10 November 2023
Evocative childhood memories of wartime ahead of Remembrance Sunday
Wartime memories of bombs whistling down from the sky and aircraft thundering overhead live on in the thoughts of residents of an Anchor care home ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
George Hill and Ronald Ballantyne both live at Anchor’s Lightbowne Hall which is the first non-military care home to be awarded Veteran Friendly Framework [VFF] accreditation.
The childhood recollections of both men are graphically real and starkly illustrate why marking Remembrance Sunday is as poignant and relevant today as it ever has been.
88-year-old George reflects on what it was like as a child during such turbulent, world-changing years. He said:
I would have been four when the war started and seven when it ended. I remember the noise, the sirens, the airplanes, and the rubble where the bombs had hit. Everyone was so happy when the war ended, there were lots of parties I remember.
I will watch the telly on Remembrance Sunday to see the laying of the wreaths.
George, later served in the RAF for three years as an engineer based at Lossiemouth in Scotland and would occasionally go up in planes like Spitfires and Hurricanes.
Ron is now 87 and was two when the Second World War started.
I remember the bombings in Manchester. My strongest memories are of the blitz, the noises of the aircraft overhead and the whistle of the bombs as they rained down, it was scary.
I was delighted when the war ended, I was staying with my aunty in Wigan at the time as my mother was in hospital, she had just had my baby brother. I remember the parties, the sound of laughter and the fireworks, lots of fireworks.
Ron says he always observes Remembrance Sunday, planning to watch television coverage of the services being held. He served as a storeman in the British Army for two years from 1955.
Anchor’s Lightbowne Hall – a 52 bed care home in Moston – has been forging close links with military groups as a result of them receiving Veteran Friendly Framework accreditation.
Rebecca Mardy, Home Manager for Anchor’s Lightbowne Hall said:
George and Ron are great examples of why the Veteran Friendly Framework is such a great initiative.
Their memories bring to life how horrifyingly real growing up in wartime really was and demonstrates why it was important to us at Anchor’s Lightbowne Hall to achieve the accreditation.
Remembrance Sunday is a special day for everyone associated with the Armed Forces and everyone affected by conflict, and we look forward to helping our residents mark it in the most appropriate way that they can.
Anchor’s Lightbowne Hall is also the first care home in the North of England to be accredited as Veteran Aware.
On their accreditation, Kathryn Glass, Veteran Friendly Framework Project Lead at Royal Star & Garter, responsible for supporting and assessing care homes going through the scheme said:
We’re delighted that Lightbowne Hall has achieved VFF status. This is a great commitment to their continuous improvement in the delivery of person-centred care for veteran residents and their partners.
This programme will benefit both current and future residents, along with current and future staff at Lightbowne Hall, who are able to access enhanced training and guidance to better engage with the unique military experiences that their residents and partners have lived through. Being a VFF care home means that there is an increased understanding and recognition for the veteran community at Lightbowne Hall.
To find out more about Lightbowne Hall, click here.