In October 2009, I set out on a rugby tour to France with thirty teenage boys. I had uncovered the sad story at our London club, Rosslyn Park, of a lost Great War memorial; a 1919 press clipping stated 72 had died, but no names. Some 109 names of men who lived, loved, played, fought and fell have now emerged from club records and lost memory.
For decades, Mercy Corps has worked with refugee and displaced populations, we know that building walls does not work. Europe's Schengen Agreement must remain in place and we must avoid the simplistic pretence that fences can be placed at our borders to preserve our economic well-being and security.
I've come to realise that Afghanistan has forever changed me. It has ruined me, destroyed part of me. It has left an intangible impression upon me. At the same time, it has made me, matured me, grown me, expanded my potential as a human being, taught me the importance of life, love and the little things.
The hard-won battle to eradicate polio once and for all is within our grasp but we can't relax yet. We must, maintain and accelerate our efforts. So it is heartening to see Commonwealth countries, including the UK, coming together this weekend at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta to review the results achieved to date and call for renewed global support.
I've been thinking all day about how I can find the words for what we experienced last week. An hours drive from my house, then half an hour on the Eurotunnel, and we were in the world's worst refugee camp in terms of resources and conditions, yet we were welcomed with open arms. It's amazing how only the people who have nothing really know how to share.
The measure of success in Northern Nigeria is whether civilians feel free from fear. Nigeria's sovereign government, with international partners lending their expertise, should be able not simply to clear the battlefield, but to satisfy the reasonable aspirations of the people to a secure and prosperous future. That could be a lesson for the rest of the world to learn.
I want my government to remember the numerous times the UK has displayed compassion and commitment to human life and dignity by providing refuge for those facing persecution. During the Second World War they helped the Kindertransport children, in the 1980s they took in refugees from Vietnam, and in the 1990s they helped those fleeing from war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Sadly, the lack of support they are currently offering refugees will definitely be a stain on their history.
The most important moment I will remember personally, the time the Prince stepped in and told a group of very unhappy soldiers to 'back the f**k off' and leave me alone. The morning Harry had to come to my rescue, word had got round among the other regiment about what had happened between me and one of their own, and a group of angry sergeants wanted my blood - because to them, I was obviously to blame. Harry caught wind of the situation and confronted the older non-commissioned officers, and made, quite clear, that they would be for the high jump if they gave me another second's hassle over the issue - my sexuality.