Monday, December 10, 2007


The "snaps" have had to be removed from more than 650 Christmas crackers being sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan because of regulations on the carriage of "explosives".

The original plan was for the troops to receive a cracker to pull with their turkey dinners. However, Maj Ian Dalzel-Job, a former Scots Guard from Rosyth, Dunfermline, who organised the festive packages, then discovered that Christmas cracker snaps are forbidden from being transported on RAF planes.

Under British Forces Post Office regulations, cracker snaps are classed as explosives along with nitroglycerine, fireworks, blasting caps, fuses and flares. Volunteers had to fish inside all 650 boxes to defuse each individual cracker.

Maj Dalzel-Job said: "It was quite tricky to get them out. It took us two hours to go through them all. The troops will just have to go 'bang' themselves when they pull them."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The safety of our aircraft and personnel is paramount. Large numbers of Christmas crackers are classified as dangerous air cargo and therefore require special handling."

The Scots Guards Association faced further problems with its plans to send alcohol miniatures to the troops. This has nothing to do with regulations, simply that alcohol is forbidden in Islamic countries.

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