Ipswich: No honeymoon for Private Matthew Cockroft as he prepares for Afghanistan deployment

An emotional day for Caz and Matthew Cockcroft as they tie the knot at Whitton Church. Matthew goes

An emotional day for Caz and Matthew Cockcroft as they tie the knot at Whitton Church. Matthew goes on deployment to Afghanistan one day after his special day. - Credit: Archant

Most couples would be packing their bags ready to jet off to an exotic destination after getting married.

But for Ipswich pair Caz and Matthew Cockroft, just one of them will be travelling abroad this week after the pair celebrated their big day on Saturday.

Matthew, 37, is a private in the Territorial Army and yesterday left the family home to prepare for a six-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Pte Cockroft said: “It was absolutely wonderful and a beautiful day.

“It’s very hard to have spent just a few hours married and then be deployed.

“There were a lot of mixed emotions with happiness at being married and then being deployed. It was hard but enjoyable at the same time.”

The happy couple, who have been together for just over six years, first met in the army cadets as instructors.

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Pte Cockroft added: “It was love at first sight to be honest.

“We were doing an exercise with the cadets and I jumped out from behind a tree and proposed to her.”

Mrs Cockroft, a pastoral support assistant at Ravenswood Primary School and RAF cadet instructor, added: “We couldn’t have done it without our family and friends around us.

“We’ve gone from happy to sad now but that’s Matt’s job and it’s something he loves doing.

“It was hard to say goodbye but we’ve got Skype, Facebook and phone calls to keep in touch with each other.”

The couple were married at Whitton Church, by Reverend Andrew Dotchin, in front of more than 100 family and friends before laying a wreath at the war memorial shortly after their nuptials.

They then enjoyed a reception at the school where the new Mrs Cockroft, 47, works.

She added: “Our wedding was poppy themed and Matt was in his full uniform.

“Our friend, who did the wedding photography, has already made an album for Matt to take with him.”

The couple, who have five children between them, are planning to jet off to Greece for a fortnight when Pte Cockroft returns from his tour of duty.