A GREENOCK-born RAF officer said playing a major role in Remembrance Sunday commemorations at the Cenotaph in London was the greatest honor of his career.
Squadron Leader Dr Patrick Branchfield from Braeside was invited to attend the ceremony as the Royal Air Force medical representative.
He was on standby in case a medical incident occurred during the proceedings, ensuring that royals, senior politicians and religious leaders across the UK were safe as they paid their respects to those who lost their lives in the service of the armed forces.
Patrick, a former student of St Gabriel Primary School and then St Columba High School in Gourock, worked in various hospitals in Glasgow after graduating from Glasgow University in 1998 before becoming a general practitioner.
After a year of local practice at Greenock Health Center, he moved to Whiteinch in Partick where he spent 10 years in surgery before deciding to move to the RAF six years ago.
Patrick says he joined the military because he was tired of doing the same job week after week.
He said: “I was almost 40 years old and had enough of the same old job.
“I needed to do something different and the Air Force gave me the opportunity to do it.
“I also wanted to travel – and there is a good chance of doing that in the RAF.”
Patrick was initially based at the UK’s largest RAF station, Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, before being promoted to RAF Northolt Medical Officer in London in January.
Shortly after his arrival, he participated in the Covid-19 vaccination effort in central London as part of military assistance to civil authorities.
After many years of service to the Air Force and the medical profession, Patrick was proud to have been chosen to participate in Remembrance Sunday work.
Each year a medical representative from each of the armed forces attends the ceremony and Patrick’s starring role at one of the main UK bases meant he was an excellent candidate for the role.
He said: “It was great to participate.
“To be chosen has been the greatest honor of my career so far.”