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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Opinion divided over 'Beasting'
Simon Weston
Simon Weston was badly burned during the 1982 Falklands War
The army's use of punishment exercises, so-called "beastings," has come under the spotlight after a soldier died.

Gavin Williams, 22, from Hengoed, Caerphilly, died after a punishment exercise on Monday.

Four men are still being questioned by police and a post mortem exam failed to reveal a cause of death.

As argument continues over the merits of so-called beastings, here two former Welsh Guardsmen give their opinion.

Simon Weston joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 and was badly injured during the bombing of the Sir Galahad during the Falklands War:

The media have latched on to this word "beasting" and they are going to grotesquely misinterpret this so they make it sound worse than it actually is.

Punishment PT [Physical Training] has gone on for a long, long time. I got at least three or four sessions of punishment PT.

Most of my platoon, and I think nearly all of my section, had it at one stage. It happens.

It's just a military way of dealing with things, you know, and unfortunately, it's going to be taken out of context.

Aaron Bishop, 20, from Amanford, left the army recently:

I got beasted before for being five minutes late. I ran about 10 miles with all my kit on, and that was quite a hot day.

I think it's just a form of bullying. It's just a power trip.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of good qualities in the forces but I think at the moment there needs to be an investigation into all this beasting because it's been going on for years and I think it will go on.

I've seen guardsmen going down to the army psychiatrist and the army doctors, having breakdowns. On the physical side, I've seen men getting injured, or being on the sick for months on end and just unable to do the job they have to do because of this beasting.



BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear two differing views on "beasting"



SEE ALSO
Dead soldier 'was being punished'
05 Jul 06 |  Wiltshire
Troops held over soldier's death
04 Jul 06 |  England
Dead soldier's identity released
04 Jul 06 |  England

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