Suffolk soldier's body flown home

A PRIVATE service for the female Suffolk soldier killed by a makeshift bomb attack in Iraq on Remembrance Sunday was due to take place today.The body of Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, originally from Hadleigh, was flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire this morning.

A PRIVATE service for the female Suffolk soldier killed by a makeshift bomb attack in Iraq on Remembrance Sunday was due to take place today.

The body of Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, originally from Hadleigh, was flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire this morning.

The 34-year-old, of the Army's Intelligence Corps, was one of the four people killed on Sunday when a bomb, believed to be a home-made device attached to a jetty, exploded near their patrol boat on the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

She had only been in Iraq for one week and became only the second British servicewoman to die in the conflict.


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Today, as her colleagues and loved ones paid their respects, it emerged that Staff Sgt Elliott's death was the third tragedy to hit her heartbroken family.

In 1989, Staff Sgt Elliott's cousin, Judith Pattison, who was just 22, was killed in the Kegworth air crash, when a plane bound for Belfast crashed into the M1.

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And, around ten years ago, her fiancé, who was also a soldier, was killed in a motorbike accident just a little while before the couple were due to marry.

Staff Sgt Elliott, who went to school in Hadleigh, spent the early part of her career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and was the first woman in the Army to qualify as an aircraft technician.

Neighbours remember a beautifully behaved child growing up among simple red brick homes which surrounded a green where she played with stepbrothers Michael, Gary and David.

Her godmother, Maureen Holland, 72, said: “She met her boyfriend on a course where they were learning to repair helicopters. I saw her when she came back to look for her wedding dress.

“But then her fiancé died tragically. People asked if she would be giving up the Army afterwards, but she said she wouldn't, and she would finish the course because she wanted to do it for him.

“She was a very caring person and when her fiancé died I remember her saying that she was going to stay with his parents to be with them.

“She was very determined and she was the first woman to pass this particular course. She was just dedicated to her life in the Army. She was an absolutely lovely girl. Her parents must have been really proud.”

Would you like to pay tribute to Sharron Elliott? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n. See tributes to Sharron at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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