Care UK teams and residents have found ways to join communities across the country in commemorating Remembrance Day.
At Priors House, in Leamington Spa, residents and team members worked together to organise a special Remembrance Day service as they installed a brand new, permanent war memorial. As part of the service, which was organised by the home, residents read poems and laid poppy wreaths. There was also a socially-distanced cornet performance featuring the Last Post and Reveille, which was specially organised for a resident who used to play the instrument himself.
Francine Summers, home manager, said: “I’m incredibly proud of how hard everyone at Priors House worked to create a permanent war memorial for the home and organise our Remembrance Sunday service. From the maintenance team and chefs to our lifestyle coordinators and nurses, everyone helped – I think it’s part of what made the event so special. It was a beautiful ceremony, complete with a lovely cornet performance, which the residents greatly appreciated.”
Residents at Care UK’s Smyth Lodge, in Sidcup, marked Armistice Day by creating a sculpture of individually designed poppies in memory of their friends and family who have served in the armed forces.
Resident Jim Farmer, aged 93, shared his memories of being evacuated from London to Tunbridge Wells in 1940. He joined his school’s air training corps and attended a camp at Biggin Hill RAF Station, where he flew an aircraft for the first time. Leaving school in 1943, Jim joined the army and was accepted into the Intelligence Corps.
Home manager Roda Williams said: “Creating poppies was a wonderful way for residents to take part in the Remembrance Day activities – and it was fantastic to hear the memories of residents growing up in wartime Britain and serving their country. We’re thrilled with the result of their hard work, and it’s great to see the sculpture displayed in the home for everyone to see.”
At Bickerton House in Bracknell, memories of times in the services were recalled and tissue paper was used to create poppies to remember friends and family who had served in the armed forces.
Resident Peter Hale shared his memories of volunteering for the RAF when he turned 18 in 1940. After his basic training, he was taught to fly the iconic Spitfire and flew across Europe, including Belgium, Holland and Germany, intercepting bombs. As well as recalling his flying career, he also chatted to other residents about his memories of VE Day: he was on leave in Worthing at the time, and saw celebrations and street parties across the whole of the seaside town.
At Parsons Grange, near Reading, residents not only remembered those who served in the World Wars but also those who served in more recent campaigns. They created more than 100 felt poppies, some of which were added to the silhouette of a soldier in the home to form a sea of poppies, while others were sold to the community. All proceeds from the poppies’ sales will go to an armed forces charity.
Residents and teams in Care UK’s homes will again be offered the opportunity to pay their respects during the two minute silence on 11th November.