Hero's grandson fights Army cuts
THE grandson of a First World War hero has backed a campaign calling for the Staffords' name and traditions to be saved.
Alan Busby says his grandfather, Thomas Busby, would be 'very disappointed' by the Government's decision to make cuts in the Armed Forces.
The Ministry of Defence has announced that the 3rd Battalion of The Mercian Regiment (Staffords) is to be scrapped as part of plans to reduce the size of the Army by 20,000 troops by 2018.
Born in Longton in 1888, Thomas enlisted with the 1st Battalion North Staffs Regiment in 1914, at the age of 26.
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During the course of the war, he was wounded twice – once at the Battle of the Somme – and he also suffered a gas attack.
He was held at a prisoner of war camp at Heinsberg, in Germany, until the war ended in November 1918.
After the war, Thomas, who lived on Barker Street, Longton, worked in the pottery industry.
Alan, aged 49, who lives on Hartwell Road in Meir, is the proud owner of three of his grandfather's cherished medals, including a First World War Victory Medal.
He said: "I never met my grandfather, but I knew of him and I have been researching our family history for the last couple of years.
"The regiment has a very long history and I think it's important that is remembered and preserved for years to come.
"It needs to be carried on from generation to generation for everyone in the county to be proud of.
"My grandad was a Staffordshire man all his life and he'd be very disappointed if he knew what the Government was planning to do.
"He served his country with pride and was injured in battle twice, including while he was in action at the Somme."
The Staffords' name is set to be withdrawn from the Army's Order of Battle.
A total of 16 other units will also be disbanded over the next two years.
One possibility being discussed could see the Staffords being attached to the Mercian Regiment's 1st Battalion, to be called 1 Mercian (Cheshires and Staffords).
More than 12,000 people have now signed the petition against the planned cuts.