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Mum of Essex Private John Thrumble's enduring grief 10 years on from death in Afghanistan

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:14 23 August 2017

Private John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLE

Private John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLE

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The mother of Essex soldier Private John Thrumble has spoken of her enduring grief 10 years after the death of her "fun-loving" and "amazing" son.

Essex soldier John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLEEssex soldier John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLE

John, from Mayland, near Maldon, was one of three young British Army servicemen from 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment who were killed in Afghanistan on August 23, 2007.

The trio, part of the 7 Platoon B (Suffolk) Company, were under fire by the Taliban when a US aircraft which was called to help dropped a bomb on them instead of the enemy position.

“I really thought 10 years ago time would pass and it would be easier and actually I had a dip this year because I thought ‘I don’t want to see 10 years without my son’,” said Pearl Thrumble.

“It is definitely a physical pain that you just can’t remove. You have to adapt, it’s like losing a limb, but some days I don’t want to adapt.

Essex soldier John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLEEssex soldier John Thrumble, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLE

“You change completely when you lose a child because you can’t be the person you were before.”

Describing John, who was just 21 when he died, Mrs Thrumble said: “He was a fun-loving young boy. He was amazing and it’s hard to go through the years knowing I’m not going to see any more of that, his humour. He was just such a positive lad. He would always be there for me.

“He was just an amazing son. I was so lucky to have the years I did with him. He brought so much joy to me and his family. “Whenever he walked into a room he brightened the room up. He was hilarious. He left a big hole when he didn’t come home.”

Mrs Thrumble, a leather designer aged in her 50s, said the last decade had been a “bit of a rollercoaster”.

John Thrumble with his brother, Luke. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLEJohn Thrumble with his brother, Luke. Picture: PEARL THRUMBLE

She added: “He has missed out on all those family occasions, weddings and births and it’s those times when you are standing in a room full of people and you feel so alone - there’s a space. When he was here he would fill that space.”

John, who has a 29-year-old brother, Luke, attended Maylandsea Primary School and St Peter’s High School in Burnham-on-Crouch.

He enlisted into the British Army in April 2004 and joined the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment in July 2005. Mrs Thrumble said he “loved” the military.

Although many of the questions around John’s death have been answered, Mrs Thrumble said this didn’t make the loss easier to come to terms with.

(L-R) Lorraine McClure and Karl Smith, parents of Aaron McClure; Pearl Thrumble, mother of John Thrumble; and Lisa and John Foster, parents of Robert Foster; standing outside Trowbridge Coroners Court in Wiltshire as the inquest into their deaths finishes. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire(L-R) Lorraine McClure and Karl Smith, parents of Aaron McClure; Pearl Thrumble, mother of John Thrumble; and Lisa and John Foster, parents of Robert Foster; standing outside Trowbridge Coroners Court in Wiltshire as the inquest into their deaths finishes. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

She added: “It doesn’t help you with the grief, it just ticks a box.”

John died alongside Privates Aaron McClure, from Ipswich, and Robert Foster, from Harlow, who were both aged 19.

• Family of Private Aaron McClure, from Ipswich, killed in Afghanistan say there’s a hole in their hearts 10 years on

Lieutenant General Phil Jones, Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment said: “Aaron, John and Robert represented their country and their regiment with professionalism and bravery, risking danger and injury to deliver vital security gains for the people of that country.

“The regimental family remembers, with pride, those members who made the ultimate sacrifice on Operation HERRICK.”

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