Fife volunteer to represent British Red Cross at Cenotaph Parade

Irene Guild
Irene Guild

A volunteer from Kinghorn will be one of 22 British Red Cross representatives from across the UK to represent the charity in the annual Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall, London, on Remembrance Sunday.

Irene Guild (54), has been volunteering with the Red Cross for five years and has taken on roles leading volunteers in the east of Scotland in emergency response and is a trainer in event first aid.

She also supports people who are isolated through the charity’s Community Connector programme and is a member of the British Red Cross Volunteer Council.

On Sunday Irene will join her Red Cross colleagues, along with representatives from other organisations in the civilian services contingent, to form part of a guard of honour around the Cenotaph during the Service of Remembrance organised by the Royal British Legion.

The event will be attended by thousands of former servicemen and women, politicians and the general public who gather to remember all who have suffered and died in conflict in the service of their country.

For Irene there is a very personal reason for her taking her place by the Cenotaph.

She explained: “My father James Marshall was a Royal Navy sailor and served on HMS Prince of Wales during World War Two.

“His brother Undie was also a sailor serving on HMS Hood.

“Taking part in protecting North Atlantic convoys the two ships took part in the battle of Denmark Strait.

“My father witnessed the shelling from the Bismarck sink his brother’s ship.

“I’ve been given my uncle’s medals and I’ll be wearing them on the inside of my Red Cross uniform as my own way to mark his sacrifice.

“It’s going to be an overwhelming occasion to be there at the Cenotaph.

“I’ll be there in total admiration of all those taking part, sharing their pride and their hurt as the march-past takes place.”

The Red Cross Movement still plays an important humanitarian role in conflicts around the world providing vital support for refugees; reuniting families torn apart by war, and helping people rebuild their lives when the fighting stops.

A foster parent and full-time carer; Irene joined the Red Cross five years ago after a serious lung illness saw her hospitalised and unable to walk.

On her discharge from Ninewells Hospital, she borrowed a wheelchair from the Red Cross to help her through her recovery.

Impressed by how the charity helped her, she decided to dedicate her volunteering as thanks for the support she received.

Across the country, Red Cross staff and volunteers will be taking part in smaller-scale Remembrance Day events in many towns and villages, laying poppy wreaths and observing two minutes of silence to remember those killed or injured during conflict.

To find out more about the Red Cross visit redcross.org.uk.