Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Four soldiers were unlawfully killed after troops were given inadequate training.

So ruled Wiltshire Coroner David Masters who, at the conclusion of a six-day inquest into the soldiers’ deaths, went on to say that he would write to the Ministry of Defence to raise concerns about equipment shortages and gaps in training which led to the deaths.

The four soldiers died when their Snatch Land Rover detonated a roadside bomb at Lashkar Gah, Helmand in June 2008.

The use of the Snatch Land Rover is controversial, given the high number of soldiers that have died in them. The vehicle is unsuitable for the terrain in Afghanistan; it cannot be driven over soft ground and gets stuck in small amounts of water, meaning that troops using it must use roads and tracks where the enemy can anticipate them, and plant roadside bombs. So many deaths have been attributed to the use of this inappropriate and dangerous piece of kit that the lads refer to it as a mobile coffin.

The troops’ commanding officer, a colonel whose name was withheld, told the court that he had raised concerns about the lack of safe vehicles and was told that as no others were available they would simply have to make do.

Mr Masters noted that there was a limited pool of vehicles available and that there was a general shortage of vehicles available.

Major Sebastian Morley, one of the soldiers’ commander in Helmand, has resigned since the deaths accusing the government of being criminal for ill-equipping troops.

The court heard too that there were shortages of metal detectors, essential kit, which meant that soldiers had not been trained in their use before they were sent to Afghanistan. They had been forced to seek guidance once they were already in the theatre of war. One of the witnesses said that they had had to work it out themselves with the use of the manual.

Mr Masters concluded that there was a theatre-wide shortage of that piece of vital equipment. He said that the lack of the metal detectors slowed the convoys thus increasing the risk of attack.

"In my judgment there was an inadequacy in training for this unit and its members," he said.

Well of course I realise that this is (yet) another, different war from the one that the Chilcot inquiry is investigating at the moment, but, if all we hear is true, Iraq was funded properly, everything that the commanders wanted they got, the troops were well fed and well trained and equipment was plentiful.....whereas in Afghanistan the troops are ill-equipped, badly trained and under-funded with sub standard kit and rations.

Right! A word to the wise, Mr Brown....... OUR HEADS DO NOT ZIP UP THE BACK!

Picture: A Snatch Land Rover


  1. Well said Tris. Of course you know that Ainsworth and his bunch tried to move the inquests to a more 'user friendly' coroner court because those in Wiltshire say too much.

  2. Thank you SR.

    I didn't actually know that, but of course it doesn't surprise me. I remember that Dez Brownee tried to get the Coroner banned from saying anything bad about the MoD in his reports, but the High Court threw it out... and of course we've heard from you that they are trying to have some sort of purdah on information about deaths in the lead up to the election incase it does Brown and his miserable bunch of warmongers any harm.

    I didn't know that that scruffy wee scumbucket Ain't Worth had tried to move the inquests to a move erm convenient and comfortable location.

    As I understood it, the inquests have to be in the county that the bodies land in... which is why Scottish soldiers' inquests are held under English law and far from their home, causing extra distress and expense to their families.

    At least their stupid law about that has come back and bitten them on the arse.

    Pity it wasn't a rattle snake.

  3. Good old Bod Ainsworth: he is the Alan Bennet of politics, I can just see him in a transport cafe in Bridlington with his mother noticing that there is a chip in the sugar. I think that must be what he does all day because he is totally incompetent at running the war office.

  4. He can't even cover up an inquest or fix the verdict, how totally useless is that? Mart you if I were the coroner in Wiltshire that annoying accent would immediately put my nose our of joint, I just can’t see that going down great guns in Salisbury can you?

  5. I listened to Bill RAmmell last night on this subject. He kept banging on about the fact the IED was so massive that the chances are no one would have survived anyway.

    Well message for you Bill......you are a total arse anyway. You made comments in the press about the British people and negative comment loosing the afghan war.......Bullshit.

    But on the subject here I will take increased armour anyday over a land rover with a wall thinckness of a crisp bag. I will take what ever additional protection I can get before I venture out.

    And there are another 160 odd deaths due to poor armour and snatch land rover use you can not fob off with the comments you made last night.


    Sorry Tris

  6. Munguin: What a vivid immagination you have...Cafés,Bridlington, chips and sugar.... ye gads and Aint Worth when he was little.... without the moustache....

    Actually to be fair to him Dezaster Browne couldn't fix the coroner either. It just goes to show that there are people with some backbone around. Clearly Mr Masters is one of them.

  7. Ah LotF. I can't tell you how pleased I am to see you back.....

    Bill Rammel, that great authority on everything military.

    Degree in French and Politics… and a job as a management trainee and union man, then MP.

    Wonderful. Clearly he knows better than Coroners and Majors and Generals.

    What a dick! Mr Rammell, interestingly, has one of these flat line careers. He has held a junior ministerial job in the English Education Dept (for a year; the amount of time it takes to really get into the job). Then he had 8 months at the Foreign Office at the same level, followed by a move to the MoD 9 months ago....at the same level. They are so short of talent they move him about before he makes too much of a mess anywhere it seems, never promoting him. In a Government Of No Talents (GONT) he can’t make it past Minister of State.

    In regione caecorum rex est luscus. Oh, that was more appropriate than I thought!

  8. Thank you for your kind words Tris.
    A most insightful piece into Mr Rammell and the bit I liked most was ......what was it you said.....oh yes "what a dick".

    And your last statement seems a little bit harsh on the kings of the past dont you think??
    But then again

  9. LotF..... It wasn't till I looked back at it that I realised that it was appropriate more for Brown than for Rammell... but hey ho....

    Keep posting my friend...

    Oh and yes... I repeat....what a dick!