Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The Elizabeth Cross: but not for the wounded

For too long campaigners have been urging that some tangible, permanent recognition be awarded to the families of servicemen and women who have given their lives in the service of their country; today the Queen has approved a new medal that will do just that.

It was back in 2007 that the Mirror launched its "Honour the Brave" campaign for the awarding of a special medal to soldiers killed or wounded in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By early 2008 the campaign had the backing of politicians and the top brass - only the MoD opposed it and were accused of dragging their feet

Now, almost two years later, it has been agreed that the Elizabeth Cross and an accompanying scroll will be awarded to the families of those who have died in conflicts since 1945 in recognition of the debt the nation owes them.

Sadly, as seems so often to be the case, the wounded continue to be ignored.

Servicemen wounded during WW1 & WW2 received the "wounded stripe". The US awards her wounded a Purple Heart medal. But those members of Britain's Armed Forces who are wounded on the battlefield - often seriously, their lives shattered - will not be receiving an Elizabeth Cross. This omission needs to be rectified.

The Mirror: Victory for our heroes
BBC: New Queen's award for forces dead
AquilaVictrix: Honour The Brave - medal campaign - EDM95
The Mirror: MoD drags feet over medals call`