Readers back our bid to save regiment
HUNDREDS of angry people have answered the East Anglian Daily Times call to arms to save the historic Royal Anglian Regiment from the axe.In the first week of our campaign alone, nearly 400 of you have written in to support the regiment, which could be scrapped and merged into one large "super regiment.
By Sharon Asplin
HUNDREDS of angry people have answered the East Anglian Daily Times call to arms to save the historic Royal Anglian Regiment from the axe.
In the first week of our campaign alone, nearly 400 of you have written in to support the regiment, which could be scrapped and merged into one large "super regiment."
And petition forms, letters and emails have not just come from soldiers and their families alone - hundreds have been prompted through your admiration of the sterling work of the brave men in difficult and dangerous conditions.
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All of you have pledged your support to the campaign, as have many local MPs across all three political parties. All are worried about the loss of a regiment with clear links to East Anglia dating back 300 years.
The EADT has now written to Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, Prime Minister Tony Blair and head of the Army General Mike Jackson, himself a Royal Anglian and Chief of the General Staff, demanding an interview as soon as possible.
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Responses which have flooded into our Essex office have ranged from simple messages pleading to "please keep the Anglians together" or to save it as "it has got a great history behind it."
One former soldier described the Royal Anglians as "some of the best soldiers in the world" while Ron and Jean Lovell from Bury St Edmunds wrote: "We are fed up with Government meddling in our much-loved traditions - leave it alone."
Meanwhile, John Pedley argued if anything should be scrapped it should be Mr Hoon, while mother Diane Ling asks what the threat would do to the morale of her son and his comrades in the 1st Battalion, Royal Anglians when they are deployed to Iraq in the spring.
The Government's reorganisation of the Army, due to be announced before Christmas, could see the infantry cut by four battalions and the creation of larger regiments with at least two battalions each.
Under restructuring plans drawn up by the Queen's Division, which incorporates the Royal Anglians, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment, all the regiments could be scrapped and merged into a super regiment of five battalions, named after the existing regiments.
n Did you or your family serve in the Royal Anglian Regiment?
We would like to hear of your memories of life in the regiment and support for our campaign.
Send them by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Juliette Maxam, East Anglian Daily Times, Fairfax House, Causton Road, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1RJ.