Duchess of Cornwall's father made news bulletins while prisoner of war

·2-min read


The Duchess of Cornwall's father produced news bulletins while trapped in a Nazi camp.
Camilla described herself as a "very proud patron" of the British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS) as she praised its work to use radio and TV to "lessen the gap between loved ones", sharing an anecdote from her dad Major Bruce Shand's own military days to highlight the importance of hearing a friendly voice when away from home.
She said: “I know a little of the importance of maintaining the connection between serving personnel and their family because, during the Second World War, my father was held as a prisoner of war in Germany.
“Officially, his role was to be the laundry officer. Unofficially, it fell to him and half a dozen others to create and listen to a very basic radio to glean precious news of home and share it with their fellow prisoners.
“Periodic Nazi raids would locate and destroy the carefully-built wireless sets, but they were always replaced as quickly as possible – the men could cope with almost anything as long as they were not deprived of some form of contact with home.
“In the same way, your incredible work raises morale, forges a sense of community and lessens the distance from loved ones. You live up to your inspiring motto 'serving those who serve', and for this – thank you.”
The BFBS was founded in 1943 and Camilla paid tribute to its global reach.
In a video address after she was announced as patron, she said: “For 75 years, the BFBS has championed our wonderful Armed Forces and shone a spotlight on their vital work.
“Spanning 15 time zones, from the deserts of the Middle East to the windswept Falkland Islands, you are truly a worldwide organisation that supports our servicemen and women wherever they may find themselves.
“You also, of course, support service families, who face immense challenges.
“The simple things are often those that matter most, whether hearing a friendly voice on the radio, or children being able to watch their favourite programmes.”
Camilla also addressed the troops directly and praised them for their "remarkable versatility and courage".
She said: "[I would like to] express my deepest admiration for our Armed Forces who have once again demonstrated remarkable versatility and courage this year, responding to the numerous calls for help both in this country and overseas.
“Many of you will be on duty over Christmas, protecting those of us who will be safe with our families.
"Thank you for your unseen sacrifices that you are making for us all. Thank you also to your families for keeping the home fires burning.”

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