The fact that Remembrance Day is approaching gives added poignancy to the fact that relatives of soldiers killed while patrolling in Snatch Land Rovers have won the right to sue the Government for compensation. Numerous were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan while patrolling in the Land Rovers, sardonically nicknamed ‘mobile coffins’ by squaddies. click here for 2012 Poppy Appeal Families of several servicemen are now claiming damages over the deaths - claiming the Ministry of Defence put soldiers’ lives at risk by ordering them to patrol in the vehicles, designed for use in Ulster, which offered very limited protection against the so-called IED roadside bombs. The vehicles were largely unremarkable until the British Army deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan when the vehicles were used in situations for which they weren't ideal because they didn't offer sufficient protection. It is estimated that, since 2003, almost 40 UK personnel have been killed while using Snatch Land Rovers. Tragically, most of these soldiers were killed in IED incidents because the Snatch could not withstand the blast. The British Army replaced the Snatch 110s with more heavily armoured, Ocelot vehicles in 2010.
The soldies' families claim that proper equipment would have prevented the deaths and Judges at the Court of Appeal in London ruled that the families could sue the Government for negligence, saying the Ministry of Defence had a duty of care over its personnel even when they were on the battlefield. Lawyers representing the families see the decision as a landmark ruling and it opens the door for civil actions for damages. The legal action was brought following the deaths of a number of British soldiers following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Following a hearing in London in June Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Moses and Lord Justice Rimmer ruled in favour of the families, who argued the MoD had failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives. Shubhaa Srinivasan, a partner with law firm Leigh, Day and Co, said, 'We maintain that the MoD’s position has been morally and legally indefensible, as they owe a duty of care to those who fight on behalf of this country.'
An MoD spokesman has said, ‘Our thoughts and concerns remain with those that were injured and the families of those that sadly lost their lives. We are considering the judgment by the Court of Appeal and as this is likely to be subject to further legal action it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.’ click here for 2012 Poppy Appeal
A You Tube clip of a Snatch 110 driving down Safwan Hill in Iraq filmed from top cover of a Snatch Land Rover in 2008