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Soldier killed in crash survived Iraq bomb blast.

Byline: Dave Edwards

A 20-YEAR-OLD soldier who died in a car crash in Oxfordshire had cheated death only last year while serving in Iraq.

Private David Liddon, of Brynhyfryd Street, Tylorstown, Rhondda, died in the early hours of Saturday, April 26, when the black Vauxhall Corsa he was travelling in flipped on the southbound carriageway near Drayton.

The collision on the A34, which involved the Corsa, a lorry and a breakdown truck, also resulted in a chemical spillage.

Pte Liddon was a radio operator in the southern Iraqi city of Basra last year.

He narrowly escaped injury when an improvised explosive device detonated, shattering the windscreen of the vehicle he was travelling in.

A colleague said that he told his officers that he was desperate to get out of the field hospital, as he was concerned that he was no longer doing his job.

Commanding officer, Lt Col David Roberts said: "During the 2007 tour of Iraq, Pte Liddon really came of age.

"The tour was the defining moment of a tragically short career, which looked so very promising.

"He will be sorely missed by all those who lived and served with him, both in Basra and at Dalton Barracks."

After the fatal crash in Oxfordshire, the southbound carriageway between the Marcham interchange and Didcot was closed for almost eight hours.

Following the collisions Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue sent two crews from Abingdon, a rescue tender from Kidlington, and the heavy rescue unit from Didcot.

A police helicopter was also scrambled and took one of the injured motorists to hospital.

Private Liddon's grandmother, Christine Harries, also of Brynhyfryd Street, said: "The family have been devastated by the news.

"David was a loveable rogue who was liked by everyone.

"I have received several letters paying tribute to him. He loved being in the Army and was set for a very successful career there."

Private Liddon joined the forces in 2006, and completed his basic training at Pirbright, Surrey.

He then trained as a driver/radio operator, and on completion of his radio course, joined 3 Logistic Support Regiment in Abingdon.

Before leaving for Iraq last year, he said: "Basra is too hot.

"I'll be looking forward to a pint of lager with my cousin Lee buying the round, the rugby, and a lie-in after a night at the Tylorstown Conservative Club when I get back."

The funeral of Pte Liddon will take place tomorrow with a service at the family home in Edmondes Street, Tylorstown, at 11am followed by a burial at Trealaw Cemetery at noon.

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'SORELY MISSED': David Liddon
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 7, 2008
Words:430
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