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.
Alan, Royal Navy and Army
Alan was destined for a life in the military. His father served in the Army in both World Wars and Alan was born at Whittington Barracks, in 1926.
Alan joined the Navy in 1943 and served as a signalman on HMS Meadowsweet, undertaking minesweeping missions. In 1950, he joined the Army, serving until 1981. During this time, he was a member of the SAS and the Royal Signals, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. reflecting on his career, he said: “I enjoyed the military life, I felt a sense of pride and honour to be able to serve my country.”
Today Alan, who lives with dementia, makes the most out of the activities, outings and socialising we offer. He says, “I’m always being kept busy, and I like that.”
Joan, Auxiliary Territorial Service
Joan was 15 when war was declared. Desperate to play her part in the war effort, Joan fibbed about her age, declaring she was 16, so she could join the Air Raid Precautions (ARP). In April 1942, aged 18, Joan joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) “to do or die for England.” Joan’s strongest memories of her time in the ATS are of the camaraderie that got her through hard times.
Joan came to live at Royal Star & Garter in December 2016 after finding it no longer possible to live independently at home. Joan feels that she is well looked after, “I’ve encountered a great deal of kindness here, several people here have been very, very kind to me.” She likes to get involved with as many activities as she can and is a well-loved figure around the Home.