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The Independent Online
n Soldier Steven Oley should have said "I do" yesterday to his bride at Gretna Green. Instead, he was digging in with UN peacekeepers in the Bosnia war zone after the Army told him: "Sorry, but you don't."

Mr Oley, a gunner with the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery, had his leave cancelled last week on his 22nd birthday as the crisis deepened in the former Yugoslavia.

His bride-to-be, Andrea Smithwhite, spent what should have been her wedding night alone at home on Tyneside.

She received an apologetic phone call from Mr Oley's commanding officer, breaking the bad news that her wedding would have to be postponed.

Ms Smithwhite, 22, who has two children from a previous marriage, last saw Mr Oley two months ago when he left for Bosnia, where he is helping protect the main road to Sarajevo.

She said: "It has been very hard because I should have been Mrs Oley by now. We're very much in love and it won't be long before we are married."