As the nation turns its attentions to marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, a number of us believe that the centenary is an opportunity to learn from the lessons of the past.
One lesson that stands out particularly strongly to me, as chief executive of the military charity SSAFA, is the spirit of bravery and optimism in the face of such terrible times, demonstrated not only by the soldiers at the front but by the families they left behind.
We see the same courage in those we support today – be they serving personnel, veterans or family members coping with injury, illness or personal difficulties.
The song Pack Up Your Troubles encapsulated that spirit during the First World War, and is still sung and played today.
It became what many would call the ‘viral hit’ of the Great War, and we at SSAFA are hoping to breathe new life into it for the centenary.
Members of the Military Wives Choirs and a host of famous faces have come together with many of those SSAFA has supported over the years to record a new video of this truly uplifting anthem.
You can watch and share it to show your support at www.ssafa.org.uk/smile
SSAFA was the only national military charity operating when the First World War started, and we are still going strong today.
Through our support for serving personnel, past and present, we have always aimed to put a smile back on people’s faces.
So if you know a member of the forces family who is currently experiencing their own ‘troubles’, we are here to help.
For more information on the organisation, contact us on 020 7403 8783 or visit www.ssafa.org.uk
Air Vice-Marshal David Murray
Chief Executive of SSAFA
4 St Dunstan’s Hill