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Islands' veterans are 'forgotten'

Poppy wreaths
Wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph remembrance ceremony

A Conservative MP is pushing for war veterans from Guernsey and Jersey and the Isle of Man to be able to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London.

Remembrance services and ceremonies are due to be held in each of the islands on Sunday.

But Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said veterans should also be able to lay a wreath in London.

He encouraged islanders to petition the Lord Chancellor Jack Straw to make sure they are represented in future.

There should at least be somebody there that can lay a wreath at the ceremony on behalf of the Crown Dependencies. It's a disgrace
Andrew Rosindell, MP

Mr Rosindell is vice-chair of the UK parliament Channel Island's Group and chair of the Isle of Man Group. He said that as Crown Dependencies, the islands should have a representative at the Cenotaph in London.

He said: "Alas nobody can lay a wreath on behalf of the Crown Dependencies of the Overseas Territories.

"I and many other MPs have expressed concern that this is simply not right.

"There should at least be somebody there that can lay a wreath at the ceremony on behalf of the Crown Dependencies.

"I think they've been forgotten. It's a disgrace."

Yesterday Mr Rosindell raised the matter of wreath laying in parliament, asking Harriet Harmen MP, leader of the House of Commons to explain why veterans from the Crown Dependencies were not represented at the Cenotaph ceremony.

She said she would have to "look into the issue".

Kevin O'Kane, from the North Guernsey branch of the Royal British Legion, said he believed any veteran's organisation had the right to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in London as long as they applied in writing first.

British citizens

He said: "There was only one Guernsey regiment and that was the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, which was disbanded at the end of the First World War.

"Other veterans in the island would have served with national, British, forces."

He said there were about 800 British war veterans living in Guernsey.

Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom or the European Union, but are "possessions" of the British Crown with their own independent administrations.

People living in the dependencies are British citizens.

Earlier this week Lord Willie Bach replaced Michael Wills as the UK government minister responsible for the Crown Dependencies.



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SEE ALSO
Man jailed for poppy money theft
06 Nov 08 |  Tayside and Central
War dead remembered by islanders
11 Nov 07 |  Guernsey

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