Readers’ letters - June 17

A reader recalls his dad's memories of The Somme as he reflects on the EU Referendum. See letter
A reader recalls his dad's memories of The Somme as he reflects on the EU Referendum. See letter

Marching with my dad

One hundred years ago, my father, William Robert Garment, then ag ed 20, was in France with his two brothers, waiting to go into action in The First Battle of The Somme. For the last week in June, British and French artillery bombarded the German lines. My father told me the noise was relentless and, in later years, would come back to haunt him.

Thank God he survived, otherwise I would not be here to pay tribute to his generation who did so much, to establish and protect the freedom we enjoy today.

As I look out of the window at the beautiful countryside, I feel although the view may not have changed in a century, the world around us has altered beyond recognition.

I am now an old man, and finding it hard to hold back a tear as I think about our nation’s past, and the important decision we are called upon to make on Referendum Day, June 23.

As we travel to the polling booths, we will not be accompanied by the sound of shell fire, but I will be hearing my father’s voice and his ‘in the bath’ rendition of Rule Britannia ringing in my ears.

Don’t worry Dad. I, and I know millions more of us, will be marching with you.

Gordon Garment

Address supplied


Be brave – 
go it alone

Being an Australian visitor to England and listening to the views of countless people, I get the impression that many seem to be suffering from a sort of Stockholm syndrome in that they appear to be terrified of venturing out on their own.

It amazes me that this was the nation that, in the relatively recent past, had conquered a quarter of the globe and created the greatest empire the world has ever known!

Being frightened is nothing new. After all, in the 1960s, Britain told Australia and other Commonwealth countries that the preferential trade arrangements that then existed were at an end so that Britain could negotiate entry into the then Common Market. We were therefore forced to go out on our own but we prospered. I am sure that Britain will do the same thing if it leaves the all-encompassing arms of a crumbling EU empire.

Philip Benwell,



Hide it and enjoy it

Having had a reasonable education and eventually decent job opportunities, my earnings and pension would be said to be no more than average. However, had I been smart enough to make a multi-million pound fortune, would I have wanted to pay HMRC millions of pounds in tax?

Answer NO.

I can’t understand for the life of me why some people think this is immoral, having sweated blood, taken risks, and probably gambled, not only with your own future, but the future of your family.

Why should anyone, including the Inland Revenue, profit from your skills and business acumen?

Shift it, hide it and enjoy it. I know what I’d do.

John Vintin

via email


Tony’s claims

Does anyone really believe Tony Blair’s predictions on the EU referendum after his gross lies over Saddam Hussein and his “weapons of mass destruction”?

Hilary Andrews

via email