AN Army veteran from Halesowen is drumming up support for a protest rally aiming to shame the government over prosecutions of former soldiers for actions carried out in the line of duty.

David Brenton, 59, from Colley Gate, will be among former servicemen taking part in a ‘Justice for Veterans’ static rally in Gas Street, Birmingham, at 11am on Saturday (May 18).

The protest will support veterans who are being charged with historical offences, including ‘Soldier F’, a former British Army serviceman who faces a murder charge from ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Londonderry in 1972.

Mr Brenton, a member of the British Legion in Cradley Heath, said: “Several soldiers from back in the day are being charged regarding Bloody Sunday and other offences in Northern Ireland.

“Most of these are veterans over 75 and we are not happy that the government has turned its back on them.

“We are trying to make people aware of this and stop the witch hunt. These are people who have signed up for the Queen’s shilling and gone into war zones.”

The protest group marched on London last month, with 22,000 motorcyclists bringing parts of the capital to a standstill in a ‘Rolling Thunder’ ride.

In addition to this weekend’s event in Birmingham, rallies are simultaneously taking place in other major British cities including Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester and Leeds.

Mr Brenton, who served in Northern Ireland and the Falklands during a 12-year stint with the army from 1978-90 before joining the police force, added: “The rally is open to all. It is a peaceful protest.

“All we want to do is get our point across that these veterans should not be prosecuted. People have fought and died for this country. Some have gone to war and haven’t come back.

“This is our way of saying ‘it’s not on’, that the government should support its veterans and not put them in the cupboard and hope they go away.

“Most of the veterans being prosecuted are ex-Parachute Regiment but it doesn’t matter where you served.

“Whether it’s the army, navy, TA, cadets, whatever, we just want as many veterans there as possible to show their support.”

The prosecution issue has stirred up conflict, with relatives of the 13 people killed on Bloody Sunday campaigning for charges to be brought while others argue that the soldiers should not face trial.

Charges were brought this year after a decade-long investigation by Lord Saville concluded that troops killed protestors who posed no threat.