A MOTHER with two sons fighting in Iraq got the message she had been longing for - on national television.

Marlene Jenkins, 57, broke down in tears when she saw her sons, Shaun and Nyall, being interviewed by TV war correspondents.

The first clip showed Shaun, 36, who is with the 2nd Tank Regiment, on top of his tank, talking about his belief in what they were doing.

Divorcee Mrs Jenkins, of Brackenhill Lane, Brayton, near Selby, said: "It was such a relief when I saw him on the telly that I just sat and cried.

"I hadn't heard from Shaun for 12 days and I was starting to get a little bit on edge.

"You try to get on with your life but it's at the back of your mind all the time.

"Then, out of the blue, he was there large as life on television. It was brilliant."

Then, on Thursday, mother-of-four Mrs Jenkins was "over the moon" after being given two tape recordings of more TV interviews with her sons.

One showed her son Nyall, 33, entering the so-called palace of "Chemical Ali", near Basra, with his colleagues from the Royal Logistics Corps.

Nyall, whose wife is expecting a baby son in seven weeks, took the opportunity while being interviewed of sending a message to his mum. Mrs Jenkins said: "He told me he was fine and thanked me and his sisters for a food parcel we had sent. It was fantastic and such a big relief."

Another TV interview inside a desert tent featured both Nyall and Shaun.

"Both my sons have served in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. They are professionals and know you don't join the Army to have fun and games," said Marlene.

Updated: 12:06 Saturday, April 05, 2003