The new mother, the first British soldier to give birth on the Afghan frontline since military operations began there in 2003, is 28-year-old Lynette Pearce. The pregnant soldier was a bombardier in the Royal Artillery.
While the UK’s Ministry of Defence has not disclosed the location of Lynette and her baby, the Mail on Sunday reports mother and child are safely ensconced at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the same hospital from where a specialist team of paediatricians was rushed over to the war zone.
Last night, friends of the pregnant soldier revealed she was “overjoyed” about becoming a mother, with many pals expected to visit her in hospital. One friend who asked to remain anonymous told the Mail:
“I can’t wait to see her. She is getting a lot of support from all her friends and family in Britain and in her regiment. She loves the Army and was very keen to fight in Afghanistan. She is determined and committed. Now I am sure she will put her son first.”
The remarkable birth occurred just four days after the Taliban launched an attack on Camp Bastion that was intended to kill Prince Harry. Two U.S. marines were killed in the raid, with five British airmen wounded. Lynette was rushed into a surgical theatre at Camp Bastion when she complained of severe stomach pains, and her baby was delivered. After being checked by doctors, she was escorted back to the UK on an eight-hour flight.
Lynette, reports the Mail, hails originally from Fiji and is said to be an outstanding sportswoman: she captained Fiji’s women’s football team from 2007 to 2009, before leaving her home country last year to serve with the Army.
This sporty nature left Lynette baffled by her sudden weight gain, as one friend described:
“At the time Lynette was really confused. A baby was growing inside her, that was why she was putting on weight, but Lynette had no idea at the time she was carrying her son. It was distressing for her that these changes were happening because she is really sporty. She works out a lot and takes pride in her ability to beat male and female soldiers who are much bigger than her. The weight gain went on for a while. Then Lynette went to Afghanistan and we did not hear any more for a while. Now it all makes sense and everyone is so relieved. I don’t know who the father is. Lynette is a very private person when it comes to this area of her life.”
Up to 200 service women have been sent home from Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 after discovering they were pregnant. Lynette is the first pregnant soldier to have given birth in either country.