Mother’s fear and pride for her two military children

Benjamin and Rebecca Stringer
Benjamin and Rebecca Stringer
Have your say

A proud mother has spoken of her ‘mixed feelings’ at having both of her children in the military.

Shirley Stringer’s daughter, Rebecca, and son, Benjamin, are both former Bury St Edmunds sea cadets.

Rebecca left the cadets to join the navy and is currently serving on HMS Illustrious as a marine engineer.

The 19-year-old met His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall last month after they boarded the Royal Navy’s helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Shirley, who lives with her husband, Paul, on Moreton Hall, said the Royals had wanted to meet the ship’s crew because it had been involved in distributing aid as part of the disaster relief effort in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

She has ‘mixed feelings’ about her daughter’s profession because she worries about dangers like Somali pirates but feels ‘very proud’ to know she has helped people, such as in the Philippines last year.

Benjamin, 21, is currently serving with the Royal Marines 40 Commando in Taunton and was called upon recently to assist with flood relief efforts in Somerset.

Shirley said he was among troops preparing for short-notice deployments anywhere in the world as part of a team of rapid response marines.

“It’s a doubled-edged sword really,” she said.

“His training was quite arduous because he got injured a couple of times so it took him a bit of time to Passout, but his determination is now paying off because he’s loving his job. But, from our point of view, it’s worrying because we know he could be involved in all sorts of wars, shootings, things like that,” she added.