The first was when I had the privilege of meeting relatives of George Dorrell VC, MBE at a ceremony where a special commemorative paving stone was laid next to the war memorial in Kensington. You can read more about Sergeant Major Dorrell’s heroism here – but just meeting the family of a man who showed such courage under fire moved me greatly.
The stone is part of an initiative to recognise the recipients of Victoria Crosses during the First World War. Sadly, as we know all too well, it was not the war to end all wars and many conflicts since have called once again for our sailors, soldiers and air force personnel to put themselves in harm’s way. The result of doing so for some is another battle – this time against life changing injuries.
This was brought home to me when I watched with admiration the efforts of those taking part in the Invictus Games. Teams of wounded service men and women from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the USA joined those from the UK and competed in nine sports over four days and their efforts amazed and humbled me.
While one hundred years separate George Dorrell from the Invictus games one thing remains the same, the bravery of British servicemen and women.