22/10/2012 Inside Out South


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Welcome to Inside Out South from Salisbury, a city proud of its


association with the military. Tonight... We need a mother


campaigning for the former battalion of her son as the fight


intensifies on government cuts. makes me so angry that this is how


they are being treated and that they do not need them any more. It


is a throwaway society and it is not good enough. They deserve


better. Last week, Parliament decided to save one battalion that


was due to be cut. This might not be binding but it could be a


kickback against plans to cut 20,000 soldiers. Positive four stop


we had two horses -- we head to the horses and a new event. We have got


a couple more and we have got a small ones. This is Inside Out


I the right, quick march! In the past few days they have been


demonstrations against cuts to the army including a march on


Westminster which one colonel described as the first of its kind


since the days of Cromwell. If we are to create a balanced army


capable of providing serious military capability for the future,


a small number of units and Italians will have to be withdrawn.


How have things changed in the last 24 months to such an extent that we


are prepared to reduce a well recruited and sustainable and


fighting regiment like it Regiment of Fusiliers to one Battalion? 2nd


battalion the Royal Welsh is similarly and the Mercian Regiment


also using capable and sustainable With 20,000 soldiers set to lose


their jobs it is time to be Tidworth near Salisbury. Home to


the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh, one of those due to be cut in the


Defence Review. Also home to the Highland Gunners otherwise known as


the 19th Regiment the Royal Artillery. And right now, they are


about to come home from Afghanistan. He is coming home today. How long


have you waited? Six and a half months. More than 200 days. Very


hard. It has been an emotional roller-coaster, really. You are


waiting for the telephone call and I have not heard anything in seven


months. It is a very long time. Crazy. Every emotion you can


imagine. Now I cannot even remember my name or anything! It has been


hard. They have just returned from Helmand Province, where they have


been training Afghanistan soldiers and police ahead of the British


withdrawal in December, 2014. They recruit from the Highlands and


Emotional reunions are part and parcel of army life, but there are


fears a smaller army could mean more frequent tours, putting more


stress on families. I know who I am going to pick up first! I am


looking forward to getting used to family life again. My feeling is


one of joy and I am just relieved to have him home in one piece.


have been told we cannot talk to the soldiers about cuts and the


effect they might have on morale. Instead we are talking about how


proud they are to have done their work in Afghanistan. Very proud. We


have done a good job. I am very proud. I was in Afghanistan for


years ago. Coming back in March, I bit is the difference then and I


noticed the difference after six months and is a different country.


The dynamic is changing constantly around us. We had to focus on a job


in Afghanistan. Everything is changing. We are probably not the


best people to answer that question, but saying that, we have personal


opinions. The army is in a state of flux. We are waiting to see where


we stand. Can we talk to the soldier? Is not a soldier! While


the Highland Gunners look safe as a regiment, no-one can be sure they


won't be one of the 20,000 soldiers to be cut. Under the changes


announced by the Defence Minister Philip Hammond in the summer, the


regular army will shrink from 102,000 to 80,000, with the


territorial army having a greater role. -- 82 thousand. And that


means we will have to reassess how often and how long we go to war,


according to the former Gulf war Commander of the Desert Rats.


have got to make certain that if we reduce the army, we do not send


people on operations more frequently and you have got to be


careful about operations you get involved in. We are a bellicose


nation. We like getting involved. With the war in Afghanistan, we


were far too involved and we had too many soldiers. That has got to


stop. We have got to be much more careful about how often we say, yes


we want to get involved in this operation. Local casualties of the


cuts include Two Three Pioneer Regiment in Bicester and the


Tidworth-based 2nd Battalion the Royal welsh who will be merged with


the 1st battalion. Is there any particular reason you want going to


Kandahar? Among the people concerned is the mother of Private


Richard Hunt, who was killed in Afghanistan. That is a prominent


picture. This is Richard and that is the other lads that was killed


some weeks later, James. That is the the picture with both of them.


And we have got his dresser. This is made out of spent cartridges


which they do for every lad killed. And you have got the plume and


badge put on top and that is sent home to you. And we have got this


lovely picture of Richard. And again, it is made out of what they


can get their hands on. He said, I am sorry, it is a bit rough but I


said I did not mind because it is made with love and respect. It is


one of the last pictures of him. Six foot two inches and eyes are


blue. That is very precious to me. I will try and keep it clean. And


upstairs we have the big room, which actually would have been


Richard's had he come back. It would have been his pad. It is


filled with all sorts of mementoes from his Mexican Hat, to his drums


down at the bottom. The room as I picked up to begin with was when I


was actually at the funeral of two of the Royal Welsh that died


recently. Then we thought it will be the 1st Battalion, the second,


or it will not be at all. But the actual announcement was the


television announcement made by Philip Hammond. It particularly


annoyed me because he said that he would merge the first and second


battalion. You can only emerge battalions when there are places


for them to do too. The 1st Battalion is also in Helmand


Province and is also recruited in Wales. They cannot merge them


because they will be no jobs for them to go to. Unless they went to


battalions outside of Wales, that is if there are jobs for them to go


to which I doubt, then be anything they are going to be getting his


step p 45. I think a lot of this will have an impact on particularly


areas of southern Wales which traditionally recruit them. The


army see it as a way of mobility. It is for people coming out of


troubled circumstances and people that have had a difficult start in


life and it is a way of gaining expertise, experience and skills


that they can take into employment later. You are losing that


opportunity for some of these communities, because they have got


less regiments to return to. That is going to have an impact on Wales.


If this had been 20,000 doctors, nurses, teachers, train drivers,


they would be an uproar and the unions would be in on it. The army


has no union. They cannot speak for themselves. Richard is actually


buried in the local church straight across the. We can see these little


building and window and he is to the right of that. -- across the. -


This is Richard underneath the tree. He was placed it because it gives a


direct view to the farm across the grounds so we can see him and he


can see us. I come here almost every day in the summer months. And


then about two or three times a week during the winter. I come down


at his birthday and at Christmas I gave him a small Christmas tree.


I've read out aloud to him. I bring a book down, normally a military


book because that is what he likes and I normally used to read to him


as a child. It makes me angry that this is the way they are being


treated. That is the job done and we do not need you any more. It is


part and parcel of the Railway Society and is not good enough


because they deserve better. -- throw away society. Even some of


those that agree with the cuts they think that they might have fallen


in the wrong places for political reasons. Scottish regiments like


the Highland Gunners have been left untouched even though unlike Welsh


regiments, the Scots struggle to recruit locally. I think the logic


of making these cuts... The army is going to come down to 80,000


personnel. That is partly economic will. The reality is that we cannot


afford to maintain what we have currently got. What I would have


done differently is to focus on different types of cuts. The


Scottish regiments will be in trouble because they cannot recruit


from other forces and I would merge them with other battalions instead.


I would question if gurkhas should be retained. We have historically


kept them because we have struggled to recruit from raised regiments


with exception of Scotland, that is not a problem. We have kept them


because they were trippers. Prior to the reform debate -- troopers.


They cost the army a lot less than the British soldier. You are paying


extra to keep them compared to ordinary British soldiers. The


third reason we want to look at this is because that when they are


retired, they are often retired to Nepal and they take their pension


and they invest in part of international development for their


country. Now it is changing about where they can leave after they


retire and a lot of them are staying here. That lost revenue


stream is a problem for the poll. I think that they could have been cut


alongside a number of Scottish regiments. I think the Scottish


question leads us to the issue of Scottish independence and David


Cameron did not want to keep ammunition for Alex Salmond and


campaign for Scottish independence. Trying to placate nationalism


against this is damaging the They are clearly having difficulty


in recruiting in Scotland. There are a lot of Fijian soldiers in the


Scottish battalions. It needs to be treated with kid gloves at the


moment, we cannot have it going off the Independent so play around with


the Scottish at your peril. A Welsh Italian, well recruited, having to


be cut, probably for political reasons -- a Welsh Italian to stop


I was upset because it is always sad to see anybody go. Towns around


Salisbury Plain have long been linked to the army because this is


where they come to train. You would expect a special sort of affection


and increased concern about the cuts, especially in garrison towns


like Tidworth. It is wrong, they are putting people out of service,


and they are dumping on them. is a threat every time, everywhere,


these days, nowhere is safe. Tidworth will be Tidworth for ever


and ever. It is the army that has kept it going. It is a Garrison,


that is it. They put a lot into the community. They have kept us


employed for many years. We have only recently retired but we were


both employed by the MoD. I did their to one years. Added 36 years.


-- 31 years, I did 36 years. planned withdrawal of around 20,000


troops based in Germany does mean soldiers will need to find new


bases at home. That could be good news for local economies. Tidworth


is a real winner, people are talking about a super Garrison, all


the major equipment in the British Army, the division that will take


part in a large port will be based around Tidworth and Salisbury. Look


out, get ready for more people, a more permanent presence. It is good


news for Tidworth in terms of building and those sorts of things.


Last year at the second Battalion - - the 2nd Battalion, The Royal


Welsh came back from Afghanistan before how much longer will it be


home as Britain decides which was a can of fortified in future.


honest view is it is a good thing they will not be used quite so


often because the army is going to be smaller, I feel we have overdone


it in the recent past, history may well show actually it wasn't the


best moment for us to get involved in these arguably unnecessary


conflicts we have got involved in. These lads have put so much into


their careers, and I did write a letter to Philip Hammond and asked


him it is all very well doing surveys asking how happy they are


with a job and their pay and all that sort of thing, but has he


recently asked somebody who has come back from the 4th tour off


Afghanistan how they feel about being handed their p 45? I couldn't


see myself in another battalion, having the same and the sphere. It


is amazing. They are cracking bunch of lads. As a Welsh man to serve


with the Royal Welch in Afghanistan is a great thing and it obviously


bring on a back is one of the best feelings a man can have. Just


marching up there I had tears in my eyes. We are all home, all safe.


Next, travellers and their horses go together like bangers and mash,


gin-and-tonic, tea and biscuits. Throw in some parts and you have


got one of the events on the travellers calendar, who could


resist an invitation to Danny 170 courses and families from


across the country arrive at any keeper's home in the New Forest.


They are lightly gypsy families but others have heard about this annual


event. They come from all about -- all over the country. This is


proper New Forest Drive, there are other smaller ones, but they are


trying to copy me. I started at about nine years ago. Only just


friends and family. I think we had 27 on the first one, every year it


has got bigger and bigger. Today there were 170 falsies. Everybody


loves to get together, they come from all over the country. I am


just trying to keep things going. It is fabulous. They deliver


coloured horses, and they left to see them and they are their pride


and joy. That is the way we do it. Ever popular among the regulars is


a patriotic top Hungarian or strainer. -- horse trainer. I have


got all my Hungarian family. A really good guy, because, very


patient but very strict. He sticks to the rules, but experience.


a horse riding nation, we came to Europe on horseback. This is where


it comes from. If you open your brain, mind, heart, you can


understand a horse and it can understand you, a good friend.


came here the last three years, so much fun, so we come every year.


Every year we have an extra horse. This is Albert, his second time,


and this is Dolly, her first time. It is so well organised, everybody


is so friendly, everybody is there to help, and you get to see the


same faces year after year, really good fun. No reunion is complete


without music, and one son has been specially written to celebrate the


occasion. -- and of one song. will be headed out the gate. We go


Although it doesn't have official approval the bat is now it happens


unseen to turn a blind eye. -- the authorities. A lot of holiday


people love to see it and you get the odd one who doesn't. A lot of


people take photographs, you just get the odd one who is impatient.


They forget the horses were here before the cars. Most of them are


all right. You cannot grumble. is it about all these black and


white and brown and white horses had makes them so attractive to


gypsy families. The coloured horses stand out, when the traveller man


got a club tour still look pretty and if they go to a fair and


wonders told they can say they can pick them out. They always


different. The colours are so different, just like the Indians.


When they went out their painted them all up stop I don't know what


it is, do something about the colour. As long as you have got a


good kind I, that is the main thing. Well behaved. Tree to might, they


were true you ride. Life is changing and horses are becoming


more of a hobby than a necessity. lot of people in the 50s and 60s


travelled a nomadic lifestyle. A lot of us are settled down. I have


got a couple of businesses, not all of us, but some have moved on.


have got four children at school, one works in the city in London,


but we still want to keep our culture where we are. My boys still


comes on the drive, I picked him up from the train station in his


three-piece suit. If you come from India and to live in England you


are still in June. We are travellers, because some of us live


in houses and some don't, we have still got our culture me want our


children brought up with our principles. 95% of travellers have


got good morals, principles, good principles around gills, our


daughters are brought up not to have boyfriends and tell the right


age. Good morals. The other 5% you cannot help, but there are a lot


more this D Bevan said travellers. We like to meet up, it keeps our


children's tradition. My parents lived in trailers, and my great


grandparent travelled on the With a long line of horses like


this crossing busy tourist routes an event like this has its dangers


and the organisers live in fear at something could go wrong. -- that


It is not about racing, at least not yet. This is a family day and


It all changes at Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst where the youngsters


in particular let rip. We like to keep the family altogether. That is


where the kids have got horses, saved them running the streets. If


they have caused is there with him all the time. He keeps all the


family together. It brings them all together. Later on in life they


will be good horsemen and women. They have had so much handling of


them. Like anything else, the more you use a horse, the better they


While the forest in agent least a few bemused day-trippers looking on


-- invasion. For one man the drive has a special meaning. It means a


lot to me, the highlight of my life, really. Every year we look forward


to it. Going back to your roots. You have been used to being brought


up with it. I have always liked horses. My father used to go to


Stow-on-the-Wold in a wagon, a proper gypsy wagon. I suppose it is


in the breeding. Hanging away from what we are. This is my grandson,


tummy, he would be the same. We look for our family and our horses


It is brilliant, going through the forest, not another place like it


in England. Such character. At the moment I am feeling very


tense. I am hoping when we get back him and everybody is back in the


yard safe, that is our day ever with and we can relax and do what


we have got to do, the horses will be washed down, everybody us will


be tidied up, they can be fed, put to bed, and we can start enjoying


On the way home there is a chance for the more competitive to show


off their horses Paiseys. -- paces. You cannot be live. You can go


abroad, a lot of good places, but the New Forest is a real special


place, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, so relaxed. He takes


your mind of everything. Get away from the phones, this and that,


People say I have had a good day, shake my hand, it has been


marvellous, that is what I love to That is just about all we have got


time for. Don't forget, if you think you have got a story for us


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