IT'S been 10 years since Teresa Walker was sat down at work and told her husband would never be coming home.

The mum-of-five was told her beloved partner, Lance Sergeant David Walker, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, died when he was shot while out on patrol in Afghanistan.

"I was numb, I was just blank – thinking back now all those years ago it I was just completely blank.

"I saw the army men come into the office and my manager asked for me, I didn't even twig."

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On February 18, 2010, Lance Sergeant Walker, who lived in Shadsworth with his wife, had been leading a patrol of four men in Helmand Province – as part of Operation Moshtarak – when they came under fire from insurgents.

A bullet had skimmed his helmet and struck his left temple and killed him six weeks into a six-month tour – his first as a married man.

Mrs Walker, now 53, said her husband died on the day of her daughter Patricia's 19th birthday.

She said: "I had to tell the children first, but telling them was like being told for the first time, it was heart-breaking.

"I had to tell them, I had to tell David's family, friends, everyone, I remember just having to tell the story over and over again that my David had been killed.

"Those days were really dark.

"I didn't want to go out, I didn't want to see anyone, I didn't want to do anything, it was really hard."

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Blackburn came to a standstill on March 11, 2010, as L/Sgt Walker, 36, originally from Glasgow, was laid to rest at Pleasington Cemetery.

Six hundred people – family, friends, 80 soldiers, members of the Royal British Legion and dignitaries – came together for L/Sgt Walker’s final goodbye at St Alban's RC Church, Larkhill, as Blackburn played host to a full military funeral for the first time in years.

During the funeral it came to light that L/Sgt Walker came to the aid of Lieutenant Murly-Gotto who had been shot and risked his own life to save his comrade, just two days before he died.

Mrs Walker said: "It was a beautiful service, there were so many people there to say goodbye to him.

"I just had to get on with life, life doesn't stop, I had children to look after and I had to try to keep going for them and for myself.

"My kids are a big support in my life, I couldn't have got through David's death without them, they're still a big support to this day.

"They were always able to talk about their dad without any real difficulty, they didn't shy away from it or hide what happened."

Mrs Walker, now living in Catterick, said she tends to her husband's grave as often as she can, with dozens of friends and fellow troops visiting his graveside on Saturday to celebrate the 10th anniversary.

Former colleagues read out short passages, a minute's silence was held and everyone remembered the man they greatly missed.

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Mrs Walker said: "The pain doesn't get any easier.

"It never leaves you, you have your good days and your bad days, your ups and your downs, but it never goes.

"I think you just learn to cope with it in your own way, there's no textbook way of doing it.

"He was my everything, he was the best husband and the perfect dad anybody could ask for."

The pair had met through a mutual friend Lance Sergeant John Thorpe in 2003 before tying the knot three years later on December 9, 2006.

"He was really funny, he had a great sense of humour and was always having lots of banter with everyone.

"That's what drew him to me, he was really lovely, everything about him was perfect.

"He cared for three stepchildren like they were his own."

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Mrs Walker said she wrote to her husband every day while he was out on tour, and had sent him a Valentine's Day card, along with sweets and a teddy.

She said: "He got the card, but he never got the sweets as he had died before they made it to him.

"Our last phone conversation was two days before he died, it was normal chit-chat about what the kids were up to.

"Ten years on and the hurt is still very much there, but you have to look forward and make sure everyone else is okay.

"If I had any advice for others going through the same situation, it would be to find someone close to you and talk to them about it.

"It doesn't have to be through a counsellor, I had counselling for a while but stopped as it didn't help, but talking to family and friends makes a big difference.

"I miss my David every day, I will never stop loving him."

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