Ex-soldiers from King’s Lynn join veterans’ protest to end ‘witch hunt’

Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer at the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans protest in London.
Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer at the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans protest in London.

Two former soldiers from Lynn have taken part in a protest against what they see as a “witch-hunt” against servicemen who served in Northern Ireland.

The demonstration took place on Saturday, following the revelation that hundreds of veterans are being investigated by prosecutors over events which happened decades ago during the Troubles.

Robert Hipkin, 48, and Ronald Mortimer, 72, joined the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans protest in the capital on Saturday, marching from outside Parliament to 10 Downing Street, where a letter was handed to Theresa May.

The letter said: “The recent arrests directed against former soldiers who served in Northern Ireland are not an attempt at bringing criminals to account for their crimes.

“These arrests are political in their intent with the purpose of undermining the confidence of the UK Government and its armed forces.

“Prime Minister, please do not allow this appalling situation to continue.”

A leaflet which was handed out on Saturday says: “Betrayed. We took the oath, we took the orders, we took the good times, we took the bad times, we took the hate, we took the risks, we took the threats, we took the loss of comrades, we took all that you could not. Warning: We will not take your witch hunt.”

A further protest is planned for Friday, April 14 – Good Friday – in London and the veterans are hoping for another good turnout.

Mr Hipkin said: “It would be nice if some more veterans, from the Lynn area especially, would come and support this.”

Mr Mortimer said: “We are the band of brothers and sisters, and for us to have knocks the door now, and for our veterans to be facing charges for their actions in the 60s and 70s is not right.

“The protests are not only open to veterans, but they are also open to anyone who feels these people are being witch hunted. They put their lives on the line every single day of the week.”