In protest at the award of Tony Blair a knighthood, the families of Iraqi soldiers have pledged to return their medals and torches to Queen Elizabeth. This petition has over 700,000.  

The Queen announced that Mr. Blair had been made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. This knighthood was bestowed upon any of his predecessors.

But, anti-war activists and families of fallen soldiers have expressed disgust at the honor.

A petition was also signed by more than 700,000.

Kevin Thompson (21 years old) was struck by an explosive device in Basra, Iraq in 2007.

Mark his father has stated that he will return the Elizabeth Cross to Queen Elizabeth – an award given to grieving families to acknowledge their sacrifice.

He told the Sun: ‘I don’t think the Queen has thought how this decision will upset the families. My son died because of Tony Blair’s lies.

‘I’ll go to Windsor and give the medal to a guard and they can give it to the Queen.’ 

Rose Gentle, age 58, was the mother of Gordon Gentle (19), who was killed in an IED explosion in 2004. She also said that she would return the Elizabeth Cross.

She said, “If Blair were decency, he wouldn’t accept the honor.” 

Five grieving mothers of soldiers who died in Afghanistan’s war have written to the Queen asking her to remove Mr Blair from his knighthood.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has long faced criticism over his decision to lead the UK into war with Iraq in 2003

Tony Blair was the former Prime Minister and has faced long-standing criticism for leading the UK to war in Iraq 2003.

Rose Gentle, 58, whose teenage son Gordon was killed by an IED in 2004, says she will return her Elizabeth Cross. Above, she is pictured following the release of the Chilcot Report

Rose Gentle (58), whose son Gordon, aged 15, was struck by an IED in 2004 says that she will be returning her Elizabeth Cross. She is shown above following publication of Chilcot Report

A petition calling for Mr Blair's knighthood to be rescinded has now received more than 700,000 signatures on

On, a petition asking for the revocation of Mr Blair’s knighthood has received over 700,000.

Carol Valentine (centre), from Bedworth, Warwickshire, whose son, Sergeant Simon Valentine, 29, was killed in Afghanistan in August 2009 - pictured with her son Zak Valentine (left) and daughter Kelly Valentine (right)

Carol Valentine (pictured centre), from Bedworth in Warwickshire whose son Sergeant Simon Valentine was killed in Afghanistan on August 2009. She is pictured here with Zak Valentine (left), and Kelly Valentine (right).

Anti-war protesters are seen massed in Hyde Park during a demonstration against war with Iraq in London on February 15, 2003

At the February 15th 2003 demonstration in London against war with Iraq, Anti-War protestors were seen in Hyde Park.

Then Prime Minister Tony Blair (second from right) talks with Major General Richard Shirreff CBE (second from left) as he visits British troops in Basra, southern Iraq, in 2006

Tony Blair was then the Prime Minister and talks to Major General Richard Shirreff CBE as he visited British troops in Basra (southern Iraq) in 2006.

The human costs of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars 

Ex-Prime Minister was criticized for his decision to send troops into Afghanistan, and Iraq. This led to a devastating report from Sir John Chilcot (2016) that found that he had overplayed evidence regarding Saddam Hussein’s weapons of destruction. 

In total, 179 British Armed Forces soldiers and Ministry of Defence civilians were killed in the Iraq Campaign. It began on March 3, 2003. 

Additional 457 soldiers were killed while deployed to Afghanistan.

The UK military personnel withdrew in August after 20 years, but within days the Taliban had seized control. 

After the shocking fall of the Afghan regime, the loved ones of British soldiers who were killed in action there felt as if their loved one had died for nothing. 

In a desperate letter to their ‘beloved’ monarch, Carol Valentine, Hazel Hunt, Caroline Whitaker, Caroline Jane Munday-Baker and Helen Perry, pleaded with her to overturn the decision to award him the honour.

Some mothers joined the threats to return the Elizabeth Crosses. 

Their open letter said: ‘As mums, we were destroyed by the loss of our children at war, but now we are further devastated to learn that the man responsible for sending them to their deaths is to receive the highest honour in the land.

‘It makes a mockery of our children’s lives, and we are struggling to cope.’

It added: ‘He has caused untold misery while making himself a multi-millionaire at the same time. We do not view him as a man of peace – on the contrary, we maintain he has the deaths of all our soldiers on his hands.

‘This has left us all enraged, bewildered, and heartbroken and we beg you to revoke his knighthood which we believe tramples on our sons’ sacrifices.’

Mr Blair He has been criticised for his decision to send troops into Afghanistan, and Iraq. This led to a devastating report from Sir John Chilcot (2016) that found he exaggerated evidence regarding Saddam Hussein’s weapons of Mass Destruction. 

A total of 179 British Armed Forces personnel and Ministry of Defence civilians died serving during the Iraq campaign, while a further 457 were killed during deployment to Afghanistan. 

The petition calling for the end of knighthood was signed by 700,000 people on Thursday. It is now the highest-signed petition.

55-year old Angus Scott said he was ‘astonished” by the response.

The voice artist and presenter told The Metro: ‘Although I knew deep down in this country there is a huge, seething resentment of Tony Blair, I only expected a few thousand signatures from people who felt the same way as me.

“Ironically, the man has finally united the country on one subject. It is that many people feel passionately mad about him.

Sir Tony and his predecessors were elected to the Order of the Garter immediately after they left office.

His appointment as the UK’s prime minister took 14 years. 

There have been claims that his relationship with Queen Elizabeth during his time in office may have led to his “snub.”

After the protest, Downing Street stated that the Knighthood was an issue for Queen Elizabeth.

No10 denies that Boris Johnson was involved in the decision not to make the Order of the Garter for the former Prime Minister – the highest honor that could be bestowed.

However, the spokesperson seemed to be in favor of the idea by reminding everyone who had served as ex-premiers before Sir Tony that they were eligible for the Order of the Garter (or the Scottish equivalent Order of the Thistle).

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who opposed the Iraq war in 2003, also said Mr Blair was a ‘very successful prime minister’ and ‘made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people in this country’.

Hit explosive as he was driving: Trooper James Munday, 21

Caroline Jane Munday-Baker

As explosive as he drove: Trooper James Munday (21) was the son of Caroline Jane Munday Baker (32) and served in D Squadron (The Household Cavalry) alongside Princes William (right). Both royals said they were ‘deeply saddened’ to hear news of the ‘exceptional’ soldier’s death in October 2008. Known as ‘Magpie’, the rugby fan died at the scene when the Jackal armoured vehicle he was driving hit an explosive device while on routine patrol in Helmand Province. In tributes, senior officers described Munday, from Birmingham, as ‘among the best of his generation’.

Fatally wounded while on patrol: Private Richard Hunt

Hazel Hunt

While on patrol, Private Richard Hunt was fatally wounded. He is the son of Hazel Hunt. While on patrol close to Musa Qala, Helmand Province in Helmand Province his armored vehicle was shot up and he was killed. Private Hunt was from Abergavenny in Monmouthshire and served with Royal Welsh Regiment. The 21-year-old, known as ‘Hunty,’ died from his injuries at the Royal College of Defence Medicine in Selly Oak, Birmingham, on August 15, 2009, two days after the explosion.

Killed trying to clear landmines: Sergeant Simon Valentine

Carol Valentine

Killed trying to clear landmines: Sergeant Simon Valentine (left), son of Carol Valentine (right), was killed on August 15, 2009, while trying to clear landmines on foot patrol near Sangin, Helmand Province. From Bedworth, Warwickshire the 29-year old was an experienced soldier. His time in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers saw him survive tours to Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and Iraq. He was married to Gemma and was a natural leader, loved by his troops.

Shot in ‘friendly fire’ incident: Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard

Helen Perry

Shot in ‘friendly fire’ incident: Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard (left), son of Helen Perry (right), was killed in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Sangin on December 20, 2009. He was 22 years old and a soldier in the Royal Military Police’s 4th Regiment. His mission was to ensure that Taliban fighters weren’t planting IEDs on roads. Another soldier from Britain fired at him, believing L/Cpl Pritchard to be an insurgent. An inquiry was made.

Gunned down by rogue policeman: Sergeant Gareth Thursby

Caroline Whitaker

Gunned down by rogue policeman: Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, (left) son of Caroline Whitaker (right), was shot dead by a rogue Afghan policeman alongside another British soldier at a checkpoint in Helmand Province on September 15, 2012. From Skipton, North Yorkshire, he was married and father to two children. He served in the 3rd Battalion of Yorkshire Regiment. He was an inspirational leader known to his men as ‘Dad’. The motive behind the attack was not established by an inquest.

And speaking on LBC today, Health Minister Gillian Keegan said: ‘It’s not unusual for somebody who served their country as prime minister to be honoured and recognised by the Queen.’ 

But, the anti-war campaigners claim that this honour is a ‘kick to the teeth’ for Afghans and Iraqis. 

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said last week: ‘I think it’s pretty incredible given that this year, we’ve seen the collapse of Afghanistan, which [was] Tony Blair’s first major war in the war on terror.

« We have now 8 million Afghans at the edge of starvation. Nearly 20 years ago, Iraq is in an awful place.

‘And I think it’s a kick in the teeth for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a kick in the teeth for all the people who protested against the war in Iraq and who have been proved right.’