Disabled Falklands veterans furious after hotel canceled their bookings
‘Our needs have been pushed aside’: Disabled veterans furious after hotel near Falklands 40th anniversary ceremonies cancels bookings to house asylum seekers
- The veterans chose the location because it is close to the anniversary ceremonies on June 18
- But the Potters Hotel has canceled reservations to house asylum seekers
- Some veterans can’t walk and need veterans to accompany them
- The Potters have offered veterans rooms at another hotel about 11km from Aldershot in Camberley, Surrey
Falklands disabled veterans are furious after a hotel canceled their bookings for this summer’s birthday events to make room for migrants.
Dozens of former soldiers from the Parachute Regiment have chosen the location of Aldershot, Hampshire, for its proximity to ceremonies taking place on Saturday June 18 to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict.
The now elderly war heroes fought to retake the South Atlantic islands in 1982, a mission that claimed the lives of 255 British soldiers.
Some veterans cannot walk and need caregivers to accompany them. But their reservations were canceled after the owners of the Potters Hotel agreed to accommodate asylum seekers.
Over 28,000 people crossed the English Channel to Britain last year.
The number of those making the crossing in 2021 was triple that of 2020, while in the past fortnight 773 have reached the UK by boat. With the overflow of the residential centers of the Ministry of the Interior, he resorted to placing migrants in hotels.
Furious: Veteran David Brown (pictured)
David ‘Charlie’ Brown, 60, told the Daily Mail he had booked a disabled double room for himself and his carer downstairs.
He has to take liquid morphine every day and can barely cross the street or stand for more than five minutes.
Forty years ago he fought with the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) at Goose Green, one of the major battles of the South Atlantic campaign. Eighteen British soldiers were killed and more than 60 wounded on the night of 28 May 1982 when the vastly outnumbered Paras defied all odds to capture key Argentine strongholds.
The battle is also famous for the posthumous Victoria Cross won by Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert ‘H’ Jones, commander of 2 Para, who was killed leading an attack up a steep hill.
Pensioner Mr Brown, from Thornton, West Yorkshire, said he was furious when told his room had been taken by migrants and his booking had been cancelled, and feared he would not find another hotel close enough to the ceremonies.
Servant: Private Brown in 1982
He added: “I am disgusted. I booked the room last year as soon as it became available due to my specific needs.
“There are over 1,000 ex-Paras due to attend the events at Aldershot in June so all other hotels are full.
“I am furious because the needs of old and infirm former soldiers have just been pushed aside, despite the significance of the events.
“Aldershot is the spiritual home of the regiment. I don’t know how I will be able to get there because I can barely walk and standing is agony.
The hotel company’s general manager, Bob Potter, confirmed that the Paras’ bookings had been cancelled. He added that he had been forced to make a deal with Whitehall to accommodate asylum seekers, failing which the hotel would have closed for lack of customers.
He said: “We weren’t taking enough bookings to make it a viable option to keep it open.
“We were approached to rent the hotel for the Home Office as we needed to look for other sources of income.
“We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience caused to those who had booked with us.”
Potters have offered Falkland veterans rooms at another hotel owned by the same company in Camberley, Surrey, about seven miles from Aldershot.
Pictured: The Potters Hotel in Aldershot, Surrey