Could 'wartime spirit' help the UK get through coronavirus?

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie

Life in the United Kingdom, and indeed around the world, is facing the biggest change since the Second World War.

The huge upheaval has been compared by some to the war effort, not for people keeping calm and carrying on, but by following Government advice and coming forward to help their neighbours, friends and family.

Three men who lived and were affected by the conflict have spoken to ITV News about the lessons Britons can take from it for their everyday lives.

Royal Marine veteran Jim Healy, 95, fought in the D-Day landings - and sees similarities between the war effort and what's happening now.

He told ITV News: "The same thing applied more or less.

"The authorities were asking for volunteers from all departments and the response was equally as good."

While James Hampson, now 104, and himself a former Chief Public Health Officer says there was one thing that kept him going: "Comradeship!"

"You never felt you were alone, you felt you, along with a number of comrades were in the same situation and it was better for all concerned if you could get along and help each other."

Joining them on the Skype call was Dag Pike, a wartime evacuee who was sent from London to Cornwall to escape the Blitz.

On comparisons between the virus and the Second World War, he said: "I think during the war we had a lot more discipline, we didn't question things, and schools were open we could still go out and play.

"That's very different now.

"I'm still trying to get my head round it."

Unlike during the Second World War, Britons are being told to stay at home and only leave for essential purposes.

  • During the Covid-19 outbreak The Royal British Legion is encouraging our network of communities across the UK to join forces to ensure help and care is available for anyone experiencing hardship, loneliness or isolation. If you or someone you know from the armed forces community needs support, the RBL helpline remains open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week on 0808 802 8080 or go online to www.rbl.org.uk