More times than I could count I have been asked why I started the Baton project, the nation recently remembering the Battle of Britain has a bearing.

For most of my life I have had many friends in the armed forces and soaked up the effects of service on their families and friends.

I have also had the privilege of knowing some extraordinary people, who as well as protecting our freedom made history as well – one such person is Neville Duke DSO, OBE, DFC & Two Bars, AFC, FRAeS

Neville and I instantly became friends on first meeting, a boyhood hero of mine, fighting with RAF 92 Sqn during the Battle of Britain, he then went on to be the world famous test pilot for Hawker’s and in 1953 became the world record holder of the air speed record, flying at 727.63 mph in a Hawker Hunter.

Although very deaf, Neville shared a tremendous amount with me about his experiences, good and bad, fortunately, for whatever reason, the range of my voice he could hear, something I will be forever grateful for and cherish

So a lifetime of listening to friends, wonderful older veterans and being frustrated at the lack of humanity in far too many cases, compelled me to start something that would act as a conscience on their behalf – the Baton’s Message of Conscience won’t win any literary prizes, but as so many recognise, it is from the heart.