King’s Lynn veterans say ‘witch hunt’ fight goes on

Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer, right, at King's Lynn Railway Station prior to the march for Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.
Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer, right, at King's Lynn Railway Station prior to the march for Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.

Two former soldiers who joined thousands across the country to protest against the “witch-hunt” against servicemen have said momentum for the campaign is growing.

Ronald Mortimer, 72, and Robert Hipkin, 49, both from Lynn, travelled to London on Good Friday (April 14) for the second national Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans (JFNIV) demonstration.

Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer, right, at King's Lynn Railway Station prior to the march for Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.

Robert Hipkin, left, and Ronald Mortimer, right, at King's Lynn Railway Station prior to the march for Justice For Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.

The pair were amongst around 3,000 former servicemen in the capital who marched against veterans being investigated over events which happened decades ago during the Troubles.

The march happened four days after the 19th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland.

The previous demonstration saw an estimated 1,000 people take to the streets – so awareness and support of the cause is growing, the pair say.

Mr Hipkin said: “On that one day we had in London more than 3,000 people, in Belfast more than 1,500 and in Glasgow more than 2,000.

The march for Justice for the Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.

The march for Justice for the Northern Ireland Veterans in London. Photo: SUBMITTED.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger and spreading out – the word is spreading so fast.”

Mr Mortimer said: “They had travelled from all parts of the UK to show their loyalty to their brothers and sisters.”

A leaflet handed out by on the day was headed: “If they won’t listen then we will shout louder.”

The leaflet said: “JFNIV is a pressure group with one aim, to lobby Parliament to stop the historical investigations against veterans of Northern Ireland who were previously investigated.”

The pair are now urging residents in West Norfolk to contact their local MPs to show their support to the veterans.

“A lot of MPs are now coming on board to try and get this witch-hunt stopped.

“Now we are saying, as soldiers we have done our bit for you, we would like your support in return. We want to make people aware and ask them to voice their opinion to their local MP,” Mr Mortimer said.

The duo said if veterans continue to be ‘witch-hunted’, the marches will continue.