Armed Forces Day on 27 June is an opportunity for the nation to show its respect for members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and to share their stories of sacrifice and courage.
One such veteran is Ernie Prior, who was conscripted into the Army in 1940 at the age of 20. During the Second World War, he served in North Africa and Italy where he witnessed the bombing of Monte Cassino. When he returned to Cassino to pay his respects to the fallen, the first grave that he came across was a soldier from his own regiment. He is still deeply affected by this experience.
“We went into the cemetery and the very first grave was one of our soldiers. It broke me up. It really gets you. You’re still there.”
– Ernie Prior, Army veteran
Today Ernie lives in The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton. Despite the high level of care he now needs, he and other residents will be attending the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag to show support for fellow veterans of the British Armed Forces.