The Poor Do the Fighting

Issue section: 

Rose Gentle made this statement on 19 August, the day she and her daughter Maxine delivered a letter to Downing Street protesting the decision to send her son, Gordon, to war.

'My son died needlessly seven weeks ago. Since that day we have not received a single message from Tony Blair - then I decide to come to London and out of the blue I get this handwritten letter from him. This is an insult to Gordon, an insult to me and all the members of my family.

If he's such a compassionate man then why did it take him seven weeks to acknowledge that my son died fighting his dirty war? I intend to return this letter at the earliest opportunity.'

Rose subsequently berated Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott for the 'rubbish' he was talking at their meeting.

A campaign has been set up by the Gentles and the families of other soldiers killed in Iraq. The Gentles have been joined in their criticism of the government by Margaret Evans, the aunt of the late private Lee O'Callaghan who said, 'It's a useless war in Iraq. If I had a choice right now, I'd pull them all out.'

You can download the petition to withdraw the troops at