We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

“Don’t abandon the Europe that I fought for – and my comrades died for”

June 21, 2016 10:31 AM
By Franklin Medhurst in The Guardian

This letter, from local Stockton man Frank Medhurst, puts the whole of the EU debate into perspective. It was published in the Guardian last week, and has had many shares, including it being tweeted by Jo Cox just before she held her final surgery.

"It is helpful to be old, for in my lifetime I have seen world population increase threefold; a stable seasonal climate become wildly unstable with drought, forest fires and floods; the pollution by humanity of the planet's earth, air and waters to a stage where all life is threatened; and violence become a permanent, continuous tragedy in a world of great uncertainty.

The only stable community in this universal upheaval has been the European Union, formed from the wreckage of a continent for which I and millions of others fought six years of war. I write as a former airman, having flown well over 2,000 hours against three despotic enemy nations. That victory for the democracies has given Europe 70 years of peace and security in a widely unstable world. The "leave" chancers are campaigning to abandon this steady progress, citing values false or irrelevant, while they have no plan of what to do after jumping ship.

If the nation should fall for this deceit I can only conclude that the lives of my comrades - Irish, Scots, Welsh and English - were lost in vain. They will be rattling their bones, wherever in the world they fell, at the loss of the beliefs for which they fought.

Britain in Europe will enhance progress to higher values in the greater world; Britain out means a return to the early-20th-century chaos of warring states against each other."

I am 96. I remember how far we have come. I know what we stand to lose.
Franklin Medhurst, DFC (RAF 1939-46)
Carlton, County Durham