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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Soldier mum and daughter reunited

A FURNESS soldier who featured in a tearful Christmas TV broadcast from Afghanistan has been enjoying quality time back home with her five-year-old daughter.

Lance Corporal Naomi Thriepland, who served as a clerk with a bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan, came home to Dalton on January 5 to be reunited with her daughter Aiesha and mum, Fiona Thriepland.

The 22-year-old, who served for four and a half months on her latest tour and is off again next week on a promotion course. She expects to be attached as a clerk to the Grenadier Guards in July, with a good chance of returning to Afghanistan.

GMTV organised a Christmas link-up between L/Cp Thriepland, her daughter and her mum, who acts as full-time carer for Aiesha.

The emotional TV scenes were broadcast last month.

L/Cpl Thriepland, who also served as a clerk with a medical group in Iraq for six months, said of her Christmas broadcast: “It was good because I had not seen Aiesha for quite a while.

“Obviously I did not expect her to cry which made me cry.”

Her soldier boyfriend, Anwar Pitters, is still serving in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Thriepland added: “It was different to Iraq, there are a lot more people dying. It’s a lot more real out there.”

A bomb disposal sapper with her detachment was killed on New Year’s Eve, and she added: “That was a body blow to the unit.

“They do a brilliant job but it is amazingly dangerous.”

L/Cpl Thriepland said it will be hard to say goodbye to her daughter, and added: “It is very difficult because she doesn’t like it when I have to go away again. I don’t know how long I am going to keep it up.

“My mother is really good with her. I couldn’t do this job without her help.”

Now Mrs Thriepland is organising a charity night in Barrow to raise money for Help for Heroes.

The charity is funding the establishment of Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCtrs) across the UK.

The centres will help seriously wounded or long-term sick service personnel settle back into civilian life by offering services such counselling.

Barrow Labour Club is helping Mrs Thriepland to organise the charity concert.

The event is being supported by local artists, including Steve Silver and Pete Murphy, who are playing for free.

Mrs Thriepland hopes at least 150 people will buy the £5 a head tickets and hopes to raise additional money by a big raffle on the night for which she is appealing for prizes.

The concert is set to take place on February 11.

Mrs Thriepland said: “Within the services people expect these people to come back and fit into normal life which many of them are not going to do.

“The figures show a lot of these soldiers can’t adjust.

“We are holding a fund- raiser for the troops and we want people to be aware of what we are doing.”

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