Beverley and Elizabeth
When Corporal Harvey Holmes was killed while serving in Afghanistan at the age of just 22, his mum Beverley and older sister Elizabeth were devastated.
Through joining SSAFA’s Bereaved Families Support Group they have been able to meet and talk to other families in similar situations – people who understood how they felt.
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Harvey, of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, had wanted to be a soldier since he was three years old and joined the Army at 16. He served in Iraq, Belize and Northern Ireland and was 22 when he deployed to Afghanistan attached to 40 Commando Royal Marines Battle Group. He was killed in an IED explosion on May 2, 2010.
Elizabeth said: “Everybody loved Harvey. He was the type who actually did walk old ladies across the road.
“When a family loses someone in Afghanistan, a lot of people are understandably concerned about the parents or the partner and you can end up feeling a little bit in the background. Having known Harvey his entire life, we were exceptionally close. This is why the sibling support group is so important.
“I was getting ready for church when the door went. The Army had been to my mum’s house to tell her and she wanted to be the one to tell me.
“SSAFA has been fantastic and I’ve found the support group really beneficial. Whenever anyone starts talking I find myself thinking, that’s exactly how I feel. We all feel the same thing and it’s nice to know that you are not the odd one out – not on your own.”
Now Elizabeth and Beverley are bringing their community together for a special Big Brew Up on Armed Forces Day to raise money for SSAFA and make sure other Forces families can receive the same vital support when they need it.