HC-One residents reflect on war time efforts this Armed Forces DayHC-One care homes across the UK have commemorated the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces this Armed Forces Day, taking place on June 29, 2024.

At St James’ Park Care Home in Bridport, Dorset, residents have been reminiscing about the war time, including looking through an incredible collection of wartime memorabilia.
Residents enjoyed looking through old toys and children’s clothing. Residents enjoyed sharing their stories about being in the army and the roles of their families as part of the war effort. 

At the end of the session, residents relaxed and reminisced as wartime music was played on an old gramophone, which brought back lots of happy memories. Resident, Philip Wilson, aged 96, also discussed his time as an Air Raid Precaution Messenger.  

Mihaela Barbulescu, Home Manager at St James’ Park Care Home commented:

“Residents really enjoyed looking at the variety of wartime memorabilia and this provoked some amazing memories which were shared with each other.”

A 92-year-old Derbyshire care home resident who was a former Korean War army nurse has revealed his ‘proud’ service that built his character on Armed Forces Day.

At April Park Care Home in Eckington, Derbyshire, resident Bernard Robinson, has been reflecting on his career as a Nurse in the Armed Forces. Bernard, aged 92, who has lived at the Derbyshire care home since November 2022, revealed that he began his nursing career at the age of 18 when he enrolled into the army.

He became a Nurse when the army was short-staffed and in desperate need of Nurses. Bernard helped fulfil a need during the Korean War, where he served his duty for his country and people by travelling all over the world.

Bernard enjoyed meeting different kinds of people, as he looked after the wounded and cared for families in the area where he was stationed. Bernard enjoyed his work as a Nurse, but he experienced many traumatic situations during the war.

Bernard was 22 when the Korean War ended, and he subsequently changed his career path by working on the railways and then as a painter and decorator. His favourite memory as a Nurse was playing with the children on the wards, where he made them smile and laugh during tough times.

Speaking on his experience, Bernard Robinson, resident at April Park, stated:

“Whilst I didn’t choose to become a Nurse initially upon joining the army, I wouldn’t change it! I am proud of the service I did, and it made me the man, husband, and father that I am today.”

At Lothian House Care Home in Spennymoor, County Durham, resident George Robson, aged 97 years old, has been reflecting on his time in the Royal Navy upon joining at the age of 17 years old in 1943, spending three years serving in the Navy until leaving in 1947.

On June 6, 1944, at the age of 17-and-a-half years old, George served in the historic D-Day war time efforts with the invasion of the beaches at Normandy by Allied troops during World War II. 

Whilst in the Navy, George travelled to Australia and New Zealand, and travelled home on the Black Prince. George can recall attacking Tokyo and his biggest relief was when the bombing stopped and he had survived, however that also came with a sadness to the comrades he lost.

After leaving the Navy, George worked in the family butchers with his father for two years. He subsequently went on to secure a contract working in construction, building roads and working outdoors.

George and his wife had two children, a daughter called Diane and a son called Phillip. Sadly, Diane died at the age of 30 and George recalled this as one of the saddest moments in his life.

George Robson, who has lived at Lothian House Care Home since September 2023, stated:

“My fondest memories are of the men I served with and getting up to mischief and sharing lots of laughter. Coming home to my family after the war was over made me very happy.

“I think people should attend services on Armed Forces Day as it’s important to show your respect for the men and women who served for our country, not only those who survived but those who lost their lives.”