BritishForcesFoundation

Latest News from the BFF

Remembrance

November 11, 2023

British Forces Foundation CEO Mark Cann has written a Remembrance piece in the Express this weekend.

He writes: “The time for Remembrance comes round again: shoes are shined, suits sent to the dry cleaners, banners dusted off, bands play, ancestry websites crash and poppies flogged on every street corner. 

In most circles, not wearing a poppy in public is seen as a grand faux pas at best and insult to the fallen at worst.  It’s a good week doing the right thing and it feels right. But what’s behind it and in this year of all years who and what are we remembering and why?

In my office I see the Burma Kohima epitaph “when you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today”. 

But this message is under threat.

Go to Imperial War Museum where they seem embarrassed to have the word ‘War’, in their title (not to mention Imperial) and most displays are about innocent victims, collateral casualties and an apology for having taken part. There is barely a mention of the horrors of campaigns like Burma as history is re-choreographed to fit the modern mood. I don’t mind but the full factual story needs to be told.

That war is ineffective and horrid we know. It occurs when society has broken down, where law and order fails to exist and hatred is roused. What do we fight for? As our understanding of Nation gets more confused so does our understanding of what our Forces fought for. I am no expert, but my experience and that of my forebears would define ‘for’ as country, democracy, society – which is basically family, friends and peaceful, fair community.  

War is overly romanticised by film and the service experience of intense comradeship, shared purpose, humour in the most bizarre and extreme circumstances doesn’t really help inform what we are remembering, which is the sacrifice to protect us because society between nations failed. 

Predictably there will be protests this weekend, the usual publicity hijacking but with no relevance, showing stupidity defacing statues of the very people who fought for the right to protest!

I do believe our Armed forces serve us well and, more importantly, are prepared to. I am not so sure they are well supported by the vast apparatchik of government and contractors. 

For the record, in case you might think differently, and charities let you believe otherwise as they ambulance chase the soft causes, but not everyone who ‘served’ is screwed up including those who have been to war. In the main they are tough physically and mentally and make excellent employees and citizens.  

I don’t wish to decry those who have been terribly affected and wounded – who need all the respect and help available – but don’t let us do a disservice to the many highly capable and competent people who make diligent and loyal workers who have been able to effectively process their trauma and experience yet are now distrusted for their service.  

The military is perhaps the biggest culprit for exacerbating this. I heard the other day of a highly capable young man being turned down at the medical stage for being in a car accident and therefore has the ‘potential’ for PTSD!!

I enjoy talking to the Veterans of the Burma Star Memorial Fund and the young on the frontline with the British Forces Foundation. The characteristics, language, humour are the same. You often hear that Veterans ‘don’t want to talk about it’. This is simply because ‘war’ is not easily relatable to those who have not experienced it.  

I have this mantra that I use often: None but those there will fully understand the extraordinary human, mental, physical, environmental, logistical, cultural and military challenges our Veterans faced. However, we do know this: the life we enjoy now has always, and will always, be preserved by young people marching towards danger to stand in harm’s way for us and the values we hold dear as a nation. The debt we owe them all is to ensure we do everything possible to ensure it is never forgotten.

Few want to fight none want to die.

Express

 

Latest News
Twitter outputted an error:
You currently have access to a subset of Twitter API v2 endpoints and limited v1.1 endpoints (e.g. media post, oauth) only. If you need access to this endpoint, you may need a different access level. You can learn more here: https://developer.twitter.com/en/portal/product.

Recent News

BFF Christmas Auction goes LIVE!!!

December 7, 2023

Get bidding – The British Forces Foundation’s spectacular Christmas Auction has gone live!

Click for full story

BFF 25th Anniversary Spectacular

October 27, 2023

A spectacular 25th anniversary Ball has been planned to mark this very special milestone in British Forces Foundation history.

Click for full story

BFF fun at HMS Sultan

November 16, 2023

HMS Sultan hosted another night of great comedy – and magic – courtesy of the British Forces Foundation.

Click for full story

Remembrance

November 11, 2023

BFF CEO Mark Cann has written a Remembrance piece in the Express this weekend.

Click for full story

BFF Panto Bus

October 26, 2023

The British Forces Foundation’s hugely popular BFF Panto Bus tours are about to hit the road again.

Click for full story

More laughs with the Royal Navy

October 25, 2023

More than 300 people at HMS Collingwood shared in a great night of comedy courtesy of the British Forces Foundation (BFF).

Click for full story

New Chairman at the BFF

October 19, 2023

Air Vice Marshal Matt Wiles CB CBE has taken over the reins at The British Forces Foundation.

Click for full story

Joe Pasquale with BFF

July 31, 2023

Comedian and entertainer Joe Pasquale was reminiscing about his time in Iraq with the British Forces Foundation on Radio 5 on Saturday.

Click for full story
COPYRIGHT 2024 The British Forces Foundation
Web Site Design: Green Chilli Design Ltd