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The Queen’s Dragoon Guards

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Campaign to secure 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards gathering pace

Defence Minister Philip Hammond Comments (0) 1 D-DAY is looming for the future of Wales’s under- threat tank regiment. Campaigners will be taking their petition battle by tank from Parliament Square to No.

10 Downing Street on Thursday ahead of a decision on the future of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry). A series of meetings were held with MPs yesterday over fears the regiment could be either axed or merged.

Welsh MPs, including Conservative David Davies MP for Monmouthshire, and Dai Havard, Labour MP for Merthyr and Rhymney, have written directly to Defence Minister Philip Hammond ahead of the announcement. Supporters of the regiment have won cross-party support for their campaign. Richard Goldsbrough, who is a former captain with the Welsh Cavalry, has urged MPs in Wales to lobby Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue.

He said it was a political rather than an Army decision and said he believed plans to merge the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards had already been overturned. “Wales should be confident that, with her votes having the same face value as those north of the border, she will be treated with the same consideration as Scotland and her QDG will be saved,” he said. “It’s now up to Welsh politicians to convince David Cameron to intervene on behalf of Wales this week as he has done for Scotland.” The Government is looking to reduce the Army from 100,000 to 82,000 soldiers by the end of 2020 under its Future Force 2020 plan. It is also understood that one battalion of the Royal Welsh is also at risk of being cut. A decision on the future of the regiment had originally been expected from ministers before MPs left Westminster for recess.

But campaigners believe their political support in Wales has already succeeded in delaying an announcement until Thursday.

Huw Longmore, press officer for the Save the Welsh Cavalry campaign, said: “There is a meeting on Thursday with the Welsh Office. “At the moment we have 2,147 signatures on the petition we have been doing a big push over the last campaign. “I think we could get 5,000 signatures. “We have a tank to promote the campaign and take the petition to Downing Street. “We are happy that the Government has realised it’s an issue of our Welsh identity and regimental identity.” He said he believed it was possible that plans to either merge or axe the regiment, whose Colonel in Chief is Prince Charles, could be scrapped. “There is a good chance that the proposals will be overturned better than a few weeks ago,” he added. “That’s largely to do with the cross-party support from MPs. “The Labour Party came to the cause first, we have had support from Plaid, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. “I would urge people to please sign the petition within the next few days.” To sign the petition go to www.savethewelshcavalry.com [email protected] References ^ Comments (0) (www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk)

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Campaign to secure 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards gathering pace

Old soldiers take fight to save 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards to …

Comments (0) 1 OLD soldiers from the Welsh Cavalry will today be taking their battle to save the regiment all the way to No.10 Downing Street. They will be holding a series of meetings with MPs, along with the Welsh Office, over the future of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and are due to present a copy of the petition to the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan. The 300-year-old tank regiment the only one in Wales which has recently returned from Afghanistan is under threat of being merged or axed under the Future Force 2020 plan.

A battalion of the Royal Welsh is also believed to be under threat due to the proposal to reduce the Army from 100,000 to 82,000 soldiers by the end of 2020. Gorseinon-based Harold Ponfield, a 93-year-old Second World War veteran, who served with the regiment when it was the King’s Dragoon Guards, as George VI was on the throne, has been chosen to help present the petition to No.10 Downing Street. Mr Ponfield, who served with the regiment from 1938 to 1952 on campaigns in North Africa and Italy and was a desert rat, said: “I had a call from Lieutenant Colonel Richard Brace asking me if I would present their petition to No.

10 Downing Street. “I feel very proud and honoured. “It has really made my day coming so soon after my 93rd birthday, it is the greatest honour anyone could give. “We are not happy with the decision to either close or merge the regiment. I have very strong views on this. “I am proud to be a desert rat and I would like this Government to look after our own country first, the service personnel who have risked their lives in wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan.” The regiment lost two soldiers in Afghanistan Lieutenant David Boyce and Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon, both members of B Squadron, were killed in November last year when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Nahr-e-Saraj area of Helmand Province. Soldiers, from Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire, serve with 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

The regiment has been on three tours of Iraq along with two tours of Afghanistan.

Richard Goldsbrough, a former captain with the Welsh Cavalry, said he felt the regiment could be saved after reading a letter sent from Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey to Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon. “Having read the letter of June 11 from the Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey to Madeleine Moon MP, it sets out the criteria for regiments to be saved from amalgamation,” he said. “I take great comfort from Nick Harvey’s words as QDG ticks all the boxes bar one in the different criteria he sets out for retention of regiments. “In this letter Mr Harvey maintains regiments will be preserved to ensure parity of opportunity and development for soldiers and officers. “If QDG are scrapped, Welshmen will be denied the choice of serving alongside compatriots in an armoured regiment when the English and Scots will still have that opportunity.” [email protected] References ^ Comments (0) (www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk)

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Old soldiers take fight to save 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards to …

Soldier Killed from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Afghanistan – The ministry of Disinformation and War has announced the deaths of the 41 st British serviceman, this year, whilst being used as mercenaries for US Oil companies. The death of a soldier was serving with The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots).

11 November 2012. He had been mentoring and advising members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at a shared base in Nad-e Ali.

Next of kin have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before further details are released. The latest death takes the number of British service personnel who have died in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001 to 435, and the 41 st of this year. Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Laurence Roche, said: “This is incredibly sad news for the Battalion and everyone serving in Task Force Helmand. “As we mark Remembrance this weekend, our thoughts now turn to the soldier’s family and friends whose loss is so much greater than ours”.

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Soldier Killed from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland