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  • Christina Drummond

Senior Aircraftman Robert Fleeting, Royal Air Force

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2011, Senior Aircraftman Robert Fleeting, Royal Air Force, died under suspicious circumstances while in service at R.A.F. Benson in Oxfordshire.

His parents’ only son, he joined the Army Cadets on the encouragement of his father, who had served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, then chose to serve with the Royal Air Force as a firefighter, something which he did with great pride. His mother wrote: “Robert had a smile that would light up a room and a laugh that when you heard it you couldn’t help but join in. He was always good at art even designing his own tattoo and was always in the local football team. He loved showing off his dance moves strutting his stuff on the dance floor whenever he got the chance. He was living his dream of being a fireman and was looking forward to getting married and having kids.”

Mr. and Mrs. Fleeting suspected foul play in their son’s death, there were many unanswered questions, and concerns such as him not having been formally identified. The Coroner at his inquest said of the R.A.F. witnesses: “The characters of the Royal Air Force has been brought in to question, and they haven’t been forthcoming with the Truth “. The Fleetings launched a petition calling for inquests into all non-combat deaths on a military base to be heard by a jury (in England and Wales a coroner conducts the inquest).

In May of 2013, their petition on the Change site calling for the re-opening of the investigation into their son’s death provided this result: “The IPCC after careful consideration of our points have instructed Thames Valley Police to look into the investigation into SAC Robert Fleeting’s death as not enough investigation was done from the onset.”

The Fleeting family continue to fight for answers, and have set up the website as well as the Facebook group with over 20,000 members. On that group’s page is the hard-hitting statement: “Everyone is afraid of dying…until you lose a child. Then you are afraid of living.” The Fleeting family need, and indeed demand, full disclosure.

Robert, from East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, was 24 years old and engaged to be married.

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