He told me of the time when everything – cars, buses, trains and everyone in the street and their offices and homes – stopped for the two minutes silence on 11 November. He would have been very pleased to know that custom has returned, to some extent at least. He would also recognise that things change and stopping modern motorways and high-speed trains is just not possible!
The Royal Star & Garter Homes was formed to provide support for those who survived WW1 but with life limiting injuries, and we still do for their successors. The life limitations which our residents live with have changed over the last 100 years. We have moved with the times and the times have moved to present new needs, or perhaps we just recognise them better.
When I am in one of our Homes, I am always thinking ‘how do we continue to provide the best care for those who have served in the Armed Forces?’ I can be sure that in five and ten years’ time my successor will still be asking the same question. This doesn’t worry me, rather it encourages me to inspire our great team to keep thinking imaginatively, to explore new ways, to look outside our Homes for best practice and to improve their own knowledge and skills.
My family has continued to be blessed in many ways. But some have lived with health challenges which has affected us all. My father had Motor Neurone Disease, my mother and her sister (a wartime WRNS officer) lived with dementia, and my brother died last year having suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
So in The Royal Star & Garter Homes we will be silent at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month for the years to come. But we won’t be standing still – we will be striving to meet the ever-changing needs of those members of the Service Family who need us.