Live updates

Campaign to prevent paupers' funerals for ex-service personnel

Powerful scenes were played out on the streets of Scunthorpe at the weekend as passers by were asked to think about a campaign to ensure that military veterans who die without close family aren't given a so-called pauper's funeral

A local undertaker says the Government should help pay for former military personnel to be given a dignified final journey.

Tina Gelder reports:

Flag service personnel medical records says campaigner

Flagging the medical records of service personnel would ensure they are not given a pauper's funeral.

An undertaker from Scunthorpe is leading a campaign to secure Government funding for former members of the armed forces who die without a next of kin.

Currently local councils arrange the funerals of people who die with no known relatives.

Sue Maclean says the Government should contribute to the funeral costs of people who served for their country:


Campaigners march in Scunthorpe to prevent pauper's funerals

Protestors in Scunthorpe marched behind an empty coffin draped in a Union flag to launch a campaign to prevent former service personnel being given paupers' funerals.

Protestors march behind an empty coffin
Protestors march behind an empty coffin

A local undertaker says the Government should help pay for former members of the armed forces to be given a dignified funeral.

Currently anyone who dies without any next of kin is given a funeral by their local council.

The Department of Work and Pensions said: "The contribution members of the armed forces have made is valued."

New armed forces support group for Doncaster

A new group to help veterans and members of the armed forces has been set up in Doncaster.

The Armed Forces Steering Group aims to develop simple access to the information, guidance and support available to those who are currently serving or have served in the armed forces.

Councillor Bob Johnson has been chosen as "Veteran's Champion".

"I am committed to bring the council, St Leger Homes and veteran specific and general support agencies together to focus their resources and support to ensure that nobody who has served in the military is disadvantaged in anyway."

– Councillor Bob Johnson, former military engineer

The inaugural committee meeting will be held tomorrow. Anyone wishing to raise any points can contact either Councillor Bob Johnson ( or Tony Ward (

Tyne Tees

Fears that barracks closure will kill the community

Holy Trinity Church of England School Credit: ITV

People in Ripon fear the closure of the nearby Claro Barracks will kill their community.

Many of the people living there are from military backgrounds and have settled in the area.

At Holy Trinity Church of England School 26% of students are from military families. The head teacher says she fears it will have an impact on the school.


MP's disappointment at barracks' closure

The MP for Skipton and Ripon has expressed his disappointment at the Ministry of Defence’s proposals to close Claro Barracks in Ripon, which currently houses 21 Engineer Regiment and 15 Field Squadron (Search).

Ripon has a proud military history and the City has always given the servicemen and women, and their families, who are based here the warmest of welcomes. I pay tribute to the City Council, Cathedral, Harrogate Borough Council and the many other people and organisations who have provided this support.

“During the First World War, Ripon accommodated 30,000 soldiers as one of the main centres for the organisation of troops being sent to and returning from the Front. Ripon was also where the great war poet Wilfred Owen wrote many of his most famous works.

I will be meeting Defence Ministers and doing all I can to ensure that those currently based in Ripon and affected by this decision are given all the support possible. I will also be discussing how we deal with the impact the decision will have on the wider community and economy.

– Julian Smith MP for Skipton and Ripon

North Yorkshire barracks to close

Catterick Garrison is safe Credit: Calendar news

A shake-up of Army bases to speed up the return of of all troops from Germany will mean the disposal of seven sites across the country, including one in North Yorkshire.

Carlo Barracks in Ripon is to go, although there is good news for Catterick Garrison, also in North Yorkshire, where further investment is to be made at the base. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the changes would save £240 million a year in running costs .

Around 11,000 British troops based in Germany will return home by 2016 under plans which will see nearly £2 billion invested in Army housing and bases. The remaining 4,500 troops will be back in the UK by 2019, a year earlier than planned.

Load more updates


Today's top stories