Messages reveal families' grief - and anger
By Oliver Duff, The Independent (UK), 6 November 2004

Almost two hundred families, friends and well-wishers have flooded Black Watch's official website with messages expressing their grief and anger at the deaths in Iraq of three soldiers from the regiment.

They wrote of their sorrow at the waste of young lives, their fears for loved ones posted in the "Triangle of Death" near Baghdad, and their anger at Tony Blair for choosing to deploy them there, instead of bringing them home, as scheduled.

A former soldier wrote: "I send my most sincere commiserations to the Regiment, their families, and particularly the families of those lost in action today." Dozens demand Blair "gets our boys out".

Below are some of the messages posted on the site:

Brian and Allison Douglas, 'Ex-Black Watch'

Just wanted to offer our condolences to the families of the soldiers lost and say that we are thinking about the guys out in Iraq and the families in Warminster and elsewhere. Time to come home!

Janet Wilson

Blair has no guts, he will never stand up to Bush, he's already proven that. I, like so many others, just want my brother home along with every other member of the British Army who's out there!


As the wife of a soldier who has served in Iraq three times, I can only ask that you please support those who remain out there doing their jobs. They have to carry on knowing that friends are gone and that the danger remains.

Stewart, father of a lance-corporal in the regiment

I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the family circle at this sad time. I am a parent of a L/Cpl in the regiment and find this very hard to cope with.

Serving member of the Royal Navy

From a fellow member of the Services, I know what it is like to be far from home, doing a job for which we are poorly paid and poorly appreciated by this diabolical government. We have no MPs that are worthy of wearing the red poppy on their lapel, they should remove them with shame. Tony Blair should not stand at the Cenotaph ... Perhaps if MPs had sons and relatives in frontline units they would be more understanding of the pain that is felt.

Daughter of Dode Stephen

I am Dode Stephen's eldest daughter and lived just down the road from Pte Scott McArdle [one of the three killed]. The saddest thing is he actually left the battalion but was recalled for this terrible and pointless mission. I will miss him very much and our thoughts are for all the families concerned. To all the lads and lasses in Iraq, we hope you come home safely and soon. Love from the Stephen Family

Nan Boyd, mother

I have spoken with my son a short time ago and they are very close friends of his. He is absolutely gutted tonight. If MPs had sons out there fighting they would soon bring them home. They just don't care any more. God Bless every one of the lads out there and may God bring the rest of them home safe.

Mother of soldier

Just heard the news. I think we all need to get on at our MPs to get our boys out of there. I just hope Tony Blair can sleep at nights.

Bob Evans, former RAF

I'd like to pass my sincere condolences to the families of your brave soldiers that died today. As an ex-RAF guy I understand the anxieties and grief these sojourns bring to everybody. They have to do as they are told but, sadly, they are told some bad things sometimes and I believe this is one of those occasions. I will be thinking of your people over there and hoping for the safe return of each and every one of them.

Anonymous wife

I'm not sure how other wives are feeling but, after seeing the news today, I am feeling more and more helpless. I just want my husband home, can't stand the fact they are getting pulled further into this whole mess and there is no end in sight.

No one knows when they will be home and we are getting told nothing and not to listen to the news, but that's hard when that's all the information we are given.

Geordi, mother of Black Watch soldier

As the mother of a BW soldier serving in Iraq, I would like to pass on our family's sympathies to the relatives and friends of all those involved in this latest dreadful incident. Last night was just terrible. Waiting on names. Hoping your son was not one, and yet realising that someone else would be grieving. Bring them home!

Mandy, sister

My little brother is 24 and serving with the Black Watch in Iraq. You feel helpless and some people you meet don't understand what you are going through. I call it the W syndrome. Before the news you watch, worry, wait, weep. After the news you wish, wonder, who, when, where, why and weep some more.

Never been in this situation before and finding it very hard. Last saw my brother in June. He has never seen his twin boys walking and never taken his oldest to school. Just bring the boys home.

John Dalton, former soldier

When I heard the news, my heart was filled with sadness for the three soldiers and their families. I am a former soldier as is my wife; our son is a serving soldier in the Parachute regiment. The death of these brave men is so tragic. Please accept our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.

S-Sgt Scott Coles

A little of me dies whenever I see another of Black Watch's boys being killed. I left in 1996, still watching their movements closely and it pains me to see another needless death

refusing to kill