Queen consort recalls her father’s experience as a POW in New Year’s message
The Queen Consort recalled her father’s experiences as a POW in a New Year’s message praising the work of the British Forces Broadcasting Service in keeping servicemen and women connected to home.
Her Majesty marked the 80th anniversary of the BFBS by highlighting its goal to keep “our service members, our families and our veterans connected to their country and to each other; and overcoming the separation of deployment, posting and secondment. “
Camilla said: “The very first BFBS program was ‘Home Mail’, in which family and friends would send in requests for musical messages to have their loved ones aired. At that time, my father was a prisoner of war in Germany.
“He and his fellow inmates were heavily dependent on an illicit, slightly dilapidated radio station which they had managed to set up and through which they received the comfort of maintaining a link to their home. 80 years later, the BFBS remains equally crucial to maintaining morale in all armed forces.
The Queen Consort’s father, Bruce Shand, was taken to Germany as a prisoner of war after being captured in November 1942, during the battle for North Africa.
Camilla: Deeply Impressive Accomplishments
He was held in Offlag IX A at Spangenberg Castle near Spangenberg for the duration of the war.
Shand had previously been evacuated from Dunkirk as part of the British Expeditionary Force, for which he received an MC for his actions.
In her message, Camilla, who is the godmother of BFBS, goes on to say that the service’s list of achievements since its first broadcast from Algiers in 1943 is “deeply impressive”.
She said: “From installing the first television station in the Falklands, to frontline broadcasters entertaining our troops on operations, to reaching every corner of the Earth – you have done much to foster a genuine and profound sense of community among all those connected with the military family.
“For 80 years you have lived up to your inspiring motto ‘serve those who serve’ and for that – thank you. Allow me also to use your global reach to thank our armed forces for their work during the past year, both at home and abroad, through which they have, as always, shown exemplary courage and adaptability.