Monday, 30 November -0001

Mother campaigns for cross

Campaign for Elizabeth Cross to be awarded to parents

Mrs Carol Jones, from Hurley, North Warwickshire, is campaigning for parents of fallen soldiers to be awarded the Elizabeth Cross.

Currently the Elizabeth Cross to awarded to next of kin, which means that in most cases the commemorative emblem is bestowed upon the wife (or husband) of the fallen solider.

caroljones elizabethThe Elizabeth Cross

‘Parents have just as much right,’ says Mrs Jones. ‘Mothers carry their sons or daughters for 9 months, mothers and fathers bring them up and encourage them into army life. Why can’t we get the cross?’

Mrs Jones’s own son, Sgt John Jones, was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in 2005. Aged 31, he had served in the army for 16 years.

Mrs Jones is keen to point out that she does not want to take anything away from young wives who have lost their husband, but is insistent that the medal should be given to both spouses and parents. ‘I simply want to wear the pin at memorial services to show that I proud of my son,’ she says.

She has written to a number of figures in hope of winning their support, including Andrew Robathan, Secretary for the MoD, and the Queen. Although she received a ‘lovely letter’ from the Queen, the response has ultimately been a refusal.

‘They are saying no. They won’t give me a reason. We’ve looked into it and an Elizabeth Cross costs just £27.50, and we’ve even offered to pay for it ourselves, so it’s not a cost issue.’

A group on social network site Facebook entitled ‘Equality for the parents of the fallen’ attracted 7,800 members in support of the appeal. ‘I’ve had so many mother and fathers of the fallen agreeing, saying that the Cross should be awarded to us. I will not give up.’

This is not Mrs Jones’ first experience with campaigning: in 2010 the Basra Wall was brought back from Iraq and rebuilt at the National Memorial Arboretum, following more than 4 years of appeals from Mrs Jones and other supporters.

To join the campaign, please visit the Facebook group

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