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Breakfast Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 07:02 GMT
Deepcut: why did my son die?
Deepcut barracks in Surrey
Deaths at Deepcut have prompted calls for an inquiry
The families of four soldiers who died in disputed circumstances at Deepcut barracks in Surrey are joining together in London to call for a public inquiry.

  • This morning on Breakfast, we heard from one father, Geoff Gray, whose son died in mysterious circumstances at the barracks.

    Private Gray's father Geoff
    Geoff Gray wants an inquiry into his son's death

    Geoff Gray and his fellow campaigners reject suggestions that the four young soldiers committed suicide using their own rifles, and have accused the Army of a cover-up.

    When his son was alive, he gave no hint of bullying at Deepcut. But, now it appears that bullying was rife there, Mr Gray told Breakfast this morning.


    Police are now investigating the deaths of Geoff Gray, 17, from east London; James Collinson 17, from Perth, Scotland; Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, and Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex, at the Royal Logistics Corps HQ.

    The families will lobby Westminster, joined by other parents whose children died while serving in the Army in a non-combat situation.

    On Monday, the Ministry of Defence said it would carry out an "in depth reappraisal" of training procedures in the armed forces.

    The inquiry will look at whether the training of recruits is too harsh and whether there is too much scope for bullying and sexual harassment.

    Pte James Collinson
    James Collinson's body was exhumed this month
    The review is unlikely to directly address Deepcut but is the first sign the MoD has been feeling the heat on the issue, BBC defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan said.

    The review is expected to take about two months.

    Private James Collinson died from gunshot wounds earlier this year.

    Pressure from his parents, Jim and Yvonne, led to the exhumation of his body earlier this month for a second post-mortem examination.

    Geoff Gray died at the base last year, while Sean Benton and Cheryl James died in 1995.

    The police reopened the investigation into all four deaths after pressure from the parents.

    Police must find hard evidence that deaths are suicides before handing responsibility back to the military.

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