“I’ve lost everything”: Disabled mum goes on hunger strike as benefits cut after soldier son’s death


By  24 Nov 2012 00:00

The single mum says she is prepared to die to get David Cameron to change rules which prevent her carrying out her son’s final wishes

Anguish: Lucy Aldridge
Anguish: Lucy Aldridge

The mother of the youngest British soldier to die in Afghanistan will go on hunger strike in protest at the Government.

Disabled Lucy Aldridge lost £300 a week in benefits after son William, 18, died in a blast in 2009, leaving her £218,000 in insurance and death-in-service payouts.

The single mum says she is prepared to die to get David Cameron to change rules which prevent her carrying out her son’s final wishes.

Lucy, 44, will stop taking food on Monday and is sending her sons George, nine, and Archie, seven, to stay with close relatives.

Her eldest son William died seven weeks after his 18th birthday while serving with The 2nd Battalion, The Rifles in July 2009.

His troop was hit by two roadside bombs in a “daisy chain” Taliban attack in Helmand province. In all, five Riflemen died in the attack.

Brave William, who left behind girlfriend Zeta Prince, spent his last moments helping the injured and comforting badly-wounded commanding officer Major Alistair Field.

After William died around £218,000 was paid into his estate from death-in-service and insurance pay-outs.

Before leaving home for the last time the teenager told his mum that if he died in action he wanted all the money to be used for the upbringing of his two younger brothers.

But Lucy told yesterday how her housing and council tax benefit and income support have all been stopped since the money was paid into William’s estate which she administers.

She has been threatened with eviction from her three-bedroom home in Herefordshire over rent arrears and warned she faces bailiffs for non payment of council tax.

Lucy tried to kill herself by taking an overdose in June.

Son: Will is the youngest soldier to die in Afghanistan


She said: “William’s intention was to provide for his younger brothers in the event of his death.

“He knew that with my disabilities I wouldn’t be able to provide them with the same things he had.

“He wanted to make sure there would be something set up for their future to ease the burden on me.

“This is about the failure of the government to uphold the very principals of the Armed Forces covenant they introduced in May 2011.

I’ve written to David Cameron but his response was that it would be inappropriate for him to get involved in my case.

“I feel he has let me down. I have exhausted every channel open to me.

“The government are not even prepared to review the way compensation to bereaved families is treated.

“But I’m not prepared to accept no for an answer because death in service payments should be exempt when means tested benefits are calculated.

“I’m in a complete Catch 22 situation of the government’s creation. When you have your back to the wall you die or you come out fighting.

“When you come out fighting you may still die – but at least you can say you fought.

“At the end of the day, simply as a mother I owe this to my son and every other young man and woman who signs away their life when they swear allegiance to Queen and country.

“Will died for something he believed in – it’s just a shame the government don’t have the same power of their convictions.”

Lucy paid her way through college to qualify as a graphic designer.

She worked as a printer and had jobs in a theatre and as a carer in a residential home before being diagnosed with a degenerative and incurable tissue disease called Hypermobility Syndrome.

The mum is currently looking for work even though she has been awarded full disability allowance for life.

Lucy wanted to invest the payouts on William’s death to provide for his brothers’ future well-being.

But she has already been forced to spend half the money on day to day living expenses in a bid to make ends meet for the family since her benefits were stopped.


Lucy Aldridge with her sons George and Archie (Pic:PA)
Tribute: Lucy with her sons George and Archie


She said: “I’m not a solicitor, I’m just a mum trying to come to terms with a death which was extremely traumatic and violent.

“I’ve been to a tribunal to say the money isn’t mine – it was intended for my children.

“I can talk about my case because I’m living the nightmare and have been left with nothing to live on – but this is about a much bigger picture.

“I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to other families because I’ve lost everything.

“The future that my eldest son envisaged for his young brothers has been destroyed so I actually have very little more to lose.

“The only reason I lost my benefits was because my son died at war.

“From Monday I will refuse to eat any food and I will continue to do so until the government agree to negotiate a review of how compensation payments to the bereaved are treated.

“I will survive on fluids. My children will be cared for by close family because I don’t want them to be exposed to what I am doing.

“I hope my children will forgive me. They will be shielded as much as is possible.

“I will be at home alone. Everything I possess and everything belonging to my late son is here.

“Being threatened with losing all that means I haven’t got anything else to lose.

“I can hopefully make the government see the human element in all this and persuade them to make a change so others will not suffer in future.

“I’m not doing this because I want to die – but if I have to take it right to the end I will.

“If I die the government will not only have the blood of my son on their hands they will have mine too.

“I personally know so many families who have suffered the same way through losing their sons in Afghanistan.

“Some of their stories are horrendous.

“This is about current legislation preventing a mum carrying out her son’s last wishes. How much can a human being take?”

The Daily Mirror

9 thoughts on ““I’ve lost everything”: Disabled mum goes on hunger strike as benefits cut after soldier son’s death

  1. Humanity2012 says:

    An Evil State of Affairs under a Evil Dictatorship the Con Dems who can only be

    Get this Filth Out of Office Now and Forever

    I am Sick of the Endless Misery which those Scum have Brought to the Poor of the

    They are the Thieves and the Scroungers the Tory Regime

  2. Humanity2012 says:

    People have Overwhelmingly in the UK Acted like Political Sleep Walking Zombies
    and how People have Put the Blinkers On and Acted the Ostrich is Beyond Shameless

    The Poor are Having their Welfare Benefits Stolen by this Worthless Horror Clowns
    of Westminster

    We Must Scrap this Present Political System End their Eternal Monopoly of
    Political Power and Engage in Redistribution of Wealth from Rich to Poor

    Stuff Bureaucracy Stuff Paperwork and Stuff the Capitalist System

  3. Humanity2012 says:

    Slave Labour Exploitation was Evil Under the National Socialist Regime and is Un Acceptable Under the Con Dem Regime.

    Forced Labour is a Breach of Human Rights and Human Dignity .

    Just as the National Socialist Regime should Not of Been in Office so the Con Dem
    Regime Must be Out of Office Sooner Rather than Later.

  4. jeffery davies says:

    ah the torys they want all monies even the dead and that lacking moral judgements they should all resign and appoligise for their wicked behaviour but then pigs will fly jeff3

  5. jeffery davies says:

    and for Lucy Aldridge there are us out here who now the shitte they put you through davies93 aka jeff3

  6. Rackman says:

    Why is it just “capital” that is means tested, what about property, buy-to-let “portfolios”, why aren’t those means tested?

  7. me says:

    this is an absolute disgrace. And we have another £10m cut in benefits plus tax relief for those earning over £150,000 a year to look forward to in April. They haven’t even got a proper mandate to make these changes. I’ve never voted Conservative but I have voted LibDem, but I sure won’t be again.

  8. Humanity2012 says:

    The Tories are Not Worth Manure Nor are the Liberal Democrats

    Revolutionary Change in Government and Society For the BETTER is Long Overdue

    Let the Blinkers on People come off and the Country at Large Bloody All Wake Up
    and Protest Daily For the Regime to be Out of Office and Replaced

    There is an Alternative to this Present Cuckooland and that is Humanity and
    Common Sense

  9. Humanity2012 says:

    All this Suffering and Misery Because of this Regime makes me Feel Sick

    Peoples Health is Not Helped by Gormless Bureaucracy and Worthless Politicians

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