Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Matthew Titchener

Southport, Merseyside, England

August 23, 2003

Age Rank Unit/Location
32 Maj 150 Provost Company, Royal Military Police
Killed during an attack by gunmen on a British military ambulance in Basra, Iraq.

Major Titchener, second from right, pictured shortly before his death,on the steps of the former Presidential Palace in Basrah with some of the senior Iraqi officials with whom he was working to rebuild the civilian police force in southern Iraq

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that Major Matthew Titchener, the Officer Commanding 150 Provost Company, Royal Military Police, was killed during an attack by gunmen on a British Army vehicle in Basrah on 23 August 2003.

Matt Titchener, aged 32 from Southport, Merseyside, was married to Raqual for almost 6 years and they have a young son called Matheson. Raqual is expecting their second child in December.

He was commissioned into the 1st Battalion the King's Regiment in April 1992 and served world-wide including; Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Jordan, Egypt and Canada. He also served as an Instructor at the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick and Strensall and commanded 26 Cadet Training Team in Manchester. In May 1999 he transferred to the Royal Military Police. His appointments included Adjutant 6 RMP, Northern Ireland, Officer Commanding 170 Pro Coy RMP in Edinburgh and most recently as Officer Commanding 150 Pro Coy 3 RMP based in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Matt was an officer of the very highest calibre. He was an intelligent, highly motivated and dedicated leader. He set the highest of standards and successfully ensured that all who came within his influence were inspired by his strength of character, sense of humour and compassion.

His main passions outside Army life were his family and football. He was a talented football player, qualified referee and manager of the RMP football team. He was also an ardent fan of Liverpool Football Club.

His wife Raqual (spelt thus) said:

"Matt was a perfect husband and a brilliant Dad. He was delighted at the thought of being a Dad again. He died doing a job he was proud of and was professional to the very end."

His Mum and Dad, Val and Fred, and brothers and sister, Timothy, Daniel and Rebecca, said:

"Matt was a loving son who we are really proud of. Words cannot describe how much we will miss him."

His Second in Command, Captain Sean O'Brien said:

"Matt was a highly talented and motivated Officer who was liked and respected by all who knew him. His untimely death is a blow to all in the RMP family, but particularly to those who worked closely with him here in Catterick. It was a pleasure to have known him and he will be sorely missed both personally and professionally. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, parents and family at this difficult time."

The senior RMP officer serving in Basrah, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Warren, said:

"I am deeply saddened by this tragic event. My thoughts, and those of the men and women of the Royal Military Police, are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. I hope that they will be given the space to grieve.

"These soldiers have been a credit to the RMP and have made a significant contribution to the rebuilding of the local police force in the region. This incident will not deter us from our mission and we will continue to work closely with our Iraqi colleagues to seek out those responsible for this criminal act and bring them to justice."

Brigadier Maurice Nugent, the Provost Marshal for the British Army and professional head of the Royal Military Police, said on Sunday 24 August 2003:

"The impact of yesterday's tragedy in Basrah, where three men of the Royal Military Police were killed, is only now beginning to be felt. The thoughts of all past and present members of the Royal Military Police are with the families. All three soldiers had young families and we will be there for them over the coming days and weeks. The RMP are one of the key players in the efforts to reform and resurrect the civil police in Iraq, and I am proud of the role played in this by Corporal Dewi Pritchard, from 116 Provost Company, West Bromwich, and Warrant Officer Colin Wall and Major Matthew Titchener, who were both from 150 Provost Company in Catterick. This essential work will continue beyond this tragedy.

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