London: The sister of a British soldier who was killed in Afghanistan sold his medals and uniform so she could buy clothes to go on a Mediterranean cruise.
Royal Marine Rob Deering, 33, was killed in Helmand province in Afghanistan in December 2008 when he stepped on a booby trap while trying to help injured comrades.
His 37-year-old sister – Elaine – inherited his four war medals, his uniform and an inscribed memorial shell casing. But a year later, she sold the entire lot on eBay for 1,100 pounds.
EBay trader John Langley, who travelled to her house to buy the items, was so shocked to be offered the mementos that he tracked down the dead soldier’s fiancee and gave her the medals for free.
“I’m on income support and hard up. I did what I thought was best,” Elaine, a single mother with a 14-month-old boy named after Rob, was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
But Langley said, “Elaine and her mother showed no emotion when they offered them to me, her mum even said to Elaine, ‘There you go. Now you can use that for your holiday’.”
Langley, 67, an ex-serviceman from Cheshire, became uncomfortable after buying the mementos and later refused an offer of 4,000 pounds for them.
“It was only when I got home and did some research that I realised what had happened to Rob. I felt sick and didn’t sleep for two weeks worrying about it,” he said.
“I still can’t believe a mother and sister could part so easily with the medals of their dead son and brother.”