Readers' letters - April 12

Time for an extra NHS tax

Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 4:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 4:37 pm
There has been a lot of controversy over the Governments £9m EU leaflets. See letter

Last year, I wrote praising the work of the A & E department at Chorley hospital (LEP December 5).

At the time I did not mention that, although it was Sunday afternoon when we had to call an emergency ambulance, on arrival at the hospital, transfer into the A & E unit took over 30 minutes (LEP April 2).

Reading in today’s paper of the problems others have experienced, with even longer waiting times, I am amazed at the fact that the authorities have even considered closing either Preston or Chorley units down.

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Surely this is an indication that the departments really need to be expanded to cope with these situations, not restricted to a single department with further overcrowding and inevitably longer delays.

NHS costs are a cause for concern and I do not believe that they are down to any one political party.

Speaking on a personal basis, I would not be adverse to paying a supplementary tax to be dedicated to the NHS funds only.

This to be paid by everyone, working or not.

Far too many take the service we get from our doctors and hospitals for granted.

It is still amongst the best in the world, but cannot continue to rely on basic funding from a reducing slice of the national budget. Time for a change before it gets too late.

Graham Archer, Chorley

Strike putting patients at risk

Junior doctors, driven by their trade union, the BMA, are now going to escalate their strike action – withdrawing their labour and not cover emergency situations.

That is their right in law, to put their financial interests before their so-called professional responsibilities to treat and care for seriously ill people. Those ill people have paid their taxes to fund the NHS and expect doctors, who are employed by the NHS, to be there and treat their needs when required.

They do not expect to have their lives put at risk because doctors are standing outside on a picket line baying at the press like 1970s Rover car workers.

During the 1960s American protests against the Vietnam War, when President Lyndon B Johnson extended the draft to increase the number of young people being sent to fight, the battle cry from the left was: “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?”

God forbid doctors do go on strike, without providing emergency cover, and patients die because of their actions.

Perhaps there may be a battle cry on the lines of: “Hey! Hey! BMA! How many patients did you kill today?”

Bernard Darbyshire via email

Hypocrisy over Union leaflets

For years we have been bombarded by an anti-European narrative from the majority of the national daily press. The Sun, for example, owned by an Australian who is now an American, tells its English readers to vote against Europe whilst telling its Scottish readers to vote against Britain.

The reason is that divided communities are less able to stand up to major corporations, who move tax liabilities between countries, or to the criminals and the corrupt, who readily cross national borders to hide wealth in international tax havens.

Anti-Europeans in the Cabinet who eagerly nodded approval for a Government leaflet setting out the case for the UK in the recent Scottish referendum are now apoplectic when the Government plans to do just the same in the Europe referendum.

These hypocrites don’t trust our citizens to read the information calmly and make up their own minds based on the facts of our membership of the European community.

JP, Preston

Do you know of missing men?

At dawn on April 9, 1916, troops from the 6th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment began an attack on Turkish positions at Sanniyat in Mesopotamia.

The attack was being carried out as one of a series during early 1916 aimed at relieving the town of Kut which had been under siege since December 1915. At first the attack went well and although they were seen by the Turks and subjected to heavy rifle and machine gun fire, they reached the first line of Turkish trenches. The Turks withdrew but later counter-attacked and drove the British troops out. By the end of the day, the British had been forced back to their starting position. Apart from the known dead and wounded, the 6th Battalion reported 169 men missing. Many of these were later presumed killed. Among them were several Preston men from “Captain Hollins’ Company”. Arthur Meyrick Hollins was the son of Sir Frank Hollins, the chairman of Horrockses, Crewdson & Co. After receiving his commission in May 1915, he immediately set about encouraging men to enlist into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

An article was printed in the Preston Guardian on May 15, giving details about what was called a Preston Company, which became known locally as “Captain Hollins’ Company”. I have been able to identify the following men from Preston as likely to be members of “Captain Hollins’ Company”:

Thomas Briggs (20854), Charles Buckley (20781), Frank Calderbank (20813), Arnold Palframan Desmond (20837), William Fuller (20875), Fred Helme (20865), Walter Henery (21243), John Higham (20951), Daniel Keevil (21009), John Kenworthy (20811), Hugh Nesbitt (20973), William Edward Parr (21224), Charles Ignatius Sandwell (20879), Charles Henry Simpson (21011) William Taylor (20863) and John Wareing (21302). They have no known graves and their names are recorded on the Basra Memorial.

Daniel Keevil will be familiar to readers of the Lancashire Evening Post. His name appears on the Harris Orphanage War Memorial, members of his family live in the area, and an article was printed in the LEP about his name being found on the Basra memorial.

I am hoping that readers who are relatives of these men might be able to help me in my research. I can be contacted at [email protected]

Adrian Kay via email