Knighthood for Blair? He despatched my son to warfare with out very important armour, says the mom of one of many first British troopers killed within the Iraq Conflict

  • Marion Chapman, 73, stated it was ‘outrageous’ former PM had been knighted
  • Son Sergeant Steve Roberts was shot in friendly-fire incident in March 2003
  • Later emerged he had been ordered at hand over physique armour to a different unit

The mom of one of many first British troopers killed within the Iraq Conflict final evening known as for Tony Blair to be stripped of his knighthood.

Marion Chapman, 73, stated it was ‘outrageous’ that the previous Prime Minister had been knighted, having despatched lots of of troops to warfare in 2003 with out very important gear.

Her son, Sergeant Steve Roberts, was shot in a friendly-fire incident at a checkpoint on March 24, 2003 – 4 days after British troops invaded southern Iraq.

It later emerged the 33-year-old tank commander had been ordered at hand over his physique armour to a different unit simply three days earlier resulting from shortages. He was considered one of 2,000 British troopers who went into battle with out the armoured vests, which value £167 every.

‘Tony Blair ought to by no means have gotten a knighthood,’ Mrs Chapman stated. ‘Why ought to he?

‘He despatched all these lads to warfare with out their gear. I misplaced Steve by means of an absence of apparatus.

‘He needs to be stripped of it. I simply suppose he’s smug.’

BITTER: Marion Chapman with her son, Steve Roberts

BITTER: Marion Chapman along with her son, Steve Roberts 

Her feedback got here as greater than 1,000,000 folks have signed a petition to have the knighthood rescinded. An inquiry into the Iraq Conflict by Sir John Chilcot was instructed by senior officers that the Authorities’s rush to warfare meant the navy ‘did not have sufficient time’ to supply all the mandatory equipment.

Sgt Roberts, who was born in Cornwall and lived in Shipley, West Yorkshire, was mistakenly shot by a comrade close to the southern metropolis of Zubayr. After his demise, his widow Samantha, alongside together with his brother, Tristan Tancock, and Mrs Chapman, campaigned for all service personnel to be given the essential life-saving gear.

In December 2004 they scored a victory when the then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon pledged their goal can be achieved inside two years.

However regardless of their marketing campaign saving the lives of numerous British troopers, they – in contrast to Sir Tony – have by no means been formally recognised. ‘Taking over the Authorities was fairly a frightening activity,’ Mrs Chapman stated.

‘We fought for Steve. We went by means of hell and again however no less than Steve’s legacy is that these boys all have physique armour as commonplace gear. I misplaced a really treasured son however possibly we saved a whole lot of different folks’s sons’ lives.’

Mrs Chapman moved to Spain after her son was killed however plans to go to the UK subsequent yr to mark the twentieth anniversary of his demise.

Livid relations of fallen British troops final week vowed at hand again Elizabeth Crosses, that are given to the following of kin of these killed in motion, in disgust at Sir Tony’s knighthood.

However Mrs Chapman stated her household weren’t planning at hand again Steve’s medals.

As a substitute, they are going to be given to his brother’s teenage youngsters.

‘They’re like a present from Steve – a legacy from Steve.’

Sgt. Roberts' widow Samantha with his uniform (pictured)

Sgt. Roberts’ widow Samantha together with his uniform (pictured)