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"I miss you bro" Paras brother Sunday Mirror

A touching story from todays Sunday Mirror apologies for not being able to link ( problematic computor !)

'I miss you Bro' says six-year-old Fintan Wakefield, whose Para brother died in Afghanistan EXCLUSIVE by Simon Wright 2/11/2008

Fintan Wakefield holds a portrait of his brother Jeff (Pic: Roland Leon)
Six-year-old Fintan Wakefield bravely put on his dead brother’s cherished Army beret last night, declaring: “He was my hero. I’ll never forget him.”

Fintan touched the hearts of the nation this week when he wore Para Jeff Doherty’s maroon beret at an emotional service to remember the famous regiment’s soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.

Last night he clung on to it as he movingly revealed the close bond they shared.

“I loved him,” he said. “He was my big brother and he could do anything. Once, he even ate 27 Kit Kats all in one go. I miss how he used to carry me on his shoulders and I miss waking up with him next to me in my bed. But most of all, I just miss him.”

Private Doherty was killed in a Taliban ambush in June, just two days after his 20th birthday.

His stepmother Joyce – Fintan’s mother – last night revealed how he had passed the Paras’ gruelling entrance test after a strict training regime which involved running a mile a day carrying Fintan on his back for weeks on end.

And, fighting back the tears, she recalled how Fintan wrote on his brother’s last birthday card: “Love you lots. Can’t wait for you to come home.”

“He insisted on writing it all himself,” said Joyce, 34, who brought Jeff up from the age of nine.

She and his father Jeff Senior have two other children, apart from Fintan, together – Shanna, 13, and one-year-old Honey.

“A week later, we had to tell him Jeff had been killed. It broke our hearts.”

Jeff – who was described at the commemoration service in Colchester on Thursday as “the best of the best” – was 14 when Fintan was born.

“Fin was born with a hole in his heart and was in an incubator,” said Joyce. “He wasn’t supposed to have any visitors but Jeff was adamant.

“There was a toy shop next to the hospital and he spent his pocket money on a little bear to give him. He put his hand inside the incubator and Fin squeezed his finger.”

As they grew up in Southam, Warwickshire, the pair grew close. Jeff called Fin “Fintan Frog” and would make the family laugh by doing impressions of a pirate with Fintan sat on his shoulder making parrot noises.

Taxi firm boss Jeff Snr, 47, recalled: “He’d dress Fin up as a Ninja Turtle with a black dustbin lid tied on his back.

“He’d put one of my ties round his forehead and use half a washing line prop as a staff. Fin thought it fantastic.”

Joyce said she would often find Jeff in Fintan’s bed.

“They’d both be fast asleep with Fin curled up and Jeff’s arms around him,” she said. “That never failed to make me smile.”

At 16, Jeff decided to join the Army and set his heart on getting into the famous Parachute Regiment.

“He had to train really hard before he took the selection test and would run miles every day,” said Jeff Snr.

“He was advised to run with a rucksack full of books on his back but Fin would always want to go with him. So instead, he used to run with Fin on his back.”

At Jeff’s passing-out parade at the Army’s Catterick training camp, the family saw him in uniform for the first time and Fin – then just three – stared at him in awe. For the next three years, Jeff served in the Paras in the UK, Germany and the USA but wrote letters home every week. Fin’s envelope always addressed to “Fintan The Frog”.

“He sent Fin dozens of photographs of himself and Fin pinned them all up on his bedroom wall,” said Joyce.

Jeff’s death devastated the family. “I was given his beret to keep and it’s stayed next to my bed ever since,” said Joyce.

“For the commemoration service, Fin asked if he could take it with him to wear. He put it on the minute we got there and didn’t take it off all day.

“I know Jeff was looking down on Fin and I know that he was proud of him.”
There was a bid to have a road in Southam named after Jeff Doherty. The Town Council turned it down flat at a meeting last Thursday, on the grounds that they don't name roads after people or some such. The local Leamington Paper has been covering it. Friday edition has the details I believe.
tha council should all be forced to read george orwell"the reason people sleep peaceably in their beds at night is because rough men stand ready to do violance on behalf" RIP old and airbourn


er, is it very windy in here?
my eyes appear to be watering!
what a moving story.


you as well?
so I'M not the only softy on here then?


well, that's at least 3 of us! ha ha
you think it's 'dusty' in here 'neb', just wait till the first bugle note next sunday,
THEN we'll see 'dusty'!
Blowing a sandstorm here...What a sad story.

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