The father of the frontline soldier who gave birth in Afghanistan claimed last night that his daughter had heaped shame on his family and the Army.
Maurice Wallace told of his fury that she had failed to tell her parents about the baby and that Army officials ‘could not be bothered’ to contact them.
Lance Bombardier Lynette Pearce, 28, who did not know she was pregnant, had spent months fighting the Taliban with the Royal Artillery when she unexpectedly went into labour.
Miss Pearce, who is originally from Fiji, gave birth to her son in a surgical theatre at Camp Bastion two days after complaining of severe abdominal cramps.
Mr Wallace, a police officer in Fiji, said his daughter had shown ‘great disrespect to the Army – and the Army has shown great disrespect to me and my family by their silence over this affair’.
He said he only learned yesterday that Miss Pearce was the soldier who had given birth on the frontline.
He added: ‘It’s a total disgrace. We’ve got a thousand questions – who is the father, what does this mean for her future, will she have to leave the Army?’
Speaking to the Daily Mail from his home near the Fijian west coast town of Nadi, he said: ‘I’m furious with her because she hasn’t been in touch with us since she had the child and I’m livid with all those British officials who had a duty to contact me immediately.
‘Lynette has been doing her duty for the British so isn’t it right that the Army should have done their duty to her family and contacted us immediately about the birth?
‘My wife Sukra and I are that baby’s grandparents, yet we’ve been the last to know what’s going on. It’s outrageous.’
‘I’m a proud Fijian. My daughter, I know, is a proud Fijian, yet I feel totally humiliated by her silence and the silence of officials from the other side of the world.
‘My wife and I are in total despair. As I talk to you right now I’m a mixture of pride and sadness. It’s a total mess.
‘If she didn’t know she was carrying a baby, well, we can’t blame her for not telling us – but since the birth surely the Army could have arranged for her to have a phone at her bedside so she could call us and tell us the news personally.’
Mr Wallace added: ‘How will others in the Army now view her, because I can’t get it out of my mind, with my eldest son also in the Army, that she has shown disrespect to the force.
‘No doubt there will be congratulations but I’m not in the mood for any of that.
‘I’m still very, very angry at our treatment by our daughter and the officials. The British Embassy in Fiji could have easily tracked me down but they just haven’t bothered.’
A family friend added: ‘You can understand how upset they [Miss Pearce’s parents] are.
‘They’ve been in occasional touch with Lynette but to learn nothing about her having a baby until now has come as a big shock to them.
‘They’ll try not to show it because they’re proud Fijians. But you can be assured they’re really hurting.’
Miss Pearce uses her mother’s maiden name as she was born before the couple married, said Mr Wallace.
An accomplished athlete, Miss Pearce was captain of the Fiji women’s football team from 2007 to 2009, leading matches against Tonga and Australia.
She left the country last year to fulfil her ambition of serving in the Army and, after completing her basic training, was deployed in March this year.
She had undergone rigorous physical testing including a five-mile run, press-ups and sit-ups before she was passed fit but, crucially, did not receive a pregnancy test.
Friends said Miss Pearce was surprised when she began putting on weight despite the gruelling training regime.
One said: ‘A baby was growing inside her, that was why she was putting on weight, but Lynette had no idea at the time. Now it all makes sense and everyone is so relieved.’
Miss Pearce’s baby boy was born five weeks premature in the 34th week of her pregnancy at Camp Bastion’s £10million field hospital.
A specialist paediatric ‘retrieval team’, including a midwife, a neonatal nurse and an incubator, was sent to care for Miss Pearce and her son on the flight back to the UK.
Mother and baby are now at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. A new mother at the hospital, who asked not to be named, said: ‘She is doing well. She is smiling a lot so that’s good.’