Mum of Sunderland soldier killed in Iraq to appear on BBC radio programme

Janice Procter with a picture of her son Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq in January 2007.
Janice Procter with a picture of her son Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq in January 2007.

The mum of a Sunderland soldier who was killed while serving in Iraq a decade ago will today speak about the pain of losing him in a special BBC radio programme.

Janice Procter will be on BBC Radio Two to talk to presenter Jeremy Vine about the death of her son Michael Tench as part of Songs My Son Loved.

The late Michael Tench.

The late Michael Tench.

Michael, a former Hylton Red House School pupil, was just 18 when he died while on duty.

He was in the back of a Warrior armoured car which was blasted by a roadside bomb in Basra in January 2007.

The programme will feature the music of John Denver, UB40 and Westlife, while Janice will also remember being Michael’s kick-boxing sparring partner and the close relationship she had with him.

The show is being broadcast as part of BBC Music Day, a celebration of music that aims to unite generations through their love of music.

The theme for this year’s event is the power of music - to bring people together, to enhance feelings of well-being and to create memories.

Michael, known as “Tenchy”, originally wanted to be a police officer but was deterred when he got into trouble after trying to pick his mum some daffodils from a roundabout aged six.

“He was turning seven, and from then it was army barmy. Totally army barmy,” says Janice.

When two women turned up at Janice’s door four months after Michael had been sent to Iraq, she assumed it was news about her mum who had recently been in hospital.

As they stood in the living room, a news bulletin came on stating that a solider had been killed by an IED blast in the country

“It flashed up on the TV, and I paid my respects,” said Janice.

“And then (one of the women) said, ‘I’m here to tell you that that is your son’.

“I hit the floor.”

Songs My Son Loved will be broadcast on BBC Radio Two from 1.30pm today.