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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 18:42 GMT
Widow calls for soldier protection
Corporal Dewi Pritchard
Corporal Dewi Pritchard loved what he did
The widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Iraq has called for better security arrangements for troops.

Corporal Dewi Pritchard, 35, from Bridgend, south Wales, died when gunmen ambushed the civilian vehicle he was using in Basra.

The father-of-two, a Territorial Army soldier serving with 116 Provost Company (Volunteers), Royal Military Police, had been working to restore law and order in the region.

At the end of a week of high-profile security arrangements surrounding the British visit of United States President George Bush, Cpl Pritchard's widow Tracey called for better protection for soldiers.

Cpl Pritchard and two other officers died when their rented civilian 4x4 vehicle was ambushed on 23 August.

I just wonder how many more people are going to be in my position, to lose a soul mate
Soldier's widow Tracey Pritchard

Mrs Pritchard, 35, spoke of her concerns about the number of RMP soldiers being killed.

"I just don't feel that he was protected," she said.

The couple married in 1996 and had a daughter Kira, six and Ethan, two.

Cpl Pritchard worked locally for Bosch in Miskin, and had only been back in Basra for just one day following his return from six days rest and recuperation when the incident happened.

Speaking on Friday, Mrs Pritchard said her husband had gone to Iraq despite his concerns about the reasons behind the war.

Family at funeral
Widow Tracey (second from right) with family and friends
"He felt proud that he was going over there and felt he had a job to do," she said.

"My husband was a very brave man and he would not let anybody down."

Cpl Pritchard had been worried about being vulnerable and had been already attacked in Basra while in a car in the week before his final visit home.

He told his wife he had to take out his gun several times a week for protection.

"He just did not feel safe," she said. "I was getting by from day to day and waiting for him to come home. I never dreamed that it would end like this."

Mrs Pritchard said steps should be taken to increase protection for soldiers to prevent more wives turning into widows.

"I just wonder how many more people are going to be in my position, to lose a soul mate," she said.

"They should have greater security to prevent the same situation happening again. Our troops need to be protected.

"If Dewi's death can save the life of another soldier then he won't have died in vain."

Mrs Pritchard did not meet President Bush this week, but if she had been invited to meet him, she said she would have questioned him about whether there was a "clear strategy" to resolve the situation.

Iraq war dead remembered
10 Oct 03  |  Wales
Soldier's body flown home
01 Sep 03  |  Wales

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