Fusiliers march on Parliament to save their regiment from the axe

From L-R Mary Glindon MP, Jim Cunningham MP, John Barron MP (ex-2RFF), John Hemming MP, Jim Dobbin MP, Iain Liddell-Grainger MP and 'Sir Alan Beith MP.
From L-R Mary Glindon MP, Jim Cunningham MP, John Barron MP (ex-2RFF), John Hemming MP, Jim Dobbin MP, Iain Liddell-Grainger MP and 'Sir Alan Beith MP.
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Veterans and their families campaigning to save the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) marched on Downing Street this week to hand in a petition to the Prime Minister.

They were joined by MP Sir Alan Beith.

They marched on Parliament last October as part of the fight against disbandment and their cause was debated in the House of Commons with the Government defeated in a vote that followed.

Letters from the MoD confirm that 2RRF was not one of the original five regular infantry battalions to be disbanded.

However, the decision has been made to retain one of the five and 2RRF was selected to take its place, despite being the best-recruited battalion in the British Army.

Sir Alan said: “It makes no sense at all to disband the well-recruited 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in order to preserve much less well-recruited battalions in Scotland, and it makes even less sense now that it is becoming clear that the target for recruitment to the Territorial Army will not be met ion the Government’s timescale.”

Col (Rtd) Ian Brazier, chairman of the Fusiliers Association, said: “The Government has spoken about efficiencies and cost savings, but there is no explanation for this unfathomable decision, despite repeated formal requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“A public review of the criteria which led to the last-minute substitution of 2RRF for disbandment, ostensibly offered by the Secretary of State for Defence, has not materialised. It has proved to be an empty offer.”