msmithy | 22.11.2005 22:36 | Anti-militarism
By Shirley English
A MOTHER has abandoned her campaign to get British troops home from Iraq in time for Christmas after being told to shut up by her embarrassed son.
Yvonne Gordon, 42, from Aberdeen, spoke out against the “illegal” war at a rally this month, just weeks after her 19-year-old son was deployed to Iraq. But now her son, Sammy Stewart, a private serving with the Gordon Highlanders in Basra, has asked her to keep quiet because she is embarrassing him. Yesterday Ms Gordon said she had agreed to stop active campaigning after talking to her son over the internet.
“Sammy is a good boy, he’s doing his job and the Highlanders is a good regiment. My view is different from Sammy’s, because I’m his Mum sitting back home and I worry,” she said. “I’m happier now I’ve spoken with him and I don’t want to see him picked out from the other soldiers because of my views. I’m going to stop campaigning for his sake.”
Ms Gordon encouraged her son to join up when he was 17. He was deployed to Iraq in October on his first tour of duty and is not due home until next May. A spokesman for the Gordon Highlanders said that Ms Gordon’s behaviour had been “frustrating” for her son.
“Although he understands that she is naturally worried about the dangers of his job, he wishes she would see things as he does,” Lieutenant-Colonel James Hopkinson, his commanding officer, said. “Highlander Stewart is doing a very good job in Iraq. Although the negative press coverage is all rather embarrassing for him, he knows what he is out here for and has the strength of character to just get on with it.”
Ms Gordon said she would continue to support Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon, 19, was killed in Basra in June 2004, although she would not be actively campaigning.