This book is an autobiographical memoir written by the mother of James Collinson, who died at Deepcut shortly after his 17th birthday. I cannot imagine the pain and grief which the loss of a much-loved son can cause, but I can imagine that being treated with disdain and dishonesty by his employer, by the police, and by successive Governments could only make that pain worse.
Mrs Heath (who has remarried since James’s death) tells her dreadful story from the heart, but in a very matter-of-fact way. I can only admire her bravery as she and her former husband fought the system to find out the truth of what happened to her son against a background of incompetence and unpleasantness (‘Mrs. Collinson, there was one bullet and one body. Draw your own conclusions’.)
The book makes painful but compelling reading, and one cannot ignore the logic of her appeal for a Public Enquiry into what happened to her son, and to Cheryl James, Sean Benton and Geoff Gray, who also died from unexplained gunshot wounds at Deepcut.
She states that she, like the other parents, wants to know the truth about how her child died. I believe that she is a little naive to believe that a Public Enquiry would actually find the truth about anything – we have recently seen Leveson and Hutton fail to get to the bottom of serious questions.