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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Wife pays tribute to dead soldier
Major Matthew Titchener
Major Titchener had been married for almost six years
The pregnant wife of a Royal Military Police officer killed in an ambush in Iraq has paid tribute to a "perfect husband and a brilliant dad".

Raqual Titchener said her husband Matthew, from Southport, Merseyside, had been "delighted" he was soon to be a father for the second time.

Major Titchener, 32, was killed when his civilian jeep was attacked by Iraqi fighters in the southern city of Basra on Saturday.

His colleagues Warrant Officer Colin Wall, from County Durham, and Corporal Dewi Pritchard, from Bridgend in south Wales, were also killed.

The three were training local police officers and had only arrived in the country in the last few months.

Richard Lay, a Territorial Army corporal and train driver, from Wharton, Lancashire, survived the attack, but suffered head and arm injuries.

Major Titchener, from Southport, Merseyside, had been married for nearly six years and has a two-year-old son called Matheson.

He died doing a job he was proud of and was professional to the very end
Raqual Titchener
His wife is expecting their second child in December.

In a statement released through the MoD, she said: "Matt was a perfect husband and a brilliant dad. He was delighted at the thought of being a dad again.

"He died doing a job he was proud of and was professional to the very end."

His mother Val and father Fred, who have travelled to be at Raqual's side, at Major Titchener's barracks in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

They said: "Matt was a loving son who we are really proud of. Words cannot describe how much we will miss him."

Warrant Officer Colin Wall
Warrant Officer Colin Wall leaves a wife and three children
Major Titchener, the Officer Commanding 150 Provost Company of the RMP, served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Jordan, Egypt and Canada.

He was an instructor at the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick and Strensall and commanded 26 Cadet Training Team in Manchester. He transferred to the Royal Military Police in May 1999.

WO Wall, who was the company Sergeant Major of 150 Provost Company, had served in Belize, Germany, Canada, Northern Ireland and England after enlisting in the Army as a Junior Leader soldier in Bovington in September 1985.

WO Wall, from Crawleyside, County Durham, was married to Trish for almost eight years and they have an 11-month-old son, Alexander.

He had two other children from a previous marriage to Isabella, a daughter Lauren, 12, and a son Robert, 10.

Protection fears

His mother Joan and father Barry said: "Colin was a loving son and we are very proud of him. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time walking in the Weardales."

The family of Cpl Pritchard - a Territorial Army soldier from the 116 Provost Company, Royal Military Police - raised concerns about the protection given to British soldiers in Iraq.

Speaking on behalf of his widow Tracey and children Kira and Ethan, a family spokesman said: "Dewi died a brave, professional and proud Territorial Army military policeman who served his country to his best."

The bodies of the soldiers will be flown home in the coming days.

The men were in a civilian four-wheel drive vehicle - part of an armed convoy of two vehicles - while making a routine journey from their base through a main street in Basra.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that it was pursuing "a number of leads" in a bid to track the killers.

UK ambush victims named
24 Aug 03  |  UK

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