I commend the actions of Major Chester Potts in leading the North-East campaign to save the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Robert Brooks’ article in last week’s Gazette).
I am also pleased that the campaign has led to a debate in Parliament on October 18 and I sincerely hope that the Secretary of State for Defence can be persuaded to complete an about-turn.
After all, there is a precedent for U-turns within the coalition government, so one more shouldn’t be difficult, indeed a change of heart would be welcomed by Fusiliers, past and present, throughout the country. Having served in two TA Battalions which were disbanded (7th Battalion The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers) I know what the soldiers in the 2nd Battalion must be feeling, but being soldiers they must do as they are ordered.
So it is up to the rest of us to do what we can to persuade the Government and the MOD to reverse this crazy decision, made to appease the Scots, whose Battalions are nowhere near as well recruited as the Fusiliers.
As for increasing the size of the Territorial Army to 30,000 to compensate for the reduction in the size of the Regular Army, I have serious doubts that this can be achieved.
Major (Retired) Fred Calvert