We are a group of British Army veterans who have served on the frontline with The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in combat zones around the world. We valued our time in the military, in particular the sense of comradeship it gave us, and the opportunity to soldier alongside amazing people, fellow Fusiliers. These Fusiliers were willing to give their lives, not just for others, but if necessary, for us, their ‘brothers in arms’. It is with great sadness that we all know a fellow veteran or a serving Fusilier who has ended their life by suicide: good men, good soldiers, good friends. We want to play our part in saving lives by taking on and defeating the enemy: suicide. We are ‘Fusiliers vs Suicide.’
‘Don’t tackle the hackle’
All ranks in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers wear the distinctive red and white ‘hackle’ in their berets. The hackle is a historic battle honour awarded after victory in combat to the 5th (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot (The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers), after the Battle of St Lucia in 1778. For centuries the hackle has been a source of pride and courage in adversity. In our fight against the enemy: suicide we recognize the need for humility. Suicide is complex, and personal, and this fight is not about having easy answers but about emotional courage and determination.
Our message to the enemy: suicide is this:
- ‘Don’t tackle the Hackle’ because you will lose;
- we are going to find you with our commitment;
- we are going to fix you with our courage;
- we are going to strike you with our compassion;
- and we are going to exploit your weakness with the firepower of our comradeship.
Fusiliers vs Suicide takes inspiration from the story of St George, the patron Saint of England. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was founded on St George’s Day, 23rd April 1968, and St George is featured on the cap badge of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, underneath a flaming grenade.
Tradition tells us that St. George was a Roman soldier, forever immortalized in the legend of ‘Saint George and the Dragon’, in which Saint George tames and slays a dragon that demanded human sacrifices.
In our mission to defeat suicide, we want to help and support people to tame suicidal thoughts, so that those thoughts do not become the dragon that is the loss of their life, by completion of suicide.
More information about The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers can be found at: thefusiliers.org