Gethin Jones presents stories from people involved in past and present conflicts, including a Second World War gunner who describes his daring and secret missions over enemy lines.
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Welcome to Remembrance Week.
I'm in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
This place is huge.
Its perimeter is almost 35km long,
making it roughly the same size as Reading.
It's also home to thousands of our servicemen and women,
but not for much longer
because the process of bringing them home is in full swing.
To mark Remembrance Sunday,
we'll hear some of their incredible stories,
and from those who stood before them.
Coming up on today's programme...
In World War II,
gunners in Bomber Command knew every day could be their last.
One man beat the odds to tell his tale.
I got the name of being lucky,
a bit of a lucky character to fly with.
A heroic medic describes
how she fought to save the lives of people caught in a bomb blast.
They cry, "Man down" or they a shout for a medic.
The initial thought is the worst and you know, I always get butterflies
and think, "Oh, my God, what's going to happen?"
And a young Army family gets ready for daddy to come home.
The majority of it is just going to be sat-down hugging.
Seven months' worth of hugs are going to take quite a few hours.
During World War II, the men of Bomber Command played a vital role
in securing victory in Europe,
but as we're about to find out,
it wasn't just bombs that were dropped from their planes.
90-year-old Bill Stoneman is turning back the clock to remember
his time in Bomber Command, where he served in a very special squadron.
I was always interested in the Royal Air Force,
so in '42, I was 18 years of age.
I made enquiries about joining the Royal Air Force.
Just a few months later, he was accepted as a member of aircrew
and was eager to serve straightaway.
I sat in front of a squadron leader.
I said, "When will I go? When do I go for training?"
"Oh," he said, "It will be about six to seven months."
So I said, "But I want to go now." He said, "The only way you can go now
"is by becoming a gunner, a rear gunner, an air gunner."
I said, "That's for me."
He said, "Are you sure?" I said, "Yes, that's what I want to be."
Bill's job as rear gunner was to protect the plane from enemy fire,
a dangerous job that came with an appallingly short life expectancy,
as little as two weeks.
I was told by everyone, "You're going to be a rear gunner? Are you mad?"
I suppose, youth being on your side,
you feel a little bit, "It can't happen to me."
Sat at the very back of the plane,
rear gunners scanned the skies for signs of danger.
I never waited for attacks.
If I saw an aircraft, behaving belligerently,
I knew he was going to have a go. I fired.
You're in a turret with four machine guns
and that turret can move up, down, sideways,
so you can point your guns at him.
So you've got four machine guns firing 1,150 rounds a minute
at this oncoming fighter aircraft.
Bill's skill helped him survive many missions.
I got the name of being lucky, a bit of a lucky character to fly with.
Soon after joining Bomber Command,
he was selected for covert operations.
They said, "You're going to a special duties squadron."
We hadn't a clue what they were talking about.
This airfield held one of the biggest secrets of the war.
It was from here that hundreds of agents and supplies by the tonne
were delivered by air to occupied Europe.
Bill was to serve in 138 Squadron,
one of two special duties squadrons in Bomber Command.
Their orders would come from a top-secret government agency,
the Special Operations Executive.
The special duties squadron
was based at a place called Tempsford in Bedfordshire.
It had a Halifax bomber aircraft, but instead of bombs,
this was dropping supplies and agents...
..these were trained saboteurs,
into occupied territories, including Germany.
The squadron I flew on was nicknamed, and was known as the Moon Squadron.
Nearly all our missions were done by moonlight
because the aircraft had to see what was happening.
It couldn't drop in complete darkness.
Bill and his comrades had an extremely dangerous role.
To help them drop their secret cargo,
they needed specially-modified aircraft.
Bomb bay itself, two doors opened up,
normally there would be 13 1,000-pound bombs in there,
they'd now have, say, 12 or 13 canisters
filled with what the agents would use for the sabotage.
The canisters were loaded with explosives, pistols,
ammunition, clothing, everything you can think of,
compasses, you know, even aspirin,
everything a person would need.
One particular piece of cargo was more unusual than most.
We carried pigeons.
Now, these pigeons were in little Bakelite containers,
with a little bottle of water,
some seed, and
this little canister had a parachute.
There was also some rice paper with a questionnaire, and a stub of pencil.
The dispatcher would release these pigeons.
They'd float down to earth on these parachutes
with the idea they'd be found by anyone.
Hoping the pigeons wouldn't fall into enemy hands,
locals in the area would fill out the questionnaires,
then they would release the birds to carry the messages back to Britain.
They came back with the most interesting information.
We weren't privy to it, of course.
Bill's secret missions took him many miles from home,
dropping agents and supplies into occupied territories.
At the bottom of the fuselage,
there was a hole cut with two doors that opened, quite a big hole,
and the agents could be dropped through this hole,
straight out of the aircraft,
and also any supplies carried inside the aircraft,
they could also be dropped through this hole.
Hiding in the dark, a reception committee of saboteurs
would wait for the plane, then signal the location for the drop.
They had torches on the ground to show where we should drop.
When the light came on, bomber would say, "Drop them now,"
as though he was dropping a bomb.
And we would drop the supplies or agents to this reception committee.
Those welcoming the planes were freedom fighters,
ordinary men and women living in Nazi-occupied territories,
willing to risk their lives to help the Allies.
They were leaving their families at night
and then they had to hide the supplies or help the agents.
The curfews put in place by the Nazis made it even more risky.
Those people had to make sure they were not captured
because it was certain death if they were caught, I mean, that was it.
Very brave, very, very brave people.
Bill had lost many friends serving in this highly dangerous unit.
He had been extremely lucky,
outlasting the short life expectancy of a gunner,
but his luck was about to change.
The crew I was flying with at that time,
I'd flown two or three operations with.
You become like brothers.
It's a lovely family, or just like family, and you rely on each other.
On the night of 11 July 1944,
Bill was on his 23rd mission.
Setting off from Blida, an airfield in Algeria,
Bill's crew were heading back to base.
We got 40 miles off the coast of North Africa,
flying towards the South of France.
There was one almighty bang.
The surprise was just immediate. It was just, "bang", fire.
There was nothing they could do.
Their aircraft was now hurtling towards the sea.
We were all huddled together,
just praying that the pilot did a good job and managed to make it.
It was all over in a moment.
Extra fuel tanks on board burst on impact.
Now, in the Mediterranean Sea, the crew were trapped.
The plane had filled with water,
and a terrible stench of a lot of 100 octane fuel.
It was very overpowering, choking.
Struggling against the toxic fumes, the crew managed to scramble out.
They knew there should be an emergency dinghy,
but to their horror, it hadn't inflated.
The aircraft was sinking, and no dinghy.
So I knew where there was a manual dinghy release,
which is just inside the fuselage.
All I had to do was get back in.
By now, the fuselage was full of suffocating fumes.
The bomber held me by my harness, let me back in and held me,
and I managed to turn the handle and I heard the hissing.
The dinghy began inflating,
but now it started to float away.
I went in the water with my clothes on, fully dressed,
got the dinghy, being a strong swimmer, being a Newquay boy,
brought up by the sea, got it back to the aircraft.
We all managed to scramble in.
Bill and his crew had made it just in time.
They watched on as their plane started to sink.
The aircraft started to tilt onto this level,
until just the fin and rudders, two big fins sticking out of the water...
..and shouts, two shouts of "help" came from the aircraft.
That was the navigator.
I didn't realise that Flight Officer Farr, Tony Farr,
the navigator, was still in the aircraft.
I can't really explain how it hurt,
because knowing a man so well
and flying with him and putting your trust in him,
and then to hear those plaintive cries for help,
and you can't do anything about it.
I heard those shouts for a long time, I can tell you.
Over 55,000 men from Bomber Command lost their lives in World War II,
the highest death rate of any British unit.
Those who lived carry the memory of those who died.
Our squadron alone,
138 Squadron, lost 70 aircraft.
I did lose an awful lot of friends during World War II.
Wake up in the morning and there'd be empty beds.
The aircraft just failed to return.
As young as I was, it had a great effect on me.
Throughout history, the role of the military medic has been vital.
Their brave work under enormous pressure
is a matter of life or death, and here in Afghanistan,
a routine day can quickly turn into a lifesaving mission.
Isobel Henderson started a career in the Army
when she was just 16 years old.
I joined the Army in 2004 and that was because
my dad took me to the careers office.
I wanted to be a dog handler, and I wasn't heavy enough!
And then I wanted to be a driver, I wasn't tall enough,
and then they said they were crying out for medics,
and I thought, "Oh, yeah, let's go for that."
At 17, Isobel became a medic with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
As she threw herself into Army life,
she received some upsetting news from her dad at home.
He phoned me up and said, "I've been diagnosed with cancer."
And then we found out it was actually quite terminal.
I think it had been missed. You know, it was in his lymph nodes,
it was in his lungs, it was in his liver, it was quite wild,
and I was dead set, I was still young
and I was like, "I want to come home, I want to be with you,"
and he was like, "No,
"I want you to carry on with your career as if nothing has happened."
Sadly, in 2008, Isobel's father lost his battle with cancer.
When Dad passed away, it was the hardest thing ever
because my dad brought me up.
He was a carer for my mum, who's disabled,
he had his two girls, me and my younger sister,
and he was my everything.
Isobel struggled to cope without her father.
But in 2010, with only two days' notice,
she was called to the front line.
When I got told I was going to Afghanistan in 2010,
I was told I was going with the Scots Guards, so I was very...
It was quite daunting because I didn't know anybody
and it was a completely different regiment.
Isobel was stationed at an isolated checkpoint in southern Afghanistan.
I was the only female, had no female company, which was a bit daunting.
But, yeah, the guys were welcoming enough.
It is nice to know that there is guys looking out for you,
especially when you're on foot patrols.
Obviously not being as tall as some people,
having to get over great big walls is a challenge in itself,
so they'd help me over and stuff, so it was good.
Word soon spread in the local area that a medic was at the checkpoint,
and it became a busy time for Isobel.
It wasn't all trauma and new casualties and stuff.
We would have a lot of walk-ins. Locals would come in,
they'd hear that there was some kind of medical facility there.
However, as the only medic in the area,
what happened next would really put Isobel's skills to the test.
We were sat in the checkpoint doing our day-to-day business,
having a chat, having a chinwag.
A Mastiff, which is an armoured vehicle, came up to our checkpoint.
They had a bit of a discussion with our platoon commander and stuff
and then they left.
As they left, we heard a large explosion.
You kind of look up, because you can't see over the walls.
You see a big dust cloud. Everyone just kind of froze,
looked at each other and thought that Mastiff had been hit.
Someone's ran out of the Ops room and shouted "mass casualty".
So everyone is getting their kit, body armour, helmet.
We thankfully had another vehicle,
which we jumped into and we all made our way down to the explosion site.
When anyone is injured, and they cry "man down"
or they shout for a medic, your initial thought is the worst.
And I always get butterflies
and think, "My God, what's going to happen?"
When you get there, you know, your training takes hold
and you get on with it.
As Isobel and the other soldiers approached the blast site,
what they saw was not what they expected.
The Mastiff was fine.
And we looked over to the right and there was a civilian bus
which was no longer a bus, it was more of a chassis.
A lot of the males had died from the incident
and they'd been blown from, you know, the wreckage. They were in a field.
One was over a wall. One was up an alleyway.
You know, they were blown afar.
The women and children were the ones that had survived.
Obviously with great injuries.
There was a young girl still within the wreckage,
and she was still breathing, so I kind of got focused on her.
As the only medic on the scene, Isobel had to take charge,
treating all the casualties from the blast.
That was my first encounter with children.
And obviously our training, we do do paediatrics,
dealing with children, but it is an eye-opener.
Me being the only medic, I couldn't...
I haven't got octopus arms, I can't do it all.
So the team medics had to assist, and some of them guys were dads,
and they were having to do CPR on a child.
At the time, you know, they carried on and they did
what they were trained to do, but afterwards, speaking to them,
it was upsetting hearing a dad from that perspective
saying how hard it was to actually do CPR.
The medical emergency response team were called in
to take the severely injured to hospital at Camp Bastion.
It felt like a lifetime we had the casualties for,
but in...realistic, you know, the helicopter was en route
and the helicopter was there within probably 25 minutes.
But at the time it felt like a lifetime.
Sadly, the young girl Isobel attended to first died in hospital.
It hits home.
Especially when you're having to treat that casualty,
and say they do lose their life, it's soul-destroying.
It doesn't matter if I'm not close to them, I still cry.
You know, I shed a tear for them.
However, Isobel's heroic actions that day
helped to save the lives of several people.
The only time I really thought about it was after,
when we all sat down and was like, "What has just happened?"
And the only way you get through it is talking about it
and getting through it with each other.
And you pull each other through it, I suppose.
For brave conduct throughout her time in Afghanistan,
Isobel was awarded an MBE in 2011.
It's been ten years since I've walked into that careers office,
and it's... It's my way of life.
Probably my proudest moment is going to Buckingham Palace
and actually marching up and receiving an award.
If my dad was still about today, he'd still be talking about it now.
That's how bad he would be.
He would be a very proud dad.
This weekend, we will honour those
who have served and suffered in our name.
And when we see the poppies fall,
we'll remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
After 40 years of loyal service
in one of the elite regiments of the British Army,
our next veteran reflects on
one of the toughest conflicts he ever experienced.
Colour Sergeant Brian Faulkner was a member of 3 PARA,
a battalion in the elite Parachute Regiment.
The men of the red beret stick together.
Nobody could interfere with that little clique of men.
He received a distinguished conduct medal
for his bravery and dedication
at the Battle of Mount Longdon in the Falklands conflict.
His actions helped save the lives of many.
But Brian will never forget the 23 men they lost that night.
They should be remembered.
We will remember them.
Brian grew up in Yorkshire.
Not sure what career path to choose,
he decided to follow in his father's footsteps.
I was a miner for a while,
and my father was an ex-military man himself,
who spent quite a long time in the military.
He said, "I think that the best thing for you is to join the military
"and try and get out of the mines."
And then, at the age of about 18, 19,
I thought, "I'll have a go at the Parachute Regiment."
The first time I'd ever been in an aircraft
is when I launched myself out of it.
Brian spent the next 17 years in the Paras.
In 1982, when war broke out in the Falklands,
he was amongst 28,000 British troops
that were deployed to recapture the islands.
When we did operations in Northern Ireland, four, five,
maybe six months, you knew the start date and you knew the end date.
But you didn't actually know when this confrontation would finish.
23 days into their journey, the reality of the situation hit home.
I always remember sitting where we was having our meals.
And it came over the ship's tannoy system
that a British submarine had sunk the Belgrano.
And we all cheered. Wahey! And everybody was elated.
And then everybody realised that we'd made the first move,
we'd sunk the ship, we were actually going to war.
It was an eerie feeling. That's when I became scared.
With the sinking of the Belgrano, the conflict escalated.
On their way to the islands, it was decided that 3 PARA
would form part of the land offensive.
And Brian was about to be given a role of huge importance.
I was a qualified medic. The doctor saw me
and he indicated the commanding officer
and said, "I need more staff." He said, "Any in particular?"
"I would like that man over there," and that man was myself.
On the night of June 11th, British troops launched
a coordinated attack on three locations.
3 PARA's mission was to take Mount Longdon,
a key target in the recapture of the islands
and the liberation of the capital, Port Stanley.
Brian's job was to support the medics in the battle to come.
We knew that they weren't going to give up.
They had the weaponry and the ammunition.
And they'd been on that mountain
and prepared that mountain for an assault by ourselves.
There were these young lads of 19, 20,
there with bayonets on the end of their rifles.
They were killing and they were being killed.
As the battle advanced,
the fighting and firing became more and more furious.
That particular face itself, it's called Grenade Alley.
The Argentinians were rolling grenades down amongst us.
At the same time we had snipers
and heavy machine gun fire being fired at us.
There was no let-up for Brian that night
as he was needed all over the mountain.
As soon as we got either a wounded person back
or wounded personnel back, I would go up to the fighting platoon,
the fighting section, and engage the enemy with them
but try to establish where their wounded were.
You're always thinking that "It won't be me, it won't be me,"
but you're witnessing guys that's been shot and killed
who were probably thinking the same.
It was a dreadful night.
It was a bleak, bloody mountain that evening.
Brian was close to many of the young men
that lost their lives that night.
In our time back in England, I was the battalion rugby coach,
and a number of the guys that I actually saw
had been members of the rugby team, that had been killed.
That was distressful as well, seeing young men that had been killed.
And in particular, which I didn't know at the time,
a young man that was actually killed on his 18th birthday.
255 British troops died in the conflict to reclaim the Falklands.
When I retrieved the bodies,
I was actually thinking of their wives, their mothers, their children.
We had 23 killed and 47 wounded. That's just in one night's action.
That's quite a lot.
If you think about it.
But if it hadn't been for Brian's bravery and determination,
that number would have been a lot higher.
The greatest satisfaction that I've ever got
from the conflict down there is at the end,
knowing that every wounded soldier that we got off that mountain,
which includes Argentinians that were wounded, lived.
Central to the operation out here in Afghanistan is the ability to
get our troops and essential equipment in and out.
Because of where Camp Bastion is in the middle of the desert,
the best way to do this is by air, and it's a massive challenge.
When Bastion Airport opened in 2006,
it was designed to handle no more than 12 flights a week.
Now they juggle an astonishing 2,500.
Is that Thumper going to take off from nine, yeah?
And it is the job of the control tower
to make sure the airport runs like clockwork.
What else have we got? Just those out to the south-west.
Heading the team is squadron leader Andy Gibbins.
This is the essential part of the Bastion cog, if you like.
It absolutely is. This is an extremely busy and complex airfield.
I would say we are about the fifth-busiest UK-run aerodrome.
This is where everything comes in.
This is where the troops come in, this is where your food comes in,
this is where your mail comes in, so this is the morale hub, if you like.
On any given day the controlling team will have 50 different varieties
of aircraft, from fast jets, strategic air transport aircraft,
rotary wing, to all different types of unmanned air systems.
So it's the sheer variety you have got to contend to
that you just don't get in the UK.
So you've got aircraft coming at you from every single angle.
Precisely, many of which we don't even see. What?
Isn't that your job? You'd think so,
but a lot of the unmanned air systems land at sites
that are three or four miles away from here,
so we've got to coordinate them into the airspace
amongst all of the aircraft we can see.
Fortunately we have pretty good radars.
We're effectively playing a big game of chess
both in the air and on the ground.
One of the many aircraft flying in and out of Bastion
are Chinook helicopters.
These hard-working machines are in constant demand.
Keeping the Chinooks fit to fly is a team of 70 engineers,
led by Flight Lieutenant Phil Rea.
I think the Royal Air Force Chinook
is actually the workhorse of Afghanistan.
It's just celebrated its 30-year birthday, last autumn, 2012.
The aircraft have been flying in every operation the Royal Air Force
has conducted since they got into service.
What are we talking? How many people will a Chinook take?
In the last month we have actually transported 5,500 troops
around this area of Afghanistan. That is amazing.
That just shows how much we're working these beasts.
They're like buses, basically.
Exactly. Not only essential for carrying troops
but also for essential supplies, too.
Absolutely, there's a huge reliance on these
to get out to the patrol bases and to the forward operating bases
to deliver things just as simple as water.
We're actually transporting about 100 metric tonnes per day.
If you wanted to think about it, it is like putting 100 small cars
into these aircraft and getting them out of these bases.
Being in the air around here, obviously very dangerous,
I imagine a lot of them have come under enemy fire.
How does it deal with that?
It is a really robust machine. This aircraft can take numerous rounds,
it will continue flying.
And some of the times,
the aircrew won't even know that they have been shot. Really?
Absolutely. We have rounds maybe go through the belly of the aircraft
and through these blades here. That is remarkable.
When we come back, my engineers will come around the aircraft
and do a full, what we call a Battle Damage Assessment
and it's only then we will know if that aircraft has been shot.
This dedicated team work 24 hours a day,
as these impressive machines are essential in life-saving operations.
I am massive, massively privileged to lead the 70 engineers out here.
They deliver at every step of the way. And...
the big thing for me is, when you see these aircraft take off,
when you see that medical emergency response team aircraft take off,
every single person knows that they have played a part
in getting that aircraft up in the air.
Essentially a flying hospital in the back of a Chinook,
it is the job of the medical emergency response team, or MERT,
to evacuate casualties from the front line.
Packed with essential life-saving equipment,
medical teams treat casualties mid-flight as they race back
to Bastion's first-class hospital.
'Dr Harry Pugh is a MERT volunteer.'
What's it like for you? What goes through your head when the call
comes through? You are a reservist as well.
You chose to come out here and be part of this.
What goes through your head?
Your heart rate goes up as you sprint out here, you just want,
you are going out thinking and hoping you will be able to do
the best job possible and making sure that the team will be working
and everybody will be working together to get that casualty back.
You're just wanting to do the best job you possibly can.
When you get to a location you have no idea what's ahead of you.
Sometimes it can be hot, meaning there are rounds coming in at you,
so it can be quite full-on.
The Chinook is a massive target,
so to support the medical team while they are saving lives,
an Apache helicopter flies alongside,
protecting them against enemy fire.
You try and shut out all of the difficult situations going on
and the Apache's overhead, they are keeping you safe.
I do it because I want to look after the soldiers
because they are the guys on the ground,
they are doing the hard work and they need to be, know that there are
people out there who will look after them if they are injured.
In the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday, who do you think about?
When they read out the names, you think about them.
People you have treated and their families.
And it's a sad, sad time and you are remembering, really,
and very especially about people who are left behind
because that's the important thing.
One of the hardest parts of deployment
for our servicemen and women
is the amount of time they spend away from home.
We're about to join one family
who are counting down the hours before seeing their loved one again.
Sam Collier and her children, River and Wyatt,
are getting ready for a very special occasion.
Where do you want this one? Here?
Today, loving husband and proud daddy Gary is coming home.
He's returning from a seven-month tour of Afghanistan.
I do get really excited.
I tend to plaster the house with as many balloons
and banners that I can fit around the place.
I like to shout it out that he is home.
He's coming home on a plane.
Not a bus or a bike. Only a plane.
Sam and Gary first got to know each other in April 2004.
We met online and spoke for a couple of months and then eventually decided
to have a meet and see each other face to face.
I fell in love with him straight away.
I can remember exactly what he was wearing at the time,
and I just knew from there
that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
After just three months together,
Gary whisked her away for a romantic weekend.
Camping, where he proposed.
We spent a whole week camping together which kind of made me think,
if I can spend a week camping with him with no TV, no outside world,
then I reckon it will work in the long run.
They married just before Christmas. But only five months later,
Gary left for his first tour of duty, leaving Sam at home.
He went to Iraq in the May time.
At first it was a shock to the system.
I was a little bit apprehensive about being here,
but he went out and brought me a dog to keep me company.
Gary is a sergeant in the infantry. His main responsibility
is to maintain communications on the front line.
Gary has been on three tours since we have been married,
first in Iraq, then a few years later he went to Afghan,
and this time he's gone back to Afghan again.
Are you ready to watch Daddy?
'It is Daddy, I just wanted to send you a message saying
'I love you lots and lots and I miss you.
'I miss you all the way to the moon and back.'
As a loving father, Gary often sends video messages to Sam and children.
'I love you beyond the stars.
'Be a good girl for Mummy and I'll be home soon.'
It never gets any easier for Sam.
You know it will be a long time before he comes home,
so you try and make yourself stronger and concentrate on the children,
getting into a routine and focus your mind on something else.
Otherwise you're just going to worry yourself sick.
It's still hard, you never truly get used to it,
but you get more understanding as each one comes along.
For River and Wyatt,
being away from their daddy for so long is hard to understand.
With River being the older one she misses him a lot more.
Quite regularly I do have to bring out a map to show River
just how far away Daddy is, although to a four-year-old,
that kind of looks like, "Well, it's only a handprint away, Mummy."
Months of counting down the days
until Daddy comes home are almost over.
Today, they will see him again.
It says Daddy is home in...no days!
That means today Daddy's home!
I do a countdown for the children
so they can see that it is going down,
so they have a visual that it's getting closer.
I am excited now, really excited.
Having Daddy home isn't the only celebration today.
The day he comes home will be River's birthday.
so there will be a lot of presents opening.
It is my birthday when Daddy gets home.
The majority of it will be sat there hugging,
seven months worth of hugs will take quite a few hours.
It's actually quite an amazing feeling.
I don't think there will be a dry eye around, I do get so emotional
when I see him for the first time.
Come on, guys, are we ready to go and get your daddy? Yeah!
All the emotions that you have been suppressing for seven months
just burst out and, yeah, there will be a lot of tears.
The moment has finally come.
Sam, River and Wyatt join all the other families to welcome
their brave men and women back home.
MUSIC: "Paradise" by Coldplay
The Colliers are reunited at last, and so are the many other families,
all sharing the same tears of joy.
After a prolonged time being away from the family
it really feels pretty amazing to be home at last.
And I managed to make it home for my little girl's fourth birthday
so it's a double celebration.
I love you, darling. I love you, too, Daddy.
On tomorrow's programme:
A German refugee describes how he almost died fighting for Britain.
I was of course well aware
that I was volunteering to fight against my country.
I didn't think of it as my country.
It was fighting against the Nazi barbarity,
that's why we wanted to be in fighting units.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A Second World War gunner in Bomber Command describes his daring and secret missions over enemy lines; and a young medic tells of her heroic fight to save the lives of children caught in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.