The families of 179 Britons who died during the Iraq war, including soldier Wayne Rees from Worksop, finally got some answers after the long-awaited Chilcot report was published today.
Sergeant Rees, aged 36, of the Queen’s Royal Lancers, was killed in a road accident in southern Iraq on January 7 2007.
Hundreds of mourners packed St Anne’s Church in the town for his funeral, as friends, family and colleagues gathered to pay tribute to the father-of-two who left his fiance Jayne and two children, Charlotte, 11, and Elliott, seven.
A statement on behalf of all the soldiers killed in the Iraq war called on the Government to follow up the findings of this morning’s damning report.
Sir John Chilcot heavily criticised the Government led by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The families’ statement reads: “Never again must so many mistakes be allowed to sacrifice so many British lives and lead to the destruction of a country for no positive end.
“We must use this report to make sure that all parts of the Iraq War fiasco are never repeated again, not in the theatre of war, or in the theatre of White Hall.
“We now look on the British Government, to follow up Sir John’s findings.”
Sir John’s report has taken seven years to be published, contains more than 2.6 million words and cost more than £9 million.
Speaking from the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London this morning, Sir John said: “The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options have been exhausted.
“Military action at the time was not a last resort.”
He said that the legal basis for war was not satisfactory, the UK’s involvement in Iraq ‘ended a very long way from success’ and that it was it went ‘badly wrong with consequences to this day’.