RIP Dennis Hutchings

I am truly saddened by the death of Dennis Hutchings, an ex-soldier who has passed away while on trial over a fatal shooting during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. Mr Hutchings, 80, denied attempting to murder and cause grievous bodily harm to John Pat Cunningham. Mr Hutchings’ trial was adjourned for three weeks due to illness and…

Paralegal Position

Hilary Meredith Solicitors is a boutique law firm specialising in providing legal advice to current and former members of the Armed Forces community.Our award winning, claimant-based practice has established a strong reputation for campaigning for service personnel and protecting their rights. We are currently looking to recruit a Paralegal to personally assist Hilary Meredith with…

Wonderful and humbling day at Westminster Abbey

I was honoured to attend the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Service at Westminster Abbey today. The Queen was joined by her daughter Princess Anne at the national service to commemorate the 100-year milestone. The Royal British Legion has been a lifeline to the nation’s armed forces, veterans and the wider military family. Retired Lieutenant General…

UK military operations in Afghanistan – 20th anniversary

Commemorations have taken place this morning to mark the 20th anniversary of the start of our military operations in Afghanistan. UK troops left Afghanistan at the end of August, bringing an end to the 20-year war. Two wreath-laying ceremonies took place place at 07:30 am, intended by the Ministry of Defence to honour “the courage…

Sir John Chilcot – Obituary

There is a brilliantly written obituary on Sir John Chilcot in The Times today. Sir John, the civil servant whose inquiry into the Iraq war condemned the Blair government, has died of kidney disease aged 82. In 2016 Sir John delivered in a 2.6 million-word report, four times longer than War and Peace, and particularly…

Have you suffered injury after testing the Ajax Light Tank?

Service personnel who have tested the Army’s £3.5 billion Ajax light tank are being urged to take legal advice at the earliest opportunity, after the armoured vehicle was noted to have caused hearing loss, back spasms and joint pains. Months ago, MPs were told 121 personnel had been identified as requiring urgent hearing assessments because…

Johnny Mercer comment piece in The Times

I was moved by Johnny Mercer’s heartfelt comment piece on Afghanistan in The Sunday Times. The former Veterans Minister talks about how our “shameful exit” from Afghanistan has been a “catastrophe”. He pays tribute to the “service families and veterans at home”, while saying that he “cannot believe what we have done” to the Afghan…

Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past

The UK government has issued a paper to Parliament – Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past. Having visited the beautiful city of Belfast earlier in the year and toured the fabulous, award-winning Titanic Museum, it’s still hard to forget the city is renowned for a different reason. Taking a tour of Belfast, incredibly it…

MoD Gold Award for University of Chester

The University of Chester has been awarded the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. The Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire other organisations to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed…

Plan to end all NI Troubles prosecutions confirmed

The government has confirmed it intends to bring forward legislation to ban all prosecutions related to the Troubles. Boris Johnson said the proposals to address the legacy of the past will allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the Troubles”. NI Secretary Brandon Lewis told Parliament it was a decision not taken lightly. But…

Dennis Hutchings – let down by the MoD

Former veterans minister Johnny Mercer will challenge the UK Government on behalf of Troubles soldiers claiming pledges to protect veterans have been broken.The MP accused his government of a “complete betrayal” of veterans, the Daily Mail has reported.The Plymouth Moor View MP and former army captain has lodged a witness statement in support of Dennis…

Paras acquitted after Northern Ireland trial collapses

Two former paratroopers accused of the murder of an Official IRA man in 1972 have been formally acquitted after their trial collapsed. Joe McCann, 24, was shot in disputed circumstances in Joy Street in the Markets area of Belfast in April 1972. Soldiers A and C, both in their 70s, had pleaded not guilty. The…

Parallels between wronged postmasters and army veterans

There are worrying parallels between the Post Office workers wrongly accused of theft, including postmaster Martin Griffiths who killed himself aged 59 after being driven to financial and emotional ruin as a result of the Horizon scandal, and those wrongly accused by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team. Wouldn’t you think that common sense would prevail?…

Female veterans and mental health

Female military veterans are struggling to access mental health support due to the stigma around seeking help, new research from Anglia Ruskin University has found. The University’s research flies in the face of the government’s Overseas Operations Bill and the 6-year longstop it imposes on civil claims. Despite the MoD’s insistence that it “fully supports…

Overseas Operations Bill – latest update

The Overseas Operations Bill will introduce an absolute six-year time limit on civil actions after consideration of Commons amendments in the House of Lords yesterday. Throughout the passage of the Bill, one of the most controversial aspects has been restrictions on time limits for serving or retired personnel to bring actions for personal injury or…

Shameful Northern Ireland prosecutions start today

Soldiers A and C, now in their early 70s, are due to stand trial today accused of the murder of Official IRA commander Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972. The former Parachute Regiment soldiers are the first British servicemen to be prosecuted over the killing of an active member of the IRA, and the first…

Shameful prosecution of our veterans starts today

Ex veterans minister Johnny Mercer will be in Belfast today to support two ex-soldiers being prosecuted for killing an IRA commander. Soldiers A and C, now in their early 70s, are due to stand trial accused of the murder of Official IRA commander Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972. The former Parachute Regiment soldiers are…