Battle Scarred: Soldiers Behind Bars

Mon Apr 8, 10-11pm, C5



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Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Every year, 20,000 people leave the armed forces, but how do they cope with the return to civilian life? It’s a question that British journalist and filmmaker Chris Terrill has set out to answer in this four-part documentary series.

In tonight’s opener, he meets ex-servicemen who have been jailed for assault and murder. Prison psychologist Angela Holmes explains that ‘in a different walk of life, they’ve been told to use violence as a mechanism for resolving conflict’ – so it’s unsurprising that these men are wont to snap. Keith has four years to go until his release from a maximum security prison. The softly spoken Scot spends his time painting incredibly detailed images that he describes with great affection and sorrow, which makes it difficult to see him as the axe-wielding murderer he was convicted as.

Of course, ‘Battle Scarred’ isn’t excusing Keith or the other inmates’ lawlessness, but it’s a real eye-opener to a world many of us know nothing about.

Users say


The blame lays squarely with the MOD. For years, even before the Great War, they have been aware of battle shock/ shell shock/ PTSD but choose to do nothing (or very little) about it. Whether this is for financial reasons, or because it just doesn't affect them so they aren't bothered, isn't clear. Apparently you can have Gulf War Syndrome in America but in Britain it doesn't exist, courtesy of the MOD! What is clear is that young men and women are trained to kill and sent off to distant places in the name of this queen and this country, they see, do and experience traumatic events which would test the best of us. When they return they are forgotten and brushed away. Read "Among You" by Jake Wood, who had to pay for his own counselling upon his return from Iraq. The way he was treated in America (as apposed to Britain) upon his return from Afghanistan. We ( the queen and royal family, politicians and others who have the clout to do something better and not leave it to charity) and the public for not doing anything and worrying more about Big Brother, The X Factor and all other dross, should be ashamed at the way we treat out troops.

Ian Beedles
Ian Beedles

We were trained to obey orders no matter what danger it placed us in. We were trained to fight and to survive, and to be aggressive. We were trained to believe and rely on the 'system', and that we would be looked after when we left the serives or if we were injured (physically or mentallyl). No one de-trained us! No one looks out for us! No one cares about us! Many, many service men and woman NEVER return to a normal civilian life.

Cador Pendry
Cador Pendry

It's Tommy this an Tommy that and kick im out, the brute, but the saviour of the nation when the guns begin to shoot Well it's now 2013 and very firmly a blame culture, so who's to blame YOU and ME, for turning your back on returning soldiers And expecting them to just SWITCH OFF. How dumb has Great Britain become?

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