When I was a lad I can remember meeting a dapper and distinguished ex-Royal Flying Corps pilot, from the 1914-18 war who used to drink at the Bungalow hotel in Birchington. In his eighties then, He used to tell me stories of dogfights with the Hun above the battlefields of Flanders.
And then there were other family friends, "Joe" Fairley, who was the inspiration behind the character 'Bulldog Drummond, Bill Elledge, a model hero against the Japanese in the bloody battle of Kohima, my father's best friend, John Brown, a Mosquito pilot and mentioned in a book, for the part he played as a "pathfinder" in the raid against the Nazi rocket site at Peenumunde. There were many brave men like this to be found around Thanet and a few still survive quietly in the shadows of a lengthening old-age.
I do wonder how they would have watched the news of the last 24 hours and reacted to our captured service personnel telling the world's media that the Iranians are really nice people and more.
I don't doubt the former because I also have found Iranians to be delightful and hospitable people but hold on a minute, since when do our captured soldiers and sailors start playing a PR role for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard?
I'm at a loss to explain what I have seen and the brave men I mentioned earlier would, I'm sure, be deeply ashamed to have seen this level of comfortable cooperation with such a manipulative enemy.
Am I simply too old fashioned in my views or is their a sense of our national pride going out of the window alongside several cheap suits and a set of imitation Gucci luggage, courtesy of the President of Iran?