Wooton Basset became synonymous with honouring our war dead in two campaigns, whether you thought the wars legal or not there was something very touching about the honour that was given to our fallen, almost quintessentially English in form where people just lined the route and just bowed their heads or in the case of the more traditional removed their head wear. The town was honoured for its honouring by being given the right to have “Royal” attached to its name as the flights to the RAF Lyneham airfield were to be changed to RAF Brize Norton. Still at least some people were prepared to honour our dead often killed by not having the correct equipment and some usually either Islamics or on the left preferred to mock. There are some though particularly amongst the bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence who hate the parades and what they symbolize…
For several years, the flag-draped coffins of fallen servicemen and women have been met by large crowds who line the streets to pay their respects as they return to British soil.
But repatriation flights are to be diverted and will no longer be flown back to RAF Lyneham and through the small Wiltshire town of Royal Wootton Bassett, where they were saluted come rain or shine.
Instead, they will arrive back to RAF Brize Norton, where they will be driven through the back gate and then down side roads, neatly avoiding the nearby town of Carterton, as they make their way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, admitted that the decision to avoid public scenes of emotion had been taken deliberately.
“The side gate was seen by the Ministry of Defence and the police as the most appropriate way to take out future corteges,” he told Radio Oxford.
The excuse used is to avoid taking coffins in hearses past schools, past families, past married quarters because this is not necessarily the thing that everybody would wish to see, which is true, however it is something that needs to be seen! Needs to be witnessed! That the end result of the folly that has taken us into a war we cannot possibly win should not ever be hidden away from view to spare the blushes of the apparatchiks in the Ministry of Defence.
Again and again there are attempts to remove from public view the results of recent wars fought by honourable young men and women for less than honourable reasons dictated by political decision-making by politicians with no honour at all, the cortèges at Wooton Basset were a stark reminder of these decisions and of course had to be stopped somehow after all, what isn’t seen wont be commented on save by a few bloggers and the (very) occasional piece in the MSM.
As for our troops, they rise time and time again over their shameful treatment by successive governments and their Ministry of Defence, their courage shames politicians, bureaucrats and those who would call them murderers and rapists when they march home from doing their duty and from those who want to hide them away when they return from having made the ultimate sacrifice.
No one wants to see the cortèges of our honoured dead being driven to a final resting place, this is true, but it’s equally true that these brave men and women need to be honoured as Wooton Basset does and I’ve no doubt Carterton would.
We must bear witness, it’s the least we can do and the idiots who want to hide it away need to be named and shamed, though from what I know of their antics, a sense of shame is foreign to their nature.
The only real shame is that we cannot string them up for their treachery.
You can now sign an online petition
"We Demand A Main Road Public Parade For Our Fallen Soldiers!" http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/britishpatriotssocietyparade/