Army needs better equipment, says mother of fallen Royal Anglian Regiment soldier

THE mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan is leading calls for better Army equipment on the frontline.

Christine Bonner says her son Darren would not have wanted to worry his family by telling them about a shortage of combat gear.

But she says her experience of talking to other mums of troops leads her to believe soldiers lack basic items needed to fight their corner.

The dedicated campaigner, who holds the All the 4s charity walk every year in memory of her boy, said: “There are no comforts in the Army.

“However if you don’t have basic equipment it is quite off putting. You’re thinking about how you are feeling and not the current situation.

“Lots of other people feel exactly the same way. It is really important to make sure they have got what they need.”

Corporal Bonner, of Tydd Gote, died in a landmine explosion in Southern Afghanistan while serving with 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment in 2007.

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His mother said: “My whole world fell apart and my life was changed forever. But I had to keep it together for my three daughters who lost their big brother.”

She took on a role of supporting other grief-stricken mothers, organising memorial walks for Cpl Bonner’s Regiment Benevolent Charity and advising parents in the same situation.

The Gedney resident, who has met Government Ministers after her son’s death, said she joined other mums in “complaining bitterly” about equipment.

She said she had no personal experience of Cpl Bonner lacking goods because: “He knew I would have been worried.”

However she said: “I imagine he would have been in the same situation.”

Mrs Bonner, who has raised �90,000 for forces charities, is currently working on a book about her son designed to help other parents get over their heartbreak.