Topic: Blog

Date: 25/12/2019

By: Keith Raw

Subject: Re: Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas to one and all, and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Keith

Date: 22/12/2019

By: ROGER FLUX

Subject: CHRISTMAS

Hello to you all, I would like to wish you all and your family a vey happy Christmas and a very healthily new year

Date: 22/12/2019

By: Mick Burgess

Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS

Hi Roger
Good to chat and thanks for your greetings I too remember the good old days in Tunis troop. Ref Dave Fuller no I have no contact for him does any Ex Boy on this site have any contact for Dave if so please let us know Happy Xmas
Mick/Marion

Date: 24/12/2019

By: Charles Dawkins

Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS

A Very Merry Christmas to ALL ex- boys and JLRs and all the best for2020
It’s a way back to January ‘52 but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Cheers to you all and your loved ones.

Date: 24/12/2019

By: johnT Walker

Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS

Festive Greetings to you all and let's hope we all have a good 2020
.Regards John.Blenheim Troop.1956/7

Date: 20/12/2019

By: Charlie

Subject: Reunion Videos

If you would like to look back at our reunions please copy and paste into your search engine and look at the selection'

https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UCSVCOl7Y2NgDMmjL6efD0vw/videos/upload?utm_campaign=upgrade&utm_medium=redirect&utm_source=%2Fmy_videos&filter=%5B%5D&sort=%7B%22columnType%22%3A%22date%22%2C%22sortOrder%22%3A%22DESCENDING%22%7D

Merry Christmas

Date: 20/12/2019

By: Charlie

Subject: Defence Medal

This is a bit of a read but some of you may find it interesting

2019 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Dear Veteran,

Sadly, as in previous years, more of our activists and campaigners have suffered illness and some have passed away. We who remain are grateful for their contributions over many years and our thoughts are with their families at this particularly difficult time of year.

It has been a year of many successes. However, it may appear to those who have not travelled with us over the past decade that after discrediting three military medal reviews, we are still no closer to achieving medallic recognition for our millions of veterans.

For new readers of my annual Christmas message it is perhaps worth stating why the National Defence Medal campaign was first initiated. The following was contained in our submission to the Cabinet Office sponsored military medals review in 2012 and has not changed:

“There has been injustice and inconsistency of medallic recognition of those who served and have kept the Nation and its interests safe and secure since the ending of the Second World War. Over the years this led to the formation of many medal campaign groups such as National Service veterans, Cold War veterans, Nuclear Testing veterans, Korea Post Armistice veterans, and Service personnel injured in conflict, to name but a few seeking medallic recognition. As the years have gone by, the campaigners representing these groups have all got older, some have become frail, others ill and many died. Consequently in 2007, the National Defence Medal campaign was launched by representatives of these organisations coming together to make one concerted effort to achieve medallic recognition in their lifetime through a generic medal should their own claims fail.”

So where are we now and what should we realistically look forward to in 2020?

By early March this year, nine different judges in seven separate legal judicial tribunal proceedings, directed that information sought by various military medal campaign groups in their Freedom of Information Act requests should be released. Many of these cases had been ongoing for three years due to the refusal of both the Cabinet Office and MoD to release the information. The information released supported the complaints by veterans that senior civil servants within the Cabinet Office Honours and Appointments Secretariat had misled Parliament, misled individual Members of Parliament and been responsible for misleading statements submitted to judicial tribunals. It was found that 21 medal submissions had not been reviewed by the Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) a sub-committee of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (HD Committee), in what the Government had declared was to have been the most wide-ranging military medals review for a generation. Other medal submissions were shown not to have been reviewed appropriately by the AMSC and its members found to have made unsubstantiated statements. There also appeared to have been a lack of due diligence by the HD Committee.

On behalf of the various medal campaign groups I submitted on 22 March a detailed complaint, which encompassed the irregularities of the review, to the Minister responsible for the Cabinet Office. I also requested the Minister initiate an independent investigation into the lack of openness and transparency, lack of due diligence and the on-going attempts to cover up these failings. In addition, the Minister was requested to direct that the newly formed AMSC, which in December 2018, Her Majesty had directed should be re-established, re-visit all the medal submissions which the previous AMSC had failed to deal with appropriately or in the case of 21 medal submissions, not at all.

In July, I received a final response to my complaint from the Senior Private Secretary to the Minister. It was an attempt to close the complaint down. The failings of the medal review process, unearthed in the judicial tribunal proceedings, were totally ignored. It was in effect an attempt to continue the cover up of what was the third discredited military medal review in a decade.

The only way forward on behalf of the various medal campaign groups, who had been shown such disrespect, was to now seek an investigation into the whole distasteful episode by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Such a request can only be submitted by a Member of Parliament on behalf of a constituent. Therefore, on 5 August the Rt Hon Ian Blackford MP submitted on behalf of his constituent Dr Martin Halligan, the leader of the campaign for medallic recognition of those injured in conflict and a National Defence Medal activist, the following request:

“To investigate a complaint that injustice has been caused by the maladministration on the part of the Cabinet Office in respect of the Military Medals Review and involvement in what appears to have been an attempt to cover up what was a dysfunctional process. All efforts to resolve this matter in any other way have been exhausted.”

The submission dealt with the complaint I had submitted on your behalf on 22 March and the response received from the Minister’s Senior Private Secretary. It covered the judicial directions of the seven tribunals and provided details of those individuals in senior appointments who had been involved in the dysfunctional medals review of what was ‘billed’ by government as the most wide-ranging military medals review for a generation.

Although the Queen had agreed to the re-constitution of the AMSC in December last year and it had been expected to be operational by the Spring of this year, nothing materialised. However, surprisingly on 9 August, two weeks after I had informed the Honours and Appointments Secretariat that a request was being submitted to the Parliamentary Ombudsman for an investigation, the Terms of Reference for a newly constituted AMSC were promulgated and it commenced work. The concerning part of the reconstituted AMSC’s Terms of Reference is the following sentence:

“Claims submitted must not have been considered as part of previous work in 2013 to

consider specific medals claims (list and reports here) unless new evidence emerged.”

(No list was attached to the AMSC document or available).

It was considered prudent to test this situation therefore one medal group whose submission made to the 2012 medal review and was not reviewed by the previous AMSC was submitted to this reconstituted sub-committee. The submission was turned down on the grounds it had already been presented previously.

On 4 September the Parliamentary Ombudsman confirmed the request for an investigation had been accepted. To date no further communication from the Parliamentary Ombudsman has been received other than to request copies of additional documents. However, the sheer magnitude of the documents to be assessed by the Ombudsman in discussion with the Cabinet Office and the recent General Election may well delay any outcome being promulgated until the early Spring of 2020. It should be noted that a copy of all correspondence in respect of the recent rejection by the reconstituted AMSC outlined in the previous paragraph has been submitted to the Parliamentary Ombudsman for inclusion in the investigation.

So, what should we expect in the coming Year? Hopefully, the Parliamentary Ombudsman will recommend to the Cabinet Office, on behalf of the Government, that all the original submissions to the military medals review in 2012, which were never properly considered by the AMSC or not at all, should be updated where appropriate and resubmitted to the newly reconstituted AMSC. However, it is worth remembering that many of those submissions were written by veterans, who were then senior in their years. Those submissions were placed in good faith in 2012. These veterans are now seven years older and it is likely that some of their number are no longer with us. Even a requirement to re-submit their original claims may be too much to ask. However, to simply discount them from inclusion in this new review would be a disgrace and nothing short of a national scandal.

Veterans have welcomed the creation of a new Government Office for Veteran Affairs. The Minister in charge, who is also the Cabinet Office Minister, has been informed of the investigation being carried out by the Parliamentary Ombudsman and therefore will no doubt become fully involved.

Finally, I remind readers that all the military medal campaign groups have ever sought, yet continually been denied, is an open and transparent medal review, where their submissions are fairly assessed, and if they have a case, their submission is recommended to Her Majesty for medallic recognition, and if not, evidence based reasons are provided as to why not. This is not unreasonable. It is therefore worth reflecting on the amount of money that has been expended by Government Departments in trying to cover up this unsavoury situation over the past twelve years and in their disrespectful treatment of those who have served the Nation. Perhaps this will all change in 2020 with a new Government responding to a Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation report. I will keep you briefed.

Thank you for you continued support throughout 2019. Happy Christmas and best wishes for a healthy 2020.

Colonel Terry Scriven
Chairman, UK National Defence Medal Campaign

Date: 21/12/2019

By: Dick Mather

Subject: Re: Defence Medal

No doubt I'm not on my own in saying that this is the first time I've heard of this organisation but it seems like the chairman is up for kicking arse ...... hope he has toe protectors in his boots.

And A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All.

Dick.

Date: 11/12/2019

By: Neville in Canada

Subject: Christmas Greetings

Wishing all ex Boy's & loved one's where ever you are a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. Stay Safe, Healthy & Strong. Neville & Family in Canada.

Date: 20/12/2019

By: Mick Burgess

Subject: Re: Christmas Greetings

Thanks Neville and we wish you the same from deep Dorset
Health and happiness for 2020
Mick/Marion & max woof

Date: 09/12/2019

By: Charlie

Subject: Health

Thank you for your inquiry Kev
It's a slow process as I am on a very strong pill and move slowly as I move around but getting stronger each day

Date: 09/12/2019

By: Mick Burgess

Subject: Re: Health

You always were a SLOW mover especially on the bloody golf course Get well soon mate
Mick

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