Clare Glenton, wife of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton who is accused of Afghanistan desertion, reveals torment in statement read to York meeting

9:58am Wednesday 14th October 2009
By Richard Catton »

A statement is read out on behalf of Claire Glenton at the meeting at the Friends Meeting House in Friargate, York


THE wife of the York soldier who faces court martial for refusing to return to Afghanistan said their relationship had been “tested to its limits” by the situation.

Clare Glenton, who is married to 27-year-old Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, from New Earswick, said that despite the pressure, she had been astonished by the worldwide support for her husband’s case.

“The situation has challenged Joe and I and tested us to our limits,” she said. “But the experience has only strengthened our convictions, particularly with the astonishing amount of support we have received from all over the world – both inside and outside the military.”

Mrs Glenton was due to speak in person at the Friends Meeting House in Friargate last night but withdrew following a family bereavement.

In her statement, which was read to the assembly by a member of the anti-war group York Against The War, Mrs Glenton spoke of the feelings of “dread” experienced by Mr Glenton’s mother.

She said: “As a mother of a serving soldier, Joe’s mum has experienced the dread of hearing the words Afghanistan on radio and TV, and time standing still as you listen and hope that it is not your loved one.

“Then the guilt that follows knowing that some other family is about to experience the knock on the door.”

Mrs Glenton admitted that with the court martial set for November 2, she did not know what the immediate future would bring her and her husband.

Her statement said: “But we are convinced that we have not only the moral, but the legal high ground.”

L/Cpl Glenton, of the Royal Logistics Corps, is accused of desertion rather than serving his second Afghan tour of duty and went absent without leave from the British Army before handing himself in after more than two years. The meeting was also addressed by Lindsey German, the national convenor of the Stop The War Coalition.

Speaking of the war in Afghanistan, she told The Press: “The only thing that can resolve the problem is bringing our troops home and letting the people of Afghanistan choose their own future.”