Kinghorn Community Council nominates NHS staff for highest bravery honour for work during the pandemic
Kinghorn Community Council has nominated the National Health Service for the George Cross – the UK’s highest honour for bravery – to recognise the staff’s work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alan McIlravie, Provost of the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council, said the group recently tabled a motion nominating the National Health Service for the George Cross to reflect the hard work of its staff throughout the pandemic.
Mr McIlravie said he decided to put the NHS forward for the prestigious accolade after watching hard-working NHS staff in a Covid ward on the news.
He said: “The George Cross was created in 1940 by King George VI and it can be awarded to the military but it can also be awarded to civilians. It is the highest award for bravery that civilians can receive,” he said.
"But also the Island of Malta has received this award and what was the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which became the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was also awarded it for its work during the 30 years of the troubles.
"A lot of its signage and paperwork has the George Cross on it and my thinking is that as well as individuals receiving bravery awards, the George Cross can also be awarded to organisations.
"When you reflect on the bravery of NHS staff – knowing the dangers of the virus and the fact their colleagues were becoming ill and dying – I felt they deserved to be nominated. I liken their work during the pandemic to a battle against an enemy – the enemy being the virus – and daily they have been going into hospitals, getting suited up in PPE to face it – knowing the dangers.
"The community council of Kinghorn agreed to the motion and I have prepared a citation which I have sent to the honours committee in London.”
Mr McIlravie said he wanted to nominate the health service as a whole rather than just nominating Fife, for example, as he didn’t want to make any difference between NHS workers from different areas – that all NHS workers deserve the recognition.
He added: “We just felt we should do something to honour them. It just acknowledges forever more, Britain’s gratitude to the National Health Service for what it did during a very difficult year.”