Marine’s mother speaks: my son needed help

Pic: Jason Patel

The bereaved mother of a Croydon commando who committed suicide after service in Afghanistan tells of her son’s anger after returning home.

Royal Marine Dylan Kemp, 28, hanged himself after he was left in a traumatic state from his seven month tour in which two friends died.

His mother, Mary Kemp, accused the Royal Navy of failing to help her son. She said:”In the 12 weeks after they come back, the lads and lasses should have a post-operation stress interview to see if anything is wrong and this wasn’t done for Dylan.”

A senior officer admitted Kemp did not receive the interview. But military coroner Roy Palmer said the armed forces did “all they could” to support their troops.

Mr Kemp told friend Christopher Bernasinski how he had to “pick up the remains” of a colleague. In a text to his girlfriend he said: “My friends just died and I am thousands of miles from you in this hell of a place.”

His mother said: “He came back angry, he couldn’t contain it, and would argue over the smallest thing. I remember talking to him in the kitchen and he had his arms straight down by his side and his teeth clenched, and said: ‘I’m so angry’.”

After returning home in April 2009 Kemp was on bail over a road rage attack, also charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Two days later, he hanged himself at his Croydon flat.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The mental health of service personnel is a top priority and we have robust systems in place to identify and treat those with mental health issues. Marine Kemp went through all the mandatory operational stress management measures on return from his deployment.”

Kim Harrison, of law firm Pannone, said: “We are reviewing all options for our client, including requesting a judicial review into the conduct of the inquest.”


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