The Fijian British servicewoman who gave birth in Afghanistan this week has been identified as Lynette Pearce who was captain for the Fiji women's football team from 2007 to 2009.
Pearce,28, whose dad is a former policeman of Nadi left Fiji last year to serve with the Army. She was also coached by current Nadi coach Kamal Swamy.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Swamy said: ‘She was always so enthusiastic and energetic. I was disappointed when I discovered she had left Fiji. I only found out when I tried to call her up for the 2011 South Pacific Games.’
Pearce captained the Fijian national team and played against Tonga and Australia.
Susan Rao, director of women’s football in Fiji, whose daughter used to play football with Lynette added: ‘She was a great asset to our national team. I heard from my daughter that Lynette had a baby while she was serving in Afghanistan.
‘My daughter showed me a Facebook page where friends of Lynette were posting congratulations on her baby.’
After she came to Britain and completed her basic training, Lynette was given the rank of Gunner.
Pearce, a bombardier in the Royal Artillery who was fighting the Taliban did not know she was pregnant until the dramatic birth of her baby son at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
According to the Daily Mail, Pearce is overjoyed about becoming a mother. The British Govt’s Ministry of Defence, however, has not has not disclosed where Pearce and her baby are being treated but it is understood to be the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Messages saying ‘welcome to motherhood’ were pouring on to her Facebook site.
The birth stunned military chiefs and came just four days after the Taliban’s deadly attack on Camp Bastion that was intended to kill Prince Harry. The brazen assault left five British airmen wounded and two US Marines dead.
Pearce underwent rigorous physical testing before being passed fit to serve in the war zone – including a five-mile run, press-ups and sit-ups – but she did not receive a pregnancy test.
Earlier this year, before she deployed to Afghanistan, she apparently began putting on weight. This came as a surprise to her because she was training so hard.
A friend said: ‘At the time Lynette was really confused. A baby was growing inside her, that was why she was putting on weight, but Lynette had no idea at the time she was carrying her son.
‘It was distressing for her that these changes were happening because she is really sporty.
‘She works out a lot and takes pride in her ability to beat male and female soldiers who are much bigger than her. The weight gain went on for a while. Then Lynette went to Afghanistan and we did not hear any more for a while.
‘Now it all makes sense and everyone is so relieved. I don’t know who the father is. Lynette is a very private person when it comes to this area of her life.’
Pearce’s baby boy was born five weeks premature and in the 34th week of her pregnancy at Camp Bastion’s £10 million field hospital, where doctors are more used to carrying out amputations and treating bullet wounds.
It is the first time a British soldier has given birth on the frontline, although up to 200 service women have been sent home from Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 after discovering they were pregnant.
Photo: Daily Mail