My dad survived Dunkirk

LESLEY LEWIS knew from childhood that her father, Stanley Patrick, had served as an Allied soldier during the Second World War. She understood that when he was 20 years old he survived a torpedo attack in the evacuation of Dunkirk. But she had no idea just how close he came to death – until earlier this year when she watched the Channel 4 documentary Dunkirk: The New Evidence.

We must not forget the future

 IT was at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month that the First World War ended in 1918.

In the years since then, that date and time has become synonymous with the nation pausing for two minutes to remember military personnel who have lost their lives in the service of their country.

Public scrutiny reveals imperfections

IT seems to happen nearly every day. Another celebrity or public figure is exposed for dubious behaviour, with their subsequent fall from grace bringing a loss of status, respect and prestige.

Living in the public eye has its pitfalls and temptations as well as attractions. Never before has someone’s life been so open to scrutiny – and never before has it been so easy to discover when that someone starts thinking they are above the law.

Baby doctor faces questions of life and death

Professor Wyatt, what is your practitioner and academic background?

For many years, I was a consultant neonatologist at University College Hospital, London. Essentially, I was a specialist in the medical care of newborn babies. I was also the academic lead for the hospital’s large neonatal intensive-care unit. At this point, a lot of the babies are premature. Also, some are born at term but have serious illnesses.

Violent episodes

FROM the start, BBC One’s drama series Gunpowder set off a reaction among viewers. Turning to Twitter, some said they thought the scenes of torture and execution were too brutal, too graphic. Radio Times magazine ran a poll on its website, asking whether the drama, which retells the story of the plot to blow up Parliament, was ‘too gory’. A narrow majority thought that it was ‘just a fair reflection of what happened’.

Anger needs to be under new management

WHAT makes us angry or see red? We may like to think we can control our tem­per, but occasionally we have to admit that we lose it.

Mostly we tend to lose our rag when we’re tired, upset or worried. It takes only an innocent remark to highlight under­lying tensions in a relationship or work situation and set off all those other inner resentments and hurts that have been just waiting to explode. Whatever the trig­ger, saying things in haste can lead to bro­ken friendships and divided families. That kind of anger can be destructive or even dangerous.

Crafting a difference

AS the daughter of a politician and a vicar, campaigning for social justice seems engrained in Sarah Corbett.

‘I’ve been an activist since I was three years old because if my family and I weren’t squatting to save social housing, we were doing anti-apartheid work,’ she says.

Speaking personally

 FOR the last time, I pause to reflect on what ethical, political, social or spiritual issue to highlight in this column. For the first time, I write personally.