud of his service in the Corps.
"An integral part of the Squadron and excellent at his trade, he made a positive impact at whatever he turned his hand to. He will be sorely missed."
Lieutenant Tim Fitzgerald, Troop Commander Transport Troop, said:
"Private Wood was the sort of soldier who made my life easy. A highly dependable and kind-hearted man, the other privates looked up to and respected him. Only with us a short time, no amount of time is long enough to know a man like him. Our thoughts go out to his parents, girlfriend, Bex, and son, Noah, for whom he was an excellent son, partner and father."
Staff Sergeant Mike Temple, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) Transport Troop, said:
"Woody was one of the key members of the small but committed RTCH section within Transport Troop. He was also a Port Operator by trade and he will be sorely missed within the close-knit Port Op world. No matter what you threw at him, he would always keep his chin up and crack on. Our thoughts go out to his family."
Lance Corporal Taff Williams said:
"Although I had only known Woody for a short time, he will never be forgotten. He hit it off well with everyone he met and was easily likable. He was a proud soldier but he was even prouder of his newborn son, Noah. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting and working with him. Rest well."
Lance Corporal Raj Singh said:
"I have known Woody or 'Big Chin' for three years. I can confidently say he was a pleasure to work with and know. He was dedicated to his job and his new family. Apart from his professionalism at work he always loved to be amongst his workmates and was a good friend and guide.
"I will keep with me the many funny stories of him doing crazy stuff. He will be remembered forever as a family orientated and proud father, and as a good friend."
Private Dean Hutchinson
Private Dean 'Hutch' Hutchinson was born on 27 November 1987. He joined The Royal Logistic Corps as a Driver on 2nd September 2004. On completion of his training, Private Hutchinson was posted to 9 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps at Chippenham, Wiltshire, where his infectious humour and hard work immediately earned the respect and friendship of his peers.
A lively and energetic soldier, Private Hutchinson could always be found getting stuck in with whatever his Troop was up to, both in work and socially. A dedicated tradesman, his energy acted as a spur to others, especially the more junior members of his Troop.
Private Hutchinson was part of the Theatre Logistic Group's Transport Troop, a vital link in the logistic support to operations, when he was caught by a fire that took hold within his workplace, tragically claiming his life.
The prayers and thoughts of all those serving in the Theatre Logistic Group and his parent Regiment go out to his loved ones, in particular his family, whose grief at this time will surpass even the sorrow felt by his colleagues. The loss to the Royal Logistic Corps of this young and promising soldier will be keenly felt and he will be remembered as an enthusiastic and energetic Driver.
The family of Private Hutchinson have made the following statement:
"Dean was an amazing son, brother and boyfriend; we were so proud of him when he joined the Army, as were his family and friends, all of whom loved him very much. He will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Forever and always, we love you son."
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hutchings, Commanding Officer Theatre Logistic Group, said:
"Private Hutchinson was a soldier with a real zest for life and a razor-like sense of humour. As a Geordie he was an immensely fun-loving person, fast-talking and an avid Newcastle United football fan.
"He was hugely proud of his job and the fact that he was one of only a handful of soldiers qualified to operate the Rough Terrain Container Handler, a vital piece of equipment in the logistic support chain. Although he is now no longer with us, his presence will be keenly felt by all that knew him. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and girlfriend at this very difficult time."
Major Steve Cornell, Officer Commanding General Support Squadron, said:
"A young soldier with real potential, Private Hutchinson loved his trade and being with the Troop. He really fed off the energy that comes with being part of a close-knit team. A great person and an excellent logistic soldier, Private Hutchinson's loss to the Squadron will be deeply felt."Lieutenant Tim Fitzgerald, Troop Commander Transport Troop, said:For more on how our fallen heroes lived, go here.
"In the short time I had the good fortune to know Private Hutchinson I had already marked him down as an excellent soldier. Whenever there was good morale Private Hutchinson could be found at the centre of it.
"He was the sort of soldier who made me proud to be a Troop Commander. His loss has come as a huge blow to the Troop and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and girlfriend at this time."
Staff Sergeant Mike Temple, Troop SNCO Transport Troop, said:
"Private 'Hutch' Hutchinson was a man larger than life. He always impressed me with his can do attitude, which he put into every task he was given. Hutch was a Driver by trade but his heart always lay with operating a RTCH (Rough Terrain Container Handler).
"His loyalty to his Troop and friends was unquestionable. His football-madness and sharp tongue will be missed for a long time to come."
Lance Corporal Taff Williams, Transport Troop, said:
"Hutch was one of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Always good for a laugh and normally the one laughing loudest, he was a huge football fan and mental boy racer. He loved his job and the work that came with it.
"He will be missed more than words can say. Rest Well."
Private Josh Hallam, Transport Troop, said:
"Dean was a close friend; I would go as far as saying he was family. His attitude for life was to grab it by the horns and enjoy it. He was always up for a laugh and was the centre of the Troop's morale.
"As much as he was an Army boy, he was a massive family guy. He always made time for his family and Hutch's family were very proud of him and supported his career. He was a die hard Toon Army fan and would take pride in winding the Macum's up. Rest in peace big lad."
Always Remembered and Honoured. Rest in Peace.