I want to make sure the future generations do not experience horrors of war
Corbyn echoes veteran’s peace plea
tions. I’d have done everything possible to work for peace and whatever was necessary to defend our people. I think of it from my mum and dad’s point of view. They were born during the First World War. They both had enormous respect for objectors over what the First World War was about. But they both supported WWII. My dad was an engineer and so not called up but he was in the Home Guard. My mum was an air raid warden in London during the Blitz so she was doing her bit. They were both people of peace but felt, because of the Nazis, they had to do something .... You’ve told me going into Germany opened your eyes. That’s right. Going through Germany that was the first knowledge I had about the propaganda. I suppose it’s natural we were told they were nasty and had to be killed. But then we met them and they were ordinary, everyday people the same as me and you and everyone else.
And you’ve spent your life trying to make sure there’s not another war?
I voted for you simply for that. When I came back I realised talking is always better. But you do think there’s still a role for the armed forces?
A big one. Peacekeeping and humanitarian work. I talked to people from the Royal Navy who had been involved in the rescues from people in the Med. They were so proud of what they have done. And quite rightly.
I think there’s a big difference between the way we were treated back then and how the armed forces are treated now. Today, I look on the TV and you see soldiers coming back and sleeping in the street.
Soldiers before they leave should get support on decision-making and issues round housing, for example. And for PTSD, counselling available all the time. We want to build a country that’s fit for them. That supports them.