From the Battalion Social media Account on 7th March 2021:
It is with immense sadness that 1st Battalion Welsh Guards must announce the death of one of our family. Sergeant Gavin Hillier died in a non-operational training incident at Castlemartin Ranges on 4 March 21. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this tragic time.
Sergeant Hillier served a distinguished career, deploying on operations in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan; he was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2019 in recognition of his outstanding contribution.
He was universally loved across the Battalion and his death has been a terrible shock. Renowned for his prowess on the rugby field and his keen sense of humour, his professionalism and dedication to service was outstanding. As the Motor Transport Colour Sergeant, Sergeant Hillier added enormous value and corralled a tight-knit team with his amiable nature and willingness to help others across the Battalion.
Sergeant Hillier’s Wife and sons said:
“I thank you for the day you came into my life and made me your wife and became the father to our two beautiful boys. We are absolutely heartbroken and can't express how proud we are of you. Our boys will continue to make you proud and you will forever live on through them.
Daddy we are not ready to say goodbye just yet so until we meet again, we love you always.
Love your heartbroken wife and boys.”
Karyn Hillier and sons, Declan and Connor
Sergeant Hillier’s Mam and her partner said:
“You made me so proud of you from the day you were born and we will be proud for always. Rest in peace my son you will always be my little boy.”
Karen Selway and Malcolm
Sergeant Hillier’s Platoon Commander said:
“I am proud, grateful and honoured to have had Sergeant ‘Gav’ Hillier as my CSgt. Gav’s style of leadership always got the best out of the Platoon and his personality was infectious. He was my rock when I needed guidance, never afraid to offer me advice and was a fierce Welshman.”
Capt R Beckett COLDM GDS, Motor Transport Officer
The Commanding Officer said:
“Sergeant Hillier’s tragic death has sent shockwaves across the Battalion. He was extremely popular and widely respected, drawing on his significant experience to lead and develop his subordinates; he was truly one of my best Sergeants. Our thoughts are with his family and friends following this heart-breaking incident.”
Lt Col H S Llewelyn-Usher, Commanding Officer
The Regimental Sergeant Major said:
“Sergeant (Gav) Hillier and I have worked side-by-side throughout our careers; he was an outstanding soldier, and a close friend. A larger than life character, he did everything with a smile on his face, and was a pillar of the Sergeants’ Mess. I am lucky to have served with him, but most of all to call him my friend. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”
WO1 D Cope, Regimental Sergeant Major
Secretary of State for Defence said:
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Sgt Gavin Hillier’s death. The dedication and distinction he demonstrated through his long Army career is evident in the testimony of those who served with him.”
Ben Wallace MP
Cymru Am Byth