Royal pride for mum of New Ollerton soldier

A New Ollerton soldier’s mum has been presented with a campaign medal by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, after a demanding six-month tour in Afghanistan.

Mum of three L/Cpl Tamatha Lockwood (35) was part of 2 Logistics Support Regiment (2LSR), providing transport and communications expertise across Helmand Province from March to October last year.

She also worked closely with the Afghan National Army to help prepare them to take over the security of their own country.

Princess Anne, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistics Corps, presented medals to 2LSR at Princess Royal Barracks in northern Germany, before attending a specially arranged lunch with military personnel and their families.

Tamatha, who joined the Army in 2008, is married to Stephen and has three children Abigail Johnson (13), Adam Lockwood (16) and Ashley Johnson (17).

Part of a four man team during her tour in Afghanistan, arranging logistics provisions at Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and Patrol Bases (PBs), she said: “We were based in Camp Bastion but we would travel out to the FOBs and PBs to check that everybody had what they needed.

“I helped to hand over a PB to the Danish Army and while we were there the base was mortared. It was a bit scary – we just heard a loud explosion and everybody stopped and tried not to panic.

“I enjoyed the challenge of the tour, it was really good receiving my medal from Princess Anne, it makes it extra special and it was really nice to meet her. It was tough being away from my family but it is great being back.”

During their deployment 2LSR were responsible for setting up and maintaining communications between troops on the ground and their bases, as well as running huge convoys across Helmand.

Tamatha’s father Herbert travelled to Germany to watch the presentation and also met the Princess during a reception after the parade.

He said: “I am very proud of my daughter, I am actually speechless in terms of what Tammy has done, and the enormity of what she has achieved.”

Princess Anne said: “The Regiment has had a very successful tour and you are all to be congratulated on your achievements and professionalism.”

“The challenges that you all faced are well known but it is evident that clear and meaningful progress is being made. Some of you have worked in the most dangerous, arduous and austere conditions, under constant threat from insurgent attack, whilst others have contributed in a more supporting role; every one of you has played an important and significant role.

“Your Rear Operations Group, including your welfare team, have worked tirelessly in undertaking a multitude of necessary tasks. Their endeavours to support those of you who remained behind must be acknowledged with thanks. I would also like to extend my gratitude and support to the families of the soldiers.

“You should all be incredibly proud of your performance and achievements on Operation HERRIC 14, having served our country, your regiment, your families and each other magnificently.”

The parade which was watched by families and included a specially arranged Royal Guard of Honour was a proud moment for Lieutenant Colonel David Luedicke, Commanding Officer of 2LSR. He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, our Colonel in Chief, and thank her on behalf of the Regiment for taking time out of her busy schedule to present the Operational Service Medal to our soldiers on parade.

“2LSR has had an extremely demanding six months both on operations and back in Germany, not to mention the significant period of training prior to deployment.

“I am proud of the achievements of my soldiers on operations and marvel at the steadfastness, courage, stamina and comradeship that they have all displayed.”