Soldiers 'tried to scrub black trooper white'

British Army
British Army

A black British soldier was subjected to brutal racism, including physical assaults in which his room-mates tried to scrub him “clean and white”, it was alleged last night.

The British Army said it has received allegations from Rifleman Clive Walker of the Royal Green Jackets that he suffered both racial abuse and assaults at the hands of some of his white colleagues.  A spokeswoman said some soldiers had been detained by Military Police but were later released pending further investigation, and that the Army’s Special Investigation Branch had launched an official investigation.

The spokeswoman would not confirm or deny newspaper reports that Rifleman Walker’s skin was scrubbed raw by the soldiers, his clothes were cut up, the contents of his locker were smashed and he was kicked out of his dormitory. Rifleman Walker is still serving with the Royal Green Jackets.

Last week the Ministry of Defence received a final warning to show real commitment to racial equality or face legal action. The Commission for Racial Equality said not enough progress had been made in overcoming discrimination in the Army since the M.o.D signed an agreement in March last year. The C.R.E gave the Army a year to put matters right. After such time, the C.R.E may then issue a non-discrimination notice requiring the MoD to take specific actions or be taken to court.

The C.R.E cited the report from the Office of Public Management, released in March.  the report gave more evidence of the “deeply entrenched problem of racism within the British Armed Services”. The commission was concerned that the M.o.D was aware of, and was in possession of that report since last September before it was released, and that it should have been implementing steps outlined within the plan,  which it had agreed with the CRE during that time.

Original article
The Independent
Matthew Brace
Thursday, 3 April 1997

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