Always by My Side: Losing the Love of My Life and the Fight to Honour His Memory

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Random House, Mar 29, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
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A powerful and inspiring story of a war widow's determination to fulfill the promise she'd made to her husband in the likelihood of his death.

Christina Schmid was married to Olaf, a British Army bomb disposal expert killed in action in Afghanistan on October 31, 2009 aged just 30. Olaf 'Oz' Schmid was one of only a handful of such experts serving in the UK armed forces and he would later receive a posthumous George Cross which celebrated his 'selfless gallantry, his devotion to duty, and his indefatigable courage'.

Completely devoted to each other, Christina and Oz planned to embrace civilian life in his native Cornwall just as soon as Oz could take his next leave. Throughout their time apart they had always tried to remain as positive as possible although had often talked candidly of the possibility of his death. But gradually positive thoughts gave way to negative until eventually Christina's worst nightmare came true and the night Oz was due to come off duty Christina heard the knock at the door to inform her of her husband's death.

Christina and Oz's is a powerful story: it's an old fashioned love story first and foremost yet it offers unprecedented access to behind the scenes of one of the most stressful and lonely jobs in the armed forces and will give strength to any reader who's ever questioned their luck. Oz asked Christina to speak up on behalf of his fellow soldiers should the worst happen and it is this promise that has kept her going. Since his death, Christina has captured the hearts and minds of the British public as she's displayed phenomenal bravery and composure in the face of this most shocking reality.

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About the author (2012)

CHRISTINA SCHMID is the widow of Staff Sergeant Olaf 'Oz' Schmid, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Explosive Regiment, who aged 30, was killed trying to disarm a suspected Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan on October 31, 2009. During the course of his tour, he attended 41 tasks, rendered safe in excess of 64 Improvised Explosive Devices and attended 11 finds of bomb making equipment. Since the death of her husband Christina has spoken powerfully about a number of issues surrounding the Armed Forces and has presented her own BBC1 Panorama investigation into the work of High Threat Bomb Disposal Officers. In May 2010 Christina received the Elizabeth Cross from the Princess Royal, and in June she attended Buckingham Palace and received the George Cross, awarded posthumously to her husband, in a private ceremony with Her Majesty, The Queen. She is a Patron of Tickets For Troops and lives in Hampshire with her son Laird.

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