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A "legend", Corporal Rodney Wilson


Corporal Rodney 'Will' Wilson, 4th Battalion, The Rifles

"Corporal Wilson was one of the outstanding Riflemen of his generation. A charismatic and inspiring figure in 4th Battalion The Rifles, he was a man of immense natural talent and great strength of character. He had that rare gift of natural leadership that comes to only a few: clarity of thought, crisp and sure footed decision making, strength of purpose and a happy combination of a magnetic personality and absolute self assurance that drew Riflemen to him. Where Corporal Wilson led, others would always follow. He was, in the words of his own Riflemen, 'a legend'.

"He was exceptionally fit, very tough, courageous, bold, decisive and always deeply concerned for the Riflemen, not just those under his command, but across his company and the Battalion – he served as a father figure for so many young Riflemen. But much as we admired him and relied on him heavily for his exceptional professional skills, it was his personal qualities and character that made the strongest mark on us all. He was, in simple terms, a maverick. . ."
( Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Sanders)

The Royal Welsh and the Rifles succeeded in their mission. They uncovered the largest cache of weapons yet found by 1 Mechanised Brigade, the UK's current lead formation in Iraq, and detained five local men suspected of criminal activities.

Leading from the front, selfless to the last, 'Will' was killed in action on 7 June whilst evacuating a casualty under heavy fire.