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Families outraged by online barracks change news

Families outraged by online barracks change newsThe families of soldiers who have just come back from Afghanistan have slammed a regiment in Wales for telling them that they are going to have to change barracks via the social media site Facebook.

The decision to inform troops of their upcoming move from Chester’s Dale Barracks to Lucknow Barracks, which is situated in Tidworth in Wiltshire, online instead of face to face has been criticized by the wives and relatives of soldiers serving in the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh.

The step comes after a choice that has been made by the government to merge the 640-member 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh with the regiment’s 1st Battalion. It is one of 17 major Army units to lose out in what is one of the largest overhauls of the service for many decades.   Now 1st Battalion is to undergo relocation to the home of the 2nd Battalion.

“What a place to announce on Facebook and not through the regiments,” says Julia Walters Lawson, who used the social media site to offer her criticism of the decision.   Nor was she alone in her condemnation of the online announcement, with Kara ‘Crease’ Bennett also making use of the site to express her disgust, noting sarcastically: “Love hearing this on here rather than being told by the powers that be.   And even though it’s what we were expecting, still not nice to hear”.

An army spokesperson refused to address the criticisms directly, merely commenting: “There has been a lot of speculation about re-basing, but no official announcement has been made”.

Lance Grooms

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