is with very deep regret that the Ministry of Defence
has to confirm that Sapper Robert Thomson was killed
in a tragic accident in Basrah on 31 January 2004.
22, Robert Thomson was unmarried and came from West
Lothian. He was serving with 35 Engineer Regiment, normally
based in Paderborn, Germany.
parents, Robert and Margaret Thomson, said:
family and all of Robert's friends were shocked and
saddened to hear of his death during active service
in Iraq. He was a wonderful son who lived life to
the full, and was an ardent follower of Motherwell
is sorely missed by all the family - all of whom were
extremely proud of him being a soldier, and he was
much looked-up to by his younger brother Stewie. He
talked often about how much he loved serving with
35 Engineer Regiment, which he joined in December
this time words cannot express the depth of our grief,
but mixed with our profound sadness there is pride
in the knowledge that he died while serving his country
- not only during the current tour, but last year
when he went to Iraq with his Regiment during the
war fighting phase.
will be remembered by all that knew him forever. On
behalf of the family, we would be grateful to the
media to now leave us alone to grieve in peace during
this very sad time".
Alex Hilton, Officer Commanding 37 Armoured Engineer
Squadron, 35 Engineer Regiment, said:
Robert Thomson joined 35 Engineer Regiment on 10 December
2002. Soon after arrival, he deployed to Iraq with
29 Armoured Engineer Squadron on Operation Telic,
during the period of active combat. On his return
from Iraq, he joined 37 Armoured Engineer Squadron
to undertake a three-month deployment to Canada on
Exercise Medicine Man 2, where he helped run
the Troop command vehicle. On
13 November 2003 he returned with the Squadron to
Iraq, where his skill as a plumber was in great demand,
providing support to Coalition Force Camps.
to all as Rab, he was a popular member of the Armoured
Troop of the Squadron. A ready wit and a natural enthusiast,
he made friends easily and was always good for morale.
You could never stay mad at him long, as he always
had a quick reply that would make you smile.
not Armoured trained, he would always get stuck-in
to help out on the tank park, a characteristic highly
valued in any soldier. He would have been a strong
contender for this year's cadre, designed to train
the best Sappers for promotion to Lance Corporal.
was very fit, and had recently attempted selection
for Airborne Forces, but an injury during training
prevented him from completing the course. Rab was
a keen Motherwell FC supporter, and loved to play
sudden death in a tragic accident at Basrah Palace
has shocked the whole Regiment and left many mourning
the loss of a close friend and brother-in-arms. Our
thoughts are with his family."
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