Defence Protests At Newcastle Memorial
24 July 2012, 09:17
Parents of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to take part in protests up and down the country, including in Newcastle, against plans to reduce the size of the British Army.
Organisers said there would be demonstrations at 61 war memorials around the country, including Newcastle's war memorial and memorials in cities including Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and Cardiff.
The demos were organised earlier this month by Dee Edwards of the Protest Against MoD Cuts group, after the announcement that the army will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 personnel.
The army is to lose 17 major units in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on July 5th.
He said the changes were needed to create a "balanced, capable and adaptable force''.
Among the units to go are four infantry battalions - the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
The changes, which are being brought in over the next 10 years, will see the Territorial Army expanded to give a combined regular and reserve force of 120,000.