UK: Mayor tells regiment rifles "too violent" for day of remembrance

November 17th, 2007  

Topic: UK: Mayor tells regiment rifles "too violent" for day of remembrance
Your guns are 'too violent' for Remembrance Day, mayor tells rifle regiment

Chepstow's Remembrance Day parade

Heroes: Chepstow's Remembrance Day parade

Napoleon tried, as did many others.

They all discovered that the riflemen of the British Army do not lay down their arms easily - if at all.

Nonetheless, Hilary Beach decided to call for 1Bn The Rifles to leave their weapons behind at tomorrow's Remembrance Day parade because she feels they are too "violent".

Miss Beach, the Labour mayor of Chepstow in Monmouthshire, said: "I would prefer for there not be any guns at the parade - and raised it because it is an issue I personally feel very strongly about.

"I am very much against guns and think they are awful things. Killing in any war is awful and I am against this violence.

"But I want to make it clear that I hold Remembrance Day as extremely important and it is vital that members of the Armed Forces are in attendance.

"I have always thought about Remembrance Day as a time for peace and to remember those who have lost their lives in combat. However, I think this could be done better without any guns.

"Everybody is worried about the rise in gun crime and violence in this country at the moment, and the destruction these weapons cause is terrible."

If only Miss Beach had boned up on her military history. The Rifles might only have come into being in February this year, but the illustrious history of the four regiments which were merged to create it would have indicated the magnitude of what she was asking.

The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, the Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets all embraced the concept of the rifleman as laid down by General Sir John Moore, the tragic hero of the retreat to Corunna in the Peninsula War.

Miss Beach's plea to the council fell on deaf ears.

Ned Heywood, a former mayor, made one of the opposing speeches.

Memorial: Baroness Thatcher at a Remembrance service in London yesterday

He said: "Miss Beach is a pacifist and felt unhappy about the Rifles marching with guns through the town. But she received absolutely no support.

"Members of all parties all feel that this is a time to support our armed forces.

"We need them and they do an impossibly difficult job, laying down their lives for the rest of us. I felt this would be undermining them. But it was all very civilised, and Miss Beach accepted the views of the majority."

Phylip Hobson, a fellow councillor, added: "The war veterans have brought guns to the cenotaph since 1918 - guns have always played a part in Remembrance Day.

"We are all very excited about seeing the Rifles in full dress and giving them a warm welcome."

The Rifles - who have only been stationed at Beachley Barracks in Chepstow since August - were not contacted about the discussion and will march with their weapons as planned.

The Royal British Legion said the troops would feel "naked" without their guns.


Banned: Cannons to mark the two minute silence have been banned in Sutton

Tom King, president of its Chepstow branch, said: "What she said is ridiculous. It is nonsense.

"The regiment is called The Rifles, and rifles are an important part of their uniform and their kit. It's like asking a tank regiment to march past on parade without their tanks. She just doesn't understand this."

Tim Merritt, the legion's Gloucestershire manager, added: "Traditionally, our serving soldiers on parade tend to carry arms and I see no good reason why they should not be allowed to."

A Remembrance Sunday cannon salute at the start and end of the twominute 11am silence has been banned.

The cannon, known as a maroon, used to be fired by the Parks Police service in Sutton, Surrey. But its replacement by a "Safer Parks Team" - a sergeant, two constables and three police community support officers - has led to is being banned because of health and safety fears.


Poppy wreaths have been banned from the 3,000ft summit of Great Gable in the Lake District. For almost 90 years, a mountain-top service has been held there on Remembrance Sunday.

But a dispute broke out this year after the poppy ban by the Lake District Fell and Rock Climbing Club.

Club secretary Paul Exley said: "In the past, members have climbed the mountain and have removed several large rucksacks full of disintegrated, soggy poppy waste.

"This isn't an easy task as the weather is usually awful in late November."

Protesters plan to flout the ban tomorrow - and insist they will clean up after themselves. One of them, Guy Newbold, said: "People laid down their lives in order to protect our freedom from precisely this kind of interference. We intend to lay our wreaths and remember their sacrifices."

(Comments block at the bottom of the page)
November 17th, 2007  
Del Boy
You can see our people have to put up with these nonsensical air-head politicians.

The four regiments concerned have been famous fighters all over the world, and have involved 3 generations of my wife's family as senior NCO's etc. They include the Glorious Gloucesters of Korea fame.
November 17th, 2007  
The Other Guy
Are you kidding me!?!?

That's rediculous!
November 17th, 2007  
As a proud colonial subject of Britain I have to say I'm sorry things have got that way back in old dart. They're nowhere near that silly here. Such a shame, and a terrible insult to the heritage of the regiment.
November 17th, 2007  
Del Boy
Aussie Nick - this is why 200,000 good guys are leaving here every year, a lot of them heading your way. Your stance is very appreciated politically. Unfortunately we have at least 500,000 coming IN every year, the majority not good guys I believe! And they ain't coming in because they like us! However, mate, we are still alive and kicking, believe me. We are, however, paying a very big price for being far too tolerant of those who are not our friends.
November 17th, 2007  
A Can of Man
Maybe you should move too. Australia will be the new Britain.
F it.
Let the Al Qaeda win.
November 17th, 2007  
Del Boy
This is a train of thought these days. The Aussie model is admired. But Iam hopeful that the worm will turn and kick this nonsense into touch. That is why i try to make a noise. As for me - well, I guess I'm too old, have a lot of exciting grandchildren around me, their music and sport activities keep me moving; I still want to make my contribution and I have a big mouth. I have travelled widely, and if I had moved earlier, USA would have attracted me, I believe; somewhere like Virginia. I love Charleston but it's too darn hot! Give me history, romance and honour. Give me liberty or give me death ( Patrick Henry)!
OK that's it - getting carried away here!
November 18th, 2007  
A Can of Man
Every place got its flaws but I think the UK's getting raped big time. Political correctness' first complete casualty perhaps?
November 18th, 2007  
The Other Guy
Naw, if Australia becomes Britain, then where does Australia go?
November 18th, 2007  
A Can of Man
New Zealand. hahaha

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