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Former Sheringham Carnival queen to wed bomb-disposal soldier home from Afghan tour

18:00 12 June 2011

Samantha Carter and Liam Payne

Samantha Carter and Liam Payne

Archant

A former Sheringham Carnival queen will wed her soldier fiancé on Saturday , weeks after his return from bomb disposal duties in Afghanistan.

Sword bearers and a military guard of honour will form part of the ceremony at St Peter’s Church, Sheringham, when Samantha Carter weds Liam Payne.

But there will be no immediate honeymoon for the happy couple as the groom will have to leave his new wife the following day to resume training in Hampshire connected with his recent promotion to sergeant.

Samantha, 24, who lives in Sheringham, was queen in 2006 and had been carnival attendant in 2004.

She has been planning the big day since March last year and many of the preparations have been discussed and finalised via emails to and from her fiancé in Afghanistan, where he was based for seven months.

“It gave me something to focus on and take my mind off Liam being over there doing that job,” she said. “It’s hard at times, but that’s what he wants to do - and I will support him.”

Although the couple were able to send each other unlimited emails, Liam wasn’t always able to use the service and phone calls were limited to those he was able to make from Afghanistan. As a result, just planning the guest list and organising invitations had taken four or five months, according to Samantha.

The wedding had ended up as a much bigger event than originally anticipated with six bridesmaids and two page boys, as well as the military contingent, she added. Their reception is due to be held at Wolterton Hall.

Liam, 27, is in the Royal Engineers and specialises in Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) duties.

As well as taking part in patrols, where he helped dispose of IEDs, he spent time teaching Afghan police how to deal with them safely.

“I don’t keep count of how many IEDs I’ve dealt with - that’s unlucky,” he said.

The pair met three years ago while Samantha was studying for a degree in nursing at Sheffield University and Liam, who is from Newbury, in Berkshire, was stationed nearby.

Samantha has recently given up a job as senior carer at Cromer’s Highfield care home, ready to move to Woodbridge, Suffolk, where the couple expect to be allocated an army married quarter sometime next month. Liam will be away training until then but is not due to return to Afghanistan for two years.

Samantha, who attended Sheringham High School, is the daughter of Carol and Paul Carter and has three siblings: Kate, James and Tim.

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