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1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®




Dear Member / Friend

Colin Charles Stephen Welch was born in Salisbury Southern Rhodesia on the 26 March 1953. He attended Hatfield Junior School and then onto Cranborne Boys High school.

After leaving school Colin joined the Rhodesian Light Infantry where he served for five years. Colin was awarded the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia for gallantry in the face of the enemy. Colin received his medal along with Pete White (KIA) and his troop officer Mike Moseley. The medal was presented by the President of Rhodesia, Mr. Clifford DuPont. In the regiment Colin was affectionately known as “Hutch” and very well liked and respected in 1 Commando.

In 2007 Hutch was diagnosed with Mucosa Melanoma. He fought a good fight but eventually succumbed to the disease on 31 March 2010. On being informed of his death Dick Lockley Officer Commanding 1 Commando and Hutch’s Troop Commander, Mike Moseley sent the following messages:

"Thank you for sending me the sad news of the passing of Colin Welch this morning. I have not seen him since the late 1970’s but often thought of him and wondered what he was doing. He was a fine soldier and a good man. We served together in I Commando and I recommended him for his Bronze Cross which he highly deserved. I enjoyed his company as he had such a good sense of humour. I knew that he was often taking the Mickey out of me but he did it in such a pleasant way that I could never take offence! How sad that we never met up again after our time together in I Cdo.

Please pass my condolences and deep sympathy to his wife, son and daughter and tell them that I g rieve with them.

Yours sadly

Please would you send Julie, Gavin, Nicolle and Rob my sincerest and deepest sympathies. I read you notice with immense sadness and memories of Colin have been flashing before me ever since. He served as my 2 I/C in 1 Troop for almost my entire time in the RLI. He was the most competent and proficient soldier who had an irrepressible sense of humour, was a natural leader, a courageous warrior and became my closest friend and confidant. I hold nothing but wonderful memories of "Hutch" and those memories will never die. I was with him when he was at the receiving end of a terrorist machine gunner who also killed two other members of his stick near Miami (as it was then known). When I finally reached Hutch I could not believe it but he had dragged himself, despite very serious injury, to a RAR Cpl who had been killed. He was attempting to administer First aid to the Cpl. Such was the calibre of this man People like him very rarely come into our lives. They leave us feeling richer and more complete for having known them. “Hutch” until we meet again one day, nothing says it better than the following quote: "(He) shall not grow old as we that are left grow old, Age shall not weary (him) nor do the years condemn, At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We shall remember (him)"

Mike Moseley

"Please send my condolences to the Welch family, the y do not know me but Colin was my sergeant in 1Commando. He was a gentleman of note, it was an honour to know and serve under him. May he rest in peace? Graham Black. Call Sign 11 Alpha."

“It is with regret that we inform you of the passing away of Colin Welch BCR. Rob Sweeting (RhAF) Colin's Brother in Law reports

"My Brother in law Colin Welch passed away this morning 31st March 2011 at 0930 hrs, in Johannesburg / North mead .He has been fighting the dreaded Big C for quite a few years Our condolences must go firstly to his wife Julie and children Gavin Nicolle, and the rest of the family. We are a very close knit family.

He was in 1 Commando RLI, and decorated with "Bronze Cross" of Rhodesia. If you read a few of the books that came out after the war he is mentioned quite often.

He was a really wonderful man, never thought of himself only of others. Always charitable to others ahead of anything else.

He will be missed dearly but not forgotten and this passing will leave a big hole in our lives."

The RLI Regimental Association offers our deepest sympathies to Julie, Gavin and Nicole.

Streets of the roaring town,
Hush for him, hush, be still!
He comes, who was stricken down
Doing the word of our will.
Hush! Let him have his state,
Give him his soldier's crown. The grist's of trade can wait
Their grinding at the mill,
But he cannot wait for his honour, now the trumpet has been blown.
Wreathe pride now for his granite brow, lay love on his breast of stone.

William Vaughn Moody