THE widow of a Bicester soldier who was killed in Afghanistan said she hoped lessons would be learned from her husband’s death.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Charlie Wood, who was based at St David’s Barracks, was killed while trying to clear a safe route for a foot patrol through the Khushdal Kalay area of Helmand province last December.

An inquest into the 34-year-old’s death held in Trowbridge yesterday heard WO2 Wood always strived to “achieve the highest standards” and “was a very good commander”.

The advanced search adviser, of 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was serving with the counter-IED task force when he was caught in a blast from an hidden bomb, triggered by a pressure plate.

He died instantly on December 28.

A post mortem found he would have “been rendered unconscious immediately”, having suffered “unsurvivable injuries”.

His widow Heather, 31, of Langford Village, Bicester, admitted she had been apprehensive about going to yesterday’s inquest.

She said: “No-one was going to stand there and say ‘it was my fault’. Sadly, the horrible men, or it could have been a woman or child, who lay these devices in Afghanistan will never be caught.

“It’s not a case of screaming and shouting. I hope some lessons can be learned, so we can make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

“This was my time for closure, this was when I got answers.

“It brought it all back up again and yesterday everything was raw again.

“The hardest thing was reading about the severity of his injuries.”

Last Tuesday marked the six-month anniversary of WO2 Wood’s death, and in the same week Mrs Wood buried her father’s ashes and went to an uncle’s funeral.

She said: “Last week was a really tough week. I have lost three men from my life in six months.”

WO2 Wood’s family, including mother Barbara, father John and one of his sisters, heard David Ridley, the coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, record his verdict.

He said: “The most appropriate conclusion is that WO2 Wood was unlawfully killed while on active service in Afghanistan.”

Mr Ridley added WO2 Wood had obviously made an impact on the people with whom he served and read out tributes from his colleagues.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis, commanding officer of the counter-IED task force, said: “He was a huge character – a complete livewire – a man who never rested.

“He was always on the go, constantly thinking ahead, planning the next stage and working out how best to achieve the mission.

“And who did he do this for? Certainly not for himself; he did it for his men.”

Later this month, in honour of the sacrifice WO2 Wood made for his country, his name will be added to a list of the fallen at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire.