Grieving mum snubbed in son’s tribute service

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A DEVASTATED mum learned a memorial service had taken place for her late son - after reading about it in a newspaper.

Black Watch comrades paid their last respects to fallen soldier Mark Connolly last week before returning to Afghanistan, but his shocked Methil mum Linda McComiskie never received an invitation.

“Nobody told us - it’s really sickening,” she said.

“What are Mark’s friends going to be thinking of us? That we are not even bothered about our own son?

”We didn’t know a thing about it. The first of us knowing was reading about it in a newspaper, which made it even worse.

”I am his mum and I had a right to know.”

In 2009, while serving his country in Afghanistan, Pte Connolly suffered critical arm injuries in a Taliban blast which killed one of his comrades.

The 24-year-old soldier - a former Buckhaven High School pupil - survived that tragedy, only to die from injuries after an alleged bar brawl at army premises in Sennelager, Germany, on May 14 this year.

According to reports, last week’s service at the Fort George base in Inverness had been organised by Pte Connolly’s widow, Stacy (26), who fought and failed to win a court campaign to have her husband buried in Forfar, where the couple had set up home.

Last month, a Court of Session judge upheld a military ruling that Pte Connolly’s body should be made available to his mother, whom the Black Watch soldier had named executor in his will.

After a four-month delay, Pte Connolly’s body is finally expected to be brought from England to Fife next Friday.

Ms McComiskie (right) and her family are finalising plans to go ahead with granting her son’s final wish - to be buried at the family lair in East Wemyss.

She hopes the ceremony will not be disgraced by family feuds at the graveside.

“We just want to get this funeral over with and I hope there’s no trouble,” she said.

“It’s Mark’s day - nobody else’s.

“It’s not what I wanted; it’s what Mark wanted - to be laid beside his grandad.”

Meanwhile, the family stressed they would have attended their son’s memorial service if they had been informed of it, and are currently seeking an explanation from the Army as to why they never received an invitation.