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Thread: Suicide and our Armed Forces

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    Default Suicide and our Armed Forces

    There is at present talk of an enquiry into why there are more deaths by suicide than there is or has been in war situations. My own views are that governments ask our troops to kill the enemy and then have enquires into war crimes on those same troops who have obeyed orders as they see it. They are in most cases already traumatised and then to have to face a court of enquiry into the legality of the killing and the slur they must feel that others look at them must push many of them over the edge, they must also feel that they are being asked to fight with one arm tied behind their back. The morale of any army must be high to be of any use, and the way some are being treat is the direct opposite to what many expect. If what one reads in the press. The Russian army is at present undergoing lack of morale and they are not even being called to account by their own leaders for any out of line actions. There is definetley room for an enquiry for the reason for suicide but it should be kept low key and not plastered all. Over the media. To cause further stress to any of the accused . JS
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    Ben Roberts-Smith comes to mind here JS
    For me i think that all the Trials etc that he has had to endure thus far are nothing short of wrong doings, this should never have gone to Court! As said all Soldiers are sent to War with the aim of defending whoever and whatever, they are trained in Combat to do whats necessary. Kill or be killed, no matter the circumstances its War!
    My late Brother who was with Colonel Mike Hoare in the days of the Congo Revolution, had seen a lot of such , and he himself had to kill people , armed or unarmed, it was what had to be done!

    Think a lot has to be looked into.
    Just my views!
    \Cheers
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    . myown views are that governments ask our troops to kill the enemy and then have enquires into war crimes on those same troops who have obeyed orders as they see it. . JS
    Having talked to a number of veterans at various events, they all tell the same story, they are not allowed to initiate a fire fight, even though they know the insurgents are armed; they can only return fire once fired upon (may be too late then!!) The worst people wanting to prosecute troops are our own RMP (Royal Military Police) who normally are not combatants, there is a lot of ill feeling between combat troops and the RMP. Others may have heard different

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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    #3. Ivan I sailed with an ex lieutenant RN in the late 60s and was a pleasure to do so. He was chief engineer on an Indian owned vessel where I was mate , the master was the only other European on board. It was his claim to fame that he was the oldest commissioned lieutenant in the RN when he was discharged from the Navy. He received the cert. of service class 1 so was qualified to sail as chief on a merchant ship. I used to go ashore with him to the Japanese bath houses among other places and in his cups heard some way out stories about his war experiences and household famous names out of the service. He started life as a stoker and served on both submarines and surface ships mainly on the Malta convoys before getting a wartime commission . His one big dislike which often cropped up in his cups , was the naval police which he called Jaunties which is probably a naval expression for the naval police which he hadn’t a good word for , so I believe he must have had various runs in with during his naval career . He was a native of Portsmouth also. But one of the characters now a long time dead , but always brings a smile to my face when I think of him, gone but not forgotten . Cheers JS
    PS his other dislike were naval attaches who he reckoned were officers unsuitable for sea duties , the one in The embassy in Shanghai if remember correctly who took over command of the HMS Amathyst in the Yangste Incident he had sailed with during the war he reckoned he was ok though.. Maybe because it all happened in the river and not at sea. ???!!! JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 17th May 2023 at 12:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    John.
    I watched the news last night about those naval deep sea divers who had committed suicide, but it puzzled me why they did it, as their involvement wouldn't have been at the front so to speak, you were involved in some diving, would it have been from the bends maybe?
    Des
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    Des ,I spent 4 years working with saturation divers ,which I think is what you are referring to . The Naval ones that I worked with and at times played with were a breed on their own. Naval discipline as most think they know it was sometimes waived on account of the job they did. It was still in its experimental stages and no one knew what the latter effects on bodily systems would be. The amounts and types of gases that were used to get them down artificially to the depth they would be descending to was strictly monitored and recorded for future reference . However today not so much emphasis is put on actual bodily contact with such pressures on humans as unmanned drones can do most work required. Even the RN saturation divers were well paid for this job , not as well paid as their civilian counterparts though who were paid by the minute whilst living and sleeping in the chambers for anything up to 3 weeks . They could afford to take the rest of the year off. There was always a Naval surgeon present on duty when naval divers were in saturation. We had facilities for diving to 300 metres or a thousand feet , I doubt even today anyone has got to go that depth apart from in a submersible.
    Somewhere there must be a record of all the deaths accumulated during such dives , but doubt anyone is willing to make it public. Cheers JS
    There were 3 of our divers flown down to Ascension Island in advance of the fleet bound for the Falklands , they would probably have been amongst the first on the beaches for mine clearance , this was as salvage divers would have been their daytime job and not the deep water stuff so would have been a piece of pizz to them . JS...
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 17th May 2023 at 01:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    HI John.
    These blokes had families, but I can't find anything that refers to what they told their wives about what their problems were, maybe in those cases it was siclogical.
    Des
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    The obvious affliction in later life would be Arthritis in their joints as most divers of whatever hue got. I think Phsycological problems exist in all professions person to person. one of my big regrets at the time and for years after was being offhand and sarcastic to again a diver at the PA was when he came on the bridge in the middle of a disaster demanding seasick tablets. To which my sarcastic reply was to search my pockets saying .. No I havent got any on me at the moment, he then said this smoke we are in is probably toxic, so I at least steamed around the Tharos and came in from upwind between the Tharos and the burning platform to keep him happy , only because there was no one in the water at that particular time. My regrets were that one of the divers was reported the following week or so had committed suicide. my regrets were of being sarcastic to him and thinking it may have had some input to his decision to take his own life. I am over it now but it took a lot of years, I never even looked to confirm it was the same person, I really didnt want to know I suppose. Cheers JS
    Just for general information re saturation diving .... it was always customary when using the Bell as a means of descent/ascent to go in a 3 man team. 2 could be outside the bell at the required depth but there was always one inside for emergencys . I was asked once if I wanted to do an unofficial dive and could stay in the Bell as third man. My reply No Thank You. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 17th May 2023 at 03:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    One suicide I do remember being told about shortly after the war , but don’t know if there was any truth in it was that William Joyce’s ( Lord Haw Haw ) brother who was a pilot in the RAF supposedly , had committed suicide sometime during the war ? I know Haw Haw himself had his neck stretched is factual , after the war by Albert Pierrepoint . But his brother I dont know if correct or not. JS

    My own experiences handling and recovering bodies or what remained of them whilst working for the MOD was the recovery plus the wreckage of the Tornado aircraft which came down in the iIrish sea about 1980 and also two naval helicopters in collision in the English Channel round about the similar year. But nothing to compare with the life changing disaster of 1988 .The Navy did not broadcast its casualty’s through misadventure and always when possible brought bodies ashore outside working hours or in the middle of the night , the proper way and the first to know would of been their next of kin and not the whole world as the media would like . The usual deaths at sea as most have witnessed some normal some not so. All part of the job. Never been responsible for any deaths , but at times felt like it .Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 17th May 2023 at 05:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Suicide and our Armed Forces

    ve a guy comes to our 'Men's Shed', in a wheel chair result of severe MS.
    He was called up for the Vietnam war, and tells some horrific stories of his time there.
    He said at one time he considered suicide as the effects of being at the war front wore him down.
    What he saw horrified him do much he thought there was no future for him.
    He was saved by his wife, strong Scottish lass, and his GP who specialized in mental health.
    he was one of the lucky ones , there have been many here who did not make it.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

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