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Retired Colonel Edward Loden from Fordingbridge shot dead in Nairobi
A RETIRED army colonel has been shot dead during a robbery at his son's home in Kenya.
Col Edward Loden and his wife Jill were visiting their son Jamie, a former soldier who left the army in 2010 and is now an executive with Barclays Africa.
They had been out to dinner at a luxury hotel and restaurant in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
The family were returning to Jamie’s home in an upmarket area west of the city when they were ambushed by an armed gang.
Police say the robbers stole jewellery and money before firing shots through the windscreen of the Lodens' vehicle.
Col Loden was hit by at least one bullet and died on the way to hospital. His 69-year-old wife and 40-year-old son were unhurt.
A family statement described him as a “devoted family man and proud grandfather” and said his death was a “brutal tragedy”.
The 73-year-old father-of-two, who recently survived throat cancer, was awarded the Military Cross in 1967 after showing “exceptional coolness, courage to devotion to duty” in Aden.
He led the unit that fired the fatal shots during the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972 in which 14 marchers died. But an inquiry cleared him of any blame, saying he could not have realised that the people his soldiers were firing at posed no threat.
Col Loden lived in Broxhill, a tiny hamlet near Fordingbridge.
He attended the Roman Catholic church in Fordingbridge and also went to services at St James's Church in nearby Alderholt.
The vicar there, Pip Martin, said: “Edward was an old fashioned adventurous sort – he bought a bright yellow microlight after he retired and we would see him buzzing about.
“I didn't realise until we heard about this tragedy what a distinguished career he had – he was a humble man and never mentioned it.”
Col Loden left the army in 1992 and embarked in a career in business management before retiring to pursue his passion for sailing.
The mayor of Fordingbridge, Cllr Malcolm Connolly, added: “It's very sad.
“The people of Fordingbridge will be quite upset. It's a very close and tight-knit community where most people know each other.”
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