Friday, 22 October 2021
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Des James

In 2009 Elayne Jude of Great North News Services reviewed a drama about the Deepcut deaths. As Des James hears the coroner say that Deepcut army barracks failed in its duty of care to young recruits, we republish the original review.

Forever smiling, fixed at the age of eighteen, Cheryl James' portrait beams at us spotlit on the wall of her parents' Llangollen living-room, as Nicholas Blake QC announces to the press from the marble halls of Canary Wharf that his 2007 review of the deaths of four young recruits at Deepcut Barracks will not recommend a public inquiry.

On the 'balance of probabilities', and against the current of alternative evidence, three of the deaths are pronounced likely to have been self-inflicted. No suspicion of foul play is established in the case of the fourth.

Philip Ralph's documentary drama, 'Deep Cut', opened 10th March 2009 at London's Tricycle Theatre. Commissioned by Sherman Cymru theatre company and performed in Wales and at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival, the work was constructed over three years from firsthand testimony from the families, fellow recruits, journalists and an independent forensic investigator, and from a mass of public documents, including Blake's review.

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