The mother of a serviceman killed in Afghanistan has spoken of her joy at being given a military base road sign colleagues had made as a tribute to him.
Marcin Wojtak, who was 24, was killed by a massive explosion while in command of a patrol vehicle in October 2009, devastating his Croxton Kerrial family.
Mum Teresa Woods has a comprehensive collection of memorabilia from her son’s career in the RAF, including emails, letters and cards he sent home and cap badges, which is all displayed in his old bedroom.
She was desperate to get hold of Marcin’s road sign when Camp Bastion - the base where he served - was dismantled towards the end of last year.
And Mrs Woods, a teacher at Brownlow School in Melton, finally got her hands on it just before Christmas.
“It was lovely to finally get Marcin’s road sign,” she said. “My forces liaison officer arranged it and presented me with it in the car park at Belton Garden Centre.
“I am now in the process of writing to the Ministry of Defence to ask if I can have the bumper plate from the Mastiff (armoured vehicle) with Marcin’s nickname ‘Big Ted’ on it.
“That would be for me the final part of the collection.”
Marcin was an Acting Corporal in 34 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment when he died in the Taliban bomb blast close to his base in the dangerous Helmand Province.
Mrs Woods supports the Melton Times Christmas appeal to enhance the town’s war memorial in the gardens of Egerton Lodge - Marcin’s was the most recent name to be added to it, in 2010.
Money is being raised to help provide interpretation boards with photographs and information about every Melton serviceman killed in military conflicts over the last century.
She said: “I have every single email and letter he sent to me right up until the morning he died.
“I have a complete history of his military career but I am aware there are a lot of forgotten soldiers where the families have no information about their careers.
“I welcome this appeal with open arms because the names on their own on a memorial don’t mean a thing.”
l Turn to page 10 for the latest on our war memorial appeal and how you can make a donation towards the campaign.