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Corporal William Thomas Savage and Fusilier Samuel Flint both from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 SCOTS); and Private Robert Murray Hetherington from 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (7 SCOTS). They died of injuries sustained on Tuesday 30 April 2013.

They were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 between Forward Operating Base Ouellette and Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai in Nahr-e-Saraj District when their
vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. They were evacuated by air to the military hospital at Camp Bastion where it was confirmed that they had been killed in action.


Born in the United States of America in 1987, Private Hetherington was raised and educated in Scotland where he achieved a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography. During his time at university he became heavily involved in the Officer Training Corps which sparked his passion for the Army. Private Hetherington enlisted in the Territorial Army in October 2006 and was mobilised to join The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland for Operation Herrick 18 on 30 November 2012.

Private Hetherington was an intelligent and thoughtful soldier who was always quick
with a smile. Since being mobilised he had been an extremely dedicated soldier with
ambitions to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst following his deployment.
His intelligence and enthusiasm for soldiering made it likely that he would have
excelled at Sandhurst.

Private Hetherington deployed to Afghanistan on 9 March 2013 as a Rifleman in 1
Section, 1 Platoon, in a District Enabling Company composed of Bravo Company Group,
2 SCOTS, part of the First Fusiliers Battlegroup. He was based in Forward Operating
Base Ouellette in the Northern Nahr-e-Saraj District of Helmand Province,

Outside of his Army life Private Hetherington represented Scotland at lacrosse and
had a passion for music.

Private Hetherington was a gifted soldier with a genuine natural talent for the
profession. He was destined for great things, both in his military and civilian
life. His loss has left a huge hole in his Section and his Platoon and he will be
deeply mourned by all who knew him.

Lieutenant Colonel Robin Lindsay, Commanding Officer, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Private Robert Murray Hetherington epitomised everything that is excellent about
the Reserve Forces. He joined the Battalion after being mobilised from 7th Battalion
The Royal Regiment of Scotland in November 2012 and took to life in the Regular Army
with gusto. He threw himself into Mission Specific Training with real verve and he
was immediately singled out as a highly effective infantryman; rated right at the
top of his peer group in both the regular and the Reserve Forces. He was never
daunted by complex situations and was praised by his chain of command for his
performances throughout the Battalion's build up training.

"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. He was gregarious and open and this made him a
much liked and respected member of his Platoon and the Battalion. Following
Operation Herrick 18, Private Hetherington aspired to complete the Commissioning
Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and I have no doubt that he would
have excelled. It is a hard blow that such potential will not reach fruition.
Private Bobby Hetherington was talented in many other walks of life too; he had a
degree in Environmental Geography and played for Scotland in his favourite sport of

"He will be sorely missed by us all in the Battalion and we take great pride in
having served alongside such an impressive young man. We will never forget his
sacrifice and he will forever be a part of our Battalion and Regimental family. Our
best wishes and thoughts are with his family and especially his parents at this most
difficult of times."

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Little OBE, Commanding Officer, 51st Highland 7th Battalion
The Royal Regiment of Scotland said:

"Private Hetherington was an outstanding soldier who was held in high regard across
the Battalion and who had a very promising military career ahead of him. He was
everything you would wish for in an Infantryman, and far more. He was intelligent,
robust and committed, and he had the strongest leadership qualities which would have
served him well during officer training at Sandhurst. He willingly volunteered as a
Reservist to go to serve with his brother Battalion, 2 SCOTS, in Afghanistan.
Robert will be sadly missed by all and the thoughts of all soldiers in 7 SCOTS are
with his family and his friends at this time."

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Swift, Commanding Officer First Fusiliers, Transition Support
Unit Nahr-e-Saraj, said:

"The loss of Private Robert Hetherington will be keenly felt by all in the First
Fusiliers Battlegroup. Private Hetherington was on his first tour of Afghanistan and
it was immediately apparent to all those who he served alongside in B Company that
he was a mature, balanced and thoroughly professional infantryman as well as a model
Reservist. Private Hetherington's sacrifice has reminded us all that we should be so
very proud of those who risk their lives so willingly in the pursuit of peace. Our
thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this most difficult of

Major Stephen Dallard, Officer Commanding B Company, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Private Bobby Hetherington joined B Company from 7 SCOTS in November 2012 for its
tour on Operation Herrick 18. A mature and confident soldier, Private Hetherington
immediately made an impression on me. Strong, fit and intelligent, he quickly
grasped the complexities of pre-deployment training and demonstrated a real aptitude
for soldiering. Integrating smoothly into his new Platoon as one of only a few Army
Reserve personnel attached to B Company, Private Hetherington became a key
character, loved for his jokes, an infectious laugh and for his genuine and warm
character. Private Hetherington put on hold his civilian career as an engineer to
fulfil his military ambitions; in doing so he willingly put his life in harm's way
as B Company supported the Afghan security forces. He truly touched the lives of all
who got to know him; I have yet to meet a more perfect example of what the Army
Reserve has to offer the wider Regular Army. A true friend to those serving with
him, Private Hetherington will be sorely missed by all in B Company. His loss is
deeply felt and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends."

Lieutenant Robin Hold, 1 Platoon Commander, B Company, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Private Hetherington was a mature, educated and responsible soldier. I became aware
of his potential the instant I met him; he was confident, articulate and highly
professional. He possessed the ability to succeed in any given task, establishing
himself as a role model for the rest of the Platoon. He was always a focal point of
conversation in the Platoon due to his enthusiastic and amicable nature, making him
a huge asset to the Platoon in barracks and on operations. As a talented and well
rounded soldier Private Hetherington set an example for others to follow. He
constantly displayed all the characteristics essential to be a successful soldier
and a potential officer. His loss is an insurmountable tragedy that will be felt not
only in the Platoon, but across the Regiment.

"My thoughts are with his family, friends and with his girlfriend Maeve in these
extremely difficult times."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Stevie Main, Company Sergeant Major, B Company, The Royal
Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Private Hetherington was a reservist of pure quality. Very confident, with
outstanding ability and enthusiastic in everything he did. His willingness to learn
was second to none, it was a pleasure to have him in my Company."

Lance Corporal Russ MacLean, Rifleman, 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal
Regiment of Scotland, attached to 2 Platoon, B Company, The Royal Highland
Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"I first met Bobby on a TA exercise in the south of France in the summer of 2009. I
instantly bonded with him due to his infectious and riotous laugh which made even my
most feeble jokes seem to be stadium stand-up comedy. Following the exercise we
became firm friends; out with the TA, enjoying many legendary nights out as our
'bromance' flourished. Like everyone he met, he endeared himself to my fiancée Jen
and my daughter Grace. He had an almost spell-binding captivation over small
children who would go from shyness, hiding behind the sofa, to presenting various
toys and long monologues about soft play and CBeebies. Grace would always be
delighted to hear that Bobby was coming over for a visit.

"Bobby, like myself, had a passion for infantry soldiering and pushing yourself to
physical and mental limits. He certainly helped me get through demanding exercises
with his constant stream of morale. He loved soldiering and was heartbroken when a
hernia operation delayed his ambitions of becoming an officer at Sandhurst, which no
doubt he would have completely excelled at.

"Bobby was my best friend. He was the life and soul of the party and one of the
kindest and friendliest people I have ever met. He was always at the end of the
phone or across the table at a pub if you had problems you needed to talk about. He
was delighted to be an usher at my wedding after I told him I was getting engaged.
When my pregnant fiancée had her scan last week and we found out it was a girl,
Bobby was the first one I told and he was delighted.

"My heart truly goes out to his family who will be as distraught as I am. He had a
loving and caring family, along with his girlfriend Maeve and my thoughts are
completely with them. Love you mate."

Fusilier Robbie Morton, Rifleman, 2 Platoon, B Company, The Royal Highland
Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Bobby Hetherington, for the short time I knew him, quickly became a great pal of
many of the lads in B Company; kind, and always putting others before himself. He
was a great laugh and always talking about his girlfriend. He will truly and sorely
be missed, from the whole of B Company here in Ouellette and by myself."

Fusilier Martin Murphy, Rifleman, 1 Platoon, B Company, The Royal Highland
Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Robert Hetherington was a true friend, if only briefly, and a constant bag of
morale. He was liked by all and will be sorely missed. My lasting memory will be of
his infectious laugh and smile. RIP, Big Man, see you on the other side of the
pearly gates."

Fusilier Connor Kelly, Rifleman, 1 Platoon, B Company, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Private Hetherington was an exceptional soldier and will be missed by us all. It's
very sad to have lost him and my heart goes out to all his family and friends."

Fusilier Jimmy Hall, Rifleman, 1 Platoon, B Company, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

"Big Bob Hetherington. A dear friend, a true gentleman, a legend who will always be
remembered by all. RIP."

Latest from

British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


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