The Grand Old Duke of York reacted with fury last night as it was announced that his fighting force of 10,000 men may be drastically cut back. ‘I need all of my men for essential marching duties,’ he stormed. ‘A cut of 25% would destroy their morale – 7,500 men marching around just looks silly.’
Sources close to the Defence Secretary suggested that the Duke would have been better placed to defend against army cuts if he had not ‘recklessly and contrary to all military doctrine, continued to force his men to march repeatedly up and down the same piece of elevated ground in Northern France, to no apparent strategic advantage.’
A MoD official commented that the exact impact of the review on the number of soldiers under the Duke’s command had yet to be determined, and it was possible that final numbers would be ‘neither up nor down’.