Arise for our troopers: ‘Betrayed’ British battle hero makes easy plea to Boris Johnson

5 min


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Brian Wooden, who outlines his story in Double Crossed, a brand new e book printed by Penguin, was awarded the Military Cross after the Battle of Danny Boy in 2004, when he was a sergeant within the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, during which he led a cost throughout open floor beneath heavy fireplace from Iraqi insurgents close to town of Amarah within the south of the nation. Nonetheless, 5 years after returning to the UK, and having struggled with Submit Traumatic Stress Dysfunction (PTSD), Brian, who was aged simply 23 on the time of the battle, was shocked to be summoned to provide proof to the Al-Sweady Inquiry into allegations of battle crimes, spearheaded by UK lawyer Phil Shiner. In 2014, the inquiry presided over by former Excessive Courtroom decide Thayne Forbes, printed a report concluding the allegations of torture and homicide had been “wholly without foundation and entirely the product of deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility”.

Shiner, the previous Principal at Public Curiosity Legal professionals, who it emerged in the course of the course of the inquiry had been paying an Iraqi intermediary to search out claimants to stage allegations of abuse in opposition to troopers, was struck off in 2017 over misconduct regarding the false abuse claims.

Mr Wooden, 38, who was a soldier for 17 years, who was utterly exonerated to the abuse claims in opposition to him, was talking on the day the UK authorities and armed forces had been accused of protecting up the killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq – and he cautioned strongly in opposition to digging up the previous.

Referring to lately appointed Veterans’ Affairs minister Johnny Mercer, a fierce critic of makes an attempt to prosecute troopers for alleged crimes in Northern Eire within the 1970s, Mr Wooden informed Categorical.co.uk: “We would have liked that Veterans’ Affairs Workplace a very long time in the past and I’m happy that it’s up and operating.

“We’ve acquired to provide him time. There are all types of guidelines and rules that need to be checked out – can we put in laws which you could’t be citing all types of allegations after 40 years.

War hero Brian Wood

Adorned battle hero Brian Wooden says he felt “betrayed” when he got here house (Picture: GETTY/PA)

Brian Wood Queen Elizabeth II

Brian Wooden receives the Army Cross from Queen Elizabeth II (Picture: PA)

“Ten years for me was exhausting sufficient. There has acquired to be one thing put in place and I feel that’s what Johnny is attempting to push for and I actually welcome it.”

Mr Wooden, who was talking on the sidelines of the Gibunco Gibraltar Literary Competition, added: “There has acquired to be a limitation. Ten years is an efficient quantity.

“Troopers are by no means above the regulation. We all know that. We adhere to the principles of engagement, we adhere to the human rights act and if there’s something that has occurred and it’s flawed then we should be accountable for that.

“However we now have to search out that high quality stability and in the meanwhile we now have not acquired it.”

Brian Wood

Brian Wooden was 23 when he discovered within the Battle of Danny Boy (Picture: Brian Wooden)

Brian’s e book additionally particulars the large battle he confronted to reintegrate after the horrors of battle.

He stated: “We had been preventing hand at hand with militia fighters who had been dug in, and we had been going ahead with 5 of us in opposition to 15 closely armed, dug-in fighters.

“We achieved what lots of people thought was unachievable. That battle ended up with 20 militia killed and 9 taken POW.

“We had a really intense battle, it was close-quarters, it was going excessive to a level, it was over-intense.”

He defined: “We’ve got been uncovered to quite a lot of trauma. Taking somebody’s life is, no matter whether or not you’re a soldier and that’s your mission, it’s a requirement in your headspace as soon as you are taking one other individual’s life – I’ve to stay with that.

“I’d seen what I’d seen…however at that second I couldn’t take into consideration that, I needed to push on.

“Nevertheless it’s the years after once I actually was fascinated about it as a result of I by no means spoke about it. I had to talk about it to get higher.”

A part of the issue was that he by no means had the prospect to “decompress” after the battle, however was as an alternative flown house to the UK the day after it.

Johnny Mercer

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer (Picture: PA)

He stated: “What ought to occur is, you fly out to Cyprus for per week and also you decompress. There’s plenty of actions that you just go and do.

“You’re inspired to go and have a number of beers, you undergo your TRIM course of, trauma danger administration, so you’ll speak about sure occasions which have occurred, and that’s precise decompression, and you then revisit once more after a month the TRIM, so you’ve got that continuity, that movement, revisiting huge incidents which had been irregular, however I missed all of that.

“I don’t assume in 2004 we had been prepared or ready for as a lot as we’d seen and did.

“However now it’s got so much higher and the notice has actually improved, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen it with psychological well being.

Middle East cold war

The Center East “chilly battle” mapped (Picture: Every day Categorical)

“As a frontline soldier your bodily well being is so essential however no-one actually appears to be like on the psychological aspect of it and so they go hand in hand.

“Being in an organisation just like the army and being a frontline soldier, everybody desires to be one of the best model of themselves, it’s very male-dominated and one’s the alpha male and also you don’t need to present any signal of weak spot, so it’s about attempting to alter that tradition of ‘man-up, get on with it, stop being weak’, that’s no good to anybody.

“It’s important to entrance it out and you must speak about issues, some demanding issues.”

The occasions which engulfed him when he did return to the UK clearly nonetheless rankle, and he stated: “The allegations got here 5 years after the battle of Danny Boy.

Double Crossed

The quilt of Brian Wooden’s e book (Picture: Penguin)

From being awarded the Army Cross for Bravery and Gallantry by Her Majesty the Queen, to then be checked out as a assassin

Brian Wooden

“From being awarded the Army Cross for Bravery and Gallantry by Her Majesty the Queen, to then be checked out as a assassin.

“After all I miss the military – it’s an unimaginable organisation.

“They acquired a number of issues flawed, they might have supported us so much higher than what they did, we’ve type of needed to struggle this secondary battle and crucial battle, which was to clear our names, on our personal, which is a disgrace actually, as a result of you possibly can take chunks out of me all day lengthy however when it goes into my household, which it did as a result of when the papers printed what they printed, I used to be checked out somewhat bit in another way and there have been exhausting questions requested and I used to be endlessly justifying myself on the time.

“It was a tough time however I really like the army, I feel it’s an unimaginable belonging and I might encourage my sons to go in.”


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