Defence in the media: Sunday 30 July 2017

Today's defence news is dominated by coverage of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), with events taking place in Belgium this evening. There is also coverage of an increase in the reporting of sexual offences in the Armed Forces.


There is extensive print, online and broadcast coverage, including BBC R4, ITV News, BBC Scotland, BBC Online, The Sunday TelegraphThe Sunday Express, The Sun, The Sunday People and The Sunday Mirror marking the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

These services provide us with the time to reflect on the sacrifice not just of the thousands of British and Commonwealth troops who gave their lives, but of the men on all sides who did not return home. This was a battle which touched communities across Europe and it is a privilege to be here in Belgium to stand as friends with the representatives of all the countries who took part in the Battle – friends who continue to be strong allies.

Reporting of Sexual Offences

The Sunday People and Sunday Mirror Online report on recent statistics released by the MOD which show in increase in the reporting of some sexual offences.

A Ministry of Defence  spokesperson said:

These offences are abhorrent crimes which have no place in our Armed Forces. All allegations are thoroughly investigated, and anyone found to fall short of the services’ high standards or to have committed an offence under the Armed Forces Act is dealt with appropriately, up to and including dismissal from service.

Image of the day

One of the thousands of graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers at the Tyne Cot cemetary in Belgium. It is now the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world in terms of burials. 'Tyne Cot' or 'Tyne Cottage' was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. The barn, which had become the centre of five or six German blockhouses, or pill-boxes, was captured by the 3rd Australian Division on 4 October 1917, in the advance on Passchendaele.

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