Tragic soldier's mum in second heartache

THE mother of an Essex soldier killed by US “friendly fire” in Afghanistan now fears she will lose a teenage foster son who faces deportation to Kosovo.

THE mother of an Essex soldier killed by US “friendly fire” in Afghanistan now fears she has just weeks to spend with a teenage foster son before he is deported to Kosovo.

Pearl Thrumble, of Mayland, near Maldon, is still coming to terms with the death of 21-year-old son John, who was one of three Royal Anglian Regiment soldiers killed by a US bomb last week.

But in another devastating setback, she has now been told her teenage foster son, Semirjan Dalti, will be deported next month despite her family's fight for him to stay in the UK.

Mrs Thrumble, who has been fostering children from war-torn countries for many years, said yesterday: “He (Semirjan) is living independently and the country wants to send him back because he's 18 next week. They're not just taking one son away, they're taking two.”

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The news has compounded the misery the family feels just a week after John's tragic death.

But Mrs Thrumble said she took comfort in the fact the talented young soldier died while helping others win their freedom.

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However, she now fears for the future of Semirjan, who has been told he must return to Kosovo after his 18th birthday next Friday, despite living in the UK since he was 12.

Semirjan arrived in the UK with his older brother after his family was killed in the conflict tearing the country apart.

Mrs Thrumble said he had always looked up to John and admired his work ethic and kind nature.

John, a member of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, loved music as well as health and fitness.

He joined the army in 2004 and was a keen boxer who was set to represent his Company in competitions.

Younger brother Luke, 19, said the former Maylandsea Community Primary school and St Peter's High school pupil was an inspiration to his friends and family.

He said: “Whenever there was something to be done, he was always the first to put his hand up. He was somebody you could rely on, always thinking of other people.

“He wanted to stay on (in the army) for another four years and I wasn't happy when he told me. He was just always there for other people.”

His mother added: “He was very creative, his imagination was brilliant. He was just larger than life and lived it to the full. He was funny, serious, caring - everything really. He was just John.”

Mrs Thrumble said John had called home the day before his death, saying he did not “feel right” about his impending return to Kajaki in the troubled Helmand Province.

She said: “He sounded so tired. He just wanted to let us know he loved us because he didn't feel right about this one.”

Mrs Thrumble said she and her husband didn't want to “waste their anger” by focussing on the incident, which also killed Privates Aaron McClure, 19, from Ipswich, and Robert Foster, 19, from Harlow.

She said: “It should never have happened. We don't want to feel anger. We're hurting and the pain is indescribable but we've got to celebrate our son who was out there for a reason.”

She said there was no one person to blame but that forces from different countries fighting alongside each other should be able to rely on good communication and an equal standard of equipment and technology in order to succeed.

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