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Main Page  »  MALTA
View Article  MoD officials have cancelled Christmas
SCROOGE MoD officials have cancelled Christmas for our brave troops by BANNING morale-boosting parties

Cracker flak ... troops partying last Christmas

Commanding officers at home and on the frontline have been ordered NOT to spend their festive allowance on turkey dinners or carol concerts

They get £30 a year per soldier to splash out on spirit-raising events "such as Junior Soldiers' Christmas Lunch", official guidance says.

But penny-pinching civil servants insist the cash must be spent on something else this year because of last month's crippling defence cuts

The Ministry of Defence edict - leaked to The Sun - was written by Peter Whitehead, deputy head of the MoD's Financial Management Policy and Development.

It reads: "It is improper to spend taxpayers' funds on Christmas trees, decorations, carol concerts or parties.

"Team-building or unit cohesiveness events during Christmas would be viewed by taxpayers as partying at their expense and must be avoided."

It adds: "As always, we want to ensure that the Department does all it can to avoid any adverse Parliamentary or media attention on this topic."

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army CO, last night branded the decision "cowardice".

He said: "At the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen, centuries of tradition have been swept away for tommies and their officers.

"It is a nasty bit of penny-pinching - narrow-minded cowardice from people who would never face the dangers that our fighting men and women have to. My stomach is churning."

The ban is all the more shameful because the MoD has rung up a £38billion debt through its own incompetence

More than 17,000 military jobs were axed in last month's review in the toughest defence cuts in two decades.

Ships, aircraft carriers, tanks and the entire Harrier jump jet fleet were also put on the scrapheap.

MoD officials last night insisted that special Christmas dinners will still be laid on out of MoD funds for all troops serving in the Afghan badlands.

A ministry spokesman added: "The restriction placed on public funds is even more necessary this year given the current financial situation."

Original Link


View Article  Courageous Royal Marine honoured by his community
Royal Marine Warrant Officer Class 1 Matt Tomlinson has been made freeman of his hometown, Street in Somerset - the first ever honorary freeman of the area


Royal Marine Warrant Officer Class 1 Matt Tomlinson, wife Sharon, daughter Ellis, and sons Daniel Brian and Harvey parade through Street in a 1916 La France open-topped car

Hundreds of Street residents turned out to cheer and wave flags as the parish council conferred the distinction to recognise WO1 Tomlinson's operational awards - the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) and Military Cross (MC) - and his achievements over the years within the Royal Marine Corps.

Before the formal presentation ceremony at which he received the scroll of the freedom of the village of Street from parish council leader Bryan Beha, there was a parade along the High Street in which WO1 Tomlinson and his family travelled in a 1916 La France open-topped car with well-wishers lining the streets and a marching band leading the way.

WO1 Tomlinson was joined for the day by his proud family: wife Sharon, daughter Ellis, aged 14, and sons Daniel Brian, aged five, and Harvey, aged seven.

WO1 Tomlinson, from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, based at HM Naval Base Devonport, said:

"The day was fantastic, a real honour to be granted the status in a town where I grew up from the age of two until I joined the Corps.

"About 300 people lined the High Street to witness the event. And the same amount attended the ceremony at Elmhurst School in Street. At the school a presentation was delivered by the school's year-five children about my life in Street and my career in the Corps.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Matthew Tomlinson
Warrant Officer Class 1 Matthew Tomlinson was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery under enemy fire in Afghanistan and the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for a mission in Iraq in 2006

"The parish councillor read portions of my citations for the CGC and the MC."It really was a great day and an opportunity to thank the people of Street for their support to myself and the wider Armed Forces. A collection was also made for the RN/RM [Royal Navy/Royal Marines] charities which raised approximately £400."In May this year WO1 Tomlinson was awarded the MC by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace - one of the highest honours for bravery in the country.

The award was for a tour of duty in Helmand province in Afghanistan when, as a member of 3 Commando Brigade, WO1 Tomlinson braved grenades and gunfire to rescue an injured soldier and retrieve the body of another comrade killed in an explosion.

He was also awarded the CGC for a mission in Iraq in 2006, after his actions under fire saved the lives of the 16-strong US Marine Corps assault force he was commanding.

WO1 Tomlinson was raised in Street where he still lives with his wife and three children, and was nominated for the village freemanship by local resident Rose Stuckey. This was willingly endorsed by the parish council as recognition of his outstanding bravery."We all enjoy our freedom here, but we are all aware that freedom isn't free - it is bought for us by the people who are willing to fight for it."

Warrant Officer Class 1 Matt Tomlinson in the turret of a Viking armoured vehicle in Afghanistan

The pupils at Elmhurst School, as part of their presentation, said:

"He told us that he is not a hero, but people think he is because he risked his own life to save others. He told us that his heroes are his wife, and the younger Marines."

In his acceptance speech, WO1 Tomlinson paid tribute to 40 Commando Royal Marines, who recently returned to their barracks in Taunton after losing 14 of their ranks:

"I ask that you join me in welcoming them home, and that you remember everything they've done, remember their injured and never forget the fallen," he said.

Thanking his family for their support he also paid tribute to two colleagues, including one of his friends who had fallen in battle on his third tour of Afghanistan:

"Thank you all, each and every one of you, for this honour. Thank you Street for all of the memories that have kept me going through tough times and memories I have called on when I've been in the middle of action to keep me strong and keep me going.

"Thank you all for being here, your support is appreciated, and believe me, it is felt by us all."

2nd Nov` 2010

View Article  Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett
Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett

Asking friends to watch Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett is an important way to raise awareness and recruit more people to National Airplay for Forever Young: A song for Wootton Bassett so keep up the great work and invite more friends to watch!



"Click Here to Support the Original Link"


Originally Performed by: Peter, Paul & Mary.

 

Lyric:

 

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young.

Chorus:
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you.

May you always be courageous
Stand up right and be as strong
And may you stay forever young.

(chorus x2)

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young.

(chorus x2)

May you grow up righteous and true,
See the light surrounding you
May you grow up righteous and true,
See the light surrounding you
May you ...(repeating) with (chorus)


View Article  The Gut (getting refurbished)



View Article  Malta and the Royal Navy