Families' fury at online news of barracks switch
FAMILIES of soldiers who have just returned from Afghanistan have attacked a Welsh regiment for informing them on Facebook that they are to move barracks.
Wives and relatives of those serving with 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh have criticised the decision to tell its troops they would be moving from Dale Barracks in Chester to Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire, online rather than doing so face to face.
The step comes following a decision by the Government to merge 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, which has 640 members, with the regiment's 1st Battalion. It is one of 17 major units in the Army to lose in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades.
Now 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh will be moving to the home of the 2nd Battalion instead. Julia Waters Lawson criticised the regiment in a post on Facebook.
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She said: "What a place to announce on Facebook and not through the regiments."
Kara 'Crease' Bennett, on the website, added: "Love hearing this on here rather than being told by the powers that be. And even though it's what we were expecting, still not nice to hear."
Barton John Simpson said: "Goodbye Dale Barracks!"
Soldiers from Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire, have been serving out in Helmand Province with 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, after deploying to Afghanistan during March and April of this year.
The announcement entitled Army 2020 role issued by the regiment on Facebook, added: "Following the recent decision taken by the Army Command Group (ACG) on the Army 2020 roles, it has now been confirmed that upon merger of the 1st and 2nd Battalions (to form the new 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh), the battalion role will be an Armoured Infantry (AI) role based at Lucknow Barracks, Tidworth.
"It must be stressed that this is the only information available at present and that there is still much work to be done."
An Army spokesman said: ''There has been a lot of speculation about re-basing, but no official announcement has been made.''