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Melissa Lamb launches Martin Lamb Trust with in-laws

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

By Eva Jones

  • Melissa Lamb, and daughter Rosie, who have been coming to terms with losing a husband and a father, after Rifleman Martin Lamb was killed in Afghanistan three years ago PICTURE: PAUL NICHOLLS

  • Rifleman Martin Lamb was killed while serving in Afghanistan

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By the time she was 25 Melissa Lamb had been a wife, a mother, and then a widow.

Mel lost her husband Rifleman Martin Lamb three years ago, when he was killed in Afghanistan.

Since then she's worked hard to rebuild a new life for herself and their daughter Rosie.

Now she's joined forces with Martin's relatives to launch a charity in his memory to help other bereaved families.

Mel and Martin's family want to use their experiences, and have launched the Martin Lamb Trust, on what would have been his 30th birthday.

"I was 25 and I'd been married and widowed. I'd lived the life of an 80-year-old," said Mrs Lamb.

Melissa, a care worker in Gloucester, and Martin met as teenagers when she was just 16, while he was studying carpentry at Stroud College and she was doing a healthcare diploma.

Martin started to write to Melissa during his first tour in Afghanistan, aged just 19. When he returned from Afghanistan the couple got together and moved into a home in Nailsworth.

"I kind of got used to him being away, I don't think I understood the extreme of what he was facing. We never had any army things around, he always kept it separate, and never talked about it, I didn't know the details of what he did in Afghanistan. Martin went on to serve in Iraq and elsewhere overseas.

"Both of us were shocked but we were also thrilled when we found out I was pregnant," she said.

"That last tour was different. He cried when he left. He'd never done that before, and he was worried, that's the only way I can describe it.

"We meant to have a party before he left, but then suddenly he had to leave earlier than planned. So that didn't happen. None of the family got to say goodbye.

"Everytime I spoke to him on the phone he cried, he'd say I'm worried. Something was different.

"It's like he was saying goodbye."

In June Mel had told Martin that she was pregnant with their second child. He had been delighted at the news, telling Mel it was going to be his last tour in Afghanistan, he would leave the Army and work as a carpenter.

"At 9pm that Sunday evening, I'd not long been home, there was an army man at my door. You know when someone from the Army visits on a Sunday night what it means.

"I just started screaming. It was like I'd been stabbed in the stomach."

The next day Mel lost the baby. She was treated in hospital on the Tuesday after the pregnancy ended, then on Thursday was at Wotton Bassett to witness her husband's body returning to England.

"I was dealing with a miscarriage and a funeral in the same week. When you lose your husband and your baby, which do you deal with first?"

She has now found fresh hope in a new relationship with her partner Chris, whom she met on a night out in Gloucester.

The Martin Lamb Trust was launched with a ball held at Stonehouse Court Hotel.

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