BALLOONS sailed into the sky above Witney as part of a nationwide campaign against planned military cuts.

Lorraine Faulds, from Bampton, held a minute’s silence at Church Green at 11am yesterday in protest at moves to cut the Army from 102,000 to 80,000 troops.

Each balloon signified 1,000 troops’ jobs to be lost. Earlier this month it was confirmed that 23 Pioneer Regiment, based in Bicester since 1941, will cease to exist by October 2015.

Mrs Faulds’ son Kieran is about to graduate from Army training college but has learned the two regiments he had hoped to join will be disbanded.

She said: “If they need to make these changes, what money is going to be saved? If these soldiers can’t work, then they will have to claim benefits, which won’t save money in the long run.”

Mrs Faulds was joined by, from left, her husband Trevor Connaughton, daughter Rhiannon and her friend Tegan Cuthbert, and admitted it was disappointing no-one else showed up.

The Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the protests, which also took place in London, but Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said: “After inheriting a massive overspend from the last government we have had to make tough decisions to implement our vision of a formidable, adaptable and flexible armed forces.”