Widow knew husband would not return

THE widow of an Army bomb disposal expert feared to have been executed during the Iraq war has told how she "just knew" her husband was not coming home.

THE widow of an Army bomb disposal expert feared to have been executed during the Iraq war has told how she "just knew" her husband was not coming home.

Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 36, of Wimbish, Essex, went missing in March with colleague Sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, of Dagenham.

Their bodies were found in shallow graves a month later near Basra - close to the spot where they had vanished.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said he feared the soldiers had been executed after pictures of their bodies were broadcast on an Arab television station. The Ministry of Defence is continuing to investigate.


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Their bodies were returned to England earlier this month and buried side by side in Wimbish, where their unit, 33 Engineer Regiment, is based.

Staff Sgt Cullingworth's widow Alison told her local newspaper, the Cambridge Evening News, that she had a premonition.

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"This time I just knew he wasn't coming back. The last time I talked to him (a week before he vanished), I felt it was the last time that I would hear his voice. I came off the phone and just cried and cried.'

Mrs Cullingworth, a playgroup assistant, added: "The whole thing has been a nightmare. The waiting around was tortuous.

"I'm just so grateful he was found. I don't know how I would have coped otherwise. I still feel like my heart's been ripped out. But at least he's home now and never going away again.'

She said she was at home with sons Matthew, eight, and Jack, three, when senior officers called to say her husband was missing.

"I knew as soon as I saw them,' she said. "I think that his death was particularly cruel.'

She added: "Matthew is being very brave now and very strong. The children have given me the strength to go on.

"Simon loved the Army and being a soldier but he regretted missing the children growing up and it bothered him.'

News that Staff Sgt Cullingworth had been promoted came through a few says after he vanished. Senior officers predicted that he would have gone on to become a Regimental Sergeant Major.

He had previously served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kuwait and the Falklands.

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