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Lowestoft family's double tragedy

PUBLISHED: 10:50 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 06 July 2010

John Newberry died of multiple injuries following a road accident in Rotterdam Road

John Newberry died of multiple injuries following a road accident in Rotterdam Road

A LOWESTOFT family have spoken of the extraordinary double tragedy they are coping with after losing both a father and a nephew just over two weeks apart.

Happier Times: Amanda and Sean Binnie

A LOWESTOFT family have spoken of the extraordinary double tragedy they are coping with after losing both a father and a nephew just over two weeks apart.

Cara Gault's father John Newberry died of multiple injuries following a road accident in Rotterdam Road last month.

And just 16 days later her husband Doug's godson and their nephew Sean Binnie was gunned down by the Taliban, while on patrol in Afghanistan.

The couple are devastated to be unable to make Sean's funeral, which will be held today in Belfast, but are channelling their grief into planning a celebration of life for John on Tuesday, where they will also remember the young soldier.

John, 61, was an avid motorcyclist and was killed on April 21 after his bike was in collision with a black Ford Focus.

He was on his way to T and R Motorcycles on Norwich Road to meet with his friends and after being taken to the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, he died of his injuries caused by the crash.

He will make his final ride during a bikers' funeral, when a cavalcade of around 200 to 300 motorbikes will travel from John's home in Viburnum Green to Gorleston Crematorium and then back to Rotterdam Road, where he will be

buried.

Ironically, the 61-year-old was due to travel to Scotland in June with Cara, Doug and their children, Georgia, 15, and Luke 12, to visit Sean, who lived in Lowestoft until he was 15 and attended Denes High School.

Tragically, he was married only six months before his death on Friday, May 7.

Cara said: “Both died fulfilling their dreams. People ask how we are coping. We don't know, we just do, we will get through this as a family, we have always had to pull together.

“Dad definitely lived life to the full. He was a kind, fair and loveable man, but if you upset him, you would know about it. He was a family man, he loved to be involved with the grandchildren. They and us, were his life.

“He always loved bikes and 15 years ago we went with him to buy the bike that he died on,” said Doug.

“At 11am everyday he would go down to T and R for his coffee, you would know where he would be. He would go down there and hang around with the boys and tinker around with the motorcycles,” added Cara. “I keep expecting him to walk through the door, I thought I heard him the other day.”

When on leave from the army Sean divided his time between his parents, Allan and Janette, Doug's sister, in Aberdeen and his new wife Amanda in Belfast. A memorial ceremony will be held in Scotland later this year, which Cara and Doug will attend.

Sean, a corporal of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was shot after being ambushed by the Taliban while protecting his friends, near Musa Qal'eh in the Helmand Province.

He had been serving as a soldier for six years and had passed the tough Section Commanders' Battle Course last year, taking command of his section in time to work on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.

Sean was due to return soon to carry out his officer training at Sandhurst.

“He had an old head on young shoulders, he was very mature and very determined. He would have loved to have his own kids and he used to go to the beach with ours. He was a big part of their lives,” said Doug.

“Dad loved his bike, it was a way of release for him; we used to say he was a free rider. Both he and Sean fulfilled their dreams. Dad will have waited for him and picked him up on his bike, they'll be together,” said Cara.

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