The Grand Old Duke of York reacted with fury last night as it was announced that his hitherto proud and impressive fighting force of 10,000 men would be drastically cut back following the Strategic Defence Review, the results of which were announced yesterday.
"I'm outraged" commented the Duke; "I need all of my ten thousand men for essential and ongoing marching duties. A cut of 25% will do untold damage to morale - 7500 men marching around just looks silly; it lacks all credibility".
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".
Another MoD spokesman commented that the Duke had in recent years seen a fluctuation in the numbers of recruits to his brigade and that the likely cull in numbers was unlikely to have a drastic impact. The figures speak for themselves, said the spokesman "When they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down". He went on to say 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 the numbers would shift "neither up nor down".