Kingsman Alex Green, of the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancashire’s Regiment, died after was shot in the shoulder by small arms fire when returning to barracks following his task of escorting a convoy out of the city of Basra. He was 21 years old. He had a two-year-old son, Bradley. Here his father, Bill Stewardson, talks about the son he has lost.
My son, Al, was killed on Saturday morning. He was 21. His blood was spilled in the sand in Iraq and he joins the ranks of British servicemen who have laid down their lives for the betterment of that country.
He was a good bloke, Al. We used to laugh at him because he supported Arsenal in spite of coming from Warrington. He decided to like Arsenal at the age of five. I tried to get him out of that – but it didn’t work. He’ll be buried in his Arsenal shirt.
I am told that his body will be flown back next Tuesday. I don’t know yet if I want to be at Brize Norton when he comes home. It’s like torture lessons, where you have got to keep your face straight. I don’t know if I can. We all have our weak spots.
One of the things that I have found hard to deal with is the people who have called me to pass their condolences then gone on to tell me that the war in Iraq is wrong and that we should pull the troops out.
Of course war is wrong, but they are also wrong: we should not pull the troops out. If we had pulled the troops out last week, my son would still be alive but that is not the right thing to do.
If you want to take them out, fine, no British soldiers will be killed, but who will go in? It’s as if the British public are saying ‘We know there are going to be deaths in that country to restore democracy but we don’t want our boys dying – send somebody else’s.’