Thursday, 23 May 2013

General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence staff, message to all UK troops after Woolwich murder

The following message was posted to twitter by Steven Nightingale, a British Army Sergeant, earlier today. It is an internal message to all British Armed Forces personnel, sent by General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence staff.

The reason I am posting it here is because the message was posted as a non-searchable screen-grab, and although I have searched for the statement in a more friendly format online I have yet to come across it.

I am indebted to the BBC's Alex Barnett and the Sunday Times' Toby Harnden for providing the tweet bridge to Sgt Nightingale's timeline.

Here it is as transcribed from the screen grabs attached to Sgt Nightingale's three tweets:

"The appalling murder of one of our number has left us all deeply saddened. For my own part, the death of any Service man or woman is a tragedy. It is for all of us the loss of a friend and comrade. But for the family, the loss is much greater, so it is of them I am primarily thinking today.

20 years ago British forces faced danger to defend the Muslims of Bosnia after the tragic massacres in Srebrenica. Today their successors are risking their lives to bring peace to the people of Afghanistan.

British soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen fight not for or self-interest but to protect people of every creed from those who would harm them. Many have been Muslims. That is why we are able to recruit so many good people into the forces and civilians who support them. Today’s Armed Forces is made up of men and women from every religion and culture of the UK. The ties that bind us are stronger than ever and I’m hugely proud of all those serving.

Your duty, courage and self-sacrifice stands in marked contrast to the murderous exhibitionism of crazed men representing no-one. Remain where we are, held in high esteem by the people we serve and do not get drawn into the politics of this incident.

Whilst taking sensible security precautions hold your head high and trust in the government, police and agencies to do the right thing by us, as I know they will."



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