Parade in memory of Battle of Rorke's Drift hero cancelled over health and safety fears

Mail Online | 12/31/1969 | Joe Middleton For Mailonline
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An annual parade to commemorate a war hero for his bravery at the Battle of Rorke's Drift has been ditched over health and safety fears because police said they might not be able to stop traffic.

John Williams was given Britain's highest honour of the Victoria Cross for his service in the conflict which took place on the bank of the Buffalo River in Natal Province in South Africa.

Williams - Holes - Hospital - Walls - Patients

Private Williams was just 21 when he knocked holes in hospital walls to save eight patients from the Zulus.

Every year a parade is held to commemorate his bravery in his hometown of Llantarnam, Cwmbran, South Wales.

Anniversary - Battle - Parade - Place - Years

But on the 140th anniversary of the battle, the parade, which has been taking place for the past 26 years has been cancelled - because police will not help to stop traffic.

Gwent police say there is 'the potential of putting members of public at risk' if officers were called away from the parade.

Tony - Burnett - Chairman - Cwmbran - District

Tony Burnett, chairman of the Cwmbran and District ex-Services Association, said it is an 'insult' to veterans.

He said: 'Every year the road is closed for 30 minutes while the parade proceeds along it to the church, where the memorial service then takes place.

Year - Gwent - Police - Roads

'And every year Gwent Police have managed the closed roads for us. They have now told us that they cannot do it.

'They said if there is an emergency and had to get away it...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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