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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Soldier's body flown home
Picture courtesy of the Pritchard family
Colleagues have paid tribute to Dewi Pritchard, pictured with his family
The body of a military policeman from Wales who was killed in Iraq just over a week ago has arrived back to Britain.

Territorial Army soldier Dewi Pritchard from Bridgend was killed when his 4-wheel-drive vehicle was ambushed by gunmen.

Corporal Pritchard was one of four soldiers who arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Monday morning.

The dead men's families were at the base for the arrival of the bodies, along with the Duchess of Gloucester, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, and senior officers.

The 35-year-old father-of-two was killed with two British servicemen when their vehicle was ambushed by gunmen in Basra, southern Iraq, on 23 August.

He is believed to be the first TA soldier to have died in combat in Iraq since the conflict began.

The electronics engineer worked at the Bosch plant, at Llantrisant, near Cardiff.

Colleagues at the factory spoke of their "shock and sadness" at Mr Pritchard's death as they returned to work last week.

4x4 vehicle
Gunmen are said to have shot at the soldiers' vehicle and thrown a grenade.
"We are all very sad to learn of the death of Dewi and our thoughts are with his family," said Adam Willmott, technical plant manager.

"Dewi has been a very valued member of Bosch Cardiff for nine years and he will be terribly missed by friends and colleagues."

He added: "People have expressed their shock and sadness at his death and they are still coming to terms with that, he will be much missed.

"He was an employee with us and you do not expect something like this."

Mr Pritchard's family met on Monday with Ministry of Defence officials to discover how he died.

Army officials travelled to Corporal Pritchard's home to give his widow Tracey details of the attack.

A family spokesperson said: "There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed before his family can come to terms with losing Dewi who was a wonderful husband and father."

Corporal Pritchard had returned to Iraq days before his death after taking leave for his daughter, Kira's birthday.

He was travelling in an unmarked 4x4 soft-top vehicle when it was ambushed.

Major Matthew Titchener, 32, and Warrant Officer Colin Wall, 34, were also killed in the attack. A fourth soldier is recovering in hospital.

Corporal Pritchard, who was serving with 116 Provost Company of the 19 Mechanised Brigade, is the second Welsh military policeman and fourth Welsh soldier to be killed in Iraq.




SEE ALSO:
Iraqi police 'to train in Europe'
26 Aug 03  |  Middle East


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