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Wiltshire military bases on high alert after men spotted with 'rifle'

Police in Wiltshire are investigating after three people were seen with what was believed to be a rifle near an army barracks in Bulford.

Armed police and a helicopter were sent to the area shortly after 6pm on Thursday, but there has been no sighting since.

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Wiltshire Police say the area around the barracks, on Salisbury Plain, was searched but no suspects were found.

There have been no suspicious incidents since the initial phone call, and the military camp and the surrounding areas have been fully secured.

The sighting comes just hours after an alleged attempted kidnap at RAF Marham.

I can confirm at 5pm yesterday the police attended a report of a suspicious incident close to a military barracks in Wiltshire. Police officers attended and conducted a search of the area with the assistance of the police helicopter.

No persons were located.

– Inspector Barry Hickman, Wiltshire Police


Mother of soldier who died after punishment exercise: 'Both of us trusted the Army to look after him'

rivate Gavin Williams was serving with 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh in 2006 when he died. Credit: Family

The mother of a solider who died at the age of 22 following a gruelling “beasting” punishment on a searingly hot parade ground in Wiltshire has released a statement describing her ordeal.

Debra Williams describes attending her son's army passing out parade as 'the proudest day' of her life and that 'both of them trusted the Army to look after him'.

The proudest day of my life was when I saw my son Gavin come out on parade in uniform after he joined the British Army in November 2005, in the footsteps of his grandfather. I know that Gavin felt the same way, and both of us trusted the Army to look after him. Less than nine months later in July 2006, I was forced to look at my son as he lay asleep, never to wake up again: that was the worst moment of my life, and I see that moment in my head every single day.

What happened to Gavin was wrong, plain and simple: he was killed by the way in which his fellow soldiers chose to punish him unlawfully - to "beast" him - for nothing other than a silly prank. Over the 6 weeks of the inquest I heard for myself the other in which the Army allowed that to happen and what it meant in reality. I know that the nature of that "beasting" was so inhuman and degrading that it cannot be tolerated in any civilised world.

– Debra Williams, mother of Gavin Williams
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