RMA hall due to be renamed after King of Bahrain donates £3 millionBy Jennie Slevin
February 21, 2013
A controversial decision to rename a Royal Military Academy (RMA) sports hall which has come under attack from politicians has been defended by Army officers.
Mons Hall, a top quality sports hall at the RMA in Sandhurst and home to the British modern pentathlon team, is said to be named after The Battle of Mons, where thousands of British and German soldiers died in 1914.
However, Lieutenant Colonel Roy Parkinson from the RMA said: "Mons Hall was actually named after Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot.
"It consists of two parts, one which was due to be demolished eight years ago and another building which is still called Mons Hall.
"The King of Bahrain gave us the money eight years ago way before the Arab Spring happened in order to refurbish the part of the hall we were going to have demolished."
The decision has caused outrage across the country as many feel the memory of 1,600 British soldiers who died in a First Word War battle is being betrayed.
Ray Earwicker a Bracknell Liberal Democrat said: "I feel we should respect the courage and the memory of those who fell for their country and not let the thought of a little more money in the MOD's coffers take precedence."
Lt Cnl Parkinson confirmed the hall will now be renamed King Hamad Hall after he donated £3 million to stop it being knocked down.
He added: "He never asked for us to name it after him, but we've done it on his behalf."
The newly refurbished hall is set to be completed in April.