News In Depth
Hundreds of families left bereaved
A decade of conflict in Afghanistan has left hundreds of British families mourning the deaths of loved ones who fought and died there.
While many believe their relatives fell doing a necessary and worthwhile job, some have been left bitterly angry at what they see as senseless and preventable losses of life.
Christine Bonner, 55, from Gedney in Lincolnshire, lost her son Corporal Darren Bonner on May 28 2007, when an explosion hit a British convoy in the Gereshk region of Helmand Province.
But in her eyes - and the eyes of many mothers who have found themselves in a similar position - he did not die in vain.
"I want to believe that lots and lots has happened and Afghanistan is a place where people can survive, where people can live," she said.
"If it can be handed over to the Afghan people and be as it should be, then that's good and I can hold my head up and say 'Darren, I lost him and it changed our lives forever, but at least someone else has gained from it'."
Yet although she feels "it has been worthwhile", she has concerns about the way men like her son have been led.
"I feel there needs to be a bit more strategy and planning at the top," she said.
"I just feel we've lost the plot a bit because of some of the incidents that have happened where our soldiers have been killed by the Afghan police.
"I think we need to be a bit stronger."
And having come this far, there is little point in pulling out "before we've achieved our aims", she believes.
There is a need among bereaved relatives like Mrs Bonner to see Britain do the job properly - and for them that means ensuring UK troops are not withdrawn before the country is ready to stand on its own feet.
Mrs Bonner said: "If we do that then why the hell didn't we pull out before I lost my son and the other mothers lost their sons too?"
Other parents have been far more critical of the way the Government has handled the war and are unable to share Mrs Bonner's view that their loved ones' deaths served a greater purpose.
Tony Philippson, 71, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, lost his son, Captain James Philippson, to a firefight with Taliban troops on June 11 2006.
In February 2008, his pain was heightened when an inquest heard how Cpt Philippson's death could have been prevented, had he been better equipped.
Describing the war as "a terrible mistake" and "a bigger tragedy than Iraq", Mr Philippson said: "They (the fallen soldiers) did die in vain. (It's been) totally, utterly a waste of time. They died in vain. I can face it."
But Britain has become so deeply involved it cannot "honourably" pull out of the war before the time is right, he believes.
"When (the Government) went into Afghanistan, they quoted a situation where they claimed it was in the British Government's interests that they intervened," he said.
"The whole thing was a lie. They were hooked into something that they should have checked out."
And his vision of how the country might look when the troops do leave is equally pessimistic.
Still emotional when discussing his son's death more than five years on, the self-proclaimed "huge supporter" of the British Army is unsparing in his criticism of what the international community has done.
"Afghanistan deserves something better than what we're leaving them with," he said.