Wednesday, 23 July 2014
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Nick Watts reports on the implications of the appointment to be Secretary of State for Defence of Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, first elected to Parliament 30 years ago, as a "safe pair of hands" to take the Ministry of Defence forward. Junior Defence Minister Anna Soubry MP has been promoted to Minister of State, restoring the "status quo ante" in terms of the Ministry's perceived importance. Reserves advocate Julian Brazier MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.

In November 2005, a Private Member's Bill was presented to Parliament by the then MP for Thurrock, Andrew Mackinlay, to provide for "the granting of pardons to soldiers of the British Empire Forces executed during the Great War of 1914 to 1919 following conviction for offences of cowardice, desertion or attempted desertion, disobedience, quitting post, violence, sleeping at post, throwing away arms or striking a superior officer".

During a recent U K Defence Forum study trip, at Hill 62, in Sanctuary Woods, at the Ypres Salient in Flanders, a party of contemporary soldiers and parliamentarians got a taste of how the 11% of condemned soldiers actually executed met their deaths:

There's fuller data on the next page

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