It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 8 July 2010.
Bombardier Robinson was serving in support of Combined Force Sangin, and died in an explosion while on foot patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province.
Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson
Bombardier Sam Robinson, 31 years old from Carmarthen, joined the Army on 23 November 1999 aged 20. He transferred from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps in 2006 as a parachute-trained corporal, and joined 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery.
In March 2008, after successfully passing the Patrol Course he was selected as a Royal Artillery Special Observer.
Bombardier Robinson was deployed on his fourth operational tour in Afghanistan. On a previous deployment he had been a member of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and played an active part in Op PANCHAI PALANG in June 2009.
He deployed to Afghanistan in May 2010 as a specialist advisor to provide support to Combined Force Sangin from Forward Operating Base Wishtan.
Bombardier Robinson was the second in command of a Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol from 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery. On 8 July 10, Bombardier Robinson was on a local area patrol with members of A Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) to ensure freedom of movement for locals, and International Security and Assistance Forces in Sangin, when he was killed by an explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED).
A physical training instructor, ‘Robbo’ kept himself very fit. A fish in the water, the current 2 Div swimming champion, and a gazelle over land, Bombardier Robinson was never happier than when hill walking in the Welsh mountains, putting his Mountain Leader skills to the test.
All members of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, especially those in 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery will miss him immensely. We will remember him.
The family of Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson have made the following statement:
Sam was doing the job that he loved and was proud to be doing it. We are all very proud of him and we will miss him forever.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hayhurst RA, Commanding Officer 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, said:
Bombardier Robinson was one of the first to step forward for this particularly difficult task even though he had just returned from Op HERRICK 10.
This courageous man held the respect of all that knew him; his strength of character, professionalism, and outright robustness made him a force to be reckoned with, and he was the perfect role model for the rest of the Regiment and in particular the young members of 4/73 Battery.
He was special and will be sorely missed. His tragic loss has come as a shock to us all and my greatest sympathy goes out to his family and to his friends.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris J M Squier RA, Commanding Officer 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, said:
Hard, fit, tough, and with the operational experience to back him, Bombardier Sam Robinson epitomised all I have come to expect from this group of highly dedicated and committed soldiers who have earned the right to be called Special Observers.
His loss cuts right to the heart of his close knit and resolute trade - he and they deserve our utmost respect. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues and friends; theirs is the true loss we can only imagine.
Major Mark Wood RA, Battery Commander 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, said:
Bombardier Robinson was an utterly dedicated and professional junior non commissioned officer who epitomised everything that a Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol soldier should be.
Fiercely fit, highly capable and entirely selfless, he was the life blood of the Battery.
His quirky personality and irrepressible enthusiasm for his job endeared him to his fellow patrol soldiers and he will be sorely missed by all ranks.
Bombardier Robinson had accumulated a huge amount of diverse experience and his calm, unflappable manner enabled him to pass this knowledge on to the junior members of his team; he was instrumental in moulding them into a tightly knit and highly effective unit.
He was never more at home than as a member of a small team of professional soldiers and held the respect and admiration of his peers and seniors alike.
A determined and utterly reliable patrol second in command, he inspired trust and confidence in all those with whom he worked.
In typical fashion, Bombardier Robinson volunteered to redeploy to theatre after a short turnaround in the UK and was killed while leading his patrol from the front. Courageous, extremely professional and a shining example to others, it is devastating that he should lose his life whilst doing the job he loved.
Captain Lee Chapman RA, Operations Officer 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, said:
Bombardier Robinson was an experienced, consummate professional who always put his job first.
He was fiercely loyal both to his subordinates and the Battery that he was so proud in serving.
During the deployment, his professionalism and dedication to the task were typical of what Bombardier Robinson stood for and believed in.
Irrespective of the conditions at hand or the time of day, Bombardier Robinson was an outstanding and fearless non commissioned officer, who always strived for perfection in all that he did.
He will be greatly missed by the Patrol and the Special Observer ‘family’ and will always be remembered for his dedication, loyalty and his love for his beloved Wales.
Sergeant Wayne Turnbull, Patrol Commander 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, said:
Bombardier Robinson was an exceptional soldier and a true brother in arms.
A fit and robust soldier, he stood by my side and led the patrol in any task given to us, regardless of the danger involved.
Bombardier Robinson was the ultimate professional; precise and methodical in all that he did. A better patrol second in command will never be found.
He never asked for anything but gave everything; looking after his subordinates and disregarding his own needs was the way he worked and that is why he will be so greatly missed.
Bombardier Robinson wasn’t just my second in command but my friend and brother and he will be dearly missed.
All Ranks, A Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), said:
We had worked with Bombardier Robinson for only a short time, but he had quickly fitted in and become part of the team. During various incidents in the past few days he and his colleagues made a huge impression by always being ready to help in any situation.
“We are pleased and proud to have worked alongside him, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson.
Those that served with him talk of a highly courageous and extremely professional soldier.
The fact that he volunteered to return to Afghanistan so shortly after his last tour shows true bravery and commitment to his duty.