Dead soldier in Afganastan named, whanau grieves

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(NZ NewsWire)The New Zealand Defence Force is saying little about how a soldier has died in Afghanistan.

Corporal Douglas Hughes, 26, a rifleman from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment based at Linton Military Camp, died at a forward operations base in Bamyan province on Tuesday.

He was a member of the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team and was almost at the end of his second six-month deployment to the country. He was due to return home later this month.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones would only say Cpl Hughes sustained injuries in an incident at the base and later died in hospital at Bagram Air Base.

“He remains in Bagram Air Base while arrangements are made for his repatriation. The Defence Force intends to return Corporal Hughes to his family as quickly and expeditiously as possible, while supporting his family in this process,” he said.

At a media conference in Wellington on Wednesday, Lt Gen Jones refused to go into any detail about the incident.

When pressed on whether or not Cpl Hughes had taken his own life, he said they could not rule it out but also could not confirm it until it was investigated.

Cpl Hughes is the fifth soldier serving with New Zealand forces to die in Afghanistan.

His family issued a statement asking for privacy.

“We are very saddened by the loss of our son Dougie. He was a talented sportsman with a good sense of humour who lived for his career in the army.

“He will be sadly missed by his loving whanau,” the statement said.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Deb: YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST LOOKING GUY IN KAIKOHE DOUGIE.GOING TO MISS YOUR VISITS AND, YOUR SMILE AND, YOUR LATE VISITS WITH YOUR MUM AND THE GUITAR. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MEMORIES OF YOU THAT BRING A SMILE TO MY HEART. LOVE YOU DOUGIE

    AND THANKYOU FOR BEING THERE AS A GOOD FRIEND TO SKIELLA THROUGH COLLEGE AND THE GOOD COMPANY YOU WERE TO US ALL BACK THEN WHEN YOU AND NOELZ WOULD STAY.

    DAD (RAY HUGHES) TOO VENUS AND WHANAU WE ARE THINKING OF YOU AT THIS TIME AND YOUR LOSS OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY IS WITH YOU AT THIS TIME.

    DOUGIE’S DAD WAS NAMED AFTER MY DAD AS THEY WERE BROTHERS DOUGIE WAS NAMED AFTER HIS GRANDFATHER

  2. Kia ora koutou

    A beautiful young man who is a proud descendant of Ngapuhi. His whanau are Poa who whakapapa to Ngati Te Rino, Mangakahia.

  3. Sorry to hear that another one of our kiwi soldiers has fallen in Afghanistan. May Corporal Douglas Hughes rest in the peace of God made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Ae, ahakoa haere ahau i te awaawa o te atarangi o te mate, kahore he kino e wehi ai ahau: no te mea kei toku taha koe; ko tau rakau, ko tau tokotoko, ko ena hei oranga ngakau moku.

    Padre Rob McKay

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