Major Saunders, who was deployed to Sierra Leone to help tackle the Ebola outbreak of 2015, has recorded a special video appeal in full uniform, appealing to people to pay their respects from the safety of their own home.
Major Mark Saunders – VE Day
So my name is Mark Saunders and my role in the NHS is as a surgical care practitioner within orthopaedics and trauma. I’m also a major in the reserve army, which vie now done for 25 years.
I’ve deployed across the world basically. Iraq in 2003, when I was mobilised there and again in 2007-8 in Afghanistan and then again in 2012. And again in 2014-15 in Sierra Leone for the Ebola Crisis.
Sierra Leone was a bit different. Because even though we did a little exercise before with the donning on and donning off, which now were doing for the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve learnt all this when I deployed out there in Sierra Leone for the Ebola crisis as that’s something we did almost everyday.
So when we had to start doing it for COVID-19, I already knew all that. So I already had those skills and knowledge on the back of all I’d learnt.
VE day is a very, very special event for tomorrow. We cannot thank the people who have done that job for us in the Second World War and VE Day enough. Tomorrow, being the 75th anniversary, we should remember all those who have given their sacrifice, who went through the process. That’s men women and children. Sometimes we do forget that. It’s the sacrifice they’ve all done for that. Basically, it’s to honour that generation.
I would just say in the moment, looking at that and the 75th anniversary within the COVID-19 pandemic, is to stay home, stay safe and protect the NHS.
Major Saunders said: “VE Day is a very, very special event.
“We cannot forget to thank the people who have done that job for us on VE Day. Tomorrow we should remember those that have sacrificed, who went through the war – that’s men women and children.
“But because of COVID-19, we need to stay home, stay safe and protect the NHS.”
Joining the Major in filming appeals is Nurse Carol Appleyard, a former RAF Nurse who has been involved in frontline COVID activities, and Ian Fraser, a member of the estates team who also proudly served in the RAF.
Carol Appleyard – VE Day
Hi, my name is Carol Appleyard. I work in pre-assessment as a staff nurse. I’m currently working between the pre-assessment unit and the Covid-19 swabbing pods. I’ve been in the Trust for 20 years.
I’m very proud of my military background. I was born and raised in the Royal Air Force. And my dad served in the Royal Air Force as a nurse for 26 years. When I left school I also joined the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force nursing service and I served for four years. I’m now a member of the Royal Air Force Association.
On Friday, we’re going to be celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day. While we can’t celebrate as we normally would for such an occasion.
I would ask that you stay home and stay safe. And during that time that you will take a few moments just to think about all those people who sacrificed so much for our freedom. Thank you.
Ian Fraser – VE Day
Hi, my name is Ian Fraser. I work for NTH Solutions and the estates department. Previously I was in the RAF for 22 years. Working as an avionics engineer on a multitude of aircraft and helicopters.
This Friday, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day. But because of COVID-19 we can’t celebrate the way we’d like to. There’ll be no street parties. No live celebrations. We all need to remain at home and remember the nations heroes in our own way.
But their sacrifices will not be forgotten. Please stay at home, stay safe and on Friday, take a moment to remember those who fought for our freedom.