Barbara has given her backing to the campaign to save the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The Conservative-led Government plans to axe the Battalion as part of sweeping cuts to the Army.
The historic 2nd Battalion recruits soldiers from Salford and across Greater Manchester. It has served in every conflict since 1688 but will now be axed in 2014, putting 600 soldiers and officers at risk of redundancy. The cuts will see a total of 20,000 posts cut from 17 Army units across the country.
The Government’s decision was slammed by Ann and Peter Annis, the parents of Fusilier Simon Annis who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. Simon was killed in a bomb blast as he tried to save a comrade’s life.
The heroism of Simon Annis and the sterling work of the 2nd Battalion while stationed in Afghanistan were celebrated at the Battalion’s homecoming in Salford in December 2009.
“2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers had their homecoming parade from Afghanistan in 2009 and Salford people lined the streets to give our returning soldiers a warm welcome. I was very proud to be at the parade to thank our brave soldiers for their service and was privileged to meet the parents of Fusilier Simon Annis.
“The Government’s decision to axe this historic Battalion and to make deep cuts to army numbers shows a total disregard for the brave men and women from Salford and across Greater Manchester who have put their lives on the line to fight for our country.
“This Government is out of touch with the pride that local people have in the 2nd Battalion and I fully support Mr and Mrs Annis and the campaign to save the Battalion.”