Defence in the media

https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/05/28/4094/

Defence in the Media: 28 May 2016

A variety of Defence related stories are covered in today’s media, including comments by Tony Blair that he had ‘real humility’ about the decisions he took on Iraq, as well coverage of the Jutland commemorations this weekend and reporting on Afghanistan.

Iraq 

Several articles preview Tony Blair’s interview with Emily Maitlis for BBC’s This Week’s World, which will look at conflict in the Middle East and the publication of the Chilcot Report on July 6. Mr Blair said: “I have a real humility about the decisions that I took and the issues around them.” He is quoted in several reports as saying that he hopes that Chilcot will provide an opportunity to learn lessons. 

Meanwhile several outlets including the BBC report that Daesh's commander in Falluja is among 70 militants killed in coalition air strikes, according to the US military.

Afghanistan 

The Daily Mail reports that the UK is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan and extending its training mission by a year, ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw. The pieces says that up to 100 troops could be send to the country, though adds that chiefs are discussing options.

An MOD Spokesperson said:

Afghan forces are taking a leading role in providing security for their country, supported by NATO. While we routinely look at the support we and NATO partners give, no decisions have been made.

Jutland

The Daily Mail, Sun, Mirror and Telegraph report on this weekend’s commemorations of the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.

Bassingbourn claim rejected

The Daily Mail reports that three Libyan soldiers who applied for asylum after being jailed for a series of sex attacks have had their applications rejected by the Home Office.

Image of the Day

A paving stone was unveiled in Leyton in honour of Victoria Cross holder John ‘Jack’ Cornwell, who died aged just 16 following the battle on 31st May 1916.In East London at Jubilee Park, Leyton, the First Sea Lord and around 100 Royal Navy sailors attended the VC Paving Stone unveiling for Victoria Cross recipient Jack Cornwell. They were joined by civic representatives, Cornwell family descendants – including Able Seaman Alex Saridis, who has just completed basic training in the Royal Navy – and members of the public to honour the memory of ‘Boy Cornwell’, one of the most famous sailors of the First World War, whose tale of heroism captured the public’s imagination. At the paving stone unveiling, the newly-appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, reflected on the importance of Jack Cornwell’s story.On Tuesday 31st May a number of events will take place across the UK to mark the centenary of the battle, and pay tribute to 6,094 British and 2,551 German sailors who lost their lives. The main focus will be on the Orkney Islands, with services in Kirkwall Cathedral and Lyness Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery. In the spirit of reconciliation, an event will also take place simultaneously at sea over Jutland Bank – the site of the battle – and will feature warships from both the Royal Navy and German Navy scattering flowers of Remembrance. The story of Jack Cornwell: John ‘Jack’ Cornwell was born on 8 January 1900 just off Capworth Street in Clyde Cottage, Clyde Place, Leyton. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Jack tried to enlist by lying about his age. However, he was unsuccessful and had to wait another year before he successfully enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy Sailor in 1915. He didn’t have his father’s permission but used letters of reference from his headmaster and employer. After basic training he was posted to HMS Chester in 1916 as a Boy 1st Class Sailor. On 31 May, 1916, HMS Chester came under intense fire from four German marine cruisers during the Battle of Jutland. A hail of heavy shells fell around HMS Chester and the 5.5-inch gun mounting where Cornwell was serving as a sight-setter was affected by at least four nearby hits. The gun’s entire crew was killed or mortally injured except Cornwell, who although wounded, remained at his post until HMS Chester retired from the action with only one main gun still working. After the action, ship medics arrived on deck to find Cornwell the sole survivor at his gun, shards of steel penetrating his chest, looking at the gun sights and still waiting for orders. Being incapable of further action, HMS Chester was ordered to the port of Immingham, near Grimsby. There Cornwell was transferred to Grimsby General Hospital, where he died on the morning of 2 June, 1916, before his mother could arrive. He was initially buried in a common grave in Manor Park Cemetery, in Newham, with only a few members of his family present. His resting place was marked by a wooden sign that read Grave 323.
Victoria Cross Holder John Cornwell Honoured In Leyton - Thursday 26 May 2016
Image shows the poppy wreath party from HMS Raleigh.
A paving stone was unveiled in Leyton in honour of Victoria Cross holder John ‘Jack’ Cornwell, who died aged just 16 following the battle on 31st May 1916. In East London at Jubilee Park, Leyton, the First Sea Lord and around 100 Royal Navy sailors attended the VC Paving Stone unveiling for Victoria Cross recipient Jack Cornwell. They were joined by civic representatives, Cornwell family descendants – including Able Seaman Alex Saridis, who has just completed basic training in the Royal Navy – and members of the public to honour the memory of ‘Boy Cornwell’, one of the most famous sailors of the First World War, whose tale of heroism captured the public’s imagination. On Tuesday 31st May a number of events will take place across the UK to mark the centenary of the battle, and pay tribute to 6,094 British and 2,551 German sailors who lost their lives. The main focus will be on the Orkney Islands, with services in Kirkwall Cathedral and Lyness Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery. In the spirit of reconciliation, an event will also take place simultaneously at sea over Jutland Bank – the site of the battle – and will feature warships from both the Royal Navy and German Navy scattering flowers of Remembrance.

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