Deaths of three soldiers in Afghanistan is 'a hammer blow', says Royal Highland Fusiliers battalion spokesman

 

The deaths of three soldiers who were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan are a “hammer blow”, a spokesman for their battalion has said.

Corporal William Savage died with Fusilier Samuel Flint and Private Robert Hetherington when their Mastiff armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) on a routine patrol in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province, on Tuesday.

Speaking outside Glencorse barracks near Edinburgh, Major Tim Petransky, a spokesman for The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 Scots), said it was an "extremely sad" time for the families of the three men.

He said: "The whole battalion's thoughts, whether deployed in Afghanistan or back here in the United Kingdom as part of the rear operations group, is with the families of these brave men and also those who were injured in this incident.

"The mood at The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 Scots), is as you would expect: sombre but determined.

"The loss of three of our brothers in arms in any circumstances would be tragic but to lose three in one go is a hammer blow.

"I know that the battalion, its families and the regiments as a whole will, with great stoicism, pride and professionalism, carry on in a manner that would have made our three men proud.

"Those in Afghanistan will now be concentrating on the job at hand - putting back on their body armour, picking up their rifles and getting on the ground to continue this difficult but vital mission.

"Our thoughts are also very much with our sister battalion 7 Scots, to which Private Hetherington belonged. They too will be grieving."

Yesterday Cpl Savage's wife Lyndsey, who is pregnant with their first child, said: "I am completely devastated by this news, but extremely proud of 'Sav' and everything that he has achieved. He loved being a soldier!

"I have lost the love of my life and the father of our son. I know his life will live on through so many amazing memories that we shared together."

Cpl Savage, who joined the Army in April 2003, had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan previously.

Six other men were injured in the first case of British troops dying in a Mastiff since the armoured vehicles were introduced to the campaign in 2007.

Cpl Savage, 30, and Fusilier Flint, 21, were both from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 Scots), and Pte Hetherington, 25, was from 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (7 Scots).

The Ministry of Defence said the men were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 between Forward Operating Base Ouellette and Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai in Nahr-e-Saraj when their vehicle was hit by the IED blast.

Their deaths take to 444 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. Six have died in 2013.

Avid Manchester City fan Fusilier Flint, from Blackpool, joined the Army in November 2011 and was deployed to Afghanistan in March.

A statement from the Flint-Broughton family said: "The whole family is completely devastated.

"Everyone should know that Sam loved his job and made his whole family and everyone that knew him very proud.

"Sam was always the life and soul of the party, a real ladies' man, witty, funny, the real cheeky chappy.

"He was a loving son, the protective brother, courageous nephew, the caring uncle, the loyal grandson that anyone would wish to have."

Pte Hetherington, who was born in the US but raised and educated in Scotland, enlisted in the Territorial Army in October 2006 and hoped to attend the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

Lieutenant Colonel Robin Lindsay, Commanding Officer, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said he epitomised "everything that is excellent about the reserve forces".

"Private Bobby Hetherington was a thoughtful and humorous soldier who was always quick to find the fun in Army life and to keep the chain of command on our toes with his sharp wit and insightful mind," said Lt Col Lindsay.

"He was gregarious and open, and this made him a much-liked and respected member of his platoon and the battalion."

An investigation is under way into the incident, which is thought to have involved a particularly large bomb.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map