Mar 29, 2017
Residents from Mountfitchet House enjoyed a day of singing in celebration of the forces’ sweetheart’s milestone birthday.
Friends and family joined residents for the celebration, and enjoyed turning back the clock to sing the popular wartime song “We’ll Meet Again”.
One resident who particularly enjoyed the celebration was 95-year-old Joan McAdams. Like Vera Lynn, Joan was also part of the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA) and risked her life to boost morale and entertain the Allied Troops during the Second World War.
During the war, Joan travelled throughout the UK performing in theatres, military hospitals and even on the ‘Defiance’ ship. She fondly remembers performing in the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, which cared for badly burnt troops.
Joan said: “Singing “We’ll Meet Again” brought back so many memories. It was a terrible time, but also one full of community spirit and camaraderie. In spite of the air raids and fighting, we always kept singing and dancing to keep the soldier’s spirits lifted during the darker times. The phrase “the show must go on” was our mantra!”
Allison Squires, home manager at Mountfitchet House said: “We had a brilliant day celebrating Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday and the residents thoroughly enjoyed singing memorable hits from their younger years.
“Singing can be a powerful reminiscence activity, and many of the residents will have grown up listening to Vera Lynn’s music. Even when memories become particularly hard to remember, often music can still be recalled, so a group sing-along can be calming for those living with dementia, and can encourage them to talk about memories from their childhood.
“It was great to be joined by family and friends for this special occasion, and to share memories together. Joan brought in photos of herself performing in the 1940s and proudly showed them to the team and fellow residents. It was a lovely celebration.”
More than 50 care homes took part in the nationwide sing-along, culminating in a filmed tribute to the national treasure
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