Former Royal Engineer resident receives Armed Forces Veterans Badge

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A resident at Winchcombe Place has been awarded an Armed Forces Veteran Badge to mark his efforts during the Second World War.

With the help of the team at Winchcombe Place, the local Branch of the Royal Engineers Association liaised with the MoD to request that the resident, John Lill, receives the award.  

John was invited to attend the annual Beating Retreat Ceremony at Denison Barracks in Hermitage, where his service to the United Kingdom during World War Two was recognised. 

Born in Sheffield on 8 March 1915, 103-year-old John, served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War. He spent his time on the desert front line and has even written a book on his wartime experiences.

At the end of the war, John and his wife Eileen, who passed away in 1990, lived in Sheffield where he worked as an architect, before they retired and moved to Hermitage near Newbury in 1982. John moved to Winchcombe Place in 2014.

Accompanied by two of the care home members, John attended the ceremony with his granddaughter, Alexandra, and two of his great-grandchildren, Beatrice and Anthony.  The evening included a drinks reception held at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess. After the ceremony, guests retired to the Mess for cocktails, where John was presented with his badge by the Station Regimental Sergeant Major, WO1 (RSM) Richard Jefferies – who said “A little overdue, but better late than not at all!” 

Cliff Hutchings, home manager at Winchcombe Place, said: “Since we first met John in 2014, he often recalls his time serving in the Royal Engineers during World War Two. 

“When we told John he had been nominated for the badge, he was over the moon. The day of the ceremony was wonderful, and we were so happy John was able to share the special moment alongside his granddaughter and great-grandchildren. 

“Here at Winchcombe Place we make sure our team go the extra mile when it comes to creating wonderful experiences and memories for residents. This is the perfect example of how the team here are thoughtful and kind to every one of the residents.”

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