Pride in three army sons

FOR some mothers, having one child in the armed forces causes them enough worries - but spare a thought for Betty Frank, whose three sons have joined the army.

FOR some mothers, having one child in the armed forces causes them enough worries - but spare a thought for Betty Frank, whose three sons have joined the army.

Despite a constant nagging concern for their safety, Mrs Frank from Ipswich claims army life has done her sons proud and she wouldn't change it for the world.

Her youngest son, Edward, 17, has just passed out at Harrogate Army Foundation College and has six more months of training with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in Hertfordshire before he becomes an armourer, which involves fixing artillery guns. Her other two sons, Martyn, 21, and Thomas, 22, have both been to war zones since joining the army.

Mrs Frank, 46, of Elmhurst Drive, near Holywells Park, said: “Martyn always knew he wanted to join the army and I think Thomas saw how much fun his brother was having so he joined up too. Ed has always wanted to join too.

“Obviously you worry about them but it is what they want to do.

“It is something they enjoy and I'm so proud of them.

Most Read

“They are not frontline soldiers so I suppose from that point of view, I'm not as worried. Even though they have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, it is not like they are infantry soldiers but I do still worry.

“My husband, Terry, says he worries more when they go out in Ipswich for the night.

“I never thought I would have three children in the armed forces but it has been the making of them. It has changed them for the better.”

Martyn was the first to join at the tender age of 16. He now serves with the Royal Engineers, stationed outside Cambridge, in the intelligence section. He has completed a tour in Iraq.

Thomas, who joined up when he was 18, is stationed in Munster in Germany and is a vehicle mechanic in the REME. Now 22 he has completed a tour of Afghanistan.

As for their sisters, Jessica, who is just about to go into year 11 at Holywells High School, is considering a career in the army but plans to go to university first, whereas Hannah, 19, has just completed a beauty therapy course at Suffolk New College.

All Mr and Mrs Frank's children attended Holywells High School.

Mrs Frank added: “There is a good partnership between parents and the school, which is important. They all did well there and it is a good school.”

Do you have a child in the armed forces and want to tell us your experiences? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter