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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Army death families seek inquiry
Deepcut barracks
A public inquiry into the Deepcut deaths has been ruled out
The families of armed forces recruits who died in "non-combat situations" have marched on Westminster to demand full public inquiries into the deaths.

Members of the Deepcut and Beyond group, representing nearly 50 families, carried banners and photos of the victims as they marched.

A public inquiry into four deaths at the Surrey barracks has been ruled out by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.

The families do not accept the official line that they were suicides.

Yvonne Collinson from Perth, wants a full inquiry into the death of her son James, 17, who died at Deepcut from a gunshot wound in 2002.

She said: "We don't intend to just go away and accept that Adam Ingram doesn't accept the need for a public inquiry, when it's something we thoroughly disagree with.

Young soldiers' lives are not being investigated in the way that they should be
Geoff Gray, father of dead soldier

"We have families from all over Britain who've lost children in various barracks through very similar circumstances and it just can't go on unchecked."

Relatives handed out postcards outside Parliament and at Downng Street encouraging supporters to sign them and post them to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Geoff Gray, whose 17-year-old son Geoff also died from gunshot wounds at Deepcut, added: "The purpose is to highlight the fact that this in not just a Deepcut problem.

"It's a British army problem in that young soldiers' lives are not being investigated in the way that they should be."

According to Amnesty International, there have been at least 1,748 "non-natural" deaths on UK army barracks since 1990. Many were road accidents, but almost 200 were firearms-related.

Lynn Farr, whose 18-year-old son Daniel died at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, said she was not satisfied with the official explanation into his death.

Daniel's cause of death was given as pneumonia, but Mrs Farr said no inquest or inquiry was held and she is not satisfied that it was the primary cause of death.

There have been 27 non-combat deaths at Catterick since 1990, most recently in June when a 24-year-old soldier was found dead from gunshot wounds.

It the duty of care the army is lacking in
Lynn Farr
Mrs Farr told the BBC she wanted a full inquiry, not just for her son but for three other soldiers who had been found dead with fluid on their lungs.

"When a young soldier goes into the army under the age of 18, the parents sign them in and the army say they will uphold the care and well-being of your son or daughter and they just don't. It the duty of care the army is lacking in."




SEE ALSO:
Barracks shooting victim named
23 Jun 04  |  North Yorkshire
Q&A: The Deepcut mystery
04 Mar 04  |  UK


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