Midlands family worries about soldier tissue scandal

The funeral of Lance Corporal James Fullarton
The funeral of Lance Corporal James Fullarton Photo: Central News

It has been revealed today that the Ministry of Defence has kept body parts from 30 soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The samples had been taken to establish the cause of death - and were retained without families' permission.

The family of James Fullarton, who lost their son in action, say that it is deeply disturbing and they are now waiting anxiously to find out whether he is among those affected.

Lance Corporal Fullarton was killed in Afghanistan three years ago.

It's bad enough coming to terms with the way you have to bury your children without having to hear three years on that there is a possibility there could still be parts of him in an hospital not far away. "

– Janice Fullarton, mother of James Fullarton

Body parts and tissues are taken as part of the investigation into soldiers' deaths. They are supposed to be disposed of in line with the wishes of families. But since 2002, some have been kept in laboratories - a fact that has only come to light in the past month.

The Ministry of Defence says an investigation is now underway to find out how this happened and the families of the 30 soldiers involved are to receive letters. In a statement they apologise to all the families affected by this incident.