Monday, 9 February 2015

Fury as the MoD refuses medal for Paras' 'forgotten' Falklands hero whose family insist his citation was lost

A Falklands hero whose medal citation was lost by senior officers has been refused an award – despite a high-profile campaign by his family, MPs and The Mail on Sunday.
The family of Corporal Stewart McLaughlin, 27, say the soldier was recommended for a gallantry medal hours after his death in the battle of Mount Longdon in June 1982.
But because the handwritten citation was lost, the exploits of Cpl McLaughlin, of the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (3 Para), have gone unrecognised.His family’s hopes were raised last year when Defence Minister Anna Soubry announced a fresh inquiry, but they have now been told that the review found no evidence that a citation was written.
His brother and son furiously dispute this conclusion, while this newspaper has seen documents which appear to challenge the inquiry’s findings.
These include a letter to Cpl McLaughlin’s commander, Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike, written just days after the battle.In it, another Para officer, Major Mike Argue, writes: ‘You have read my citation. Prior to his death, he led his section like a demon on the rocks of Mount Longdon. This was McLaughlin at his best.’
The inquiry dismissed this reference to a citation, and also ignored the recollections of General Sir Hew, who is adamant that a medal recommendation was written at the time.
How or when the citation was misplaced remains unclear. Last night, Cpl McLaughlin’s brother Mark, 53, from Liverpool, said: ‘We have had a battle royal with the Ministry of Defence who have been hellbent on refusing Stewart a medal no matter what evidence we put forward.Read more

(RG)When it comes to medals for the Falklands War, it seems the MOD have been handing them out like confetti recently. Soldiers that were in the UK during the War watching it all unfold on the TV with a pint of lager in their hands, now can have one, having gone down there after the War ended, but the MOD cant seem to give Corporal McLaughlin the medal it seems everyone apart from the MOD think he deserves. It’s a disgrace and stinks to high heaven.