Hero of the Month… Corporal William ‘Sav’ Savage 1983 – 2013
Once a year in November the whole world comes together to remember our fallen heroes, however at Scotty’s Little Soldiers we know that for families who have lost someone who served in the Armed Forces, Remembrance Day is every day.
Every one of our members has lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, and we believe their lives and sacrifice should always be remembered. In our hero of the month posts we celebrate the lives of our member’s fallen heroes every month of the year.
This month we honour Corporal William Savage, or ‘Sav’ to his friends and family, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan on 30th April 2013. He left behind his wife, Lynzy, and his son Connor, who was born two months after he died.
Born in Irvine, Sav (30) enlisted in the Army in April 2003. After completing recruit training, he joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 2003, which later became The Royal Regiment of Scotland 2 SCOTS. He was first deployed to Iraq in 2004 and then to Afghanistan in 2008 and 2010.
In March 2013 he was again deployed to Afghanistan. It was during this tour that he was killed after his Convoy was hit by an IED on a routine patrol in Helmand. His wife, Lynzy, was pregnant with their first child, Connor, at the time.
He was described by his comrades as an exceptional soldier and dedicated leader. Lieutenant Colonel Robin Lindsay, Commanding Officer, 2 SCOTS gave the following tribute after his death: “We will remember Corporal William Savage as an exceptional soldier, a dedicated leader and a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was a classic example of a Scottish infantryman: robust, committed and blessed with a fine line in banter. He had made the battalion proud with his excellent recent performance on the Section Commanders’ Battle Course at the Infantry Battle School and he was rightly proud of his well-earned reputation as a tough combat soldier. He had proven his credentials on 2 previous tours of Afghanistan, and we considered him a leading light amongst the corporals in the battalion and regiment.”
Seven years on and Lynzy can remember the pain she felt when two men appeared at her door to tell her that her husband, and the father to her unborn child, wouldn’t be coming home. Lynzy, didn’t hear about her husband’s death until the evening. She’d been out shopping with a friend when that evening a man and a woman appeared at her door to inform her that her husband had been killed while on tour.
Just month’s from giving birth to their first child, Lynzy saw the exciting future they’d planned together disappear.
Connor was born two months later and never got the opportunity to meet his dad. Lynzy explains that she was honest with Connor from the start about his daddy being in heaven, and although he never met him, he has inherited a lot of his dad’s personality. She said: “He pulls exactly the same faces as his dad and has many of the same personality traits.”
Described by Lynzy as the love of her life, Sav would rarely be found without a smile on his face. A fun-loving, kind, funny guy with a big heart, Lynzy recalls how just being around him was when she was at her happiest. “He had such an infectious smile and laugh” said Lynzy, “I can still hear it to this day. We would always joke around. If people could see us together, they would think we were crazy, but that was just us, together and happy.”
Sav was a keen sportsman and loved outdoor activities, including skiing and kayaking. He enjoyed playing football, although as Lynzy describes, “was absolutely terrible at it”, and was known to enjoy a cinema night and Nando’s on quite a few occasions.
Sav was also a qualified Kayaking instructor, a qualification he achieved when based in Cyprus and a sport he enjoyed taking part in when he got the time.
There was also a serious side to Sav, his job meant everything to him and was one of his biggest achievements. Lynzy said: “he always put 100% into his army career, it was his job and he was good at it.”
One of the things Lynzy says Sav was looking forward to the most was becoming a dad. She recalls how excited he was about the future. They had found out they were having a boy and had chosen the name together. And with Sav due to have time off to relocate after his tour, the pair were looking forward to spending some quality family time together.
For Connor, now aged seven, growing up without having any memories of his dad has been incredibly difficult. “Connor always asks a lot of questions because he didn’t get to meet his dad” said Lynzy. For her, it’s important that her son knows everything he can about the hero his dad was and talks to him about what he was like as often as she can. She also explains how Connor loves hearing stories about the silly things his dad used to get up to.
“It’s a rollercoaster of emotions” says Lynzy “Connor has always known his daddy is in heaven and I’m now slowly filtering the details through to him, so he understands more. As he grows up, he asks more questions, he wants to know what his dad was like so I tell him everything I can.”
Lynzy explains that one of the hardest things is that they missed the chance to be a family and have those memories or even just a photo of the three of them together.
Lynzy and Sav met in 2008 through a mutual friend and got married in 2012. Looking back, Lynzy fondly remembers Sav’s proposal, she said: “It was 2011 and we were in a log cabin in Dundee, it was lovely.”
Connor was born in June 2013 and joined Scotty’s Little Soldiers when he was just three months old, making him one of the charity’s youngest members. Since then, Connor has grown up with Scotty’s by his side and has built a network of people around him that know what he’s going through.
“Scotty’s means everything to Connor”, said Lynzy. “Over the years he’s loved taking part in events and activities, but for me, the most important thing about Scotty’s is its support. The team have been there since the very beginning of this nightmare and knowing that there is someone there who knows exactly what you’ve experienced and can listen to you and understand is invaluable.”