Armed Forces Day brings back World War memories

July 4, 2018

Wartime memories and songs were shared at a Chester-le-Street care home as part of Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Elderly residents at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, Pelton, told stories of the Blitz, blackouts and listening to the BBC on “the wireless” for updates.

They also joined in a singalong with entertainer Janie St John, who dressed in an authentic 1940s uniform.

“It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, “Pack Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag”, “We’ll Meet Again” and “Keep The Home Fires Burning” were just some of the favourites.

One resident with advanced dementia was able to recall all the lyrics from songs she used to sing as a girl with family and friends.

A family member of another resident said his father and friends used to sing songs at the club to cheer themselves during the War.

One of the home’s oldest residents, 100-year-old Mabel Fenwick, recalled: “The wardens would come around during the blackout and make sure there were no lights showing from the houses.  

“We were only allowed to use one candle to illuminate the room as you didn’t want the bombers to know where to drop their bombs.”

Another residents, Margaret Waggett, 78, said: “The songs reminded me of being a wee girl sitting with my mum listening to the radio and the posh man with the Armed Forces Day brings back World War memoriesBBC voice during the black out.”

Chris Hogan-Hind, home manager at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “Everyone had a fantastic time at the Armed Forces Day celebration with entertainer Janie St John.

“She put on a brilliant performance and the residents thoroughly enjoyed singing along and talking about their memories from WW2 and the stories their parents told them about WW1.

“It was obviously a dark time but our residents have a lot of shared and fond memories and the benefits of reminiscence events such as this are profound. 
“Increased sociability, mobility and an improvement in overall mood are just some. Everyone is in high spirits for days afterwards.”

 

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