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Tribute to Iraq tragedy North Redcap men.

The families of two North military policemen killed in Iraq are to receive commemorative medals at a ceremony today.

The families of Cpl Paul Long, 24, and Cpl Simon Miller, 21, who were ambushed by an Iraqi mob at a police station north of Basra, will join hundreds of mourners at a service in Chichester, West Sussex this afternoon.

A brass plaque will be laid at the Royal Military Police headquarters in memory of the nine Redcaps killed in Iraq.

Their families will be awarded posthumous medals given to the relatives of all servicemen killed overseas.

Patricia Long and her son Byron, together with Simon's parents John and Marilyn, have been campaigning for a medal for the Redcaps which recognises their bravery when under attack.

The families have been petitioning Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and the MoD since the deaths on 24 June last year.

Byron, 21, of Bamford Walk, South Shields, believes today's ceremony will serve as a tribute to lost soldiers but does not go far enough.

He said: "We are going down to the service because it's the presentation of Paul's campaign medal.

"But I don't really think it is that important. There will be between 50 and 60 families of British servicemen there so it is not the kind of thing we have been pushing for.

"This is what the Army usually do for soldiers killed out in the field ( a posthumous award for the family to keep.

"It is something for us to wear on remembrance day but it's not the one the lads deserve ( they should be honoured for what they did."

His mother Patricia, 53, is looking forward to the service but admits she will be very emotional.

She said: "It's a bit nerve-wracking and I think the ceremony will be very emotional. But I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the family again and there will be tremendous pride at getting this medal." The results of an inquiry into the deaths of the Redcaps is expected later this month.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2004
Words:338
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