Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Fallen soldier's mother given a special space to remember her son

L/Cpl James Ashworth's original gravestone. Photo: ITV News Anglia.

The home of the mother of celebrated Corby soldier James Ashworth has been given a special garden makeover.

The charity Forces Support spent three days last week digging, paving and planting to give Kerry Ashworth a much-deserved surprise - and a place to remember her son.

L/Cpl James Ashworth. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

L/Cpl James Ashworth died in action in Afghanistan in 2012 and was later posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry.

As Mrs Ashworth was shown the completed garden, she shed a tear before hugging the team responsible for the makeover.

The garden includes a plaque in tribute to 23-year-old James and the original headstone from his grave.

Kerry Ashworth hugs the team responsible for the garden makeover. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"We have the arbour with the plaque - the words on the plaque James's brothers Corin and Carl put them together - and I also have the headstone, the first one, because he had a new one put on when he got awarded the Victoria Cross.

"That's for us. That's for our little family so we've got something for ourselves to remember him."

– Kerry Ashworth, L/Cpl Ashworth's mother.

Forces Support does makeover projects all over the UK for families who have lost loved ones in action.

The idea is to offer a helping hand when times are at their most tough.

Since they began in 2010, the charity has completed more than 120 of the transformation projects and Mrs Ashworth's is the 47th just this year.

The charity does the painting, decorating, and other household tasks - things that might seem insignificant on their own, but can cause extra stress in an already grieving home.

"It just gets to the point where it becomes a mammoth task for them, so we come and we just do them painting and decorating or a garden makeover - anything that's needed at that time.

"We've done projects for people who haven't been in to their gardens for two years and then all of a sudden they start having an interest in the garden. They get friends around, they get families around. It's good for them".

– Steve Richardson, Forces Support.

Olivia Paterson reports.