Countryfile viewers left sobbing as soldier's widow reveals heart-breaking reason he took his own life

COUNTRYFILE viewers were left sobbing after a soldier's widow revealed the heart-breaking reason he took his own life.

The BBC programme aired a special episode on Remembrance Sunday to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion.

Presenter Ellie Harrison met a widow whose husband struggled to cope after returning from Afghanistan while presenting from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, which honours the British Armed Forces and those lost in conflicts.

Chantelle, a mum-of-two, lost her husband Ryan in 2015, and turned to the Royal British Legion for support.

Ryan had completed a six month tour of Afghanistan in 2006, but he wasn't the same when he returned home.

Chantelle explained: "As time went on, we learned a different Ryan. Things just irritated him that little bit more.

"As the years went on, he got worse. All of a sudden, in the October, he hit a brick wall.

"He couldn't go out of the house. It was just him and four walls. Ryan kept apologising for how he was because he was really depressed.

"But you just carry on as a family. On Friday we tried to get a crisis help for him, that didn't come.

"And on the Tuesday, my eldest phoned me and said, 'I've come home and dad's car's here but I can't find dad.' And I just knew."

Devastatingly, Ryan had taken his own life, and Chantelle said she was lost before the Royal British Legion came to her aid.

Viewers were touched by her story and the special episode, with one writing on Twitter: "#Countryfile Very fitting episode on this day if life had been different it was something I wanted to do Army." 

Another added: "Looks like a decent episode for a change with Ellie and #RemembranceSunday commemorations #Countryfile."

A third tweeted: "Sad story #Countryfile."

Countryfile is available on BBC iPlayer.

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