COMMENT: A hero who deserves a moment of VIP glory

Vital to plan together in case disaster should strike

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How apt that Gosport veteran Chris Peacey is today guest of honour among royalty and VIPs present for the naming of the the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS The Prince of Wales.

As Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall — and the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland — performs the naming ceremony for the hi-tech new aircraft carrier, Mr Peacey will have pride of place in a front-row seat.

No doubt his mind will wander back to the horrors of 75 years ago, the day in December 1941 when he was one of the few survivors of the sinking of the previous HMS Prince of Wales.

The warship and the battlecruiser HMS Repulse were sunk in the Pacific by Japanese torpedo bombers.

Mr Peacey watched in disbelief as the mighty warships sank into the waters, claiming the lives of more than 800 comrades.

How could he have imagined that today, almost 76 years later, he would be a guest of honour at a ship-naming ceremony for the new HMS Prince of Wales?

As he left for Scotland he told The News: ‘I never thought I would live to see the day another ship was named HMS Prince of Wales.

‘There aren’t many survivors of the original battleship. I’m very proud to see the new ship.’

Likewise, we should feel proud of Mr Peacey and men like him, who fought in wars to secure our peace.

We fully endorse the words of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who said: ‘Chris and his shipmates were heroes in every sense of the word.

‘The modern world owes so much to their incredible bravery.’

We are sure Mr Peacey will relish his moment of glory. He truly deserves it.