Grieving mum praises brave rescue effort

The mother of Dewsbury soldier Corporal Jake Hartley said she had taken comfort from colleagues’ efforts to save his life.

An inquest into the death of Cpl Hartley, 20, and five others heard a second patrol rushed to help when the Warrior armoured vehicle they were travelling in was blown up.

Nathalie Taylor told the Reporter: “They did everything they could. Every attempt was made, but it was so quick.”

The Army has spent millions upgrading Warrior armoured vehicles since the deadly blast last March.

Mrs Taylor, 41, said: “There has been something [positive] out of this, but it shouldn’t take what’s happened.

“Our servicemen and women will continue to die while we let politicians run our lives. It’s more about value for money [for them].”

The two-day inquest heard comprehensive evidence from soldiers who witnessed the aftermath of the bomb blast.

But questions remain about whether the vehicle the six soldiers used had been hit by an improvised explosive device previously.

Mrs Taylor, who was joined by relatives at the hearing, said it had been hard to see her son’s colleagues reliving what had happened in March 2012.

“I know those soldiers and am friends with them. They said it was very sensitive for them,” she said. “It’s something they’ve not talked about for months.”

Speaking about the bravery they show daily, she said: “It’s something they just do. They don’t have a second thought.

“Jake was on his second tour. He had his own stories.

“He was upset at the fact that at times he couldn’t help, but he did help on one rescue that was successful.”

Cpl Hartley, who grew up in Earlsheaton and went to Earlsheaton Technology College, joined 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in 2008.

He was highly regarded by his colleagues, with Army bosses describing him as “one of the best”.

His family received the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll – the medal given to families of those who have died on operations or as a result of terrorism – last year.

Mrs Taylor, of New Mill, said: “It’s still so painful for me, but I’m extremely proud of Jake. There are no words to explain it fully.”