Widow outraged as soldier’s name isn’t added to memorial after he took own life

The widow of an army soldier has hit out at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for refusing to add his name to a memorial for service men and women who gave their lives for their country.

Devastated Jo Jukes is fighting for her late husband, retired officer David, to be recognised after he took his own life in 2018 after serving 13 tours in the Army and following a battle against PTSD.

Ms Jukes has fought to see her husband’s name added to a war memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

However, the MoD has refused the request to have David’s name added to the memorial – despite giving seemingly conflicting comments about the nature of his death.

The Sunday People reports Ms Jukes received a letter saying there was “insufficient evidence that David’s sad death in October 2018 was directly attributable to his military service”.

However, the MoD admitted in another letter four months later that David’s PTSD-related death “was attributable to his service” and that his wife was entitled to an enhanced pension.

Speaking to the publication, Ms Jukes said: “How can the Ministry of Defence send me two contradictory letters?

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"It’s a sick farce, and a knife in my heart to be told he’s not a hero for what he gave to this country.”

She said her husband was a broken man when he left the Army after 21 years’ service.

Ms Jukes continued: “It’s complete hypocrisy. They’re prepared to pay me a pension to compensate me for his death, but not put his name on a memorial?”

A spokesperson for the MoD told the Daily Star Online: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mrs Jukes and her family following the tragic loss of her husband, Lance Corporal David Jukes.

“The Armed Forces Memorial recognises service personnel killed on duty, as a result of terrorist action, or who died while deployed on operations.

“We remain in regular contact with Mrs Jukes and have explained her right to appeal this decision.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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