Rifleman Stephen was 19 when he was wounded by a mortar bomb whilst serving in Basra in 2007. He received brain injuries which left him severely disabled. Stephen’s disability means that he uses a wheelchair and communicates via a tablet.
Stephen now lives at Royal Star & Garter, where he finds the care “Excellent”. He is sociable and enjoys sharing the activities on offer in the Home with his fellow veterans. His courage is striking: he perseveres with regular Physiotherapy at the Home which helps him to maintain his strength and wellbeing and to control pain. Staff work with Stephen and his family to help him live as independently as possible and to lead a full and interesting life.
Inspired by the Battle of Britain, Neville dreamed of being a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and flying a Spitfire. In 1945, he joined the RAF and during the next 37 years fulfilled his dream, flying planes including the Spitfire, Phantom and Harrier.
“One time I was flying, the engine just stopped. I was looking down for somewhere to force land. Suddenly I saw this button, I thought I’d press it and see what happens, and the engine started. It was very lucky.”
During his career he was stationed in Cyprus, where he helped with the British evacuation of Palestine, providing cover from the air. He was also stationed in Egypt, patrolling the Suez Canal zone, and spent some of his time in America.
In 1942, at the age of 17, Amy was given permission to join the WAAF. She trained as a barrage balloon operator. These were huge explosive balloons that forced enemy bombers to fly at higher altitude, making them less accurate when bombs were dropped, and forcing them into range of anti-aircraft guns.
Amy then went to work as a plotter. She was there during the Normandy D-Day landings and later on as Allied countries continued to gain the ascendancy over the enemy.
Amy was demobbed in 1945, shortly after WWII finished. By then she was already married to Ted, who she had met during the war.