After MoD caves to pressure, soldiers WILL carry Dennis Hutchings, Troubles veteran,’s coffin to his funeral

  • The MoD announced that Dennis Hutchings’ coffin is now available for service soldiers to carry.
  • The U-turn came last night when the MoD agreed to provide military pallbearers 
  • Officials initially denied the request to have the Troubles veteran’s funeral rites rescheduled. 

The Ministry of Defence has changed its mind about allowing serving soldiers to carry Dennis Hutchings’ coffin.

Supporters of Mr Hutchings had asked for Life Guards members to be pallbearers at his Remembrance Day funeral. He was 80 years old and was being tried in Belfast over a fatal 1974 shooting.

Last night the MoD caved into pressure and agreed to provide military pallbearers, saying Mr Hutchings had served ‘with great dignity, diligence and courage’.

Dennis Hutchings, 80, died last month while on trial in Belfast over a fatal 1974 shooting. His supporters called for members of his former Army regiment to act as pallbearers at his funeral

Dennis Hutchings, 80 years old, died last month in Belfast, after he was convicted in a 1974 shooting that resulted in his death. His supporters requested that members of his former Army regiment serve as pallbearers at the funeral.

Officials had initially denied a request from a former major who served in Northern Ireland with Mr Hutchings.

However, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who served in the Scots Guards, vowed to ‘find out who stopped’ the plans.

Johnny Mercer, the Conservative MP who accompanied Mr Hutchings from his home in Cornwall to his trial in Belfast, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I am pleased for the family that the MoD will honour Dennis Hutchings in death as they failed to in life.

Mr Hutchings' supporters gathered together outside Laganside Court in Belfast last month

Last month, Mr Hutchings’ supporters gathered outside Laganside Court in Belfast

‘He was a good man who served his country proudly in Northern Ireland.’

Mr Hutchings’s son John, 48, said: ‘I am absolutely over the moon and delighted that the Life Guards are providing these pallbearers.’

An Army spokesman said: ‘Mr Hutchings served for many years with great dignity, diligence and courage.

“The Army was approached to provide a bearer party at the funeral.

‘As a mark of respect to Mr Hutchings, his service and his family, the decision was made by the Army to support the request.’