Mother of fallen soldier talks about living in remembrance

The mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan speaks about her own very personal remembrance and how she hopes the memory of her son’s sacrifice will live on.

“When I lost Tony his colleagues said to me, ‘you have lost one son, but you have gained many more,’ said Ann Williams, whose son Pte Tony ‘Nicey’ Rawson of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment was killed in combat five years ago.

“Tony did say the army is his second family and we didn’t realise how true that was until after he died,” she added.

Ann, 53, of Bushway, Dagenham, is a tireless supporter of campaigns such as the Poppy Appeal, along with husband Gary, and still keeps in close contact with her son’s former colleagues.

“It’s important for us to still be involved with the Royal Anglian because obviously that was important to Tony and I suppose that still being a part of it still keeps him alive and keeps his memory alive,” she explained.

“When we see the other boys it’s a bit like bringing Tony to life again because you’re among the army uniform and I have got them telling me stories about him.”

Tony Rawson Way in Dagenham was named after the fallen soldier last year. It is one of the ways Ann hopes her son’s memory as a war hero will live on.

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“At work I wear one of his army badges because it makes me feel close to Tony. I want people to know that my son was in that regiment.

“Other young men are getting married and having a family and I will never see that of Tony. I will miss that for the rest of my life.”

She adds: “I don’t want to forget the people who were killed. It isn’t just about my Tony – it’s about all the people who were killed in the first and second World Wars and all the victims of conflicts that have gone on since.

“We don’t want the youngsters to forget, but really we don’t want any more wars.”