War widow Christina Schmid – who received the George Cross after her hero soldier husband ‘Oz’ was blown up while defusing a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan – is charged with assaulting the property developer she found love with after he died


A war widow whose army husband died while defusing a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan has been charged with assaulting her second husband, MailOnline can reveal.

Christina Schmid 49, will appear in court next month charged with two counts of assault by beating.

Schmid became a poster woman for those bereaved by service personnel after her husband Staff Sergeant Olaf ‘Oz’ Schmid died during his final day of duty in the war-torn country on October 31 2009.

In the years following his death the mother-of-two campaigned for better pensions for war widows, higher salaries for those in the armed forces and called on politicians to ‘fight as hard as Olaf did’ for peace.

Her tireless work on the issues led her to meet with then Prime Minister David Cameron and various members of the royal family – including the late Queen at a private ceremony where she received the George Cross on behalf of her husband who disabled dozens of roadside bombs.

In 2012, Schmid announced she had found love once again with another serving member of the Armed Forces called Mark Clarke, telling the world she had ‘Oz’s blessing’. The couple, who decided not to marry, welcomed their daughter Isabelle in 2014.

Christina Schmid, pictured here in 2010 collecting the George Cross at Buckingham Palace on behalf of her late husband Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, has been charged with assault

Christina Schmid, pictured here in 2010 collecting the George Cross at Buckingham Palace on behalf of her late husband Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, has been charged with assault

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid (pictured), affectionately known as 'Oz' to his colleagues, died trying to defuse a Taliban roadside bomb in Afghanistan on October 31, 2009

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid (pictured), affectionately known as ‘Oz’ to his colleagues, died trying to defuse a Taliban roadside bomb in Afghanistan on October 31, 2009

Schmid and Olaf are pictured on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Her husband was killed aged 30 on his final day of duty in Afghanistan before he was due to fly home

Schmid and Olaf are pictured on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Her husband was killed aged 30 on his final day of duty in Afghanistan before he was due to fly home 

in 2020 Schmid married her second husband, property developer Adam Plumb, 41, (pictured together). They settled in Ivybridge in Devon. Schmid is now accused of assaulting him

in 2020 Schmid married her second husband, property developer Adam Plumb, 41, (pictured together). They settled in Ivybridge in Devon. Schmid is now accused of assaulting him

The pair had posed for a lavish photoshoot with Hello! magazine to announce their relationship and were later pictured beaming with their newborn daughter.

Their relationship, however, broke down, with the couple choosing to go their separate ways in June 2019. 

Just over a year later Schmid married her second husband, property developer Adam Plumb, 41, a divorced father-of-one in an intimate ceremony at Bovey Castle, Devon.

In 2021 they bought a beautiful eight-bedroom detached property in the genteel village of Ivybridge, Devon, set in 5.2 acres for £1.3 million.

But a source told MailOnline that the relationship broke down towards the end of last year and the estranged couple are now said to be in the process of divorcing. 

And on April 11, she is due to appear in Newton Abbot Magistrates Court in Devon on two counts of assault by beating – with one of her alleged victims believed to be  her estranged husband, Mr Plumb.

Blonde-haired Schmid shot to fame following the tragic death of her husband. He had been due to fly home the day before he died defusing a roadside bomb.

Olaf, 30, had neutralised 64 devices during his five-month tour and was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his service.

She told how the couple had met when she was 17 and Olaf was 13 while she was holidaying in Cornwall when he lived in Mylor.

The pair kept in touch over the years and later met up when she was four months pregnant with her former boyfriend’s baby – later named Laird.

The couple married in 2007 and planned to leave Winchester to move back to Cornwall, where the Sergeant’s family were still living.

He was honoured with a full military funeral at Truro Cathedral at which commanding officers called him ‘a soldier of the very highest calibre’.

Speaking after her husband’s death, Schmid said: ‘The politicians wanted to play with the big boys [the Americans] but we are not one of the big boys any more. We didn’t have the resources or the money. They didn’t think it through.’

Olaf had told Schmid that he feared for his life in the months leading up to his death – writing in letters and telling her on phone calls of his desperation to come home.

In one letter he wrote: ‘I am pushing to come back bang on six months, no one in this job should do more, as we keep getting reminded.

‘Staying alive is like a lottery, patrolling the Afghan badlands is playing Russian roulette with your feet. Dealing with bombs is easy, it’s the getting shot at whilst doing a job that tends to make me run.’

Writing in the Daily Mail after his death, Schmid recalled: ‘I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my body.

‘Olaf Schmid, to give him his full name, was not only my husband but my soulmate, my best friend and my future. I knew I’d be grieving for him for the rest of my life.’

Staff Sergeant Schmid of the Royal Logistics Corps had warned his wife that the odds were stacked against him, and the bomb which killed him was the third he dealt with that day in temperatures of 50C.

An internal review following his death found that carrying heavy equipment in searing temperatures left soldiers ‘physically degraded’ by the time they reached the sites of hidden Taliban bombs.

It led to the worst loss of improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD) operators and Royal Engineer search team members since Northern Ireland in the early Seventies.

Schmid pictured at her husband's funeral in 2009

Schmid holding Olaf's George  Cross Citation

Schmid is pictured at her husband’s funeral in 2009 (left). The war widow holds her husband’s George Cross Citation (right) , which was awarded at a ceremony at the headquarters of the Honourable Artillery Company, in the city of London

Schmid speaks to King Charles during a reception at Clarence House after a service for the Victoria Cross and George Cross medal Association reunion at St Martin-in-the Field church

Schmid speaks to King Charles during a reception at Clarence House after a service for the Victoria Cross and George Cross medal Association reunion at St Martin-in-the Field church

Schmid also met Queen Elizabeth and Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, holder of the George Cross, during a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at the palace

Schmid also met Queen Elizabeth and Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, holder of the George Cross, during a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at the palace

Tragically Olaf (pictured) had told Schmid that he feared for his life in the months leading up to his death - writing in letters and telling her on phone calls of his desperation to come home

Tragically Olaf (pictured) had told Schmid that he feared for his life in the months leading up to his death – writing in letters and telling her on phone calls of his desperation to come home

Schmid is pictured watching Olaf's coffin being carried at his funeral, which was held with full military honours at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, and was attended by around 900 people

Schmid is pictured watching Olaf’s coffin being carried at his funeral, which was held with full military honours at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, and was attended by around 900 people

After her husband was killed, Schmid campaigned for better working conditions for those in the armed forces and their families. She met Samantha Cameron at a Number 10 reception

After her husband was killed, Schmid campaigned for better working conditions for those in the armed forces and their families. She met Samantha Cameron at a Number 10 reception 

A month following his death moving photos showed Schmid dressed in all black wearing her husband’s set of medals as she bravely walked behind his coffin draped in a Union Jack as it was carried out of Truro Cathedral in Cornwall.

Speaking to the 900-strong congregation, Schmid, who was 36 at the time, said: ‘Olaf lived and stood for something that he believed in. And in the end he paid the ultimate sacrifice for those beliefs.

‘We have a duty not just to honour what he stood for but live lives which honour the sacrifices that he made. Becoming his proud widow has been the hardest thing that I have ever done with him.

‘Please do not let him die in vain. From now on I expect our peacemakers to show us they are working as hard as he did to preserve life.’

‘We might disagree with a war,’ she added. ‘However, I hope that through Olaf’s death, my public storytelling and appreciation, our community display of respect here today can serve to bridge that gap and unite us once more with our troops.

In the years that followed the widow campaigned for better working conditions for those in the armed forces and their families.

On one occasion she blasted the armed forces for their poor salaries, contrasting those of soldiers to bankers demanding those like her husband also deserve ‘the big dollar’.

Olaf had been on a basic soldier salary of £35,000 when he died, leaving Schmid with a £6,000 army pension to help support herself and her son.

She compared Olaf’s salary to that of Bob Diamond, who was CEO of Barlcays at the time, landing a £63 million pay package.

‘You cannot wave a wand and get people like Oz again,’ she said. ‘And if the MoD really does hold men like my husband… in the highest regard – then why not go the whole hog and pay them accordingly too.’

The widow added: ‘If Bob Diamond’s got a talent for looking after people’s money, fine. Pay him for that. But, equally, shouldn’t people like Oz and those guys be getting the big dollar?’

Schmid also starred on BBC One’s Panorama: A Very British Hero which documented the loss of her husband and, along with senior figures from the armed forces, questioned whether the military had let down the elite band of soldiers.

Three years after Olaf died, Schmid found brief happiness again with another serving member of the Armed Forces called Mark Clarke, telling the world she had 'Oz's blessing'

Three years after Olaf died, Schmid found brief happiness again with another serving member of the Armed Forces called Mark Clarke, telling the world she had ‘Oz’s blessing’

Posing for a photoshoot with Hello! magazine, Schmid told the publication: 'I didn't know if I would ever be able to love again after I lost Oz, but Mark has taught me that I can'. Pictured: Schmid with Mark and their daughter Isabelle

Posing for a photoshoot with Hello! magazine, Schmid told the publication: ‘I didn’t know if I would ever be able to love again after I lost Oz, but Mark has taught me that I can’. Pictured: Schmid with Mark and their daughter Isabelle 

The widow went on to become a key player in Mr Cameron’s decision to enshrine the Military Covenant into law in 2011. The historic step gave a legal force to the nation’s duty of care to servicemen and women, veterans and their families – backed up by a £50 million funding package.

She also met with Mr Cameron’s wife Samantha in the garden of No 10 where she was praised for her ‘remarkable strength’ in campaigning on behalf of troops serving abroad.

Three years after her husband’s death, Schmid welcomed Mark into her life, and spoke out about Olaf gave her his blessing to find love again if he were to die in service.

‘I didn’t know if I would ever be able to love again after I lost Oz, but Mark has taught me that I can; that I have a lot of love still left to give and a lot of life left to live,’ she told Hello! Magazine at the time.

As she posed for the lavish photo spread, Schmid said her love for Olaf had ‘not in any way diminished’ and that she misses him every day.

Schmid's love with Mark was over by 2019 when the couple separated

Schmid’s love with Mark was over by 2019 when the couple separated 

She added: ‘I have been lucky enough to meet this lovely man who cares deeply for me and wants to be with me – and I adore him.’

Schmid revealed her son Laird, who was eight at the time, had been accepting of Mark and had questioned if they were going to get married.

‘Mark gets me completely, and I get him. It’s refreshing, comfortable and easy. Some people don’t find that once in a lifetime. I’ve been fortunate to find it twice,’ she said.

‘Having Mark in my life hasn’t changed the way I feel about Oz. He is always in my heart and spiritually he’s always by my side.’

That same year, Schmid published her memoir, Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memory.

The book, which received high praise at the time, was described as ‘a story about love and loss, hope and despair and of living in constant fear’.

Yet it did receive some criticism, namely from Olaf’s family who tried to contact the publishers ahead of its publication asking them to take care over some aspects of the book that could cause his relatives extra grief.

They claimed Schmid had caused pain by including distressing intimate details that they believed should have remained private. One source close to the family told the Daily Star at the time described Schmid’s treatment of them as ‘absolutely horrendous’.

‘Everyone was led to believe the book was about Olaf,’ the source added’ He seems to have been ­forgotten and she is ­making money. There are details in the book that never needed to be known and there is a lot of fiction.’

Apart from the family another war widow Toni O’Donnell, who lost her husband Warrant Officer Gary O’Donnell, 40, during service in 2008, called for the book to be banned at the time.

She said the book had contained key errors about her husband’s repatriation and funeral.

Shortly after her split from Mark, Schmid met divorced property developer Adam Plumb, 41, (pictured together) and the couple married in 2020

Shortly after her split from Mark, Schmid met divorced property developer Adam Plumb, 41, (pictured together) and the couple married in 2020

Schmid and her husband Adam seemed happy for a time settling into life in a £1.3 million, eight-bedroom home in Ivybridge, Devon. But they have now separated  and are divorcing

Schmid and her husband Adam seemed happy for a time settling into life in a £1.3 million, eight-bedroom home in Ivybridge, Devon. But they have now separated  and are divorcing

Toni also said she was deeply distressed that Schmid had revealed she had a dream the night before Olaf was killed showing Gary appear to her in a vision, dead with no arms.

The bereaved mother-of-two told the Daily Express at the time: ‘I am taking legal advice and getting in touch with publishers and Christina Schmid. I want this book off the shelves if possible. I want the ‘untruths’ put right.’

It led to Toni writing to Century publishers about the factual errors in the book leading them to re-issue Schmid’s memoir with the mistakes corrected in the paperback version.

She called for a personal apology from Schmid at the time, adding that she ‘upset me and my whole family. As a widow she should understand.’

Mark and Schmid discussed having a spiritual ceremony to show their commitment to one another and signal their ‘new start’ to friends and family – but said it was too soon for marriage.

Schmid said she had felt judged at the time for moving on and was ‘sad’ when other women criticised her for starting a new relationship.

She told BBC 4’s Woman’s Hour in 2012: ‘It’s just the nature of people to judge. It’s very sad.’

‘It just means that I’m allowing somebody into my life again and that I’m ready to love again,’ she added.

Seven years after the couple first met, however, the couple who never married made the decision to go their separate ways. 

A year later in 2020 Christina had married her new husband Adam.



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