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How wife of SAS soldier Ben Roberts-Smith fought her own battles before war crime claims

For more than a decade, Emma Roberts-Smith went to bed some nights not knowing if her war hero husband was still alive.

Australia’s most decorated SAS trooper Ben Roberts-Smith was away for months on end staring death in the face, including six tours of Afghanistan.

When he was under fire in the Afghan village of Tizak on June 11, 2010, in a battle that would earn him the Victoria Cross, his wife was two months from giving birth. 

Their twin girls Eve and Elizabeth were born after five ‘traumatic’ years of IVF treatment when Ms Roberts-Smith was 35.

Australia’s most decorated SAS trooper Ben Roberts-Smith with his wife Emma and twin daughters Eve and Elizabeth

For more than a decade, Ms Roberts-Smith went to bed many nights not knowing if her war hero husband was still alive during his frequent secretive deployments

For more than a decade, Ms Roberts-Smith went to bed many nights not knowing if her war hero husband was still alive during his frequent secretive deployments

After their marriage surviving postings in East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the long-suffering wife must now endure questions about his conduct overseas.

Corporal Roberts-Smith is accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, including the death of farmer Ali Jan in September 2012.

He is under investigation by Australian Federal Police and the military Inspector-General after the allegations were reported last year.

Corporal Roberts-Smith denies all allegations of war crimes and sued the ABC and Fairfax, now owned by Nine, for publishing the reports.

Ms Roberts-Smith in 2011, before the alleged war crimes took place, opened up about how she coped with her husband’s dangerous months away.

‘When you say goodbye, you do think for a brief second that you may not see him again, but you don’t think about that for too long because you wouldn’t have a very fulfilled life,’ she told the Sunday Telegraph.

‘The more you worry, the harder it is for the guys. And Ben always goes away very comfortable that I’m OK.’ 

Their twin girls Eve and Elizabeth were born after five 'traumatic' years of IVF treatment when Ms Roberts-Smith was 35

Their twin girls Eve and Elizabeth were born after five ‘traumatic’ years of IVF treatment when Ms Roberts-Smith was 35

They kept in touch with sporadic emails in between operations and as many Skype emails as could be crammed in.

‘We definitely talk about it [death] and are realistic about what can happen there. We have a plan in place should anything happen,’ she said.

So secretive was her husband’s work that Ms Roberts-Smith didn’t even know about his heroics in Tizak until the meeting with army brass when he learned he would be award the Victoria Cross.

The couple met at the Kapyong Day ball, commemorating a famous Korean War battle, in Sydney in 1998 with a colleague at her PR firm.

Then-Private Roberts-Smith asked her to dance and despite her vowing two days earlier never to date a soldier, it was love at first sight.

He joined the SAS in 2003 and he proposed on a cruise in Thailand the same year.

Ten years later he left the army, got a business degree, and pursued a corporate career, becoming Channel Seven’s Brisbane general manager.

So secretive was her husband's work that Ms Roberts-Smith didn't even know about his heroics in Tizak until the meeting with army brass when he learned he would be award the Victoria Cross

So secretive was her husband’s work that Ms Roberts-Smith didn’t even know about his heroics in Tizak until the meeting with army brass when he learned he would be award the Victoria Cross

Corporal Roberts-Smith meeting The Queen at a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace on May 16, 2018

Corporal Roberts-Smith meeting The Queen at a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace on May 16, 2018

Now their relationship continues to be tested with new claims about the Ali Jan incident and other alleged war crimes reported on Sunday night. 

The report on 60 Minutes cited two anonymous sources making expanded claims about Corporal Roberts-Smith involvement in Ali Jan’s death in 2012 during an operation in Afghanistan.

‘I categorically deny the allegations made against me in tonight’s 60 Minutes program,’ Mr Roberts-Smith said in a statement.

‘I am concerned that tonight’s story and the previous publications by the SMH/Age are an attempt to improperly influence the outcome of the (Inspector-General of the Defence Force) inquiry.’ 

Corporal Roberts-Smith is accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, including the death of farmer Ali Jan in September 2012, which he denies

Corporal Roberts-Smith is accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, including the death of farmer Ali Jan in September 2012, which he denies 

Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the Medal of Gallantry in 2006 and went on to receive Australia's highest military honour, a Victoria Cross

Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the Medal of Gallantry in 2006 and went on to receive Australia’s highest military honour, a Victoria Cross 

The now-retired solider was awarded the Medal of Gallantry in 2006 and went on to receive Australia’s highest military honour, a Victoria Cross.

He fought alongside his close friend Sergeant Locke in Afghanistan who was awarded the Medal for Gallantry in December 2006.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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