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Crown censure is not enough to prevent MoD failings

As long as it enjoys Crown immunity, the ministry has no reason to learn its lessons and will continue to take a cavalier attitude to health and safety, argues Clare Stevens

4 July 2016

On 13 July 2013, set to be the hottest day of the year, 78 regular and reserve soldiers were participating in a Special Forces selection test march on the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. The candidates had to navigate to five checkpoints across approximately 30km of arduous terrain within a time limit of eight hours and 48 minutes, requiring a minimum speed of 3km per hour. They were carrying Bergens (military rucksacks) weighing approximately 49lbs, a dummy rifle, food, and water. At staggered start times, the candidates set off on their individual routes. Among them were reservists Corporal James Dunsby, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, and Lance Corporal Edward Maher.

Unlike their lead regiment, the Signals Regiment, the reservists had not done any build-up marches. All candidates were to be monitored by tracker devices but these were known to be inadequate and not fit for purpose. The forecast showed temperatures soaring as high...

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