War widow reveals pain her children suffer two years after losing father in Afghan land mine
15:05 GMT, 8 May 2012
A war widow has revealed for the first time how her children are still suffering after losing their father more than two years ago.
Lance Corporal Darren Hicks, 29, from Mousehole, West Cornwall, was killed by a landmine in Helmand province of Afghanistan, leaving his wife Katie to bring up Henry, then three, and Daisy, nine months old, on her own.
While Mrs Hicks no longer expects to see her
husband walk through the front door – as she did for the first 12 months
– she says that the children still ask for 'daddy' on a daily basis.
War widow Katie Hicks with children Daisy and Henry, who are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their father
'They still talk about their daddy all the time.
'Daisy was with my mum the other day and four times she asked if she could phone her daddy.
'It is daily, even after all this time,' she said.
Mrs Hicks was at home watching television when a knock at the door heralded the news that Darren, a popular member of the Coldstream Guards had been killed during his second tour of duty in February 2010.
Since then she has found comfort in the Cornish-based charity, Penhaligon's Friends,
which supports bereaved families.
Lance Corporal Darren Hicks was killed in Afghanistan on February 11 2010
But she says Daisy and Henry continue to grieve.
'The other night Henry was crying and said to me that he wanted his Daddy back.
'I said that I wanted him back as well but that I couldn't do anything about it.
'I told him that he had to be brave and he had to be proud of his Daddy.'
The number of servicemen killed in Afghanistan stands at 412, while a total of 285 children are believed to
have lost a parent as a result of the conflict, which began 11 years ago this summer.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said
that in the wake of a bereavement war widows and their children could
call on a wide range of advice and support services tailored
to their needs.
He added: 'Support is also provided to any
children through university scholarships free of tuition fees.'
Mrs Hicks,who last year relocated to a new home in a nearby area, added: 'It was just a daze. Daisy was just nine months old when Darren died.
'That first year was very hard. I don't even remember Daisy learning how to walk I was grieving so much.'