My story is my strength, my drive, and the ultimate guiding force for being here. My father died suddenly when I was four years old, which means my childhood and my family album, have a missing piece.

When he met my Mum he told her if they ever had children, and it was a girl, he’d found the perfect name. Meet HMS Venetia! (Yes, I am named after a World War II destroyer!!) It was his first commanding post into a Royal Navy he’d blagged his way into underage at the age 14, as he had a burning desire to help people and see the world.

Now I know it’s a much debated area and I don’t know enough about politics, religion or war to debate whether he was right or wrong in his choices - as with much stuff I do see both sides. So today for me is simply about remembering a man who stood steadfast by his beliefs. Who, alongside many others, did what he had been taught was right, and fought for the rights of other. Who put the needs of others above his own, despite great risk time and time again to his own safety. And who, despite many odds, and much opposition from his family, followed his burning give to people.

So no matter what he did, whether it was commanding a ship in the Royal Navy or running a fruit and veg shop, today I will remember a man who I admire for his passion, his determination, his self-belief and often putting the needs of others before his own. And whom I didn’t get enough time to learn from before he passed, but from whom I have a sneaky suspicion I might have inherited a few traits!!

Venetia xx

Venetia NorringtonComment