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Mother’s dread of ‘nightmare' inquest into soldiers' deaths
The mum of a Bradford soldier killed in Afghanistan has described how tomorrow’s inquest will again drag up the “nightmare” she has had to endure for the last 19 months.
Private Christopher Kershaw, of Idle, died in Helmand province on March 6, 2012, alongside five other British troops.
The 19-year-old, of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, was with his colleagues in their Warrior armoured vehicle when it was blown up by an improvised explosive device about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand, Lashkar Gah.
An inquest – expected to last two days – into their deaths begins tomorrow at 10am in Oxford.
Monica Kershaw, who is attending the inquest, said it was bringing back lots of sad memories 19 months after her son’s death.
“I don’t know what to expect to be honest,” said Mrs Kershaw, of Farm Hill Road, Eccleshill, Bradford. “It is all over my head – it is a nightmare.
“I just want this week to be over with and I can get on with being me. I don’t want to go, to be honest, but I am going because it is for Christopher.”
She added: “It is more about closure than anything else. I honestly don’t want it dragging up again.”
Mrs Kershaw said she wanted to ask why her son was in the Warrior vehicle in the first place, adding: “Someone else should have been in that Warrior, but for whatever reason he wasn’t.
“Christopher volunteered because this other person was not available to go. That is what he was like – he always wanted to be doing something.
“At the time he did the right thing, but obviously the outcome wasn’t right.”
Mrs Kershaw also told how little things trigger her memories of Christopher. She said: “I will never get over what happened to him. Every day I think of him – silly little things trigger off thinking about him.
“I see other kids doing stuff that your own kids do and think about Christopher doing it when he was a kid.
“It is going to be a tough week.”
The other soldiers killed in the blast were Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Pte Anthony Frampton, 20, Pte Daniel Wade, 20, and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3 Yorks, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Pte Kershaw, a former pupil of Hanson School, Swain House, was the youngest of the troops who died in the blast. The force of the Taliban attack turned the Warrior upside down and blew off its gun turret.