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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 00:08 GMT 01:08 UK
Town divided over Harry decision
By John Kay
BBC News, in Warminster

Prince Harry
Prince Harry was "very disappointed" he would not be sent to Iraq

Wiltshire's garrison town of Warminster, where Prince Harry did some of his military training, is normally intensely loyal to queen and country.

But it is now divided over the Army's decision not to send the Queen's grandson to serve in Iraq.

Many of those taking part in a line-dancing class at an old soldier's social club were angry that Harry had been given special treatment.

"If they do it for Harry, then what about my grandson?" said army veteran Richard Eaton.

"He shouldn't go to war - he doesn't want to go to war, why should he? He might get shot. But his name's not Harry - he's not a royal."

It would put everybody at risk. He's a bigger target isn't he?
Sergeant David Knox

Most people in the town have a military connection, and many of the young people in its Cadet Force express a wish to join the Army in the future.

Their leader, Sergeant Losana Craig, said the decision not to deploy Harry to Iraq was sending out the wrong message.

"I know a lot of mums, dads, parents, wives, girlfriends are going to feel pretty bad," she said. "It is not good enough for Harry, so why are they having to put their partners' lives at risk?"

'Greater danger'

But some serving soldiers in Warminster were relieved by the Army's decision.

Sergeant David Knox, who has been deployed to Iraq twice, believes Harry's presence would have put troops in greater danger.

"It would put everybody at risk," he said. "He's a bigger target isn't he?

"I know the British forces out there are a target as it is, but him being there - I wouldn't like to be anywhere near him. That's no disrespect to Prince Harry."

Harry remains the talk of Warminster - a soldier who trained for Iraq, but will not be going.



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