Victoria Bateman

Victoria's husband, Lance Corporal James Bateman was the 101stBritish soldier to be killed in Afghanistan whilst serving with 2ndBattalion, The Parachute Regiment on 12th June 2008 in what was the bloodiest week for 2 PARA since the Falklands conflict. They had been married for less than 2 years, Victoria was 24 years old.

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Since then, Victoria has been passionate that the sacrifice of her husband - and all those fallen in the conflicts preceding his death and those since in Afghanistan should not be forgotten by the nation.  And that the vital work of all those serving, our veterans and the injured remain at the forefront of our collective memory and that they are always remembered with gratitude.  On a personal level Victoria has endeavoured to ensure James' legacy is kept alive by continuing to support the philanthropic causes he cared for through her work with the Royal British Legion.

Victoria's battles have taken her to places many have never experienced but she stands as strong, brave and passionate as James did.  Sadly, this has meant that she has been the victim of both physical and verbal abuse over how others feel a "War Widow" should act.  One of the ways Victoria has answered this criticism is by appearing in a War Widows Association video (Through the Generations - Moving Forward Together).  The aim of which is to break the stereotype of a widow and to demonstrate that widows come from all ages and walks of life and that they deserve our compassion. 

Victoria also nearly lost her marital home and had to battle hard with various Government agencies to keep it, she survived a suicide attempt and has battled with alcohol dependency; all this while dealing with the overwhelming grief of losing her beloved husband.  Despite all this she has come through all that and although she's waivered, she's never fallen - which is a testament to her strength of character and the strength James' spirit has given her.

Victoria fights for what she believes in, as did her husband.  She believes the issue of taxation on veterans and war widows is worth highlighting, and met with her local MP, Sir Bob Russell, to discuss the matter and he took her fight to the Houses of Parliament where he submitted a question on her behalf at Prime Ministers Questions.

Victoria has even overcome her biggest fear of heights and did a parachute jump in 2009 in memory of her husband and in the process raised over £5000 - she proves that truly nothing is impossible.


In her recent contribution to the documentary "Young War Widows" 9pm Tuesday 10th February 2015 ITV 'Documentary of the Week' Radio Times, Victoria spoke openly and movingly about her experience of widowhood at the tender age of 24.  In doing so she shown her personal strength, courage and hope for a positive future.  She was completely honest about the difficulties she has endured and overcome; and she shows that all things are possible no matter what obstacles life may place in front of you.

Through the Generations, Moving Forward together - a War Widows Association film - a film commissioned by the War Widows Association of Great Britain and aired on their YouTube channel and social media channels.  This film was created to highlight the gap that the WWA bridges to represent widows of all ages and backgrounds and to demonstrate what a diverse group the WWA has now become.

Desperate Glory:  At War in Helmand with Britain's 16 Air Assault Brigade by Sam Kiley (published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on 3rd May 2010) - Interviewed and credited in Sam Kiley's book described as "riveting, evocative and spine chilling" by The Times.

Out of the worst experience you can think of, the loss of your beloved husband, Victoria is determined to move forward with positivity and to inspire other's that whatever life throws at you - you can get through, just like she has.

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