Oxford

Oxfordshire memorial event for Middlesbrough soldier

Charlie and Heather Wood
Image caption Heather Wood described Charlie Wood as her "loving husband" and "best friend"

A memorial ceremony has been held in Oxfordshire to commemorate a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Charlie Wood, from Middlesbrough, died in a blast on 28 December as he helped co-ordinate the bomb clearance of a road.

The 34-year-old served with the Bicester-based 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps.

A memorial tree was planted and a plaque unveiled at Garth Park in the Oxfordshire town.

His wife Heather said: "The local council in Bicester approached me because they thought it would nice to plant a tree in memory of Charlie."

'Hugely popular'

She described WO Wood as her "loving husband" and "best friend".

The 23 Pioneer Regiment commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Dom Fletcher said: "He was a hugely popular guy.

"He was a larger-than-life character with a fantastic sense of humour.

"He died doing a job he loved, a dangerous job, and one he volunteered for."

WO Wood died shortly after he had organised Christmas celebrations for his men.

He was serving as an advanced search adviser with the counter-IED task force, helping to co-ordinate the search for devices in the Khushdal Kalay area, when he was killed.

He was also a fundraiser who had raised thousands of pounds for armed forces charities.

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