BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine - Wifes Make fighting men leave

I listened with interest to the radio programme this morning and there was a good cross section of participants.

A couple of things niggled me slightly.

The first was the narrative of a Minister, suggesting that they, the Government, do well by the Services.

My response would be, that if that were the case we would not need, a voluntary organisation, such as the Royal British Legion to catch the slack. The Welfare reprensentative of the RBL was in the studio.

The second was whilst listening to the wife of a Lt Col complaining about getting 7 weeks notice to move, (As part of a Corps I have had two weeks notice), and oh god, in the UK having to find a house and the Government would be paying for it. I personally have had to shelf my familly, with my parents for 3 months, (No payment there), and when I got a house it was not fit for a prisonner. This over priveleged individual had nothing to complain about, and Jeremy Vine in my view voiced politely, what I impolitely would of added had my phone been close to hand.

The third thing that annoyed me was that in this day and age, some individuals who called the show used false names, clearly indicating, that wive's, who never joined the Army, are still scared to speak the open truth, worried about what Whitehall will bring on their husbands heads/careers.

Its about time the Governement lived up to their part of the bargain, rather than trying to stop their inadequate performance, being dragged through the mud by threatening posts on orders or daily detail.

If they believe what they are doing, or by default are not doing is going to create contraversy, its about time they sorted it out, and looked after people. Then there would be no reason for anyone to complain, or impose gagging orders.
Whether a Colonel's or a Private's wife is absolutely irrelevant. All families should be treated with dignity and respect for the support they give to soldiers who do the nation's bidding.

And, believe me, the quality of Army accommodation is not rank-related. Officers get some truly shabby quartering, too.
Jankers said:
Whether a Colonel's or a Private's wife is absolutely irrelevant. All families should be treated with dignity and respect
MY BOLD - That's the whole point though mate, they aren't treated with dignity and respect, and the fact remains, whether you like it or not, that the further up the food chain you are the more privelages you receive, rightly or wrongly. So yes, the previous pster might sound a little bitter when confronted by a partner of a Lt Col who complains about her notice to move. In my experience the Officer Corps is MUCH more adept at staffing cases through the CoC to hold on to what they already have than they are at staffing cases through the CoC which may allow the spouse of Pte Bloggs to have a little more than a s**thole to live in whilst posted to narrowmindedville UK.

Yes I am bitter, but hey I don't have to worry about quarters I live in a condemed mess!!!
As a pretty crusty old major, I was also made to wait 3 months for a quarter in Germany. If I hadn't been able to leave my family in my own house, they would have had to have gone into transit accomodation in Rheindahlen or UK.

It is not always rank-dependant - it is often dependant on the moral courage of your CoC at the time. Kicking up a fuss on behalf of your soldiers or officers often makes you unpopular - worth it in my humble opinion - many wouldn't agree.
Much respect to you Herrumph, I'm glad you think that your battles have been worth fighting, coz there ain't many of your type left. Much to the benefit of the YES men and the decline in moral amongst the Pte & Mrs Bloggs's of this world.

Sorry if my post came over a little bitter, that was not my intention at all. Too much beer I think.

I was just trying to demonstrate that there are those who are more equal than others, a fact which in my view is beyond dispute. (I am sure many others would agree with me). It is also a fact that I understand why in a heirachy, some people are looked after better than others.

If an organisations renumeration package, is equal to peanuts, then all the bright stars will go to industry and the Forces in the end will get monkeys.

I was not singling out the woman because she was the wife of a Lt Col, the point I was trying to make was that to my mind, she had, in my humble opinion, no reason to complain given that her two gripes was 1. The notice of her husbands posting (7 Weeks) and 2. That they had to look for a house, book their own removals and arrange schools for their kids (Which she then admitted that the MoD pay for).

My initial reaction was that any civilian listening to the programme, who do not have jobs for life anymore, and pay massive rents and mortgages, often have to up sticks and move to keep bread on the table.

I think they will of thought what has this woman got to complain about.

I felt that it was a missed opportunity thats all.

I myself during my service, which has now passed, was lucky enough for the most part to have fairly good accommodation. But often got between 3 - 4 weeks notice of a posting, often due to promotion plots.

Looking at housing, on the flip side, I have seen Pte soldier's with 3 - 4 kids, living in defunct post war prefab shoeboxes, and newly married junior officers living in relative luxury by comparison.

This issue has been raised in Soldier Magazine recently on a number of accasions, most recent was the wife of a WO1 who was newly commisioned.

The letter seemed well thought out and made a good point. Her response from the Joint Service Housing Committee (All Senior Officers), if my memory serves me correctly was, That is our policy, which is not open to discussion and if your husband has a problem with his lot, get him to converse with his chain of command.

All I am saying is that given limited resources, housing should be provided on the bases of need.


I have met many people like you, however sadly im my later years of service they were very thin on the ground.
I fail to grasp where you're coming from mate. Of course the more senior you are the better will b eyour pay and conditions, that doesn't only happen in the services, that's life. I wqs posted on 3 weeks notice to Hong Kong in 1966 and the wait for quarters was so lobng that I had my wife come out and we lived in a hotel for 3 months before I was allocated a quarter that was listed for demolition. I also don't understand where you're coming from with your jobs for life, unless you were in a different army to the one I was in there was no way anyone (Officers included) had a job for life.
Not trying to allienate anyone here, or come across as I clearly am as a bloke with an axe to grind.

Put simply, ( I am clearly not as good as I thought I was putting pen to paper), given that we are trying to solicit the understanding and help of the general public in making the lives of our servicemen and their families more bearable and for the government to live up to the 'Covernant'. I thought that the example given on Radio 2 was a poor one and therefore a wasted opportunity.

That's all.
Could the root of this housing allocation and waiting list policy lie in the 1970s 80s seperation allowance practice. A nice little earner overall it was back then. He could leave his wife in the MQ in UK/BAOR, move back into the block as a professional beanstealer, get extra warrants /leave to keep the marriage going and raz it up with the singlies. Families officers/housing association could always point this benefit out to pte smiff and tell him to fork urff.
Sadly it all died in the late 80s early 90s. but the mentality remained the same.

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads