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‘Medals to remember our brave soldier dad’
Cpl Andrew Roberts’ widow Lindsey with their children, Jessica, seven, and Kayla, four, with Commanding Officer, Lt Col David Clouston
A WIDOW wiped away tears as her three children picked up medals in honour of their father who was killed in Afghanistan.
Lindsey Roberts, from Bicester, was overcome with emotion as she watched Jessica, seven, Kyle, six, and Kayla, four, receive medals and a bronze statue.
Their father, Cpl Andrew Roberts, was killed by a mortar shell in Afghanistan last May.
Jessica held hands with her mum for courage as she picked up the Elizabeth Cross, created in 2009 to recognise families of Armed Forces Personnel who have died on operations.
Kyle was given a statue, donated by his father’s comrades in Bicester’s 23 Pioneer Regiment, while Kayla was handed a miniature copy of the Elizabeth Cross.
Cpl Roberts’ father Steve Roberts, from Middlesbrough, said: “We are all proud of Andrew. He was a good kid and I have always been proud of him.
“People talk about heroes. If you mentioned that to Andrew, he would have laughed it off. He loved his job and lived for it.
“I am really proud of Andrew’s children, they are his legacy. While they may not know what it means today, I am really very pleased for them.”
It came after Mrs Roberts spoke of how hard the family had found her husband’s death.
She spoke out following Tuesday’s inquest in Oxford into the death of her estranged 32-year-old husband, who was killed in Afghanistan last May.
The inquest was told troops came under fire from an unexpected attack and a mortar shell exploded inside their forward operating base in Helmand Province. The standard of base protection was citicised yet had since been upgraded.
Mrs Roberts, 31, of Bure Park, who had three of her four children with Cpl Roberts but had been separated from him for two years, said the family was devastated to learn details of her husband’s death.
She said: “I think they should have had more protection at camp. It could have been a very different outcome. Hopefully, lessons would have been learned for the future.”
Mrs Roberts said the hardest thing she had ever done was tell their children dad “wasn’t coming home”. She said: “You do find the words but you don’t know how you do. The kids have got lots of memories of trips to theme parks and holidays.
“They have a memory box each. They very much remember their dad and when they do want to talk through things or have a few minutes they get their memory boxes out.”
Beauty products consultant Mrs Roberts, who also has daughter Faith, one, said Cpl Roberts’ comrades were regular visitors to her home and had become unofficial uncles to her children.
She said: “I think Andrew would have been very glad they are all like that.”