Tuesday, 5 January 2010


The following report has just appeared on the Cambridge News website:

"Soldier killed in Afghanistan named

The Cambridgeshire parents of the first British soldier killed in Afghanistan this year have appealed for their "brave son’s memory to be honoured".

Private Robert Hayes, 19, of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, was killed by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand Province on Sunday afternoon.

He had only been in the Army for just over a year, but his senior officers said he had already made a "real difference".

Pte Hayes, from Burwell, Cambridgeshire, was also a keen sportsman who played for Newmarket Rugby Club and won his weight category in his battalion’s 2009 boxing championships.

He completed his Army training in March last year and joined 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment shortly afterwards, the Ministry of Defence said.

In October the young soldier deployed to one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan as part of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Battle Group.

Pte Hayes’s family said becoming a soldier was his one ambition from childhood.

Paying tribute, they said in a statement: "Trying to express the true measure of our sorrow - and our sense of loss - at this time, is impossible.

"We are still coming to terms with this devastating news. However, we are strengthened by the thought that he was with his comrades, doing the job he so dearly loved, when his life was taken.

"Although he had an enthusiastic and energetic personality, our son could just as easily behave with the manners of a gentle, reflective, caring person. As a grieving family, we would ask that our privacy be respected. We also ask that our brave son’s memory be duly honoured."

Pte Hayes also leaves his girlfriend, Gemma."

1 comment:

  1. I now understand that Rob Hayes's girlfriend is/was Jema Redfarn, of Reach. She is quoted as saying on facebook the following:

    "I have written to you almost every day since you left but I never imagined I would be writing to you like this. I am honoured to have been able to know you and love you. You have made me so happy. I am so in love with you, Robert Stephen Hayes, and as I always say, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."


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