Newspaper readers raise £10 million for military veterans

A campaign by the Sun newspaper has raised £10 million for military veterans. In September, the newspaper launched a campaign to help the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal which was in crisis because of the pandemic. A host of celebrities, including David Beckham, who took poppies to Chelsea Pensioners, backed the campaign. It is…

Gulf War veterans still need legal and medical help says Hilary Meredith

Veterans of the First Gulf War have urged those struggling with the horrors of conflict 30 years later to seek help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).The First Gulf War ended on 28 February 1991, following the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, as allied forces forced Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops to retreat from Kuwait.Forty-seven British personnel were among the fatalities,…

Armed Forces Bill – MoD light years away from being fit for purpose

The Armed Forces Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, introduced by Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer. This was a 5 year review opportunity to really make a difference but sadly fell short of the support desperately needed for armed forces veterans and families. I’m not sure why the military community…

MoD’s failings have left indelible mark on Army recruitment and morale

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has denied claims that the Army is “dangerously short” of deployable soldiers, following reports of a leaked sensitive document.The Daily Mail originally revealed on Friday that it had seen a defence report labelled the MOD’s ‘Infantry Battalion Soldier Strength Summary – January 2021’ and marked “Official: Sensitive”.According to the newspaper,…

The government’s contradictory stance on the Armed Forces Covenant

A new Bill is being brought forward that will see the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in law. The Armed Forces Bill is being introduced to the House of Commons later today. It will embed the Covenant into law by introducing a legal duty for relevant UK public bodies to have due regard to the principles…

Overseas Operations Bill – Government snubs joint Committee on Human Rights

On 14 January 2021, the Government responded to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill – and refused to accept that the introduction of an absolute 6-year time limit on civil claims will restrict access to justice for troops serving overseas. Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary…

Why time limits aren’t needed to protect our troops from prosecution

Sunday’s Sun Newspaper reports how 2,796 servicemen and women launched legal action against the MoD last year. The report highlights how the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, while attempting to protect British troops from legal witch-hunts, will put an unfair six-year time limit on claims against the MoD for injuries suffered overseas. Shadow…

New research brings much needed attention to asbestos-related cancer in the Armed Forces

A new study carried out by researchers at the University of Sheffield and funded by national cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK, has detailed some of the experiences of, and support required for armed forces personnel and military veterans with asbestos-related cancer.The Military Experiences of Mesothelioma Study (MiMES) aims to explore the prevalence of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma…

Road Safety Week 2020

Hilary Meredith Solicitors fully supports Road Safety Week, which runs from November 16th to November 22nd. Road Safety Week, organised by ‘Brake’, a road safety charity, is an annual event and the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. During Road Safety Week, thousands of organisations, schools and communities take part, with road safety…

Remembrance Sunday events can go-ahead despite new Covid lockdown

Guidelines on how Remembrance Sunday activities can go ahead have been published as new Covid-19 restrictions come into force for England with a second lockdown. The government is advising local authorities in England and faith leaders that they can organise outdoor Remembrance Sunday events at a public war memorial or cenotaph, if they complete a Covid-19…

Who let the dogs out?

The year is 2020 and just when you thought this year couldn’t get any stranger the US Military have now gone and “released the hounds” (to quote Charles Montgomery “Monty” Burns) albeit these hounds are robots! https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1333295/us-air-force-robot-dogs-army-defend-military-bases Being a fan of both Sci-Fi and the ‘Terminator’ film franchise, I am well aware of the lessons…

New BBC drama, Danny Boy, tells heroic Brian Wood’s story

I’m very much looking forward to watching the upcoming BBC Two drama Danny Boy, which has recently begun filming. The feature-length programme is described by the BBC as a “compelling new drama” and will tell the real-life story of Iraq veteran Brian Wood who found himself falsely accused of war crimes by the Iraq Historic…

The money-saving inspired motive behind the Overseas Operations Bill

New figures obtained by shadow Defence Secretary John Healey, reported in The Mirror, show that for every claim of mistreatment by British soldiers in warzones there are 25 against the MoD for injury or negligence by the soldiers themselves. Ministers say the new Overseas Operations Bill will protect troops from vexatious claims and endless investigations….

Judge-led Inquiry into investigation of troops is a step in the right direction

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Ministry of Defence has ordered a judge-led Inquiry into investigations of our troops, which could block repeated inquiries into allegations. The Defence Secretary said the review into how allegations of wrongdoing are raised and investigated will help tackle the uncertainty faced by military personnel on future overseas operations….

Overseas Operations Bill – what next?

There has been much debate and comment over the government’s Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, including this article by well-respected legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg QC (hon). https://rozenberg.substack.com/p/a-clean-slate-after-five-years Much of the Overseas Operations Bill has been brought as a result of the panic caused by the IHAT investigation (described as a “poisoned well” by…

Help for Heroes and the devastating financial impact of Covid-19

I was sad to read about the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Help for Heroes. The armed forces charity this week announced the difficult decision to undergo a major restructure in order to protect their life-changing recovery services. Help for Heroes rely on public donations for 97% of income but this has…

75th Anniversary of VJ Day – paying tribute to our veterans

The Royal Family is today leading the UK’s commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the day World War Two ended with Japan’s surrender.The Prince of Wales will attend a memorial while the Duke of Cambridge will appear in a special TV programme.VJ Day – or Victory over Japan Day – on 15…

#SaluteOurForces

I pay tribute to the bravery of our Armed Forces every day of the year, but today, on Armed Forces Day 2020, I’d particularly like to salute all our service personnel, veterans and their families.Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much-valued morale boost for our troops and their families. Unfortunately, due to the…

Operation Northmoor shut down – why the secrecy?

he Defence Secretary was last night accused of a cover-up after it emerged a £10million probe into Afghan veterans was secretly closed down a year ago. Operation Northmoor was ended by the provost marshal heading the Royal Military Police investigation last summer, according to a defence source. At its height, the special police unit was…