Monday, 11 December 2006

How I was called a liar by a Colonel representing the MOD in the PTSD Group Action

Below is a copy of a witness statement made by my former Commanding officer in the Falklands War. He has in the High Court Of England called me and my colleagues some of whom were Senior NCOs Liars. I never had any opportunity to have my say in court, basically he was a Colonel I am a Gunner so I must be lying. I just want the world to see how the MOD operate and how statements like this could lead to Veterans taking their own lives. I cannot afford justice but I can show that it was not me who was not telling the truth. We never had a fair trial in the and this proves it beyond any doubt. You read the evidence and you decide
Oh yeah and it was never about money it was about the lads getting the right treatment after having served their country. Sad to say the situation is far worse today with no military hospitals left and injured veterans returning from Iraq and being attacked in UK Civilian hospitals

The Claimant alleges that he and his unit came under attack from enemy artillery and were bombed on a daily basis whilst at San Carlos. This allegation is wholly untrue. There was no Argentinean artillery capable of firing into San Carlos Water and whilst the ships in San Carlos Water were bombed on a daily basis, the rapier fire units, of which the Claimant was a member, were not bombed, strafed or attacked. All of the targets, with the exception of the refrigeration plant, were ships

(RG) Says. We had one stray round fired in our position by friendly forces (4th Field RA) On one occasion we had retard bombs dropped on our positions, these are bombs with Parachutes. We witnessed Sapper Ghandi’s trench take a direct hit resulting in his death. We were bombed from the air one night by an enemy Canberra bomber. I should know I was there he was not.

In so far as the allegations contained at paragraph 5(b) are concerned, I would say that it was most unlikely that(the operators could see the whole thing as they were
under camouflage and cover. The pilots having dropped their bombs on the ship, masked by the terrain, flew back over the ships at high speed.

(RG) Says The BC was wrong we were under no camouflage cover at Bluff Cove, we all had a good view of the Sips Sir Galahad & Tristram being attacked, I was tracking the lead aircraft when unfortunately my missile malfunctioned due to the BC tasking us as air defence cover even though he new we had a problem with our tracker head.

At the end of the attack a lone Sky hawk came back low over our position this is when we thought we were going to be finished off. I discovered after the War that this was a recognisance flight assessing the damage, so once again the BC was wrong I was there he was not.

The Claimant might have seen the aircraft but there was
little chance that he could have seen the pilot clearly. He may have feared that he
might be bombed but that simply did not happen. The pilots were only interested in
the ships. Given that 2 Para who were on the ground were firing every machine gun
they had at the planes, I doubt the pilots would have attempted to attack ground targets.

(RG) Says I refer readers to the BCs end of Falklands War report.

I entirely dispute the allegations made by the Claimant at paragraph 6 of the
Amended Particulars of Claim. Neither he nor his detachments were ever deployed
in an area previously occupied by the Argentineans and therefore he could not possibly have seen dead Argentinean soldiers.

(RG) Says Once again the BC is wrong, the corpse of the Argentinean soldier that I was refering to was lying in the ruins of Port Stanley. Once again I was there he was not

T Battery had no access to grenades and were ~ never located with front line infantry. Accordingly I have no doubt in my mind that
this alleged incident did not happen to the Claimant.

(RG) Says This lack of knowledge amazes me, we were all issued with two L2 Grenades , the main reason for this was to disable the Rapier Launchers if we were compromised by the enemy, as well as obviously use them in a combat roll, he of all people should have know this as he was our Battery Commander. The grenade in question in my statement was a small Argentinean grenade that was left lying around after the surrender of Argentine forces in Stanley. I was there he was not.

We all travelled back on MV Norland together. I note that the Claimant alleges that
during the journey back he was distressed and confused, that he began to drink
heavily, was involved in fights with other soldiers and at one point attempted to
throw himself overboard.
26. There was a limited amount of alcohol available on the MV Norland. As far as I can
recall it was either two or four cans a day per man. At no time did I see nor was it
reported to me that the Claimant or anyone else was acting in this way. If he had attempted to throw himself overboard, I have no doubt that I would have been told
about it and seen it, but such an incident was never reported or witnessed by me.
There were some minor disciplinary problems on the way back on the ship and I
would have been surprised had there not been such problems given that there were
one hundred and thirty two men living in extremely close quarters and all in
celebratory mood. Travelling as a group by ship gave ample time to wind down, to
discuss what had happened and achieve a more normal level of activity.
27. Any problems with behaviour would have been notified through the chain of
command. The morale of all on MV Norland was very good and behaviour such as
the Claimant alleges would have stood out like a sore thumb. As far as I am
concerned, he did not exhibit any outward signs of concern or distress.

(RG) Says It is true I did consider throwing myself overboard due to the large amount of alcohol I had consumed and my best mate Scouse stopped me from doing so. If the BC thinks a fight breaking out when he was addressing the battery, one soldier head butting another in the face and one soldier stabbing another in the stomach with a bayonet minor disciplinary problems then he did not have much control or care about discipline of his men

Having read through a11 the statements, the Claimant's assertion at paragraph 20
that he is not religious contradicts absolutely ******** remarks at paragraph 29 of his statement about "Tony's religious beliefs". In the same paragraph the Claimant refers to disembarking from the ship onto the beach at San Carlos and coming under fire. The air attack he refers to was a bomb attack against Royal Navy and Logistic ships at anchor in San Carlos water. The aircraft did not fire cannon but dropped bombs. All cannon and most small arms fire
came from Royal Navy ships, especially Fearless. No ground position other than
Ajax Bay in week 2 was ever attacked by Argentinean aircraft.

(RG) Says Once again I refere the reader to the BCs end of Falklands War report.

Antelope having been hit at sea, limped into San Carlos Water under its own
steam at about 0900 hours on Sunday 28 May. The crew were evacuated and the
bomb disposal team (two men) went on board to diffuse a bomb in the lower
decks. The ship smoked all day. At 2100 hours the bomb went off causing
secondary explosions and fire. The bomb disposal warrant officer was killed. It
was a distressing and sad sight but the Claimant and all of us would have known
that the crew were not on board.

(RG) Says The BC may have been privy to that information but I can assure you I was not.

The Claimant refers at paragraph 27 to the unit being blamed for not shooting
down the Argentinean aircraft which hit the Sir Galahad. In the immediate
aftermath, there were many accusations of such. However, over the next 24 to 36
hours as the facts became known the majority exonerated both Rapier and H
Troop. Even if all four fire units in H Troop had been working, they could not
have prevented the attack. The four fire units were sited to protect the troops dug
in around Fitzroy settlement and not the ships at sea in Bluff Cove. The lay of the
land and the number of aircraft, allied to the very low level attack, meant that six
or seven of the nine aircraft would have been able to attack the ship. It was an upsetting incident for everyone, not just the Claimant. The Detachment
Commander and Troop Commander were much more upset.

(RG) Says I was sat in the seat tracking the lead Skyhawk , I had shot down two Enemy aircraft at San Carlos, when I pressed the fire button nothing happened and my missile failed to fire. The BC had sent our Rapier on that mission knowing full well that we had a problem with the tracker head, the rest is history.How dare he say my sergeant and the troop commander were much more upset than me, how is this man qualified to make such a judgement? the troop commander was not even there.

The Claimant at paragraph 28 suggests that he could not show any emotion
following the Sir Galahad incident because this would have been seen as a sign of
weakness. This is nonsense in my view

(RG) Says it may be nonsense in his view, but as any combat soldier will know I am correct and I stand by my statement.

At paragraph 33, the Claimant refers to letting off rounds of ammunition at
vehicles or into the air in Port Stanley. By the time the Claimant reached Port
Stanley, the place was crawling with military police etc. They could not have
discharged ammunition at vehicles without a major alert. I was there and there
was no such alert.

(RG)Says I stick to my claim that we all had Argentinean FN rifles and were drunkenly firing them. Considering his claim that the place was `crawling` with Military Police they must have all been in the Pub because I didn’t see a single one.

11 Most people experienced what the Claimant refers to at paragraph 34. Virtually
no minefield maps existed and accordingly the Royal Engineers treated all areas
off road as potential minefields. Several Scots Guards actually did enter a
minefield and two or three engineers were killed maimed in the course of mine
disposal. It was a constant threat/fear for both ourselves and the civilian

(RG) Says Myself and Scouse were walking across a piece of land when several British soldiers began screaming at us that we were in a mine field, perhaps they were just taking the piss?

12 I simply do not believe what the Claimant says at paragraph 35 in relation to
finding a group of British soldiers prodding the torso of a headless Argentinean in
a trench. By the time the Claimant reached Port Stanley, all corpses (and there
were not many) had been cleared. If someone had done this, there would have
been a major inquiry. I find the last sentence of that paragraph somewhat
dramatic. Even if it had happened, the Claimant could have done nothing to
prevent it.

(RG) Says He may think its dramatic but it did occur I wish it never and it has haunted me every day for the last 24 years, God forgive us.

I would just like to say to Colonel Smith it is not I and my fellow soldiers who have lied it is you Sir who have deliberately lied to the High Court and my proof is below written by your very hand, I may be ill but I am not a liar. I would like to thank all my witnesses for confirming my statement, which included two Senior NCOs and one Junior NCO, you are good men and I value your honesty and friendship.

Below is the official report that Major Smith produced for the MOD. Evidence that serious contradicts his original statement.

Equipment and crew were the most vulnerable of all ground troops to air attack. Extremely wet conditions meant that it was virtually impossible to dig at most sites. Missile containers, filled with earth, were used to build protective walls for operators and banked with earth and turf. Missiles were scattered widely (protective dispersion) as opposed to pamphlet teaching of holding in "ready to use area. Some concern was expressed at the excessive use of white paint to mark missile containers. A dull colour should be used
to aid camouflage. There Were 3 deliberate fixed wing attacks against launchers and operators, with rockets, cannon and bombs, fortunately unsuccessful. Three other detachments came under fire as a result of area attacks but
again without serious damage. One launcher radome was peppered with shrapnel from a 500 lb bomb but continued to function without loss of performance.
There was no protection for crews apart from that improvised with missile containers
. "

Signed Maj Smith

Maj BC.

© Mack (RG)"Every day feels like the day of a funeral"

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