Father of officer killed in action critical of Prince Harry's tour of duty in Afghanistan
PUBLISHED: 15:48 04 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010
PA Wire/PA Photos
THE FATHER of the first British soldier to die in Afghanistan in the current conflict has spoken about the decision to send Prince Harry to Helmand Province. Anthony Philippson said he was very cynical about the motives of the Ministry of Defence in sendi
THE FATHER of the first British soldier to die in Afghanistan in the current conflict has spoken about the decision to send Prince Harry to Helmand Province.
Anthony Philippson said he was very cynical about the motives of the Ministry of Defence in sending the prince to Afghanistan where his son James died in June 2006.
He argued that Prince Harry had been used as propaganda to promote and glorify a war which would be found in the end to be a terrible mistake.
Captain James Philippson, aged 29, of 7 Parachute Royal Horse Artillery, died in a firefight with the Taliban in which British forces were totally outgunned.
He came from Oakwood Road in Bricket Wood and went to St Columba's College in St Albans.
At last month's inquest, the assistant coroner of Oxfordshire Andrew Walker accused the Military of Defence of breaching British soldiers' trust by sending them to Afghanistan without basic equipment.
Vital kit including night vision goggles and grenade launchers did not reach the front line until after Captain Philippson's death.
Mr Walker recorded a narrative verdict that the soldier had been unlawfully killed.
Mr Philippson said this week that it was inevitable that Prince Harry, who had trained at Sandhurst, would see active service but he was very concerned about the publicity behind his 10-week tour of duty.
He also questioned how the prince could ever go to Afghanistan again when his absence from a London nightclub would ensure everyone knew where he was.