War dead parades are axed

#1
The People
THE world-famous parades organised by the people of Wootton Bassett to honour our war dead are to be axed by Ministry of Defence chiefs sparking fury among grieving relatives, locals and soldiers.

Huge crowds line the Wiltshire towns high street every time our fallen heroes are brought home from the front line.

And images of the poignant public outpouring of grief have been flashed to millions of TV viewers across the globe.

But the MoD believes the parades are a public relations disaster because they spotlight the unpopular conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and underscore White-halls failure to organise an official tribute to the dead on their final journeys.

Now mandarins are drawing up plans for a new route that would avoid Wootton Bassett altogether outraging the 11,000 residents of the town dubbed the most patriotic in Britain.

Since April 2007, the bodies of men and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq have been flown to RAF Lyneham.

War dead parades are axed - UK & World News - News - People.co.uk
 
#2
Not really axing the parade, but closing RAF Lyneham! The repats will have to go a different route as they will be brought home via Brize Norton. As long as we bring the boys home, route doesn't really matter that much.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Looks like selective reporting to me. As the report says, Lyneham is closing therefore the route obviously will change! Besides, how can the MoD "axe" something they never organised??
 
#5
will people not just travel to the route going from Brize Norton?
isn't it about showing respect not being in one location
 
#6
Yet another well researched piece from the gutter press. Lyneham closing was announced several years ago and the people of WB are well aware of this.
 
#8
Showing respect should be spontaneous, rather than organised. The good people of Wootton Basset have constantly given the impression of spontaneity. If the route is changed, will those being passed act out of spontaneity or out of a sense of obligation (because the cameras will be on them)? Structuring a route to pass through a village specifically for the population to emulate the people of Wootton Basset seems wrong but then, so also would be scurrying the hearses through empty lanes to avoid people.

No real solution - unless the troops are pulled out of Afghanistan before Lyneham closes.
 
#9
What a disgraceful twisting of the facts to make a sensational headline. I suppose the people of Wooton Bassett are naturally worried about a major source of income and employment for the area being shut down. I hope and expect that the tradition would be continued by the people of Carterton. I'd question whether the parades are a 'PR disaster' for the MOD or has that line been put in because it fits the story the People wants to tell.
 
#10
I suppose the people of Wooton Bassett are naturally worried about a major source of income and employment for the area being shut down.
I hope you're referring to Lyneham being closed down, rather than the corteges ceasing to travel through WB.


I hope and expect that the tradition would be continued by the people of Carterton.
It's such an "expectation" that would render any action by the people of Carterton ambiguous. A "tradition" has little sentiment. If the people of Carterton were to line the road outside Brize of their own volition, it would be touching for the bereaved. If they do it to appease the media, it's trite. If they don't turn up, they'll be branded inconsiderate.

I wouldn't like to be a resident of Carterton. Depending on the agenda of the media, you'd be labelled ghoulish, respectful, imitating, trite, mercenary and a whole lot more.
 
#11
Perhaps the mandarins would prefer the Red Army's NOTICAS approach during their own Afghan debacle: A knock in the middle of the night and then some armed blokes bundle a coffin into your house before running off. Consider yourself notified and bereaved.
 
#12
Not really axing the parade, but closing RAF Lyneham! The repats will have to go a different route as they will be brought home via Brize Norton. As long as we bring the boys home, route doesn't really matter that much.
Related to that, the bodies still have to go for a post mortem pending an inquiry, these used to be held in Oxford, but has now changed to Trowbridge.
 
#13
Difficult to see how it could work at Brize. Even if they were to overcome the hurdles mentioned above (and these themselves seem insurmountable) traffic leaving the main gate at Brize has to turn right for all major routes. There is no village or High Street between the gate and the main dual carriageways of the A40.

This ceremony if I can be allowed to call it that belongs solely to the people of Wootton Bassett it can not and should not be transplanted elsewhere.

This of course gives us a dilemma when they close Lyneham and they will.
 
#16
Because they simply took the trouble to do it. The first few were a handful of old boys from the Legion lining the route with their standards. They didn't ask for the media to pick up on it nor for it as a result of that to become the event that it has.

Quite simply it was their idea and on that basis it wouldn't work if they tried to do it anywhere else.

Family and friends get to grieve at funerals, the local Legion will continue to turn out and honour our war dead as they do. When they start repatriations through Brize I personally think it should end.

Repatriations are still a fairly recent thing. The change was made on Op Corporate where NOK were given a choice as to whether they wanted their loved ones brought home, some did some didn't. Up until that time it was policy to be buried in theatre.
 
#17
I hope you're referring to Lyneham being closed down, rather than the corteges ceasing to travel through WB.




It's such an "expectation" that would render any action by the people of Carterton ambiguous. A "tradition" has little sentiment. If the people of Carterton were to line the road outside Brize of their own volition, it would be touching for the bereaved. If they do it to appease the media, it's trite. If they don't turn up, they'll be branded inconsiderate.

I wouldn't like to be a resident of Carterton. Depending on the agenda of the media, you'd be labelled ghoulish, respectful, imitating, trite, mercenary and a whole lot more.
On the first point, yes of course the base closure. On the second, ok fair one, it might help that many in the town are connected with the base somehow and be sensitive to such considerations, but yeah it's a bit of a no-win. Especially as the cortege would have to leave by the Black Bourton Rd (ie 'back') gate to go through the town, in other words the route would be in some way contrived (as pointed out by Geezer466).
 
#19
Repatriations are still a fairly recent thing. The change was made on Op Corporate where NOK were given a choice as to whether they wanted their loved ones brought home, some did some didn't. Up until that time it was policy to be buried in theatre.
What could be better said than this:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

- Rupert Brooke, The Soldier
 
#20
This is what Lt Gen MM Lakhera, PVSM, AVSM, VSM wrote about the honour and respect that the British extends to their Armed Forces.

I had gone to UK in 1955 as the Deputy Leader of the Indian Delegation to take part in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Victory in Europe during WWII. I, along with four other Army officers, had just stepped out after attending the inaugural session and were waiting on the roadside for the traffic to ease so as to walk across the road to the vehicle park. Among those with me was Honorary Captain Umrao Singh, a Victoria Cross winner. Suddenly a car moving on the road came to a halt in front of us and a well dressed gentleman stepped out. He approached Umrao Singh and said - "Sir, may I have the privilege of shaking hands with the Victoria Cross?" He shook hands with him. Evidently he had spotted Umrao Singh's medal from this car and had stopped his car to pay respect to the winner of the highest gallantry medal of his country. Then he looked at me and said, "General, you are from the Indian Army". When I replied in affirmation, he gave out his name saying that he was Michael Haseltine. I was absolutely astounded as the recognition dawned on me that he was the Deputy Prime Minister of UK.

I was totally overawed by such courtesy shown by a dignitary of the second highest status in the British Govt and humbly thanked him for having invited our delegation for the VE Day Function. Again his reply was typical of his sagacity, "General, it is we the British, who should be grateful to your country and your Armed Forces, who helped us win both the first and the second World Wars. How can we be ever so ungrateful to forget your country's great contribution."

Suddenly, I became conscious that all the traffic behind the car has come to a standstill. I hurried to thank him and politely requested him to move along to relieve that traffic hold up. He stated. "Sir, how dare I drive off when a Victoria Cross has to cross the road...Reaching the other side of the road I looked back and saw that Mr Haseltine was still standing waiting for the Victoria Cross to be safely across."
This is from the speeches of the General which he compiled and published when he was a Governor of a State and this was an address that he gave at a College to emphasise the aspects of humility that must be imbibed.

It also indicates that the honour and respect that the British have and now, had, for their Armed Forces!
 

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