"We are fighting a 360-degree war and as we have seen it is possible to get blown up by terrorists in London." Women now make up almost one in 10 of Britain's military personnel.So we can expect an increasing number of mothers to leave their children to serve in danger spots around the world.But she was feeling restless and unfulfilled and began to dream of returning to the Army.

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Soon after starting university, she met Rhiannon's father, an engineering graduate. Her boyfriend did not feel ready for fatherhood and Kelly herself had never given much thought to having children.

Eighteen months later, at the end of her second year, Kelly discovered she was pregnant. But the thought of not going ahead with the pregnancy was unthinkable.

She enriches my life and gives me a different perspective on things." After Rhiannon was born, Kelly dropped out of university to look after her and rented a house in Suffolk, where she had spent part of her childhood.

She also took occasional work with an events hospitality company to bring in some income for the pair of them.

It is perhaps easier to understand Kelly's decision when one considers her background. Her father was a warrant officer in the Army Catering Corps and even as a child Kelly knew she wanted a career in the military.

At 16, Kelly left school and signed up as a recruit, but during her training she decided she wanted to further her education and enrolled at Roehampton University to study sociology."Yes, I've been away for six months, but now I have four weeks leave in which I plan to devote myself to my daughter, so it balances itself out.Most other mothers who go out to work do not have that luxury.Among the troops on the six-month tour of duty was 28-year-old Lieutenant Kelly Richardson, the only woman in her squadron and mother of a six-year-old daughter, Rhiannon. Kabul remains a tense place and there is an "ever present threat" to the Coalition forces from Taliban insurgents and their suicide squads. Her job was to analyse the security situation each day and identify any potential threat.Since flying back to Britain last week, she has been readjusting to "normal life" and being a mum to Rhiannon, who has been looked after by Kelly's mother, Maria, for the past six months.Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but our arrangement suits the three of us." Did she consider how Rhiannon would feel if the worst had happened, that Rhiannon might have to grow up wondering why her mother voluntarily left her to go to Afghanistan?