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When you are sitting enjoying your Christmas meal on Tuesday, spare a thought for submariner Matt Gosling.

For the 28-year-old Spalding serviceman will be thousands of miles away from his partner and daughter after a last-minute plan to abandon leave.

The former Gleed Boys’ School student was looking forward to returning to Park Road for Christmas with partner Rachel and daughter Isobel, when his superiors cancelled a planned return to Britain for reasons which are classified.

But Matt, who has been in the Navy for nine years, still wanted to give a special message to his loved ones through the Spalding Guardian.

Matt said on Tuesday: “A very merry Christmas Rachel and Isobel. I love and miss you with all of my heart.

“I will be thinking of you all during the festivities. I hope you have a wonderful time and I will make up for it when I get back.”

Matt has been away from his family since September and was devastated when told he could not return for Christmas.

He will be under the sea on Christmas Day, but for security reasons we cannot say which country he will be in or in which submarine. He is part of a group carrying out a trident missile test and it is his job to maintain and launch the missiles if called upon.

He told the Guardian: “I have spent all my life in Spalding. I know it doesn’t seem like much and there’s heroic troops in far more dangerous places and situations than me, but when you have been away for so long and you have everything there you miss it so badly.”

He also had a Christmas message for the rest of his family and his friends back home: “I wish you all a very merry Christmas. Mum, Dad, Mummy Mags, Steve, Scraggy, Tom, Nanna and Grandad, Nanna Skeg, Caitlan, Aunty Trina, Uncle Kev, Olly, Lucy, Emily, Ju, Darren, Chaz and Boris.”