A MOTHER has spoken of her pride at receiving an honour from the Queen recognising the actions of her Falklands War hero son.
Anne Miller was presented with the Elizabeth Cross to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, which claimed the life of her 22-year-old son David.
In 1982, when Britain went to war with Argentina over their invasion of the Falklands, Mr Miller was serving as a marine engineer mechanic on HMS Fearless.
Because of the secrecy at the time, Mrs Miller, who lives in a Railway Housing Association property in Thornaby, near Stockton, did not initially know her son had been deployed.
Then, on June 8, 1982 – six years to the day after he joined the Royal Navy aged 16 – David was killed in an Argentine bombing raid.
An Argentine Skyhawk aircraft was returning from sinking HMS Sir Galahad when it attacked the landing craft HMS Fearless at Bluff Cove, containing Mr Miller and five other servicemen. All but one died.
It took a week before Mrs Miller was informed that her son had been killed in action.
Details concerning the exact nature of his death were not forthcoming and while a memorial service was held, his body was not returned for burial.
Unbelievably, it was only in 2008 when Mrs Miller’s other son, Brian, who also served in the Royal Navy, went to the Falklands that he was able to piece together the full story by speaking to people who were present that fateful day.
Brian spoke to one Islander who went to help and he revealed that Mr Miller hardly had a mark on him.
He was buried at sea and a tree with his name on it was planted in his memory on the island.
Mrs Miller said she still misses her son but is extremely proud to receive the medal, given to the next of kin of members of the British Armed Forces killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack.
“Losing my son at such a young age was heartbreaking and not a day goes by when I don’t think about him,” she said.
“He was so brave and I am so proud of what he did.”