Soldier’s father will ‘never forgive Blair’

Funeral of Lancaster soldier Kevin Thompson at St Joseph's Church, Lancaster
Funeral of Lancaster soldier Kevin Thompson at St Joseph's Church, Lancaster

Ten years ago this week the first missiles began raining down on Iraq, signalling the start of one of the most controversial military campaigns in British history.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians lost their lives in the months that followed but this was just the beginning of a conflict that continued for the best part of a decade.

The lost heroes includedKevin Thompson, 21, of Barley Cop Lane, Lancaster, who died after being killed by a bomb in southern Iraq. He was serving with 19 Combat Service Support Battalion, part of 27 Transport Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps.

At 2am on May 3, 2007, his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Pte Thompson, died at Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham on May 6, 2007.

Speaking in the wake of Pte Thompson’s death, his dad, Mark, said he could “strangle Tony Blair” for sending his son to Iraq. It is a belief they hold to this day.

His mum, Theresa, 47, said: “We still feel exactly the same. I saw Tony Blair on ITN News the other night and I just wanted to punch the screen.

“He hasn’t taken any responsibility for all those lives lost in their war in Iraq. They didn’t think of the after effects. They weren’t expecting the struggle that happened afterwards. They thought they would deal with Saddam Hussein and that would be it, but it didn’t happen like that.”

Theresa said she and her husband attended a lot of meetings for bereaved families, where they had talked to the campaigner Rose Gentle.

The mother of Gordon Gentle, a 19 year old from Scotland who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004, she founded Military Families Against the War.

Theresa said: “She thinks Tony Blair should be done for war crimes. It was an illegal invasion.

“You think you’re moving on and then you see another soldier has died.”