Monday, August 2, 2010

'My rosary saved me': Incredible story of soldier who cheated death after standing on landmine and being shot

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:17 PM on 2nd August 2010

A soldier who stood on a landmine and was shot in the chest in Afghanistan is convinced a rosary saved his life in exactly the same way as his great-grandfather towards the end of the Second World War.

Glenn Hockton, 19, who is now home from a seven-month tour of duty with the Coldstream Guards in Helmand Province, was on patrol when his rosary suddenly fell from his neck.

His mother Sheri Jones said today: 'He felt like he had a slap on the back. He bent down to pick up his rosary to see if it was broken. As he bent down he realised he was on a landmine.'

Lucky charm: Glenn Hockton wearing the rosary which helped save 
his life in Afghanistan
Lucky charm: Glenn Hockton wearing the rosary which helped save his life in Afghanistan

Glenn had to stand there for 45 terrifying minutes while his colleagues successfully managed to get to him.

Mrs Jones, from Tye Green, Essex, said she was physically sick when her son rang to tell her of his ordeal.

His great-grandfather Joseph 'Sunny' Truman also credited a rosary with saving his life in a World War II blast that killed six members of his platoon.

He was with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and after being captured towards the end of the war, he and other prisoners were forced to march away from the advancing Allied armies.

Mrs Jones, 41,  recalled: 'He was walking across a field with half a dozen of his platoon. He bent down to pick something up and was the only one to survive a sudden bomb blast. He had picked up a rosary.'

Before Glenn was deployed to Afghanistan, she said he asked for a rosary to take with him.

Glenn's mother Sheri Jones with the bullet which was retrieved 
from his body armour
Glenn's mother Sheri Jones with the bullet which was retrieved from his body armour

His mother and stepfather Danyal Jones have also kept a bullet which embedded itself in Glenn's body armour when he was shot on a separate occasion. He was winded, but otherwise he was unhurt.

Glenn, a mortar man, is in hospital at the moment with broken ribs he suffered in a non-work related mishap.

Glenn joined the Coldstream Guards at 16 and was deployed at the end of last October.

Mrs Jones said: 'As a parent, it was the hardest thing I had to do because being 16 I had to sign to give permission for him to join the Army. It was too painful to see him leave Brize Norton for Afghanistan.

At home his sister Danyel, six, and brothers George, eight, and TJ, 17, worried for their big brother. Mrs Jones said: 'It was horrible for them.

'I couldn't watch the news because the children used to say: "Is Glenn on there?" each time they said another soldier had been killed.'

Glenn's duties involved patrolling and loading the mortars. He was based in Helmand Province, which has seen some of the worst fighting, and Kabul.

'He lost a couple of close friends out there," his mother added. 'He is a very private person. We don't really push him [to talk about it]. If he wants to tell us, he tells us.

'He has turned around and said: "When you're out there, you either kill or you are killed".

Glenn is based in Aldershot and is now training ahead of his next deployment.

His mother said the Army had changed her son's life since he left Notley High School at 15.

She said: 'He is a better person. He went in a snotty-nosed 16-year-old that knew everything, a Jack the Lad. The change in him is unreal. It is a good change. I am very proud of him.

'We went up to London to Horse Guards Parade where they did their welcome home march. It was the proudest day of my life.'

1 comment:

Me myself and I said...

what a wonderful story about the solider. Thanks for sharing. I love how on blogs I find out Catholic news that normally doesn't even be on search engines.