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Hi Folks, As an ex member of 1st Bn The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders I was only to pleased to sign the petition. It can be said that the Labour government is trying to do what the many wars and dictators over the centuries have failed to do and that is to destroy the British Army on mass. The only way to stop this rot is to use our vote and get rid of the Labour party. Because it can be seen especially in Scotland that McConnell Tony`s puppet is not interested in the Scottish Division and the Identity and history of the regiments who form it. The thing that makes those regiments is their individuality and pride in who they are and the history behind them.

As Hitler once said give me German Generals and the Scottish Regiments and I will rule the world.

Watty Logan
Scotland

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Prime Minister Tony Blair

Although I now live in Canada as a Soldier, and in fact the Canadian Forces Senior Pipe Major, I spent my youth in Scotland.I am only 1st generation Canadian. My Father and his father before him were soldiers in "The Royal Scots".I spent time in the Cadets and Royal Scots Territorial Army prior to coming over to Canada. I have to tell you, when I arrived here in Canada, they had just disbanded the Regular Force Black Watch Regiment (Royal Highland Regiment), and to this day, the Scots and Scottish Canadians hold it against the Government. That was thirty five years ago. Mr. Blair, please do not make the same mistake. This is not a legacy of your government you want to be remembered by. As a Military man, I understand downsizing, however, to do away with such Famous and historic Regiments would be cut into the hearts of both Scots and Scottish descendants far and wide.

We hold our ties to the "auld Country" very dear. Please, re-think these decisions.

Ian Ferguson.

 
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Father fought in WW1, in the Durham Light Infantry

My name is Les Carr I'm an American citizen. My parents were from Newcastle upon Tyne. My father fought in WW1, in the Durham Light Infantry, so I believe I have a say in this matter. I'm speaking not just for myself, but for my father and for the members of the Rochester Scottish pipes and drums. Our band dates back to the early 1920s and models itself after the Black Watch Regiment. Great Britain has given the world some wonderful traditions, one of which is the Scottish Regiments and their Pipe Bands.

I urge you not to make anymore changes in the Scottish military units. Especially now, as the world teeters on terrorism. God Bless our two great nations.
 
Les Carr
USA


 
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DEFENDERS OR SPENDERS?

WHEN OUR MEN ARE AT THE FRONT, AND THE ARMY BEARS THE BRUNT OF THE CONFLICT, AS OUR ENEMIES IN WAR'S EMBRACE THEY MEET, MID THE WEIRD-INSPIRING SKIRL OF THE PIBROCH, AND THE WHIRL, AND THE SOUND OF FLYING SQUADRONS, AND THE TRAMP OF CHARGING FEET, THEN WE SEEM TO HEAR THE RUSH OF THE BATTLE, AND THE HUSH THAT COMES BEFORE THE BATTLE , LIKE THE CALM BEFORE A STORM, AND WE BLESS "THE THIN RED LINE," AND WE TOAST THEM O'ER OUR WINE, AND WE CALL THEM OUR DEFENDERS, AND WE LOVE THEIR UNIFORM. BUT WHEN "PEACE WITH HONOUR" COMES, AND THE RATTLE OF THE DRUMS IS SILENT, AND THE STOCK EXCHANGE NO LONGER HOLDS IT'S BREATH, AND THE PIBROCHS SKIRL NO MORE, FOR OF THOSE THEY LED BEFORE THERE ARE MEN BY HUNDREDS LYING IN THE CRUEL ARMS OF DEATH, THEN WE PONDER OVER PENCE, AND THE QUESTION OF EXPENSE REGAINS IT'S OLD IMPORTANCE, NOW THEY'VE WON OUR LITTLE FIGHT; AND WE HASTEN TO FORGET THAT WE OWE THEM ANY DEBT, AND WE THINK OF THEM AS SPENDERS, AND THEIR UNIFORM WE SLIGHT.

FROM THE "ST JAMES'S GAZETTE" MAY 5 1892

Goes to show that things will never change
Serving Soldier Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

The above was posted on another website by a colleague of mine.

Stop the Cutbacks

May they hang their heads in Shame

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Argentinean Support

Dear Sirs,

First of all I must clarify that though I hold British citizenship I am an Argentine citizen and resident. As a British citizen I felt I could and should sign your petition. My grandfather served in WWI in the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, and I have always been very proud of that. A few years ago I had the privilege of being invited by serviceman to the Eyemouth RBL branch Hogmanay dinner. Few times in my life have I felt so honoured.

If I, an argentine, can feel so disgusted at this measure, I can't begin to imagine how people with closer attachments to the regiments can be feeling, and it is to them that my sympathy goes. I thank you for doing what you are doing, and helping me to go on feeling proud of the land of my forefathers.

Yours aye, Malcolm C. Gibson


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Past heroics make our present day military the fighting force it is ...

Just like to say thank you for starting up that petition online, which I've signed. Wish you all the best of luck, and hope that Blair can be persuaded not to make any more cuts to our already depleted Forces. Makes you wonder when our forces are supposed to be HER MAJESTY's Forces - not Blairs!. What angers me more than anything, is his complete disregard for our history. Considering that he was a CND member, its obvious he and his fellow cabinet ministers don't care about our regiments, nor how pride in the history of those past heroics actually make our present day military the fighting force it is.

Our men and women NEED something to be proud of, if we're sending them in conflicts which might end their lives.

Yours sincerely,
E. MacGilp

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Lack of self respect and pride

Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate the problems that can develop when there are not enough 'boots on the ground'. Bush and Blair believe you can sort it out with high technology, computer or satellite delivered information and all the panoply of modern warfare. This will undoubtedly crush standing armies but we must now face a much more difficult situation which requires manpower in place with different training and different equipment. Whether or not the politicians and the military can be flexible enough to adjust is a moot point.

National Service is still a good answer which was abandoned, primarily because of expense. If we stand back and overview the social problems, the lack of direction amongst many young people and the lack of self respect and pride (esprit de corps) that results the costs could be balanced.

When one views the muster role of the first Gordon Highlander intake one sees the recruits coming from population moving from an agricultural to and industrial society - we are now in the midst of another major shift from industrial to informational society with all the disruption and dislocation that such a change incurs. The manpower could be available. Politicians would be much more careful with the deployment of National Service manpower ( look back and see the mess that the US got into in Vietnam with drafted troops). It is doubtful if the US could have gone into Iraq with drafted troops.

Lets get back the Scottish Regiments.

Derry Robertson

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An insult to every serviceman

Best of fortune with your campaign Our Armed Forces are totally overloaded and yet they now wish to achieve more with less. There is no understanding of the culture of the Service Family. present proposals are an affront and an insult to every service man and woman.

Phil Gallie MSP

 
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They never recovered ...

Dear Jeff....Many THANKS for you valiant effort to save the Scottish Regiments. I was a Soldier for many years and have always been proud of each and every "Jock"..Officer or NCO I ever come in contact with. Being Canadian I can see what will happen if Blair and his Euro goons proceed with this plan. The Canadian army was destroyed by a move to unite the three Armed forces into one, it never worked and they never recovered. Sharing the border with the USA, we are under the impression that the Yanks will protect us so, why do wee need an army? Keep up the good work, I wish I had more to send.

Bob Little
Canada

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Why should this happen ....

After serving with 1 B.W. in the late 70s early 80s I find myself at a loss as to why this should happen at a time when the stability of the world and the threat from terrorist attacks are higher than ever. The politicians in once again a labour government are only interested in the spin for today and don't think of the long term damage in destroying one of the most loyal serving regiments in the Army.

My son who was hoping to follow in his fathers footsteps is asking his me why that wont happen and don't they care anymore I cant answer him. A thought though is :If the Btn fell under Tony Blair's constituency would their be any need for the message:???

Please keep up the good work

Big Gibby fae the Toon.

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FROM ARGENTINA .....

AGUANTEN THE SCOTTISH REGIMENTS !!!

SLAINTE

GABRIEL CORTES
ARGENTINA

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Verging on criminal

I must stress a most valid point, how can the British government reduce its famous regiments when the British Army is stretched across the world on that British government's missions. The destruction of regimental esprit de corps which is so essential on active service is verging on criminal.

Major J.D Johnstone (Ret'd)
Royal Australian Regiment
(Vietnam infantry veteran )


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Letter to 'EU President' Blair
 
I cannot believe that you are cutting the Armed forces yet again when the Nation needs all the support and confidence in the Military and Government around us it can get - especially in this time of deep stress and concern for our safety and way of life with the War being waged by Terrorists. We need MORE forces not LESS. Get rid of our Famous Scottish Regiments at the peril of this Nation and I for one will NEVER forgive you or your Party - EVER! Could this be your agenda - to 'mould' the Armed Forces into a Super EU State Unit? where there is no pride of local regiment, no pride in the Country we belong and no decent protection for its people? I wonder! I suggest that due to the commitments you have sent our forces to do in Britain’s name, they should at least be given the courtesy of fighting / commitments to cease, before the drastic cuts are made to strength. ( Look to the Pen pusher Brigades before cutting the Fighting Brigades ) Are you thinking of the MORALE of our fighting forces in all the 'HOT' locations they are sent to? Who if anyone has given them a moments thought? I wonder! In my opinion, you are listening to bad advice and wrongly given information by 'lackeys' ( Take Note Gen. Jackson ) who are telling you what you want to hear for the policy's you have in mind - NOT the real facts, figures and advice you should be listening to. Think of your people, not of yourself or the Party!

Our Armed Forces are overstretched, under-equipped and badly administered to in all areas of military procurement and administration, due to inadequate and irresponsible 'faceless' people in the MOD who should be sacked for their incompetence and almost criminal negligence – ask the ‘troops on the ground, in the air, on our ships’ – they will tell you the truth, not lies to suit themselves or others for a ‘career move’ Heaven help us if the Terrorists inflict a heavy toll on this country or one of our 'Protectorates' on the scale of the 'Twin Towers' of America. Who will protect them, administer to their needs, and provide armed assistance? - We won’t have any forces to help them and will the 'EU Forces' do all this? I very much doubt that anyone will care - look at the UN and NATO Forces - look at the rush of support the people of Darfur in Sudan are getting - NOT! Dare I say our Governments' support for the disaffected peoples in Zimbabwe and the suffering still going on there? Many, many questions and many, many more answers needed! I urge you to re-think and properly consider what the consequences will be for yourself and this Country if you go ahead with this massively flawed policy. It’s a mistake and in your heart you know it!

SAVE THE SCOTTISH REGIMENTS - BYDAND !
A Kelly The Gordon Highlanders
(Amalgamated into The Highlanders )


 
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Caretaker

General Mike Jackson should remember he is just in a Caretaker position and will have to had over sooner or later, May I ask WHAT he will hand over? He says the Scottish Regiments are having problems recruiting, no denying that in some cases, but any other Industry would be in the same position if so lowly paid and overstretched. I notice there is no mention of his Paratroopers with 60 years History being cut. He also says a wall of noise is coming out of Scotland. General, wait till the Dundee Rally then you will here the CRESCENDO. Forget the Knighthood and do your Job of looking after your Soldiers not a Lackey for Politicians.

J M Nichol
Ex KOSB and Proud of IT

 
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From Agnes Hunter, Scottish Co-Ordinator of 'Support our Soldiers'

www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk

It is ludicrous that this government is planning these cuts particularly when it's the Scottish regiments who are sent in first and to maintain order. That is not to detract from the other regiments and services wherever they serve and do a magnificent job, but once Whitehall have cut and amalgamated to their heart's content, how do they propose to meet future defence needs when so many are exiting the ranks on their return from Iraq and Afhanistan as it is. On top of the natural wastage, non-renewal of contracts and downsizing they are in grave danger of leaving those remaining grossly overstretched. No amount of new technology can replace the 'man on the ground' and if we've got it, and it works, how long is it going to be before some other fanatics access that same technology and test our 'new slimline resources' .From what we have seen in recent months, the 'new technology' is leaving a lot to be desired! as is the MOD spending programme - £1000 per chair in the recent refurb. of Whitehall being an example!

What puzzles me is....if the budget is so stretched and we need to cut manpower, why am I seeing so many adverts in the media for new recruits?? Forward planning? Let's hope we don't live to hear the phrase 'in hindsight these cuts were a mistake'. because by then it will be too late!! We are always ready to dip into our pockets to help other countries in time of need and are amongst the first to be called upon in times of trouble. It is time for 'charity to begin at home' and for taxpayers' money to be spent on our needs and protection first. Don't forget that we have the 'threat' of this European superstate still lurking in the background and lord alone knows what that is going to behold for us so why slit our own throats prematurely. We've already seen the support???we got from France and Germany, they certainly wouldn't be prepared to give us anything back once it is relinquished. We've lost enough already already and 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH'

Best Wishes to the campaign and please sign our online petition for reinstatement of the free postage - they've even taken that away from the lads and lassies already!


 
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Change statement or resign

I hope that General Irwin has been quoted out of context in the media. He says that the "tribal " thing means nothing.. For tribal read FAMILY. The Black Watch along with the other Scottish Regiments are steeped in FAMILY. In the Black Watch the family that springs to mind among all of us is the STACEY Family.Others that spring to mind are all wellknown to the General---------Excuse me using the last names but they are the FAMILY names-------the WAVELLs, the Mc MICKINGS, the GURDONs, the ARBUTHNOTTS, the BRADFORDS there must be many others known to the General.

The RSM when he was CO of the Ist bn RONNIE PROCTOR and his son, obviously many more. He must change his statement or resign not only Col Comd but also of the Colonel of the Regiment. I have not forgotten the BOWES_LYON family one of whom was our greatest supporter.

NORMAN WHYTE
Forfar, Scotland


 
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Vile weasels politicians

My Dearest Highland Lads (and Lassies) : God love and God bless ALL OF YOU! A good chum of mine, who is a military re-enactor sent me this link, advising me of this "monstrous evil" which you must now contend with! Very recently I watched a cd entitled "Celtic Inheritance" in which one of your countrymen, a "Pipe Major Motherwell" described how politicians would one day try such a stunt. Well it looks like the vile weasels have! Please note my dear friends (that while though I do not know you personally (which is true), I will be contacting the senior members of my pipe band, and other bands in Ottawa, Ontario in order to raise awareness of this OUTRAGE! My ancestry is Hungarian, but I learned the pipes from someone in the Camerons who survived Normandy, he taught me well (I am an intermediate piper), and I love military re-enacting (I do RCAMC & Black Watch WW II).

I will try to send a check or mo to you, but I have subscribed to find out what new news is going on with your site. Take care and remember others are trying to fight to keep you. All my love and prayers, 2 or 3 centuries of tradition must be allowed to grow into 2 or 3 millenia!

Kindest regards
Piper George Andras  -  Highland Mist Pipe Band
Br. 638 Royal Canadian Legion


 
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Treachery of General Sir Alistair Irwin

After the Treachery by General Sir Alistair Irwin I do hope the rest of the Scottish Colonels at their meeting on September the 13th Stand up and be counted. Colonels, You have been entrusted and Honoured with looking after the Scottish Regiments and their men. You MUST now Declare NO CHANGE in our System, your men deserve no less from you. As any sane person will realise the Army cannot function if anymore cuts are brought in.


If General Irwin will not do the honourable thing and resign you MUST vote him out. Now is the time for you to take the gloves off and stand shoulder to shoulder with your men. We have a Proud Tradition to uphold and a Scottish Nation expects no less from you. Stop the proposed cuts and mergers and let us get on with the job of securing peace in troubled spots.


Malcolm Nichol
Retired
Kings Own Scottish Borderers


 
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All the promises have not materialised ...

We are all told that change is vital and necessary.I ndeed I am all for change if it brings improvement to the way we do business. However ,I have heard all these words before in 1968 when the First and Second Battalions of the Regular Canadian Black watch were disbanded.I can categorically tell you that all the promises made to our soldiers about saving money, better equipment, a more rational organization, etc etc have all sadly not materialized.

Why because world events constantly over take the brilliant plans thought up by academics who indeed lack common sense.My though better to stick with a well equipped low tech infantry that allows for surge deployments to meet sudden contingencies.

Mark Fisher.


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KNOW YOUR ENEMY

I would commend to all supporters of the Save the Scottish Regiments campaign that they visit this website www.impeachblair.org and read the document of intended impeachment. It contains the report of two distinguished academics showing in detail the deceit and duplicity practised by the Leader of this Government [ I hesitate to accord him the title of Prime Minister ] and some of his minions in the run up to the war in Iraq. Not content with what went before he continues his wilful deceit of the nation to the present time. What I hope this will do is to convince you that we are confronted by a politician who will sink to hitherto unknown depths [even for a politician ] to justify his lust for power and self approbation. Worst of all he does not care who has to pay the piper - or what sorrow or grief that payment may bring in its wake just so that he can continue this sick pursuit of self aggrandisement and posturing throughout the world. Recognising this means that this campaign will not be successful unless each and everyone of us makes a personal and continuing effort NOW to help defeat these defence cuts in whatever small way we can.

So don't wait for someone else - make your pledge now that you will offer Jeff Duncan your active support in the campaign to beat the cuts not just for yourself but also for all your comrades who have gone before and to ensure all those servicemen / women have not paid the price of Blair's vanity in vain.

Captain Jack McDonald KOSB [Retd]


 
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Change for the better - did not happen

We are all told that change is vital and necessary. Indeed I am all for change if it brings improvement to the way we do business.
However I have heard all these words before in 1968 when the First and Second Battalions of the Regular Canadian Black watch were disbanded. I can categorically tell you that all the promises made to our soldiers about saving money, better equipment, a more rational organization, etc etc have all sadly not materialized. Why because world events constantly over take the brilliant plans thought up by academics who indeed lack common sense. My though better to stick with a well equipped low tech infantry that allows for surge deployments to meet sudden contingencies.

Mark Fisher
Canada


 
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Food for thought

Sir/Madam

What is 'good' for the infantry must surely be equally 'good' for the Royal Armoured Corps. So could there be a secret plan (held back for issue after the next General Election and the fuss over the infantry has died down) to create large regiments within the Royal Armoured Corps (ie each major unit stays in one peacetime location permanently and individuals rotate through the locations of their parent large regiment to progress their careers)? Logically, such a plan must exist. If implemented, it would obviously result in the disappearance of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in their current form. Food for thought?

Anon Military Man


 
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A disgrace ....

'Tis a sad day indeed, when we ex-pats here in America read of the man who sat in Brigade Headquarters in Iraq as our troops died. The Man Who lied about how ill Equipped our Troops were. Now has the notoriety of having the Documents detailing the Scottish Regiments Demise named After Him 'The Jackson Treachery' I make no bones for my distaste on both Jackson and Irwin's involvement. Slowly but surely more and more is appearing in print, giving clues to exactly where Sir Alistair's allegiance lies..and it doesn't give signs of being with the Black Watch.. Does it? If, the powers that 'BE' get their way, no doubt the two mentioned above will toast their own health in jubilation of their handy work in deciding which Regiments Die! 'Oh fur God the Gift Tae Gi'e Them Tae See Theirsel's As Others See Them' Shame On Jackson,  Sir Alistair Irwin  To You I say HOW COULD YOU? 

Jan Manship Milligan
Tustin
Orange County
California


 
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Dear Colleague

For decades, successive governments have under-paid, under-equipped and over-worked our Army. Compare jobs in the North Sea oil industry with infantry jobs for danger, for pay and conditions and for days off per year (many North Sea oil workers do 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off): there is never any recruiting shortage in the offshore oil industry. If the government maintained a properly paid and properly equipped Army with a sufficient number of units to meet commitments without over-stretch, it would solve the problems which it seems to think it can solve by reducing the number of units and the total manpower and by destroying the regimental system. We are said to be the second most successful economy in the EU after Luxembourg, and the fourth most successful economy in the world. Why should the Armed Forces be subjected to these damaging economies? What is proposed is a national disgrace. The low pay of single and married private soldiers is a particular scandal, despite the unconvincing platitudes of the pay review body.  

Yours sincerely Major (Retd) J M Hamilton, KOSB 
(20 years service and recipient of a small disability pension for 40% war disability)

 
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"A man will give his life for his regimental colours,  but not for an extra five-bob a day."  

Sir Iain Moncrieffe  


An army cannot be run like a department store.   New government who understands this simple fact is necessary.

James MacDonald Reid

 
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Meat in the Stew

Hi, I'm reading a book at the moment called 'The Impossible Victory'. It's a personal account of the battle for the River Po during the Italian campaign in 1945. When General Sir Richard McCreery was interviewed some years later his quote in the book is as follows. He was asked the question...."How did the British soldier strike you?"....His reply.

"I believe him to be the meat in the stew. Not only was he the most solid part but the most readily identifiable.

But one had to remember that basically the British soldier does not consciously fight for his king and country as we sometimes like to think. He only fights for his regiment and he will fight like hell if his regiment is a good show. If it is not a good show he will go under. Good regiments only make good armies because they provide a good soldier. It is all so simple, and I hate to think of regiments losing their identities through amalgamations and the like for the sake of economy, because something which it has taken hundreds of years to build is utterly destroyed. It is the sort of vandalism which only the "quill driving" scribblers in Whitehall, as Wellington once described them, could devise". This says it all........

Good luck,
Helena
Anstruther


 
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I served in the 7th btn from Normandy to the Rhine and lost all the friends I joined up with in 1943, Tony Blair should read modern history before he forgets that he would not be in his position, if they had not given their lives, and us survivors don't get much thought either.

EX CPL
Derek Stephens
UK

 
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Long-owed debt ...

I remember when Sir Alistair Irwin was CO. 1 Black Watch. He expected his regiment to support him, which they did as they have always done. Is he going to repay that long-owed debt now?

Carole Graham


 
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Hell mend those involved

It is strange that the two organisations least likely to be used in the role for which they were formed; The Guards and the Paras have escaped the attention of Hoon, Jackson, Irwin and those other fine examples of managers currently heading the MoD. Absolutely nothing against either of these two fine organisations, but considering the background of Jackson (Int Corps then Para), and the unspoken protection of the Brigade of Guards, it is a point that is easily raised.

There was no attempt made on the Black Watch whilst HM The Queen Mother was Colonel in Chief, so it appears that loyalty from above is only as good as the primacy of current hierarchy. In respect of Jackson's comments, sufficient to say that the "wall of noise" he hears is not one of complaint, it is one of disgust that in his position, he has treated the soldiers of the Black Watch with such open disrespect. To be posted on a second tour of duty to Iraq, then be told of a choice between amalgamation and disbandment and a decision likely to be announced before you return to the UK is not in anything I have read in connection with leadership and command!!

Hell mend those involved in this disgraceful, penny pinching fiasco with their patronising comments, whilst young soldiers are tragically paying the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the country.

Phil Yeaman

 
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