Crime of British boy soldiers

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Coming from a family who have fought in two World Wars, we fully agree that the British Army is the 'most professional in the world' (TES, April 16).

Unfortunately, it is clear that there are failures in the Army's "duty of care" as employers. Events such as the Deepcut barracks deaths and that Britain, until this Iraq War, continued to send under-age soldiers to battle zones, gives us grave misgivings. Britain was the only Western nation to continue to send those under age into combat, despite the UN prohibiting it. Boys of 17 were killed in the Falklands and the Gulf War in 1991.

Even in World War 1, it was not permitted by British military law to send those under-age into battle zones, yet they did and it caused a scandal in Parliament. Four of these boys were unjustly shot at dawn. The only lesson learned is that we now no longer execute our own!

Doreen Jansen 'An Cuan'

465 Wickham Road Croydon

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