THE family of a Sunderland soldier murdered by an Iraqi mob is mourning his death a decade on.
Cpl Simon Miller, from Washington, was one of six Red Caps who were brutally murdered in an ambush on an Iraqi police station 10 years ago today.
The 21-year-old, along with his comrades Cpl Paul Long, from South Shields, Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Surrey, L\Cpl Ben Hyde, 23, from North Yorkshire, L\Cpl Thomas Keys, 20, from Wales and Cpl Russell Aston, 30, from Derbyshire, held out for more than two hours before being overwhelmed by the mob armed with machine guns.
Cpl Miller’s family, including his dad John, mum Marilyn, his brother and nephew, travelled down to the soldier’s barracks in Colchester for a memorial service today to honour the six men who lost their lives.
Mr Miller, who lives in Washington, said it is 10 years since he lost his son – but the pain is still as raw as it was then and he still sheds a tear every day for Simon.
He said: “It may be 10 years, but it never leaves you. and it never gets any easier.
“It’s an immeasurable loss. It’s had a huge impact on myself and my wife and we’re still badly affected by it.
“At this time of year in particular, it’s doubly painful for us.
“I still cry every night for him. You’re just tormented for what he must have endured. It’s 10 years, but it still feels like yesterday. It will never get any easier and it will haunt us forever.”
Mr Miller said the Ministry of Defence talks about looking after families when a soldier dies, but that means wives and partners, but it’s the parents who suffer too.
Since’s Cpl Miller’s death, his family has been fighting for justice and have repeatedly called for a public inquiry.
An inquest into the deaths of the six Red Caps in March 2006 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
It heard evidence the soldiers didn’t have enough ammunition, they had no satellite phone and old radios at the time of the ambush.
Three years ago, eight Iraqis were arrested in connection with the deaths, but charges against six of them were dropped and the cases against the remaining two collapsed.