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'Tell me how my son died'

A DISTRAUGHT mother claims the Army will not provide her with details of exactly how her soldier son died in a Cyprus car crash.

A DISTRAUGHT mother claims the Army will not provide her with details of exactly how her soldier son died in a Cyprus car crash.

Lance Corporal Jason Taylor, 26, of the Cheshire Regiment, was believed to be returning from Ayia Napa to the Dhekelia Barracks on Thursday, October 4, when his car left the road and careered into a field. He is understood to have died instantly.

But his mother, Elizabeth Taylor, of Gawsworth Road, Great Sutton, says she can't establish what happened and the Army will not tell her.

She said: 'I've spoken to the Cheshire Regiment but all they say is that it was a car crash. I can't even find out where his possessions and personal effects are.

'The story I've got from the newspapers in Cyprus is that a loud bang was heard at about 1.30am, but the car wasn't found until 7am. It wasn't until after 4pm I heard about it from Jason's former girlfriend. The Army turned up to tell me an hour later.'

She added: 'I have had lots of official letters from the Army and letters of condolence but no answers as to what happened and I feel they are holding something back. They must have done a post- mortem examination and taken blood samples.

'Not knowing the full facts is eating me up inside. Since we laid Jason to rest more than a fortnight ago, I have heard nothing from the Cheshire Regiment or anyone else in the Army.'

But Ian Matthews, of the Ministry of Defence's Wiltshire Divisional HQ, says officers have been in contact with Mrs Taylor regularly since Jason died.

He said: 'We can't discuss individual cases and prefer to deal with the bereaved family in our own compassionate way. However, I can say the accident is under investigation by the Cypriot police and as soon as we have more information, Jason's family will be told.

'Hardly a day goes by when we are not in contact with them. As for the delay in Army personnel calling to pass on the sad news of his death, we give absolute priority in getting the message to bereaved families as soon as possible.

'However, we need to be sure of the facts so the information given is absolutely correct. Unfortunately, in this day and age of mobile phones, we are finding all too often that families are receiving the information before we able to call personally.'

Mr Matthews added: 'It would seem this has happened in Jason's case, resulting in Mrs Taylor finding out about her son's death from someone other than the officer assigned to tell her. We are sorry this happened but there is little we can do about it.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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