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Veterans charity Combat Stress fundraiser event, Saturday 2 November 2013.

30/10/2013 Posted by chris

Hi everybody,

I will be attending a book signing for Riding In The Shadow Of Death on behalf of the Veterans’ outstanding mental heath charity Combat Stress.

F/Lt Jeff Gray who is a Veteran Lancaster pilot featured in the book will be with me for the day to chat to people and help open the event. Jeff’s wife Joan will also be with us. Joan served as a nurse during WW2 in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), now named the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC; also known as the QAs). During WW2, the Army Nursing Service served in every campaign from Iceland to the Pacific, nursing the sick and wounded and sharing the hazards of warfare. Many lost their lives or became POW’s. Joan served at the D-Day Landings in 1944 tending to many injured and dying soldiers.

http://www.army.mod.uk/medical-services/nursing/30986.aspx

Joan was also posted to a Field Psychiatric Hospital where she helped soldiers recover from Post Traumatic Stress. The story of the Nurses is told in the excellent book by Barbara Mortimer called Sisters, in which Joan is featured:- 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sisters-Heroic-true-life-stories-nurses/dp/0099547740/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383447129&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=sisters+qairans

Riding In The Shadow Of Death also highlights how our RAF Bomber Command crewmen suffered from extreme stresses on their combat operations over Europe during WW2. Many crewmen also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress and were treated at RAF Hospitals during the course of the War. Many like one of the featured Veterans Dennis Bartlett, kept things to himself after the War and didn’t talk about his experiences until recently. When I met Dennis in 2011 and got to know him, he shared many experiences with me that even his own family members hadn’t heard. All our Veterans are truly extraordinary men and women.

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/news/

The event is on Saturday 2 November (11am to 3pm) at Free Church Hall in Hampstead Garden Suburb:-

http://www.hgs.org.uk/events/eventlist/all/venue-2

http://www.hgsfreechurch.org.uk/findus.htm

The event is normally hosted by legendary BBC War correspondent Martin Bell who unfortunately cannot be there this year. The ribbon cutting for the opening will take place at 11am.

Please do come along, it is such a worthwhile charity that does outstanding work with our Veterans.

Best wishes all

Chris

The fundraiser at Free Church Hall was very successful and we all had a great day.

Combat Stress event, 2 Nov 2013. Chris Keltie, WW2 Veterans Joan Gray and Jeff Gray

 

WW2 Veterans Jeff and Joan Gray

 

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